Thursday, July 19, 2012

More photos!!!

We hit Toronto Beaches today to get photos for our Infinitely More CD artwork.

I took a few shots on location. 
You can find them on our SITE and FACEBOOK page.

With our graphics designer, Linda van der Beek. 

The Joy & Challenges of Recording...

The busiest month of my life was January, 1999. Toronto residents will remember that winter as the year the snow was so bad the city called in the army reserves to haul it out.

In 31 short days, I:

  • moved into my first solo apartment
  • booked and shot a commercial
  • booked and shot a short film
  • booked and started full-time rehearsals for Tony & Tina's Wedding at Second City
  • taught preschool 5 mornings a week
  • sang as a soloist for a church choir every Sunday

Why mention the snow? Because, not only did I spend the month walking and taking transit through several feet of it, but the snow banks were so high that all we could move into my apartment was a cot, a TV, and an armchair.

I remember walking down King St. to a dress rehearsal at Second City and feeling incredibly disoriented. "Ah," I thought, "This is what it feels like to be sleep deprived."

I thought of this time period last week, because I found myself overwhelmed at our current schedule and thought, "When is the last time I was this busy?"

January, 1999.

Recording these CDs will probably go down in our family history as one of our greatest challenges ever. Taking on 2 CDs at once is crazy at any time, but add in 3 weeks worth of lost recordings due to studio issues, 2 weeks of laryngitis for me, and all the other things that have needed to be done, and I think it's fair to say it's been a bit wild.

Our days have been filled with long studio sessions, hours of listening to mixes, arranging photo shoots and graphic design, getting everything in place with the manufacturer, mastering the projects, planning our August tour, teaching baby music, and of course, and planning, rehearsing, and playing 2 church services a week. Oh, and did I mention I signed up for an 8-week Musicians Summer School to study music marketing?

Needless to say, we're tired, a little overwhelmed, and a frightfully antisocial.

But I'll also say this: 

We're inspired, excited, and tremendously hopeful 
about the future of our CDs! 

"Every Church is a Small Town" is full of amazing songs played by incredible Nashville players. Gerald really sang the you-know-what out of them, and the mixing created a CD that sounds ready for the radio. I know people will be inspired by Gerald's song-stories of love and hope.

"Infinitely More" is so much larger, bolder, and moving than either one of us ever imagined (asked or imagined?) Every piece - from musicians to harmonies to mixes - has come together to create something that both represents us as a duo, and surpasses our expectations. I feel these songs will find a place in both personal iPods and church worship services.

We're in the final days - a photo shoot today, one more vocal session on Saturday, some more mixes, working out graphics, the final mastering, and then, getting them pressed into actual hold-in-your-hand CDs!

We've been so challenged in these recent months, but I feel confident that we're following God's plan, leaning on His strength, and singing His song.

How can we not feel blessed? 

New Photos!!

We've got new photos posted of our recent vocal sessions, 
and the photo shoot for Gerald's CD - "Every Church is a Small Town."

You can see the photos on our SITE or our FACEBOOK page.

Gerald and our graphics designer, Linda van der Beek, at the tower door of St. John's York Mills Church. St. John's was the inspiration for the title track, "Every Church is a Small Town."

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Studio Update!

Today was a big one - 9 hours in the studio!

Gerald started the day and I took the early evening shift. It's been weeks since I've been well enough to record anything, so I was a little nervous, but it all went really well.

I'm happy to say that we've now finished 
all the vocals for Gerald's solo CD!!!

Denny, our producer in Nashville, has all the pieces, and he's already started mixing. By next week, we'll be ready to master.

Now, to turn the focus on completing the vocals for our Infinitely More CD. There's a lot of work to do in a very short time, but everyone is bringing their A game, and it's exciting to see it all come together.

Just a reminder that you still have a few weeks to pre-order the CDs and get free shipping. Visit for more details.

Friday - back in the studio! 

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Canadian Worship Night - The Stories Behind the Songs

When I realized July 1 was a Sunday, I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have all Canadian worship music at The Gathering for Canada Day?"

So tonight, that's just what we did! I did some research and found the stories behind all the songs, and gave it out to the congregation.

As my Canada Day gift to you, 
here are the stories behind the worship songs*
 we sang tonight:

*The Gathering often incorporates secular inspirational songs into worship, so for tonight's purposes, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young are worship writers! 

Heart of Gold
By Neil Young
"Heart of Gold" was released on the 1972 album Harvest, and was a #1 hit in both Canada and the USA. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #297 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. The song is one of a series of acoustic pieces which were written partly as a result of a back injury. Unable to stand for long periods of time, Young could not play his electric guitar and so returned to his acoustic guitar, which he could play sitting down.

Come, Now is the Time to Worship
By Brian Doerkson
In the mid-1990’s, Canadian worship leader, Brian Doerkson, and his family were in their lowest place - they lost everything financially, experienced a tremendous ministry failure, and discovered a genetic illness in 3 of their 6 children. In the midst of this time, he took a prayer walk and heard the line, “Come, now is the time to worship…”. He realized that the call to worship sounded in all times and in all places, not just for those who have it all together - we are called to worship even at the lowest  points in our lives. Doerkson wrote the song and used it in his private worship for weeks. Within months of bringing it to his church, it was being sung in churches around the world. 

You Take Me Higher
By Gerald Flemming
Gerald wrote “You Take Me Higher” in 2011 as a congregational song of praise. It expresses the joy and energy of a personal encounter with an all-powerful God. “You Take Me Higher” has been featured in The Gathering’s recent video teaser, and will appear on Infinitely More’s upcoming debut CD.

Hallelujah (Psalm 31)
By Leonard Cohen 
Tonight’s verse text: King David
"Hallelujah" was originally released on Cohen’s studio album, Various Positions (1984). Cohen's original version contains several biblical references, most notably evoking the stories of Samson and the traitorous Delilah from the Book of Judges, as well as the adulterous King David and Bathsheba: “she cut your hair" and "you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you." Tonight’s text draws from Psalm 31 - ironically, a psalm attributed to King David.

If You Could Read My Mind
By Gordon Lightfoot
"If You Could Read My Mind" reached number one on Canadian music charts and was Lightfoot’s first recording to appear on the American music charts, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in January 1971. Lightfoot has cited his divorce for inspiring the lyrics, saying they came to him as he was sitting in a vacant Toronto house one summer.  

Living Manna
By Allison Lynn
Allison wrote “Living Manna” late one night in her parent’s Burlington living room. The song speaks to the wholeness of God, as found through bread, water, blood, and the Trinity. “Living Manna” will appear on Infinitely More’s upcoming debut CD.

Refiner's Fire
By Brian Doerkson
One day, while stuck in traffic, Brian Doerkson felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and ‘heard’ two lines being sung repeatedly - “Purify my heart, let me be as gold…” He rushed to his church, hid away in a back room with his guitar, Bible, and concordance, and began to search through all the references to “purify.”  Doerkson says this about the song, “...singing words like ‘Purify my heart’ is so dangerous and so important. It prepares us to see God. … Our calling and role in God’s unfolding redemption depends on our hearts being purified. And our relationship with God depends on it as well.” 

God keep our land, glorious and free!
Happy Canada Day!!