Moon Dance
Written by Van Morrison
Arranged and Produced by Ray Hix
Horn Arrangement by Jonathan Hunkins and Ray Hix

Moon Dance

Lisa Rankin: Vocals
Ray Hix: Guitar, Violin

The Story Behind This Recording:
Moon Dance is my wife 's favorite song. Whenever we are at a musicians party with friends, Diane always asks me to play Moon Dance. This song is always a crowd pleaser. It appeals to a wide range of multiple genres of music fans. I thought it might be fun to record my own arrangement of this tune.

The Music:
With so many different versions of this song performed over the years, I wanted to incorporate my favorite elements.
I love hearing big band arrangements of this song. I had considered doing a "strings" version of a big band arrangement, just to be different. Then I heard a horn arrangement by Jonathan Hunkins on the Internet. His arrangement was so good, that if I truly wanted to make my favorite version of Moon Dance, I would need to use Jonathan's Horn arrangment. But since I wrote my own chord progresion for the Choruses, I had to come up with my own horn arrangement for them. So I used Jonathan's horn arrangement for the Intro and the Verses and Bridges, and my own Horn arrangement for the Choruses and the Outro.

I have noticed that a lot of big band arrangements of Moon Dance tend to be played at a faster tempo to make the horns sound cool. The problem is that speeding it up detracts somewhat from the sensuousness of the vocals and lyrics. In this version, I tried to keep the tempo similar to the Van Morrison original, while adding the big band horns, and more of a walking, jazz bass.

The vocals are by Lisa Rankin, an old friend of mine from Florida. I remember how much she loved this song when I knew her in Florida. When I found her web site with her partner Galan, sure enough, she had already posted their version of Moon Dance. I think her voice was just what this arrangement needed.

Both Lisa and I have added some original signatures to this arrangement. I've always liked the way Lisa phrased the "Can I just have" lyric from the chorus. I wrote different chord changes for the Choruses, and added a cool rhythm guitar pattern for the second Verse. I also played both the Guitar and Violin "features" (solos). I really enjoy the playful interplay between the vocals and the violin as they dance around and with each other.

As for the rest of "the band," nobody wants to hear about my "midi sequencing." So instead, I present to you:

"My International Cast of Musicians"
Piano: Clutch Wiener
Bass: Steph Bonar
Drums: LoAir DeBoom

Duece Smolders
Saki Tumi
Gitte Yup
Kit N. Kaboodle

Red Ruffensor
Beaver Munchen
Julissa Toomey
Peter Gazinia

Juergen Hoffagen
Ryder Onderstorm
Hugh G. Reckshun
Iman Sturcokk

Recording Engineers
Kam L. Tow
N. Joya Doobie

Bo Ninya
Connie Lingus

Fook Yu

Production Assistants
Ima Gass-Bagg
Jack Hoff
Diva Jyna
Cork Soaker
Chase N. Dakitti
Fannie Pratt
Anita Tugg
Dee Zanuttz
Bopha Deeznutz

Backing Vocals (Not for Moon Dance, but for other tunes.)
Tess Tichol
Edith Puthy
Dixie Normiss
Ima Cumming
Phil McKracken
Duncan Dixon-Butts
Mike Rohdick
Mike Litt

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