New Album: "Lake of Dreams"

by Sharon West

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June 2022  
Thanks for stopping by my website!  Well, it’s starting to feel like summer here in the States….I’m enjoying the warmer weather and getting back into shorts, and simple summer relaxation of reading, listening to music and enjoying the beautiful outdoor scenery.  I am dedicating time this summer to studying a number of orchestral scores, and I recently heard a piece of music in my car while driving back from Wisconsin last weekend that really knocked my socks off (ok, not literally, because I was driving and that would have been awkward, but you know what I mean ;)).   


I listen to NPR quite a bit while driving and was listening to a great classical station outside of Madison, WI when they started playing Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.  I had never heard the piece before, and they finally got to this one variation that absolutely blew me away: the Variation IX, also know as Nimrod!  It might have been one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard!  Once I got home I read up more about the Variations in total and especially the 9th (IX) variation. Elgar had written all the variations about various people (and supposedly one of them is about a friend’s bulldog!) in his life, and the Nimrod variation is for his lifelong music editor friend, Augustus Jaeger. 

From Wikipedia, they describe what this variation is about: 
“In 1904 Elgar told Dora Penny ("Dorabella") that this variation is not really a portrait, but "the story of something that happened".  Once, when Elgar had been very depressed and was about to give it all up and write no more music, Jaeger had visited him and encouraged him to continue composing. He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven, who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music. "And that is what you must do", Jaeger said, and he sang the theme of the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 Pathétique. Elgar disclosed to Dora that the opening bars of "Nimrod" were made to suggest that theme. "Can't you hear it at the beginning? Only a hint, not a quotation." 


What a lovely sentiment, that he wrote this beautiful piece specifically for a friend who lifted him up when he needed it!  To me, the piece has both a solemnity and a lightness about it that reminds me of a slow, meandering summer day that fills you up with both longing and a satisfaction that defies explanation.  The entire Variations are fantastic, and I highly encourage you to listen to it on YouTube or Apple Music (or wherever you can listen for free) for inspiration or even just taking a break from life.  I am planning on studying the entire score over the summer….what a great way to spend these long, summer days. ;) 


I have started writing about each of the songs from my latest album, Lake of Dreams, and what I was thinking about while creating those songs.  So each month, I am writing about 2 of the tracks in my Blog, so if you are interested, please click here to read all about those. This month I wrote about composing Tracks 9 (Elegy and Hope) and 10 (Travels in Time) from my latest album, Lake of Dreams, so check that out if you are interested in my thoughts while composing those pieces. 
 

Just one last note: if you are not a subscriber to my website, you may want to sign-up (just look to the Right on this page) as I give away one FREE download song each month when I send out my Newsletter, so if you are interested, please sign up! 


Thanks again for all your support and see you again in July! ;) 
Sharon

 

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