Lucien LaMotte

Lucien LaMotte

 Seattle, Washington, USA

In my songwriting I focus on story-telling lyrics set to Americana/Folk melodies and themes fused with a sense of jazz harmony and improvisation. The vocal harmonies are reminiscent of the Beach Boys, The Eagles and James Taylor. My writing also includes solo instrumental guitar pieces.


Lucien La Motte, composer/guitarist/educator

Lucien La Motte is active as a composer, guitarist and educator, having received several awards in composition and commissions for new works. In 2000, Lucien received the Thomas O. Stevens Award in composition for his string orchestra work Surface Tension and in 2001 was awarded the Eva Thompson Prize for excellence in composition. In 2002 Variations On A Dream, an electronic work for CD, was featured in the Bay Area Concert Exchange Program at the University of Berkeley, Stanford, and Mills College in Oakland. He has had pieces played by the New Works and Earplay Ensembles, and in 2007 composed Temporal Flux for Orchestra. Lucien recently composed Three Pieces for Cello and Piano 2007, Character Sketches for Wind Quintet 2006 and Static Fields for Flute and String Trio 2006, working closely with members of the Alexander String Quartet at SFSU in the creation of the works.

Lucien graduated Magna cum Laude with a B.M. in composition from San Jose State University having studied with Allen Strange and Pablo Furman. Lucien completed work on his M.A. degree in composition at San Francisco State University under the guidance of Ron Caltabiano. As an educator, Lucien teaches guitar privately in the San Francisco Bay area, Counterpoint at SFSU and has lectured at De Anza College. He also works as a musical assistant and copyist for violinist Midori.

Objective: To further my knowledge in composition and contribute to the canon of modern music, while continuing to develop skills as a performer and educator, and teach at the University level.

2005 Edward Nagel Scholarship in composition
2004 24 Frames published in Touch of Tomorrow by the International Library of Poetry
2003 Comissioned to compose A Perfect World for vocal competition at Ball State University in Indiana.
2002 Commissioned to write song cycle based on poems by Dorothy Parker
2002 Variations On A Dream selected for Bay Area Concert Exchange Program
2001 Commissioned to write Rondo for Two Marimbas
2001 Eva Thompson Award in composition
2000 Thomas O. Stevens Award in composition for Surface Tension

2007- Teaching Associate in Counterpoint at San Francisco State University
2006-Composition Instructor at the San Francisco School of the Arts High School
2006-Guitar Instructor at The Music School, teaching private guitar instruction
2005-2007 Graduate Assistant at San Francisco State University, teaching Counterpoint and
Orchestration classes
2004-Music Assistant and copyist for violinist Midori
2003-2004 Church musician at First Methodist Church of San Jose. Playing guitar for Sunday mass and youth services
1994- Guitar instructor, self-employed. In 1994, started private guitar education business. Focus on classical and jazz guitar performance. Jazz skills developed through learning transcriptions completed by the instructor of performances by jazz guitar masters
1993-1995 Percussion instructor, Saratoga High School Marching and Concert Bands

Lucien La Motte has performed at the Concord Pavilion, Oakland Convention Center and with former Dizzy Gillespie guitarist Pascal Bokar as a member of the Pascal Bokar Band at John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room and appears annually at the San Jose Jazz Festival. He has shared the stage with acts such as the Temptations, O’Jays, The Whispers, Ziggy Marley, and Chaka Khan. Lucien works regularly with former Doobie Brother Danny Hull and Carlos Santana's bassist Myron Dove in addition to performing annually at the San Jose Jazz Festival. In the summer of 2005, he toured Hawaii as part of the “Power to the Peaceful” tour opening for reggae legend Don Carlos at the Pipeline Café and Waikiki on the Beach.

As a guitarist, Lucien is versed in studio as well as live performance. In 2005 alone he recorded albums for fusion artists 650 Connection, Pentimento Jazz Ensemble, and the World Music ensemble Brother Sun and Ben Vega. In 2007 Lucien recorded When You Go, an album of original songs and also recorded an album for solo classical guitar that includes works by Francisco Tarrega and J.S. Bach.


The Sweetest Melody

Written By: Lucien LaMotte

This guitar hangs ’round my neck like a noose, I try and break free everytime I cut loose on the strings and play for the muse. From awkward shapes and twisted lines she begins to speak of the things I have on my mind. I play the fool.
I feel tension mount with every turn of the key, trying to modulate through the changes inside of me. Fingertips dance on vibrating waves of the strings, but to me you are the sweetest melody.
On this wooden box lines with six cords of steel, I replay the thought of you in melodies that ring in my ear and that beat in my heart. And with this bridge that connects my life to yours, we’ll weather the changes that come to take us from the shore to the sea.
My life is a song in search of the right key, trying to resolve the voices inside of me. Home is where you are and that is where I want to be, because to me the sound of your voice is the sweetest melody. You are the sweetest melody.


Written By: Lucien LaMotte

You've kicked up the dust and made your move,
still you keep me in a frame on your shelf as a bookend.

Frequency space, a little head room.
But when your bed is empty you always change your tune.

Pull back the cover let's see how the book ends.
You may try to erase the pages, but your heart only works in pen.

New running shoes. Tread the mill at top speed.
No matter how far you run that's where you'll always be.

Pull back the cover let's see how the book ends.
You may pencil in the others, but your heart only works in pen.
Wipe off the cover let's see how the book ends.

Highlight the words that make you smile.
Bookmark the page and memorize.

Pull back the cover let's see how the book ends.
You may pencil in the others, but your heart only works in pen.
Wipe off the cover let's see how the book ends.

Yellow Hearts

Written By: Lucien LaMotte

The good life is a long way from the day to day we're livin', and the rail car whistle is crying out our names.
A cold wind blows down Main Street freezing everthing in place, and the town crier reports with nothing to say. The sunset tomorrow is the same.
Yellow hearts make U-turns while red hearts only burn themselves out of control.
There are birds in cages reading newspaper pages filled with tales of labryinths and wax wings, and clowns on stages pretending for wages while the actors all take the seats.
For yellow hearts make U-turns while red hearts only burn themselves out of control. The faint of heart make U-turns while red hearts never learn, and green hearts are luckier by far. Yes, green hearts are luckier by far.
Detour signs can keep you down. Railway lines runnin' circles round, and your head spins like a bottle 'til it slows. Dashboard saints point the way to go. Traffic lights say take it slow, so you just lay down and sleep it off tonight.
For yellow hearts make U-turns, red hearts only burn themselves out of control. While the faint of heart make U-turns, red hearts never learn. The pure heart is made of gold.


Written By: Lucien LaMotte

Sights and sounds that only confuse the senses. Smoke signals burnin' holes in the sky. Hearts tied to electric fences. No more fireworks displays on the fourth of July.
Freedom, she was ringin' in the distance, traded in for the opening bell. When the field of dreams awoke in foreclosure, she set sail for a buyer overseas.
While hope flickered like a torch on the horizon, waiting for a savior in folks like you and me, the devil took a seat at the head of the table. The fireworks burned out with no one there to see.
Now the architect has broke through the wire, while the sheep were put to sleep in the fields. Lambs with PC rifles sent to the slaughter, while the wolves whispered in the shepherd’s ear.
While hope’s head was hung on the horizon, waiting for someone to appeal, the house folded its hand and the devil redrew the plans. The fireworks were snuffed out in a backroom deal.
Sights and sounds made only confuse the senses. Smoke screen cover keeps birds from blue skies. The broken dream has left her defenseless. No more fireworks on the fourth of July.

Binary Code

Written By: Lucien LaMotte

Through contact devices, the loneliness we've found.
Closing of the distance, a departure from common ground.

Behind bars the liquid courage numbs the soul, where ones and zeros meet to fill in the holes.
Zero and one become one only lovers know.

Analog life in binary code.

Isolation super-highway, streaming sixty-cycle hum. Birds chained in the heavens transmit the void to everyone.

Encrypted forms line the potters field and canvas the virtual in search of something real.
Terminal condition, a connection of lost souls.

Analog lives in binary code.

And I'll read between the lines. Interpret the meaning.
Break the code of your design, because seeing is believing.
Finger the pages of your mind, and forge a reply.
Sense all you feel inside.

A vacuum reaction of communities offline, where ones and zeros meet to fill up the time, and drown the emptiness only lovers know.

Analog times in binary code.

Through contact devices, the loneliness we've found.


My album When You Go is available through itunes and cdbaby. Audio is available at these sites as well as

Set List

My sets are often up to two hours, in which I play original as well covers songs, instrumental classical guitar pieces and original guitar instrumentals. The set includes 15 original tunes from my album When You Go and new material for an upcoming album, as well as cover material by The Beatles, Crowded House and Death Cab for Cutie.

My songs include:
"Reservation with the Moon"
"State of Misery"
"American Strip-mall"
"Binary Code"
"Yellow Hearts"
"The Sweetest Melody"
"The Dream is Stirring" (written as a canon. I use a looping device to create the piece live).
"Fields of Elysium"
"The Way" (guitar instrumental)
"Sticky Fingers" (guitar instrumental)
"As You Were"

The cover tunes include:
Crowded House's "Better Be Home Soon", The Beatles's "Blackbird" and "Hide Your Love Away" and Death Cab for Cutie's "I'll follow you into the Dark".

The classical guitar pieces include:
Francisco Terrega's "Rec