This coming week we’re releasing a new 3 song CD performed by Julia Wade and written by yours truly entitled Affirmations. It was never supposed to happen like this, but sometimes we just don’t run our lives – our lives, instead, run us.
Then again, maybe God has something to do with it…
The three orchestrated songs were originally written for Julia’s long-time-coming Silk Road CD that was due to come out this spring, but has now been postponed until Christmas 2012. It’s been postponed because of yet another album that is in the works and will be released by Watchfire Music in early May of 2012.
Its title is Julia Wade – Solos and is a 12-song CD created as a farewell gift to the Christian Science Community and beyond given by both Julia and me in recognition of her 7-year adventure as Soloist at their World Headquarters in Boston – aptly named The Mother Church. She will close out that part of her career at the end of April 2012 and move into a more expansive world of inspirational recording and concertizing.
Solos is just that – an album of solo material for church soloists running a variety of subjects – each song set to various single keyboards like piano, organ and Fender Rhodes electric. This album promises to be totally ground-breaking material because each song is set to, not the poetry of the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, but rather Mary Baker Eddy’s prose text from her best-selling book, Science And Health.
Was it worth postponing Silk Road for the release of Solos? We think so, but we’ll leave the answers for you to decide in about five weeks. Much more on Solos later.
Back to the subject at hand…
Affirmations has been an answer to your requests. Julia sang each of these three songs at various Sunday Services over the last year, and each time she sang one of them, the requests for the sheet music poured in after her performance. So we complied and created sheet music for Even Now, Love Is The Reason For Living and Nothing. Soloists around the world are now performing each of these songs in their own Sunday Services and it was obvious to us that the songs are now “out there” so we decided to just go ahead and finish the entire process and release the orchestrated versions as well. It’s a new world and we’re pedaling as fast as we can to keep up.
Each of these three songs is an affirming statement on a given subject. Even Now is a melody that I woke up to one morning that was given to me in my sleep. I staggered out of bed and crawled into my studio where I groggily croaked it into my hand-held digital recorder. No, you would not like to hear this version. The lyrics came to me over the next week as the music coursed constantly through my brain. It affirms hope.
Love Is The Reason For Living is a song that images the tidal waves of problems that we all sometimes face in life. It turns out that Love is the answer to each. The song was written and finished just two weeks before the tsunami his Japan.
We dwell in the arena
Of immense conflicting forces
Our lives are swayed by counsel
From a million diff’rent sources
As we near each troubled crossroad
With a rising tide of fear
And wonder what becomes of us
When the tidal waves appear…
Nothing is one of my favorites. Julia brings her usual in-depth dominance of the material in an off-beat and cryptic song that, in the end, sets the material world in its rightful place. Though the lyric is “off-beat” the groove is infectious as the song takes an unmistakably joyful look at life on Planet Earth.
With the release of Affirmations, I, personally, am going to make a new commitment to our soloist following to upgrade my own material on Wathchfire Music’s Digital Sheet Music site to support their needs.
Here’s how: We’ve recently noticed a strong rise in the purchase of both performance tracks and rehearsal tracks for our sheet music. Midi sound files generated from either Sibelius or Finale software that produces professional sheet music tends to sound somewhat stiff and unnatural losing its “human touch”. A quantized midi file is not the most inspiring track to sing to because it is robotic of necessity to generate total accuracy on the page.
So we’ve generated algorhythms that, in essence turn stiff midi tracks back into more flowing and natural tracks and humanize the performances of the keyboard players. As an example, see the songs of Ruth Lambert and check out her tracks. These were originally stiff midi tracks that have now been relaxed and humanized.
We’ve also just done the same with the three songs from Affirmations, Even Now, Love Is The Reason For Living and Nothing that are found on my own sheet music pages.
Most of our composers are just that – composers. When they present their materials to us, we request from them the sheet music files, the various MP3s and go from there. Few of them have orchestrated tracks. Often we have requests for Julia’s orchestrated tracks. People hear her renditions and see and hear the value of singing with an orchestration rather that just a keyboard. They hear Julia do it and naturally want to have that kind of accompaniment as well.
They forget that the cost to build an orchestrated track can run between $10,000 and $25,000. We’re just not going to give away those tracks for free or sell them for 99 cents or $2.49 or $10 for that matter. Celine Dion doesn’t do it and neither will we. However, we are looking at this issue in the new world and hoping to come up with a solution that can make everybody happy.
I rarely create my songs from piano arrangements. When I write a song, I begin to orchestrate it immediately. I hear it in orchestration. So much of my sheet music does not have keyboard rehearsal or performance tracks. When I have finished a mix on a song, I usually turn it over to my favorite collaborator, Margaret Dorn, who magically generates a keyboard arrangement from the orchestration. She’s great at capturing the essence of the orchestration and putting it into two hands. Now we will go back and finish the work of creating piano tracks on all my songs and meet your request.
This, I affirm.
Even More Inspiration
Tags: composer, digital sheet music, God, healing, Inspiration, Inspirational, inspirational community, Inspirational Music, Inspirational Music Artist, inspirational music composer, Inspirational Sheet Music, Inspirational Song, Julia Wade, lyrics, mary baker eddy, Music, Personal Thoughts, song writing, spirituality, Watchfire Music