Closer To The Ground Music?

One of the really fun parts of Closer to the Ground being selected for Timberland Regional Library’s community reads program was the music. TRL commissioned the Bushwick Book Club to write some original music “inspired by” the book. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first–it’s kind of a weird thought to have something you’ve written turned into music–but then, at the first event in Tumwater, Geoff, Moe, Wes and Aimee took the stage and played their songs. Great musicians, fun songs, and lots of toe-tapping going on. If you haven’t already, click on the songs in the player above to hear what they came up with.

My favorite part of their performance was when the musicians talked through the process of writing the songs. Each band member read a short piece of the book, then actually demonstrated how they came up with the music by playing their instruments. When the second song came up, the band even got the normally reserved book audience to sing along.

Too much fun! The music brought more life to a book event than I ever imagined possible, and I found myself tapping my toes and singing along, too. Thanks, Bushwick Book Club. I hope we can work together in the future.

 

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Big Fun At Timberland Libraries

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Just home from three great book events in 24 hours, at the Tumwater, Aberdeen and Belfair Timberland Libraries. That’s me in Tumwater with members of the Bushwick Book Club (photo courtesy of Dan Sweeney), who were commissioned to write songs “inspired by” Closer to the Ground. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this. It seemed ripe for corny interpretations of the stories, and just felt, well…weird.

Boy, was I wrong. I guess I just didn’t know who I was dealing with. These guys and gals are serious, professional musicians, and they wrote some gorgeous music, with clear respect for the book. Tunes I would like even if they had nothing to do with the book. And beyond the songs, it was fascinating to watch them demonstrate how they work, reading bits of the book, explaining how they thought of it in musical terms, then playing little riffs to show what they were talking about. Lots of rhythmic toe tapping and head nodding in the audience. Musical style? I would say somewhere along the lines of Cowboy Junkies, but a bit more organic and completely original.

Just having Closer to the Ground chosen for the Timberland Reads Together program was a huge honor on its own. But adding in the Bushwick crew really put it over the top. Heartfelt thank you to everyone involved! I hope to work with you again. One more event for Timberland: Saturday, October 4th at the Centralia Library, 2:30pm. The Bushwick Book Club will continue to tour and play at various Timberland libraries over the next several weeks. That’s Wes Weddell on guitar, Moe Provencher on electric mandolin(?), Aimee Zoe on drums and Geoff Larson on bass. Catch ’em if you can.

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Cool Book News

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I’m honored that the Timberland Regional Library system has selected Closer to the Ground for it’s 2014 Timberland Reads Together community reading program. TRL’s main branch is in Olympia, WA, but they also have 27 branches covering five counties across Southwest Washington. From what I hear, they put on a fantastic community book program. For the announcement and information, click HERE.

To kick the whole thing off, I will be in several different TRL branches to read from and talk about the book during the first week of October. They’re also going to have the Bushwick Book Club of Seattle writing and performing original music “inspired by” Closer to the Ground (No joke…these guys are serious!) along with various other events, discussions and programming. I will update this once the dates, times and locations are squared away.

So…if you live in Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific or Grays Harbor counties, or happen to be nearby in early October, come on out to one of the TRL events. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.