Gerald has been collecting recording equipment over the past few months with the goal of building a small home studio. He doesn't want to start producing or anything. He just wants to be able to make killer recordings at home.
So today, we recorded our first full-out song: Gerald's song, "My Heart is the Manger", which was inspired by Dad's Christmas sermon.
I've mentioned several times how much we love our new living environment - trees, clean air, and lots of birds... which is a problem with recording! There was so much noise from the birds, we had to move right into the center of the house. So, our studio is in the bathroom! Luckily, it's a big bathroom. Gerald set the mic up on the counter, and the tiles gave a lovely acoustic. A little unorthodox, but we ended up with a great recording!
Tonight was NSAI's Christian pitch to publisher night. This is when a publisher comes in to hear songs, and we all hope our song will get chosen for publishing. Many are heard, few are chosen! Gerald has had a country pitch to publisher, but I've been waiting months for Christian pitch night.
Our publisher tonight was Rick Shelton of Daywind Publishing. I felt some confidence in that Daywind's primary focus is Southern Gospel. Yay! But due to a series of mishaps, I had to enter the session with a less-than-perfect package, which shook my confidence a little. I couldn't print off my lyrics, so I had to give in a hand-written lyric sheet. And then we couldn't find the right version of my demo, so I had to bring in the version without the harmonies. Arg!
My song choice was "Welcome to Bethlehem". An odd choice, perhaps, but I've heard this is a good time to push Christmas songs, and I was hoping the harmonies would sound Southern Gospel (those harmonies that weren't on my demo!)
Because pitch nights bring out so many people, they only play a verse and a chorus, and the publisher gets to read the whole lyric. When my time came, I was nervous, but I also decided that I wouldn't take it personally if it was rejected. Well, he liked it! He said it could have "commercial appeal" in a musical, and maybe even in a children's musical. He said it's not the kind of thing he can use directly, but he gave me some names of other publishers to approach. Yay!!!
This was such a huge confirmation for me! A lot of my songs feel weird and not commercial. I know I'm not writing country radio hits, which seems to be what most people here are aiming for, and I'm not writing the big CCM or Christian rock hits either. Maybe I'll write hits someday, but the truth is, I don't really care who sings my songs - churches, choirs, Sunday schools, youth groups - don't care! I just want people to sing my songs and feel closer to God. So, tonight just let me know that there can be a viable place for my music, even the weird stuff. It was a reminder to stay open to the creative process, to write what feels true, and that "a good song is not written, it is rewritten."
This is all good! And now, to contact those publishers...