Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!

The making of the album Common Wealth

The making of the album Common Wealth

In the year 2000 I was excited about all the well-received music I’d been able to do for Shenandoah National Park, and I’d begun playing music in the Park itself.  I wanted to branch out from there to Virginia’s State Parks, where I also was performing, especially at our nearest ones, York River State Park (for whom I’d composed and recorded two pieces on the album Celebration of Centuries, ‘James and York Bluffs’ and ‘Spartina’) and Chippokes Plantation State Park across the ferry in Surry.  So I was considering what could be added using the remaining pieces I’d composed in 1995 for the National Parks Suite and in 1996 for the defunct album project Such a Gift.

I was asked to play music in the Jones Mansion in the Christmas season of 2000.  While there my music caught the attention of Holly Walker, a State Parks program director from Richmond, so I told her of my dream of making an album of pieces for the State Parks.  To my surprise she said that they were actually looking for a CD to be sold in the park shops, so she set up a meeting for me with the Director of State Parks, Joe Elton!  When I met with Joe he had the marketing guy, Tim Skinner, sit in.  I explained my vision, and Tim took over the collaboration.  They asked me how long the album might take to produce, and I said it would probably take several months, and they asked me if in the meantime we could put together an appropriate compilation of tracks from my existing albums, thus having two new albums over the next two years.

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