This is the page where you’ll find all the new updated music videos along with their stories.
Here’s the video of our Mendelssohn Trio taken in the summer of 2012 at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia with myself on violin, Benjamin Coyte on cello and Vernon Snyder on piano. This is the first movement.
The String Theory original Forest of Cedars is about a subject that is rather an unusual one for this type of musical setting. It’s based on the four-thousand-year-old Mesopotamian epic poem about Gilgamesh, King of Uruk. This particular piece is about the middle part of the story, when Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu travel to the ancient cedar forest to fight it’s guardian, the monster Humbaba. It’s a timeless story about the quest for gaining immortality by means of far-reaching fame. You can learn more about what String Theory’s up to at stringtheoryquartet.net.
[Narrator] Harken and I’ll tell you a story a story of long ago a tale about fame and glory, life and death and friend and foe.
Knowing that his body was mortal and longing for his soul to be free the king of Uruk, high-walled city, set out on a quest to seek immortality.
[Gilgamesh] Come friend and we’ll go together! Come friend and I’ll show you the way, the way to make our names forever shine with a glory that’s bright as the day!
In the distant land across the desert, many days journey from here, there stands an ancient cedar forest guarded by terror and evil and fear.
We will go into the forest of cedars and fight him who the gods of old have given careful watch of their forest Humbaba its guardian from times untold!
Friend, we slew him, the monster Humbaba, at whose cry all the mountains quaked! We shall fell the lofty cedar and take it to Uruk in triumph and honor and praise!
Be Thou My Vision is one of the most beautiful and beloved of all Irish hymns. A few years ago I had the privilege of recording this piece inside Sacred Heart Church in Covina, CA. To play this music in such a lovely place was truly inspiring. The following video was made from this recording. Here are the words to the first verse:
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, in the day and the night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
This St Patrick’s Day was awesome! Friends and family and String Theory all were over at my house! We were able to perform our new piece, “The Road” and get a video for you to see. It was really fun to write this piece, with and idea here and an idea there. It all came together in the end and I’m super grateful to String Theory for making it sound amazing! I hope you enjoy it! For more information about our group String Theory, you can visit our website at stringtheoryquartet.net. Here’s the world premiere of “The Road”:
Give me the sun and a song and a road
and I can go a long long way,
but where will I go if I leave you behind?
For you say I must go,
But my heart says to stay,
So come, come along!
What is to stop us?
Leave it behind.
This first step we take together
will start our journey home.
Together we’ll walk through the warmth and the cold
the dark and the light and in between,
For the story never ends until everything gets told
and everything gets told in the end,
So come, come take my hand,
Onward we go now to start the dance
as our dreams come together
and our story becomes our home!
All that I’ve ever wanted in life
was someone to love with my whole heart,
But who would have dreamed that you’d come today!
Let’s step onto the road
and we’ll be on our way!
And here, here we are!
We’ll watch the sunrise
break into day
and the road that’s stretched before us
will guide us on our journey home!
Simple Gifts is an old American Shaker hymn. It is very well loved as part of American heritage and was used by Aaron Copland in his Appalachian Spring. Here are the lyrics:
‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘Tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
‘Til by turning, turning, we come round right.
Meditation is from the opera Thais written by the French composer Jules Massenet. It tells the story of a beautiful woman living a worldly life in Rome. A monk decides to go to Rome with the purpose of convincing Thais to convert and turn from her sinful life style. He eventually does succeed, but in the course of the story, tragically falls in love with her. Thais dies at the end of the opera. This piece is the story of her conversion:
Weekend Reel was actually written on a weekend & I had a good time playing it! Then I took off for the Norton Simon Art Museum in Pasadena where I made the video.
This arrangement of What Child is This (Greensleeves) was written in December, 2011 to be shared as sheet music on this blog. I was surprised and please when the quartet first played it as they went with an upbeat tempo which fills the piece with life. We made this recording of the arrangement as a guide for anyone who would like to perform this piece. The sheet music is available for free on this blog at http://daniellecumminsviolinist.com/what-child-is-this-greensleeves/. “What Child is This (Greensleeves)” is performed by the Forest Quartet, Sarah Wallin Huff, violin I, Danielle Rosaria Cummins, violin II, Miguel Cunanan, viola, and Ana Maria Maldonado, cello:
In the Forest (Amazing Grace) was composed for string quartet by Sarah Wallin Huff for the annual Alternate Avenues banquet. Alternate Avenues is a wonderful organization that helps babies, moms, and dads in need achampion4life.com. Sarah had a couple days to work out this beautiful piece and we rehearsed it one time right before the event! This has become the signature piece of the Forest Quartet. We recorded this definitive version at my house in December of 2011.
Here is the original recording of In the Forest (Amazing Grace) that was taken live at the banquet. There were 500 people listening when this was recorded, but you could still hear a pin drop.
In December 2011, Sarah Wallin Huff and myself were able to make this video of Sarah’s piece Image I: A Garden Prayer, from Three Images of Christ’s Final Hours. What a wonderful time we had learning and performing this beautiful music! Keep on the look out, because it looks like we’ll be performing this piece live in the upcoming year. For more information on “A Garden Prayer” you can visit the composer’s website at http://sarahwallinhuff.com/2011/12/new-video-of-a-garden-prayer/.
First Dance has a very inspiring story. It had it’s beginnings as a simple violin duet and was called “Song at Lough Ree”. While I was writing the words, Christina and John from Clan Dragonas were preparing for their wedding in Texas. The season was fall, so autumn made it into the lyrics. We rehearsed it a couple of times and I was stunned and thrilled to see where the band was able to take Lough Ree! Christina and John decided to use the song for their wedding, so within a couple days we were in the recording studio making this recording. They ended up using it as their first dance and that’s how the song got it’s new name. We’ve had some good times this past year and the photos are a reflection of that.
When the leaves turn to golden, yellow and brown
and the sky is bright with cold
and the wind goes free and far
you still my love will always be
as hear and now you are.
And so my love, I’ll dance with you
as the sun brings us the day
and the night is filled with stars.
And even should these fade away,
my heaven is your heart.
This video of Clan Dragonas performing Siuil A Ruin and Prince Charley was taken at the Anaheim Art Crawl, a super fun venue! You can check out the whole band at clandragonas.com.
On August 8, 2011, Clan Dragonas performed at the Anaheim Farmers Market. Here’s the video of our original instrumental piece, Dance at Clonmacnoise, named for an awesome Medieval town in Ireland.
This is the first video I made for The Road. It has the original melody line, guitar and violin melody. Special thanks to Douglas Cummins who helped me put this first version together! It was really helpful in developing the song.