Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Reach Higher"

Kami is a songwriter, did you know that? Melodies and lyrics just come to her....sometimes at the oddest of times. We laughed when she had us listen to the recording she had made of herself singing a section of a song she was working on....the melody woke her up in the middle of the night! And rather than get up and write it down on sheet music, she recorded it on her phone so she wouldn't forget.
Last fall she started working on a song that has since been titled "Reach Higher". When our group of five became three this past April and Julie, Kami and I started re-inventing ourselves a bit, we asked Kami to pull out "Reach Higher" again. She had played it once for us back in January but getting ready for our March programs and this, that and the didn't get the attention that it truly deserved.

So we gathered around the piano while Kami played through the melody and sang the lyrics. All three of us had chills by the time she was through and we knew that this song needed to be heard.

It didn't take too long to decide that if this was to be our signature song, we wanted a great accompaniment track for it. Kami has worked with Jim Funk (husband of Jessie Clark Funk....and an extremely talented composer in his own right) on projects in the past. (See here) She called him, told him what we were after and asked about his availability. He said he'd be delighted to collaborate with us and it wasn't too long before we were in his studio in Bountiful sharing ideas and watching Kami record the melody on the keyboard and sing the lyrics in the recording room to get Jim started.
(See Kami back in the recording room? I had some great shots of Kami playing the keyboard....but they were lost in Sarah's-tragic-laptop-disaster. Sigh.)

We made multiple trips to work with Jim and watch the whole thing take shape. On one such trip, after Kami sang the melody once again to make sure the rhythms and timing were correct, Jim sent Julie and myself into the room to sing out some harmonies to give him an idea where to go with the accompaniment. So with Kami's voice singing melody in our headphones, Julie and I made up harmonies off the cuff! It was a lot of fun, actually.
Once we got a rough beginning practice track, we sat down together, all three of us, and collaborated on harmonies, going over countless options and finally writing down the ones that sounded best to us.

Another afternoon we stopped by to watch Michael Dowdle lay down 4 different guitar tracks for our song. Michael Dowdle!!! I mean, you've all heard of him, right? The man is tremendously talented and besides being featured on albums and in concert with just about every other local musician you've ever heard of, he has multiple solo albums. It was fascinating to watch the process!

(He did a few different tracks on acoustic guitar in the recording room, and then a couple on electric guitar out with us.)

A few tracks more featuring light drums and live piano and we now have the completed accompaniment track. (Which we then immediately used in a performance.) We are hoping to get back into the studio soon to record ourselves singing it. Stay tuned!


No comments:

Post a Comment