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  • Writer's picturedjSwade

Lemon Cello - Once an Idea (and a Riff), Now a Reality

On July 24, I published a blog post titled "Lemon Cello." I asked my listeners to help me pick the title of a new song I hadn't started yet. I gave you two choices: "Rufus Butterfly" or "Lemon Cello." You chose the latter.

Almost three months later, I've composed and recorded the song and I'm excited to say it's official release date is Friday, October 22. In my July 24 post, I mentioned that I usually write a song with a melody, a riff, some words or at least an idea in mind. In this case, I simply had the title. It was a fun new experience for me. Before I even started figuring out what a "lemon cello" would sound like, a riff I'd been playing around with started to assert itself and crystallize, so much so that it ultimately became the centerpiece of the song.

I also threw out some other ideas and options in that July 24 post. For instance, I was undecided about whether to play my acoustic or electric guitar. Ultimately, I decided to go acoustic, and the guitar you hear on the song is my Martin. I had been thinking about inserting some spoken word phrases or chants. Although I ended up including vocals, I went in a different direction, adding a chorus that I felt was truer to the spirit of the song. I did stay with the approximate beats per minute I wanted, 75, and I composed the song in the key of D major. Of course, with "cello" in the title, I had to use strings! Overall, I can honestly say that I love how "Lemon Cello" turned out.

When I was deciding what artwork to use for the song, I turned to my good friend Matt Bradley. Matt and I worked together for several years at The New Children's Museum in downtown San Diego. He is a great guy, a talented musician and a fantastic artist. If you want to check out his stuff, go to I myself am a proud owner of one of his pieces, "Flower of Life #2." By the time I approached him, I had a rough demo of the song that I sent to him. He pondered it and told me he thought one of his works in progress, as yet untitled, would be a great fit for the song. He sent me the piece and I agreed! The image you see in this post is that painting. I am grateful to Matt for his talent and for his willingness to lend his work to my project. I also look forward to future collaborations with him.

So, here's to "Lemon Cello!"


If you want to stream "Lemon Cello," or any other music from djSwade, you can go to Pandora Music. You can also listen to it on my website, on YouTube Music, Spotify and other music services.

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