Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NE connection to "The National Parks" film score

Jay Ungar (l.), Molly Mason and Jaqueline Schwab (m.), Ken Burns (r.)

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (with Mike and Ruthy Merenda) were notloB's guests in June. Stay tuned, good things are in the works for a return, this time with additional friends.......


Originally posted to NEFolknRoots

If you have been watching and listening to the new Ken Burns documentary film "The National Parks", the music may strike you as having a New England / Hudson River Valley flavor.

Here's why (a partial listing of the musicians).

Extracted from Music in the Film.

The Musicians

JAY UNGAR and MOLLY MASON have been providing music for Ken Burns's films for more than a quarter of a century. Jay's haunting composition, "Ashokan Farewell," became the acclaimed theme song of the epic The Civil War and its Emmy-winning soundtrack, and is now considered an American classic. Their music spans two continents and two centuries, from Appalachian, Cajun, and Celtic fiddle tunes to swing, country and waltzes. They performed at the wedding of Ken and Julie Burns in October 2003.

JOSEPH FIRE CROW was born in Montana and raised on the Northern Cheyenne reservation until he was nine years old, when he was placed with a foster family in Seattle as part of the Mormon Indian Placement program. After three-and-a-half years at Brigham Young University, he returned to his reservation and became a respected flute player. He shares his music and tribal history through lectures and workshops, which include lessons in flute making. Joseph now makes his home in Winsted, Connecticut.

MATT GLASER is the first and only recipient of the Stephane Grappelli Memorial Award, "in recognition of his significant contribution to the teaching and playing of improvised string music in America." Matt has played for sixteen of Ken Burns's films and also appeared in Jazz in some memorable interviews. He has been chair of the String Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for 27 years.

Pianist JACQUELINE SCHWAB's improvisational playing has been heard on the soundtrack of more than a dozen of Ken Burns's documentaries. Jacqueline also performs solo concerts of vintage American and Celtic and English traditional music and has recorded with many traditional musicians. She lives in Chatham, Massachusetts., or listen to sound clips on

LISA NARDI writes music for documentary and independent films. She is particularly excited about this film, as she has a passion for this country's national parks and for the continuing preservation of its undeveloped land. It is this passion combined with the opportunity to work with Ken Burns again that inspired her composition "In Nature's Hands". She lives in Port Washington, NY.

WILL DUNCAN of Walpole, New Hampshire, has been a member of ASCAP since he was 12 years old, when two of his compositions became part of the soundtrack for Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip. His compositions for The National Parks are drawn from a collection of his melodies originally inspired by themes from Homer's Odyssey. He enters Swarthmore College in the fall of 2009.

And today from Jay and Molly an audio gift arrived!

Jay composed this tune for the marriage of Ken Burns & Julie Brown in 2003.

FREE download of "The Love of My Life" to commemorate the wonderful @PBS NationalPark @PBS series!

Preview Download

...and a tip o' the hat to Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe.

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