Live Irish Music for St. Patrick's Day!

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Irish music is one of my favorite styles of music to play on flute, and I love it when St. Patrick’s day comes around each year. We’re available to play live Irish music for your St. Patrick’s Day party or event. From lively gigs and and hornpipes to incredibly beautiful slow airs, we’ll help you celebrate this fun day with music. I offer both solo flute and flute with violin, or add a guitar for a fuller sound. Listen to a few music samples of me playing Irish music on my flute:

 

Welcome to Inspire Duo "Life Inspired Improv."

Inspire Duo is a new duo featuring the music of myself on flute and Craig Woodward on piano. We create purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life. It was my dream to do free improvisation with other musicians for a very long time, but the opportunity hadn't presented itself until just recently. Several months ago, I was invited to a farewell moving away party for an acquaintance of mine. When I arrived, I found that I didn't know a single person in the room except for the honoree of the party, and she was deep in conversation. I walked up to the first person that I saw and introduced myself. We quickly found out that we are both musicians who love to improvise, and we were both looking for someone to improvise with. That was the unlikely beginning of Inspire Duo.

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When Craig and I met for our first rehearsal, we knew that this duo was something special. We instantly clicked musically and magic began to happen. Craig and I both have extensive experience with a wide range of music from classical to jazz and numerous other styles. We found that we could create a unique blend of these styles and add our own flair to make beautiful and wildly creative music.

We began rehearsing regularly and developed a vision for collaborating with local artists in order to introduce a whole new sensory dimension to their works, both through live performances and audio recordings. Each song that we improvise starts with an inspiration - an series of descriptive words, a piece of art, another musical composition, a photo, or anything really. Beyond choosing our inspiration, we don't plan much what we will play in advance. One of us creates an initial musical idea which then takes shape as we continue to play. The music then spins from there as we communicate back and forth, building upon each musical idea and creating new ones. The great beauty of this kind of music is that we aren't stuck to written notes on a page, or even a set of chords such as on a jazz chart. We are free to develop ideas as we play and interact directly with the environment around us using music.

Stay posted for updates on our live concerts. We need your inspiration! We also accept bookings to play for social events. Email me for information on hiring us for your next party or event by clicking on "Inspire Duo" HERE.

Listen to Music Samples Here

Announcing New Flute Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music Samples

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Our flute quartet recently recorded a number of new music samples. You can listen to the the music samples online here: Flute Quartet Music Samples. Our flute quartet consists of a flute, violin, viola, and cello and the tone of the flute wonderfully compliments the sound of the strings to create a full and rich sound. I am very excited about these recordings because after a lot of time and work, I have now completed making recordings of all ten of my music ensembles! Photo courtesy of Kern Photo

Solo Flute - Wedding Ceremony Music at Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park

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Outdoor autumn wedding ceremonies can be tricky in the Colorado mountains because the weather can be anything from warm and sunny to freezing cold and snowing. This bride hoped for the best with her early October wedding ceremony, but was also ready to brave the worst. It was clear to see why she wanted an outdoor wedding ceremony at Della Terra Chateau in Estes Park. The chateau is beautifully situated in the mountains and gives the feel of majestic isolation that is pure Colorado. The grounds feature garden areas and small ponds and bridges that blend well into the wild Colorado landscape. Wildlife abounded and I saw several elk, wild turkeys, and many birds and chipmunks. Inside, the chateau was built to reflect the classic European charm of years gone by. I had no idea what to expect from the weather as I drove up the fog-shrouded mountains. The forecast was calling for thunderstorms and even snow later in the evening. When I arrived at Della Terra, it was cold and cloudy and I set up under a small musician pavilion to protect my flute from the drizzling rain.

The bride chose solo flute music for her wedding ceremony, and I played elegant music on my flute as the handful of guests began arriving. As the guests arrived, the cold rain began to fall in earnest and umbrellas were quickly supplied to the guests and they wrapped themselves in the warm blankets that had been provided. I chose cheerful spring-like music to give the atmosphere a feeling of warmth, and one of the guests later told me that my music was the perfect balm for the cold, dark weather. The processional began, and just as the bride reached the front, the sun came out and the rain abated just long enough for a beautiful ceremony to take place.

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach), Danza Pastorale (Vivaldi), Spring (Vivaldi), Hornpipe (Purcell), The Swan (Saint Seans), Minuetto (Mozart)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party ~ Trumpet Voluntary
Bride ~ Trumpet Tune
Recessional ~ Bourree from Handel's Water Music
Postlude ~ Hornpipe from Handel's Water Music and Chopin's Waltz, Op. 69 No. 2

Wedding Vendors
Wedding Venue: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Officiant: Reverend Simone Shepherd
Ceremony Musician: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute

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The view behind the ceremony site

New Music Samples for Flute and Harp Duo

Recording Session at Swallow Hill in Denver, CO
Recording Session at Swallow Hill in Denver, CO

Thanks to Brian Hunter at the Swallow Hill recording studio in Denver, I have replaced my ten year old homemade flute and harp recordings with new professional ones. On the recordings I am playing on my new solid rose gold and silver Powell flute that I bought last summer. I was accompanied by talented harpist, Mary Keener. Our duo is available to play for your Colorado wedding or event.

Romantic Music

Romantic music for Valentine's Day and Wedding Ceremonies
Romantic music for Valentine's Day and Wedding Ceremonies

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and spring weddings drawing near, it’s time to start thinking about romantic music to complete the occasion. With the help of friends, I’ve compiled a list of romantic songs, and I hope you enjoy listening to them. What makes a song romantic? Romantic music mirrors four aspects of romance in life – intimacy, time, conversation, and passion. But just as we all experience intimacy in different ways, we all have our personal preferences in romantic music. Intimacy

Every romantic song has some level of intimacy. Intimate songs tend to be personal and not showy or performance oriented. They frequently have sweeping strings or soulful guitar or piano in the background. Also, most romantic songs fall between the pulse of 60 -100 beats per minute which also happens to be the average heartbeat of a human being. Coincidence? I think not. This gentle pulse is often done with soft percussion, or naturally emphasized in the music. Over this pulse is usually a warm and tender voice or instrumental lead.

 

 

Time

Romance flourishes when you give another person your full attention and time.  The following songs are all about the element of time and they do this by drawing out words and spacing phrases:

Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, Elvis

Come Away with Me, Norah Jones

Fascination, Nat King Cole

I Will Love You, Fisher

Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers

Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton

Conversation

This is an easy one, because words of love and devotion can be translated directly into music as in the following examples:

Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson

Devoted to You, Everly Brothers

For You, John Denver

I Will Be Here , Steven Curtis Chapman

Longer Than, Dan Fogelberg

Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce

Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden

Your Song, Elton John

Passion

Passionate songs have energy, intensity, perhaps a faster pulse than the typical heart rate, and often the element of the unexpected. Some of the most passionate songs are classical, particularly from the aptly named “Romantic Period” of music. Following is a wide range of passionate songs:

Everything I do, Bryan Adams

Hello Young Lovers, Stevie Wonder

Libestod from Tristan Und Isolde (Richard Wagner), Birgit Nilsson

Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet, Henry Mancini and his orchestra

Meditation from Thais (Massenet), Yo-Yo Ma

‎Someone to Watch Over Me, Herb Alpert

For fun I looked for a song from above that, in my opinion best blends all four categories. The result was a tie between “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Elvis. "Unchained Melody" frequently uses the word “time” which enhances its slow development, then crescendos with passion towards the end. “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” brilliantly combines all the elements of intimacy, along with slow romantic words.

Announcing New Event and Wedding Music Samples

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I have recently completed several recording sessions with Brian Hunter at Swallow Hill in Denver, Colorado. This music is now available for you to listen to on my website (see below for links). There are new music samples of solo flute, flute and piano, and flute and cello.

You are probably very familiar with the sounds of the piano or orchestra, but do you know what flute sounds like all by itself? Take that a step further and imagine flute combined with cello, harp or other instruments. The blending of two different sounding instruments makes a new unique sound, which sometimes even sounds like an entirely different instrument. I hope you enjoy the variety of music samples on my website.