Jay O’Hara of Bourne (tune)

(The recording is at the bottom of the page)

Last night, I wrote a tune while practicing mandolin. The first bones of it just arrived in my head and the rest came quickly as I played. I rewrote a few bits this morning to tighten it up, and this tune is the result. I pulled out my phone, opened the MP3 recording app, and played.

I sent it to a few trusted music buddies* to make sure it was original, and they all reported that they hadn’t heard it before. Mills asked how I’d feel about him learning it and playing around with it a little bit, and of course I said “sure!”.

I often struggle with titles for tunes, but this one came easily: as I was playing, I found the melody reminding me of wind and tide, and my friend Jay O’Hara came to mind–one of the most passionate sailors I know. Jay grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and he still makes his home in the town of Bourne where he often lives on his boat. I love tunes with the old naming convention that includes where people come from, since a sense of place is important to me, so: Jay O’Hara of Bourne.

Jay O'Hara-2013-10
Jay O’Hara

Modern recording technology staggers me. Mills sent me back a recording of a backing part he’d composed, mixed with my tune and sounding good. It’s not album quality, but it’s decent–and the tune is barely 18 hours old at this point. Did I mention that he lives in western Massachusetts, a five-hour drive from here? We talk about the power of the internet, but I haven’t gotten to play the musical collaboration game like this in a long time. So much fun! I can’t wait to see what else we cook up together.

So, here it is: a tune in its first day of life. I hope you like it!

Jay O’Hara of Bourne
Composed by Hollis Easter, tune and performance copyright 2013

Bob Mills: Nordic mandola by Ola Söderström
Hollis Easter: mandolin

If you enjoyed that, you might also like our performance from the Pipers’ Gathering instructor concert this year: a set of Swedish tunes as a duet and the March of the King of Laois joined by Iain MacHarg, Katie McNally, and Bruce Childress.

(Edited 9/9/14 to add: THEY WON THEIR COURT CASE, more or less!)

Thank you to those waiting patiently for the next installment of my series on Using Metronomes Effectively. It’s been a busy work week and I haven’t made time for writing yet. I’m teaching all weekend and hope to finish it after that! The audio files are all done, so it’s just the writing now. Cheers!

(*: Bob Mills, Susie Petrov, Melissa Running, Bruce Childress, Adina Gordon, Alex Krogh-Grabbe, Alison Nihart, Aaron Marcus, Connie Kent, Chrisiant Bracken, thank you for being my brain trust! Image of Jay created by Hat Factory Productions and used with permission.)

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6 thoughts on “Jay O’Hara of Bourne (tune)

  1. What a great tune. As the daddy of two special needs boys and as a musician and music educator, I know the theraputic value of music and movement. I do something with the boys we call “Dancing with Daddy”… This is where I plug my iPhone into the soundbar in our living room and crank up the volume. I scoop each boy up in my arms or we hold hands in a circle and dance like silly fools until we are out of breath. You should have seen their smiles and heard the laughs as we danced to this song at high volume. We loved it. I also played along to it with some bowed double bass. Thanks for sharing this awesome song Hollis! – Loren

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