Friday, December 11, 2009

Song Fun Facts: Who Will Cry

When the word came to make an album, we had about 10 good songs ready. Not bad for a first album but usually albums are 12-15 songs.

Given the option, I'm introverted. Growing up as a missionary kid, there were just too many churches to visit, Sunday Schools to speak in front of and foreigners to be totally-friendly-and-not-at-all-weird to, that I had to quickly adapt a new set of skills. But given the option, I am a homebody introvert...which doesn't help with singing my own songs in front of strangers. God is funny how He pairs gifts with personalities sometimes.

So at some point in album meeting #3 in Jess and Tim Power's music room, I confessed that I had two half songs that I might be able to develop. And then they asked me to show them the song portions *cringe*, which I did.

Those songs were Who Will Cry and Faithful As The Sun.

From that first moment in the Power's music room I said that Who Will Cry will just be a piano and voice song. Honestly, it was an effort to avoid creating one more arrangement for 5 musicians to learn and try to play over and over until just right. In fact, the song almost didn't make it on the album.

I was a little worried about the song. It seems my neutral gear is to write big, loud songs and this was the opposite. I wasn't sure how it would be received. I had only played it out loud twice in small devotional environments and neither time did I play the song correctly or with the right words. It wasn't even until our last trip to the studio in KC that I was finally forced to put all the words and chords on one page.

And it was the very last moments of our very last night in KC. We had put off recording it over and over. We were exhausted from recording, nit picking and listening all day. And someone turns to me and says, "Did you want to do that last song? We have to decide now."


It was a bear to set up. It seems the best and worst thing in recording is to play and sing at the same time because the voice microphones pick up every sound. Even on the recording now I can hear the clicking of the keys and pedal behind the singing.

So I sat down with my music in the recording room. Warmed up a little bit on the keys. Aaron Swart, our sound engineer, has done this enough that he just left me alone with the record button on for a while. And when I felt ready I just gently went into the song.

One take. That was it.

It was a beautiful moment. I was shocked. Nothing went sour. We all agreed that it was just right as it was. As we listened back on the recording, I cried. It was moving piece of work.

I'll be honest, I don't feel much ownership on the songs I write. If I hear someone else doing them, I experience them all over again. It helps that the songs are mostly biblical principles and themes - I can't lay claim to those.