Composing Original Music for the Mandolin (2023 program)

Phil Lawrence
Workshop Area 2 / 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This workshop is for mandolin players who’d like to discover methods for creating original tunes, explore sources of inspiration, and create a tune of their own. Phil will focus on the process involved in coming up with original melodies and chord progressions, and discuss how to arrange tunes. He’ll demonstrate some of his tunes and tunes by others, and explain the process of piecing together parts. Then he’ll involve the audience in the creation of a new composition.

Phil has been playing mandolin since 1978. He studied with the Italian composer Rudy Cipolla and he learned jazz and bluegrass by listening to David Grisman’s music and attending his concerts. In 2002 he co-taught a mandolin workshop with Grisman at Petaluma High School and in 2004 he was hired by The Dawg to be an assistant instructor at the first Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz where he co-taught with Chris Thile, Mike Marshall, and Dawg. He also led the beginning level workshops at The Symposium. In 2014 he led a workshop on Klezmer music at The Festival of the Mandolins in San Francisco where he has performed several times.

Phil plays all different genres of music. He spent twenty years playing with Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble, ten years playing with It’s A Beautiful Day Acoustic with David LaFlamme, and has a his own band that performs his original melodies.

Phil has CDs and videos and he has published two books of his original music all available online.