I've been talking about this a lot lately, but when you pour your whole heart and soul into something, it tends to be on your mind.
Sometime in February, I got a call from my friend, Elisa. She said she went to high school with this guy named Braden Bell who had written a book, and who wanted a song written to go along with it. She said she'd told him about me. (I love it when my friends network for me).
The first few thoughts that flooded my mind were something along the lines of this:
Me? He wants me to write a song? He has a PhD in musical theater, and he wants dumb old me to write his song? I was really intimidated. But, I agreed anyway, because who I am to turn down an opportunity like that. Then, I got an email from him. He said he wanted to release a book trailer with the song, and that the book would be released in June. Again, thoughts of panic swept through my head.
I'm supposed to write a song from scratch, and I have to do it in less than 3 months? I don't know how I could possibly do it. Despite intense insecurities and deep fear that I'd completely fail, I accepted the challenge. So, Braden emailed me the lyrics to the song, and the book's manuscript. I read the forward in the book, then printed out the lyrics and set them on my piano.
For days, I just stared at the words, doing nothing. Searching, finding nothing. I tried out a few melodies, all the while, emailing back and forth with Braden, asking questions, getting his input. At one point, I thought to myself the melody I'd come up with sounded a little familiar. Then, I realized somehow it'd turned out to be a variation of someone else's song (Hold On from the Secret Garden). So, I scrapped it and started over. I actually walked away from the piano for a few days, needing to reset.
And I prayed. And prayed. And I think Braden was praying, too.
Because one day, I sat down at the piano. Looked at the words, and started playing. And the melody just came. And the chord progressions found themselves. I wrote the basic tune in one sitting. Okay, okay, I was a vessel for writing this song, but I have no doubt that every note and lyric of this song was inspired by God.
Since the initial melody was written, we've done dozens of revisions. We originally had a medley of hymns at the end of the song, and we had to scrap them because of licensing problems. I had to change the key a few times, because I originally wrote the song in G. And it was really high. Because in the book, the character singing this song is a soprano. So, I wrote it for a soprano. Thanks to feedback from wise and honest friends, I chose to transpose the song down a few keys, and it ended up in the key of D.
I do believe that the final product is what the song was meant to me. It is beautiful.
Then, came the task of finding a singer to record the song. Braden had a girl in his ward that he'd had in mind, but of course, she lived across the country from me, and we couldn't find a way, logistically, to get together to record it. I'd already decided it couldn't be me. I love to sing, and I know I have strengths in singing, but I've never been comfortable with my solo voice, so we decided we needed to find someone to sing it. Then, one day, I was talking to my friend, Veronica. I knew she'd had a lot of experience as a singer, but it just hadn't occurred to me. And she offered to give it a shot. We got together to run through the song, and practice. As soon as I heard the beautiful, pure tone of her voice, I knew she was the one. Plus, she has some serious networking skills, and knows like everybody, so I knew she would be a great person to have on my team. We worked through changes, and restructures, and she was amazing to learned everything over again. And so great to work with. One thing I have to say about Veronica, she is incredibly talented, but she is not a diva. She takes direction incredibly well, and took each of my suggestions to heart. I also value her suggestions.
On a whim, DeNae offered to write the violin obligato. I'm so grateful, she did, because it is beautiful and really adds to the song. My incredibly talented brother, Mason, recorded the violin part.
We went to Greg Simpson to record. It was a great experience. He was awesome to work with, and gave us a lot of really great tips, since we're such novices at this.
So, are you sick of me talking, do you want to hear the song?
Here is the trailer for The Road Show. The song is cut a little, so if you want to full version, click over on my side bar and download it! Sheet music is also available. Feel free to post the video on your blog or facebook page!