Monday, December 31, 2007

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 6

We're in pre-party mode, so I'm writing a little earlier tonight. And it's going to be a quiet party, because...

One of the main concerns with Gerald's illness last night was his voice. Not only do we have lots of social engagements over the next week, but we were booked for an hour-long New Year's Eve concert this afternoon. Well, as soon as we woke up this morning, we knew we were in trouble. Gerald had no voice! He could whisper and speak softly, but there were no beautiful tenor notes to be found. We'd worked out the entire program so that we could share the solos and do lots of songs with harmony. And now, most of that had to be scrapped!

I grabbed our song list, and tried to figure out which of Gerald's songs I could sing by myself. Then, I found a website that has free Christmas sheet music, including guitar chords, so I printed off a bunch of songs that we both knew. Finally, I planned long segues that could fill in any extra time.

After a very quick rehearsal, we loaded up the car and took off for Mississauga. We arrived and started in good time, but the day continued to be a comedy of errors. Our favourite was the assistant program director who, fifteen minutes into the show, arrived with a dead mic attached to a ghetto blaster. The audience made it very clear that they could hear me just fine, yet she insisted on doing a nearly-ten minute sound check with this contraption. In the end, it was a no-sound check, and I just used my theatre training to project to the room.

Given our last minute reprogramming, we both felt the show went well. We ended with "Auld Lang Syne", and it was great. People held hands and sang with huge voices and hearts. But then, the highlight of the day: The program director announced that one of the residents wanted to sing. This old, old black man stood up and sang "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus". It was awesome. His voice was low and rich and filled with a lifetime. When he was finished with the song, he prayed over the group. It was so powerful and wonderful. We spoke to him after and thanked him for his song and his prayer. On the way out to the car, Gerald and I turned to each other, and almost in the same breath said, "It was worth it all just to be there for that".

So tonight, my sicky husband and I are sticking close to home. Mom and Dad will host a small party, including my aunt and uncle from Newfoundland. So to all:

Take a cab if you need one!

Don't make resolutions you know you can't keep!

and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 5

We started the morning as the music leaders for St. John's West. This church was one of the first to welcome me and my music when I decided to go "all-Gospel, all-the-time", and they are always the first to invite us to visit whenever we return home. We haven't been there since last spring, so it was a real homecoming today - lots of hugs, lots of hellos, lots of how's-it-goings.

It's always my job to choose the music for these Sundays. I usually try to choose songs that fit in closely with the Bible readings and the preaching, but today, we mostly just sang great Christmas carols and hymns. We did "Coventry Carol" for the Gospel processional (today is the Slaying of the Innocents), and Gerald lead us on the djembe. We also used djembe for "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime", and people played along on the shakers and drums I'd put in the pews. Our anthem was our duet version of "My Heart is the Manger", which is quickly becoming our signature Christmas song.

We did have a postlude planned, but there was so much chatting and visiting to be done, that the music had to take a rest. People were very interested in our life in Nashville and new CD, and it was great to hear about the church's recent pageant and other community efforts.

We had very little turnaround time for our afternoon service. Billings Court Manor is a seniors residence with a vibrant Christian community. Their weekly non-denominational service brings out 50-70 people, including residents and families. They had a volunteer to play piano for the hymns, so we were brought in for special music. We had several duets planned, but by midday, Gerald's throat started to give out on him, so we did some last minute switching around.

We did "Welcome to Bethlehem", with dueling guitars and me on vocals. Gerald played djembe and I sang "Twas in the Moon", and we did the duet of "My Heart is the Manger", with Gerald relying heavily on the mic for his solo verse.

The whole service was light and wonderful. Staff members read the lessons, and the entire congregation sang out on the hymns. After the final prayer, tea and sweets encouraged chatting and fellowship.

But my fellow was looking worse for wear. We've been surrounded by Christmas colds, and now Gerald seems to be getting his. We had plans to go out tonight, but we had to cancel them. The whole night became about warm blankets and cups of tea.

It's been snowing just the tiniest and prettiest bit tonight. Just before coming to write, I looked out the front window. This house faces directly onto a cross-street. The entire neighbourhood is quiet and white. No cars have driven through the fresh snow, so even the street is a perfect sheet of white. I can't imagine Christmas any other way. I'm starting to feel the urge to go back to Nashville, but I'm so glad we were here for all this.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 4

It's actually just past midnight, and I must be off to bed soon. Tomorrow will come very early and will, in all likelihood, run very late.

Today was, as promised, all about music and family. My aunt and uncle are visiting from Newfoundland - their first Christmas visit ever to Toronto! They're staying at my cousin and family's house for now, and then spending New Year's here. Today, we drove out to have lunch with them, my cousins, and the four awesome children.

It was just so good and so grounding and so full of joy! There's nothing better than kids at Christmas. We chatted and laughed and the time flew by far too quickly.

Tonight, Gerald and I rehearsed for our upcoming gigs. Tomorrow, we have a morning service in Toronto and an afternoon one in Burlington. The morning is a big commitment as we are the entire music team for the prelude, hymns, postlude, and all liturgical music. We've chosen lots of carols, with a few originals for special music.

Monday is a totally different gig - a concert of jazz, popular, and Christmas standards. We'll do some of the Christmas music we've been performing lately, but we also had to add in some other music, so tonight was all about choosing songs, building a program, and laying down quick arrangements. I'm happy with our selections, so it should all be good.

But first, sleep!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 3

Today felt like a bit of a nothing day. I ran errands and tried to get stuff done, but it never really felt like I was accomplishing much. My car was seizing a bit on the highway last weekend, so I took into Canadian Tire this morning. Four hours and $200 later, we still don't know what's wrong with it, but it "should be okay now".

The rest of the day progressed in a similar, though less expensive, fashion. We tried rehearsing, but there were too many distractions. We were supposed to go to a party, and a stomach ache prevented it. We wanted to take the dogs for a walk, but torrential rains kept us inside. See what I mean? Just couldn't get a thing accomplished!

So after that kind of day, the best thing to do is curl up and watch a movie, and our choice was "The Nativity Story". We hadn't seen it yet, so this was, obviously, a great time for viewing. I get a little tired of low budget Christian films where characters wear bathrobes and have bad English accents. Happily, this was no such project!

What I really loved was the the way it showed the hardships of living in Year 0000. No detail is spared. From the abusive tax collectors to the roadside crucifixions, we see a vivid portrait of a world that desperately needed a Saviour. The acting was outstanding, the visuals were striking, and even in a community so different from anything you'd find in North America, the relationships were still endearing and identifiable.

Tomorrow is all about music and family. After the oddness of today, I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 2

Today, we have been continuing to celebrate the gift of relaxation. The weather outside was frightful, but the fire and Christmas cookies were so delightful!

Actually, I did a fair bit of work today in preparation for the weekend. On Sunday, we have 2 church services at 2 different churches, and Monday afternoon, we're doing a New Year's Eve concert at a seniors centre. Gerald and I are in good shape for each, but we still need to do final rehearsals, final song choices, and after our beautiful days of relaxation, it's a little tough to wrap our heads around performing again this weekend.

This afternoon, I had a brand new experience: My first long-distance co-write! I can't remember if I mentioned this earlier, but I'm participating in a 'challenge' from Song U, where they pair you up with another writer from a different part of the country, or even the world, and you have to write a song together. The tricky part, of course, is that you must write over the phone, on the computer, whatever - just not face to face.

I'd seen Kara's profile on the Song U website, so I was happy when we were paired up. We both have free long distance plans, and I have slower internet right now, so we decided to meet over the phone. We chatted briefly last week, and scheduled our first real writing session for today.

At 1pm, my phone rang, and we started to chat. But to back it up a bit, before 1pm, I was getting nervous. I've done very little co-writing, and to be honest, it's mostly been with Gerald. I was nervous about doing it over the phone with someone I never get to see in person, because I'm a big fan of body language, and without seeing her, how could I tell her honest reactions to my ideas? Also, what if I couldn't think of any ideas? Or what if I got controlling? Or what if I froze? Arg!

I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, asking for peace and openness, and picked up the phone.

We spent the first large chunk of time just getting to know each other, chatting about families and Christmas and music and such. We completely clicked. We could have talked for hours! Eventually, we got comfortable enough to share our ideas, and we decided to work with Kara's hook.

We brainstormed about the hook - What caused the original image? What did you think of when you found the hook? What do I think of when I hear it? What excites us about this idea?

Next, we started to get practical with it - What is the main focus of the song? What do we want the chorus to say? What about the verses? Do we need a bridge? What about a prechorus?

Before long, we were ready to get off the phone and start writing on our own for a bit. In a very short time, we had chosen an idea, a structure, and a musical vibe. We knew the main theme of the song, and we'd determined the number of lines per section. We broke up the writing - Kara verse 1, me verse 2 - and scheduled our next phone session.

Obviously, nothing is written in stone (pardon the pun!). We may change the structure, the vibe, whatever. We're each going to write "our" pieces over the next few days, and start emailing them back and forth with our own suggestions. And as every writer knows, the song will probably step forward with thoughts and suggestions of its own.

But I'm excited by this challenge, and proud of myself for taking it on. Now, my goal is to have fun, be open to the process, and, hopefully, complete a great song!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 1

Why "The 12 Blogs of Christmas"? Probably from my love of all things Christmas, and probably from my frustration with our media-and-mall-based Christmas celebrations.

For those who follow the church calendar, you know that December 25 is not the end of the Christmas season - it's just the beginning. What follows are the infamous "12 Days". They end on January 6 with Epiphany, a.k.a. the arrival of the 3 wise guys. In British traditions, this is also a time of visiting friends, sharing time with family, burning yule logs, and other festive merriments.

So, I'm going to write every day for the next 12 days, sometimes to talk about what I'm up to, and sometimes, just for the festive merriment of it all!

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations were all just fantastic! Christmas Eve afternoon, Gerald and I did our last Victorian Carolling gig of the season. It was a mini-concert in a seniors home. The crowd wasn't as boisterous as some, but you could tell they had a deep appreciation for the music, and we felt very embraced by them.

At 6:15pm, we arrived back at St. John's Weston to prepare for the first of our 2 Christmas Eve services. Both services were the same, which meant we only had to practice one set of songs, but with the carolling gig, it still made for a long day of singing.

The first service was packed to capacity. I opened things with "O Holy Night", verses one and three, accompanied by piano. I felt very good about it, and was surprised by the spontaneous round of applause. The entire service just flowed from there with great congregational singing and lots of positive energy. Dad preached a marvelous sermon about finding meaning in the physical symbols of Christmas. As the final part of the message, Gerald and I sang "My Heart is the Manger". Gerald wrote this song after hearing Dad's Christmas sermon last year, so it was only fitting to do it this year. We worked it up into a duet, and I think it went really well.

The church was full of candles. Not only did they have 3 white tapers in tall candelabras on the end of each pew, but they also had sconces, also with 3 white tapers, lining the walls of the sanctuary. More candles decorated the choir stalls and the altar area. The Christmas tree was lit with white mini-lights. The creche was light with a small spotlight. Near the end of the service, each person in attendance was given a taper, they turned out all the lights, and we sang 'Silent Night'. Stunning!

In between services, we had a little rest, and got to chat with some of the choir members. At 10 o'clock, we did it all over again. The crowd was much smaller this time, but I think the whole service was actually better - Perhaps because it was our second time out, or perhaps because we were actually getting closer to the day, maybe even the actual minute, that God came to Earth.

(Yes, I know academics believe Jesus was born in the spring, but I'm having a Christmas moment here, people!)

Christmas Day was wonderful! We gathered with friends and family, some who had travelled from as far as New Brunswick to be here. We ate incredible food, shared hearty laughs, and gave generous hugs.

And today, Boxing Day, has been a self-appointed day of rest and relaxation. No shopping. No noise. Just quiet chats, hours of reading, and opening each and every box of chocolates we got for Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Carol Service

It's actually much later than the time clock will show on this post. It's been a long day, and I'm exhausted, and tomorrow is even longer... but this morning was just wonderful, and I really want to have a record of it, so here goes...

We all know Dad is retired, but those of us who know him well knew that he wouldn't actually stop working. For the last few months, he has been working an interim position at a small church in Weston (West Toronto). They've been without permanent clergy for some time now, and they've all just fallen in love with Dad and his creative approach to ministry. Once we knew he'd be there for Christmas, we asked if we could sing, and we were booked for their Christmas Carol Service, and both Christmas Eve services.

The music was chosen weeks ago, so I felt very prepared, but this morning nearly stressed me out completely. First, we were late leaving the house. Then, we had horrific rain, which made it a very tense, and extra long, highway drive. We didn't arrive at the church until 30 minutes before the worship time, and in that time, we had to find our places, tune the guitar, practice with the organist, do a sound check ourselves, and get ourselves ready and presentable. And, of course, because it was our first visit, we had to meet everybody too. It was just way too much in way too little time. Finally, I sat in the pew, and said a quick prayer for God to give me peace, and to take control of the music... and the service began.

St. John's Weston is a truly beautiful little church. It could be in a movie, it's just so pretty. The congregation is small but vibrant. Dad had told us how they had welcomed him, and we felt that this morning. It wasn't just that people were friendly - They had a genuine interest in who we were and what we were all about. We just loved being there!

The service was the traditional Christmas Carol Service of readings, hymns, and special music. We opened with "Once in Royal David's City" and I did the acapella-verse-one solo, followed by the choral procession. My first full solo was "Soon and Very Soon". I was a little nervous going in to this one, party due to the craziness of the morning, and partly because I had very little (read: "almost no") rehearsal with the organist. But it actually went really well. I repeated the first verse at the end, and asked the congregation to sing along. It was great! They all sang and clapped, and the whole thing just made me feel very comfortable and confident.

Next, I did "The Joseph Carol", and the congregation sang on the chorus. Gerald and I did "The Stable Bare" with him on guitar, me on vocals, and our last song was "Sing Me a Song", with Gerald on djembe. The rest of the music was choral selections and congregational carols. Each song was in response to a specific Bible reading, and the whole service just flowed beautifully.

At the end of the service, one of the parishioners led the dismissal, and this is what she said:

"Our worship has ended. Our service has just begun.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord."

I just love this! I had goosebumps when she said it!

We stayed for the coffee hour, and I think every person in the congregation stayed too. What a great group of people. We did lots of chatting, and even found a few Gaither fans! This was also our first public opportunity to sell the new CD, and it was very successful. This just thrilled us, especially given the smaller size of the congregation, because it meant that people were really excited by what we did in the service.

Tomorrow, I've booked a carolling gig for us in the afternoon (sort of regretting that now, but I'm sure it will be great). Then we'll do 2 services in the evening. The music load is a little lighter, but it's still going to be a long day with lots of singing. Must get some sleep so I can enjoy it all.

But speaking of "enjoying", we've just been loving our time home! Here are a few Christmas traditions and cool Canadian things we've done so far:

- Shopping at Canadian Tire - the best store ever!
- Experiencing a true winter storm.
- Swiss Chalet quarter-chicken-dark-with-fries.
- The $1 breakfast at IKEA. (no IKEA in Tennessee!)
- Victorian Christmas Carolling, especially our night at Centennial Gardens.
- Making Christmas cookies with Mom, using Nana's recipes.
- Watching Dante, our Nashville puppy, fall in love with snow.
- Mom's homemade Tourtiere.
- Trying to figure out how to seat 14 people for Christmas dinner in the new house.

Just loving every minute of it! Now... must sleep!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Day!

Today was supposed to be a very busy day - a church service in the morning, and a 2 hour carolling gig in the afternoon, both in different parts of town (which in Toronto means - very far apart!).

But none of it happened, because we had a Snow Day!

Yesterday, they started warning people that the snow was a'coming, and you were best to cancel your plans and stay at home. They were predicting the snowiest snow storm in sixty years, and they were right.

The service was cancelled on Saturday, and I got a call early today postponing the carolling, which meant - Snow Day!

A completely free to day to read and rest and play! And it was awesome!

There is nothing like a snow storm. It brings out dual Canadian pleasures - We love to cuddle by the fire and drink eggnog, but there's also nothing like bundling up and getting outside in the snow. I felt very happy that I'd left my winter coat here last year, and very frustrated that I'd left my lovely pink snow boots back in Nashville last week.

Today was the kind of weather where practicality wins out over vanity. The longest coat, the thickest gloves, the heaviest, most waterproof boots you can find. In this weather, Warm is beautiful. As you shovel the snow, your legs get cold and your back gets sweaty. Your finely coiffed hair sticks to your face, and your nose drips unceremoniously. Your cheeks tingle, and your back starts to ache.

But the beauty of the day is unsurpassed. Everything is clean - the air, the snow, the street. And it's somehow warmer than you thought it would be. The world is quiet, and peace seems closer than ever. Unexpected delights fill your day - like seeing a community of birds gather for warmth in the hedge, or watching the puppies playing together in the snow. Snow drifts provide sculpture, and the sunlight makes the whole thing sparkle.

On our third time clearing the driveway, I turned to Mom and said, "I'm so glad we were here for this." She just smiled and said, "I know you are!".

Nothing beats a snow day!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

THE CDs ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it! I have them! I have the CDs!!!

I was told I'd have them by Friday, maybe Thursday. But this afternoon, I checked my email, and there was a quick note saying my CDs were ready. It was rush hour, but Gerald and I jumped in the car anyways. The ride took twice as long as normal, and we were running late, so we used our Nashville cell phone to call the office to tell them we were on our way and please don't go home yet! (I don't even want to know how much that call cost!) But we arrived and the CDs were there, and now, I have them at home with me.

I can't even tell you how exciting and overwhelming it has been. We, the family, had already planned a dinner out to tonight so we could celebrate my birthday together, and it was well-planned, because we were all in the mood to celebrate.

As soon as we got home, I gave the first CD to Mom and Dad, and we put it on. I'm so happy with it! It's even better than I had originally dreamed!

We pulled out the hundred life goals list, and a red pen. In 2000, I saw a show on goal setting that inspired me to write a list of 100 Life Goals. Each year since then, I choose 2 or 3 goals to accomplish each year. As each goal is reached, we make a little ceremony around signing the list. I check it off with a red pen and record the date, and we all have a little cheer. Tonight, I checked off, "Record a solo CD". This is the 21st goal I've accomplished on this list! Awesome!!!

And yes, gentle reader, I did record another CD before this one. And yes, it was a solo CD. But it was different. When I recorded, "It Is Well With My Soul", Gospel music was more of a serious artistic hobby than a life pursuit. I always intended this particular goal to reflect the time when I would record a true "artist" CD, with music that reflected me and all my passions and all the things I want to say with my art and my life. Does this CD say all the things I ever want to say? Not at all. (I can't fit it all on one CD!) But it definitely shows what I want my life to be about - I want people to get excited about Jesus. I want them to feel God's all-encompassing love and grace. And I want people to know that faith is always the best choice.

I know that this CD only opens the doors to more work: bookings, radio promo, product tables, and website revamps. But tonight, I am only celebrating and praising! This is such a great accomplishment for me and my family (yes, my family - there's no way I could have done this alone), and I am full of praise to God for calling and trusting me with His amazing work!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CDs and Carolling

I don't think we've stopped since we arrived - literally!

Friday was supposed to be our day of rest and recovery, but we actually had to spend part of the day preparing for the weekend - We were kicking off the season with three Victorian Christmas Carolling gigs. Saturday started with a quartet at a senior's home. We had no rehearsal time, and we didn't know all the singers in the group, so it was a little scary going in. Upon arriving, we found out we were part of their open house, and it ended up being a mini-concert. Moments of fright, but mostly okay. Saturday night was much more relaxed. Just me and Gerald doing background music during the cocktail hour of a small office party. Very calm, great people, fun gig.

Sunday was one of my favourite gigs all year - Centennial Gardens in Etobicoke. I think this is our third year there, maybe our fourth? We were in the conservatories, singing amongst the tropical plants, fountains, and Christmas flower displays, while families sipped cider, munched cookies, and waited for their turn on the sleigh rides. Just gorgeous, and the people were incredible. We did an entire set of children's requests. Jingle Bells, anyone?

Monday, today, was graphics day. Last night, I proof-read and double-proof-read every word of text to go into the insert and tray card of my CD. I agonized over my final choice of photos, and made sure I had everyone's opinions - twice. This afternoon, Dad and I went out to Canclone, a small, family-run company. They did my first CD, and they've done work for many of my friends, and I just love them. We sat with the graphic designer for almost two hours, fiddling with fonts and making everything look fantastic. I had originally planned to get the whole manufacturing job done here, but it's just not practical. So, I'm getting a short run of 150, so I'll have CDs for our Christmas gigs, and then I'll get the rest done in Nashville. I'll have the master and the graphics done already, so it will all be pretty simple.

Finally, we finished the graphics, signed the appropriate paperwork, and I had to let go of my baby. For months now, I have nurtured and caressed every part of this project, and now, it's time to let it go off to the plant and go through that final step of manufacturing. I feel a little nervous, because I still need to see the discs and touch them and listen to them to make sure it's all correct and good. But mostly, I feel an incredible relief. It's almost done, and that final step is out of my hands. I've made a CD, and by Friday, I'll be able to look at in my hand. I'm starting to feel so calm. The work is almost done. I can't believe we've come this far...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Safe in Canada!

We're safe. We're home. We're all in one piece, including the car.

(I'm not faking the time on this one!)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gateway of Hope

Happy New Year!

For those who may not celebrate the church year, this is the first Sunday in Advent, which is the start of the church year. Christmas is getting closer all the time!

I've changed the time on this posting so it still fits Dec 2. My nights have been getting later and later as I try to get everything done before heading home this week. I've finally chosen my photos, and tonight, Gerald and I confirmed the song order. I'm continuing to book new gigs for Toronto, as well as working out details of the gigs we have.

The songs go in to be mastered tomorrow. We'll receive a disc on Monday or Tuesday and, hopefully, it will be perfect and we can submit it and have it ready-to-go on Wednesday.

We have gigs booked for this weekend, so we really need to drive Thursday. Oh, and I am working this week too. Crazy!

And in the midst of all that, we decided to do a concert tonight. My friend, Janelle, from the Christian Women of Entertainment group, asked if we would sing at her church for a Christmas concert tonight. Each year, they do a concert to support single mothers and widows within their community. How could we resist that?

Gateway of Hope is a small, friendly, contemporary church in Lebanon, TN. (Pronounced LEH-beh-nin, with a drawl.) The concert was well laid out, with a mix of performers. Each person did one or 2 songs, and they were interspersed with very short verses from the Biblical Christmas stories.

We had chosen my song, "Welcome to Bethlehem" and Gerald's song, "My Heart is the Manger".

Well, literally 5 minutes before we're supposed to go on stage, Gerald turns to me and says, "I can't remember the lyrics to my song. We have to do something else." I just about fell off my chair. Oh, and we weren't in a green room somewhere. We were in the middle of the audience, while Janelle was singing "O, Holy Night".

He said, "I think I can do 'Hallelujah, I Remember'." Um, you mean that song I've never sung? I just looked at him and begged him to remember the lyrics. I don't quite know how I thought that would work, but I was in a panic. Finally, I said, "Let's just get through my song, and then see what happens."

So we get up and do "Welcome to Bethlehem", and it's awesome! I sang and we both played guitar. We sounded great, people clapped along, and the response was wonderful. I looked at Gerald, praying that he'd remembered the song.

Nope. He starts explaining to the audience that he's having a forgetful moment, that he would like to do a different song. Ironically called, "Hallelujah, I Remember". They had a great laugh over that one.

Now, I've heard this song a few times, and when Monika was here, they started working out harmonies, but I haven't actually ever sung the song myself. Talk about trial by fire! He started the song, and I grabbed the mic and started groovin' along. I figured even if no notes came out, at least I'd look involved.

When the chorus came, I started singing, and somehow it all started to come out okay. I improvised a bit throughout the song, and got all the tight chorus harmonies. And we ended together, which is always the most important part.

We got back to our seats and I was shaking! I whispered to Gerald, "That was great, but let's never do it again!".

I'm so glad God is in control so I don't have to be!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The mixes are done!

Back in the studio again today to put the finishing touches on the final 4 songs. We had a long list of possible tweaks, but Aaron was able to make a few quick changes that seemed to lock almost everything in place. I re-sang about 3 lines from 2 songs, and it was done! I can't believe we've come so far, so quickly!

While we were working, Michael Sykes (producer extraordinaire) dropped by, and Aaron asked him to listen to "Moving Up To Gloryland". He really liked it, which was very encouraging.

We'll live with the mixes this weekend, and determine a song order for the CD. Then, Aaron will send the songs out to be mastered on Monday.

This just feels amazing!

Once I choose the song order, my next big job is photos and graphics. Everything is all lined up for manufacturing - I just need to get all the pieces together to submit to them.

I'm just exhausted tonight. I would love to take a day off tomorrow, but I'm working Saturday, and singing in a concert on Sunday. Also, having a little birthday thing tomorrow night, so that will be cool.

Relaxed a little tonight by watching one of the vintage Speer Family videos. They are amazing! So vibrant and joyful. And, I think I may have found a song for my next record...