Progress Report for The Portland Collection 3 Book

Right now, most questions to Clyde and me center around “When will Portland 3 be finished?” “Are you on track?” “Do you need any more tunes?” So to shed a little light on these: the other two Portland Collections have each taken 3 years from start to finish. We expect the same this time and would put the start date as Winter, 2011-12. It takes about a year to select the tunes that will be included. We ask Portland bands to submit their repertoires (so far, all have said yes to that). Then Clyde and I play through each tune, first individually and then the two of us together. We talk about and rank each tune. We started with about 350 tunes for the first book (and were able to include everything suggested excluding tunes that had already been printed in several tune books). We began with 450 tunes for Book 2, so we had to pick and choose. We developed our ranking system while working on these tunes.

This time, we are beginning with considerably more than 600 tunes!! That’s how much new music has come to the Portland contra dance community since the publication of the 2nd PC. We have solicited tunes from about 2/3 of the Portland musicians and also are including tunes Clyde has incorporated into his repertoire (he lives in Bellingham now). Thus far, we’ve played through and ranked over 300 of the tunes. We have lots of work sessions scheduled during the next few months so should be able to finish both the solicitations and the play through by the end of the summer. If we have 300 tunes with a #1 rank, that will be the end of it–those will be the ones included in the book. But it’s more likely that we’ll have around 200 with that rank and then will have to make some really difficult decisions. I can tell you that we are really excited about the music that is coming to us. It’s entirely possible that we’ll have 450 with a #1 rank–and then what?! We like the size of the books at slightly over 300 tunes. So we will probably have more play through and more discussion about what to include. We should have a clear idea of the tunes in the book by the end of the year. So, we are on track–on our very slow track, anyway.

After the above process, it will likely take another year to identify, locate, and work with all of the composers involved. Once we locate everyone, we will mail out all the requests to print in one big mailing. After that there is a lot of back and forth with the composers revising tunes to their specifications.

And the third year? It’s more research on the tunes and then putting it all together in publishing format.

I’ll post updates here so interested folks can see where we are with our process, make comments, ask questions, etc. If you have read this much, you must be interested. Thanks a lot for that! We so appreciate the support of our contra dance community and others who enjoy this music!!


Progress Report for The Portland Collection 3 Book — 14 Comments

  1. HI, just looking for some info on your portland collection,
    looks like it is happening. You said you’d keep me on your
    announcement list.
    May I make a small suggestion?? Looks like you have lots of
    tunes for the book, plus left overs…….perhaps a
    collection called 3.5 with the left overs could be created??
    Or is that just a yikes???
    Thanks for all the great music and grand times. Patt Duff Spokane area.

    • We are making good progress on Book 3 although it is still a couple years out regarding publication. I’ll post an updated report here soon. It is really, really hard to draw the line and say: No More Tunes. The good tunes just keep coming, and we do already have more than we can include in the next book. I’ll figure out some way to make them available–maybe via this site. (I’ll have more time for such things when I’m not shepherding a book to press.)

  2. I would like to be on your mailing list regarding the Portland 3 book. I tried to join but I could not get in.
    Please add me. I love the Portland 1 and 2 book and I have all the Portland Collection CD’s, thank you!
    Marlene Stein

    • Thanks for the nudge. I am slightly better about posting updates on The Portland Collection Facebook page, but even that is well overdue.

      We are making headway, slow but sure. Right now, we are finishing up around 160 of the 180 of the tunes under copyright.I am in the process of contacting composers for their final OK. These tunes have all had a trip to editor Betsy Branch and after that have been played once again by Clyde and me. If Clyde and I notice anything that doesn’t seem right, the tune goes back to Betsy and to the composer for a double check. There are 20 or so copyright tunes where we either can’t locate the copyright holder at all or we have located the copyright holder but can’t get any kind of response. We will go ahead with the tunes in the former category but will have to drop the tunes in the latter category since we can find the composer but can’t obtain permission. I hope to be finished (or nearly so) with all the copyright tunes by the end of this month. Then I’ll get to work on the trad tunes (around 140). I have a good chunk of them pretty far along already. This batch will go a lot faster than the copyright tunes since there is no back and forth with the composer. We do check with whomever is the source for the tune, but those folks are all local and easy to find and pester about replying. Meanwhile, Clyde has the Notes written to almost all of the tunes. He is way ahead of me. We are hoping for completion in very late 2014.

      By the way, the next thing coming out for us will be not Portland 3, but digital versions of Portland Collections 1 and 2. They are being converted to apps and will have a lot of great features. I will post on this site when they are ready. I think it will be pretty soon.

      • Hi Susan!

        I’m so excited that the digital versions of PC I and 2 may soon be available. Hope you plan the same treatment for the PC 3.
        Last night, I did my first ever, iPad-only gig for my music and setlist display, and it was heavenly! I took paper copies as back-up, but the digital versions are so much easier to read because they are now at eye-level on a backlit iPad. I bought an iPad mic clamp and use a program called ForScore to make the setlists and display the music. It will be so great when we can use the digital versions of the Portland Collections for performances and jams.
        Thanks so much for being willing to undertake, what must have been, an incredibly ambitious project!

        All the best,
        Patty McCollom
        Fullerton, CA

    • The Portland Collection apps are underway but have taken a back seat to the launching of Portland 3. I’ll post updates about the digital versions once things have settled down for the new book. At this point, the apps are for Apple products only.

  3. Susan,
    Will the book 3 Portland collection be on sale at the
    Seattle Folk Fesival his month? Let me know and how much.Ww’re
    driving up from San Jose, Calif. Anxious for Book 3. Darwyn

    • Darwyn–Northwest Folklife will not have a store where performers can sell their products (just confirmed that). However, I will have the books with me, and if you can track me down, I will be happy to sell one to you on the spot. My band Joyride plays at 6:00 Sunday night at Warren’s Roadhouse (Fisher Pavilion). You could catch up with me just after our set.

      • Susan,
        We will only be at the Folklife Festival Friday & Sat.
        Any chance you will be around either of those days? If so,
        give me a time and location and I’ll pay you with exact
        amount so you don’t have to make change.
        Thanks, Darwyn Patz (from Calif).

        • Darwyn–
          I will be at all four days of the Festival and will have the books for sale with me much of the time (there is no centralized store for product sales). I will hang out around the Roadhouse (Fisher Pavilion) and know for sure that I’ll be there just after the Portland Megaband plays on Saturday morning from 11 – 12:00. Hopefully you will be able to find me.

          • Susan, I will see you Sat. either before or after your
            PortlandMegaBand plays at the Fisher Pavilion. Thanks…D.Patz

          • After the Megaband will work. Beforehand, I’ll be very involved in getting our staging set up.

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