Over the Rainbow
La Chanson de Claudine
Prelude for Peace
Under the Double Rainbow
Over the Rainbow – Written by Harold Arlen in 1939 for the movie, The Wizard of Oz, our arrangement of this classic tune includes the beautiful, but rarely-used introduction. In a list of 365 songs, the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts chose Over the Rainbow as #1 for “Songs of the 20th Century.” We also incorporate the very popular version by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and have written two possible endings. You can perform just the original by itself or also include the “IZ” version.
La Chanson de Claudine is a beautiful tune written by Mason Williams of “Classical Gas” fame and Claudine Longet. She was a French singer, actress and dancer, popular in the 1960’s and 70’s, and was married to Andy Williams. Our arrangement opens with a unique pattern in Harp 2 that alternates between left and right hands and is joined by distant harmonics in Harp 1. The melody’s slow tempo, gradual development, and use of ornamental triplets as well as clustered color chords make this an elegant duet.
Hermosa Mariposa went through several hands before emerging in its current form. It started with ideas from Kim Robertson’s “Sandwich Workshop,” then moved into an improvisation with Sharon’s friend, Jory Aronson. The “beautiful butterfly,” whose journey is told here in music, came to rest in our duet arrangement.
Prelude for Peace was initially an ensemble composition we wrote and arranged for harp, handbells, various instruments, and singers. We re-wrote it for two harps hoping to make it more accessible as a duet. Still included are full chords reminiscent of handbells, the melody and words from the hymn at its core, and variations on the stated chord progression. This duet, written to express a hope for peace in the world, is close to our hearts.
Lastly, Under the Double Rainbow goes back in time with another little story behind it… Several years ago, we traveled to Ukiah, California for a visit with Marian Thormahlen, Sharon’s mother-in-law and Anna’s aunt. Our visit and harp retreat having come to an end, we hit the road in spite of a cold rainstorm. But being Northwesterners, we first had to get some coffee at Starbucks. Using their WiFi, we checked the weather forecast and learned there was a big storm brewing over the Siskiyou Pass. This mountain road that connects Northern California and Oregon can be treacherous, so we returned for another day in the lowlands. We filled the time shopping, tasting wine and composing music. As the harsh day became gentle, rain alternating with sun breaks, an experimental tune began to emerge. We knew it was going to be something special. Although unfinished, we titled it “The Gift” because it was the gift of another day together – and a new tune! We pledged to let this work develop in its own time. It evolved into a tone poem, depicting raindrops turning to rainbows and became the title tune for this book. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.