Monday, September 12, 2011

My music, for the very first time

I've been looking forward to doing this blog for the last three weeks. It was that long ago that I went to Melbourne and recorded my music. Last December I wrote my first musical fireside, it was a Christmas one and we put it on here in Launceston. I thought it went really well, East and West ward members did such a great job, many of them singing in a musical fireside for the very first time. I always wanted to get a proper recording of the songs so when the tax man gave us back some money, it was time!

The whole weekend was such a thrill, I don't know where to start :)

I met up with my five fabulous singers at different times on the friday to rehearse their parts. It was so nice spending time with Leanne and Beau who hung around for the whole day. Leanne took some video footage while we were practicing. I love these small snippets because they show nothing in particular, no music or rehearsing, but they make me laugh and remind me of the time we spent together.

This is Laura with Leanne - practicing for the Mary and Elizabeth song 'because of you'. lol at Leanne, haha

have a listen to how beautiful they sound together at the studio:

I should probably give a brief explanation of what the music is about, in case there is anyone reading this who didn't see the fireside or been swept up in my ramblings about it. The whole production is seen through the eyes of a 5 year old girl (who was played by my cute niece Chelsea) She can't sleep on Christmas Eve because she is too excited. She calls out ocassionally for her mum and begs her to retell the story of the shepherds, angels and wise men etc... Her mum sings her special lullaby to settle her to sleep. She is visited throughout the night by characters from many years ago who sit by her bed and tell her what happened the night that Jesus was born. She is visited by people like Joseph, The shepherds, Angels, Elizabeth and even a donkey. They all sing to her while she listens and participates. Finally she follows the Wise Men and finds the baby Jesus. She gives him her special music box which plays her lullaby. I titled the fireside 'A Christmas Dream' indicating that it is up to the individual to decide whether or not Chelsea is actually dreaming.
For the sake of recording the songs, we didn't include any dialogue etc. Just the music!

After a late Friday night rehearsing, we headed over to the other side of the city early the next morning to Steve's house to record. Leanne and I left her house at the insane hour of 5.15am. We were too excited to feel tired. We arrived, quickly took a couple of shots (of course!) and then got stuck into some songs.

This is Steve (the engineer) and his sweet set up.

                                                               Leanne warming up!

While we waited for the others to come, we recorded her singing the lullaby and the donkey song. The donkey song a new song I wrote, we didn't sing it in the fireside. Before I left for Melbourne, I thought the collection needed another song. I really like this one and I LOVE Leanne's voice, she has such a beautiful tone. Here's a little bit of 'The Miracle' aka 'donkey song'.

Unfortunately since we were busy with everything that goes into recording, we didn't get proper videos of the singing. We had such a limited amount of time to record 9 songs that we didn't have time to take footage for the blog. Leanne did manage to get this video of Beau singing 'I am the King.' (The wicked King Herod song) This one was a hit with the kids. Job and I remember hearing them walking the hallways in the chapel the day after the fireside singing "I am the King, the King, the King, the King, the King!"

                                           This is what it sounded like the day before...hahaha!

Who can forget Kirk when he played King Herod. He did such a great job. Sorry for the dodgey a recording of a recording...

It was so nice to see Laura again. I hadn't seen her since we were 14? ish... I was so thrilled when she agreed to sing and she even brought another singer to the group - Brad. They know eachother from musical theatre and he is a member of our church too - small world! They sounded fantastic together, they were the pitch perfect pair :) I don't have any photos of the two of them :( - The best I can come up with is a shot of brad blinking, hahaha, sorry guys. This is the two of them singing their duet as Mary and Joseph..


The other singer was my dear friend Moli. He is such a sweatheart and has the most beautiful voice.

He sung 'Faithful Ones' which is the song the Angel sings to the shepherds. He also sung as a shepherd and a wise men (as did Brad and Beau)

Here's a snippet of Moli's song..

I love the way this next song came out. This was the first one I wrote. The three guys sounded so good together. And they didn't even whinge (too much) about having to sing in the lower register. For three tenors who love to sing high, they were often out of their comfort zones. I think they sound awesome...

Its a shame we didn't have more time to add layers of vocals to make it sound like there are more men singing. When we did the fireside there were 17... (including my two little shepherds :)

Here's the three of them singing the wise man song. This clip isn't what we recorded, it just them warming up, but its nice to be able to have the video so you can see them singing..

And who can foget our own lovable wise men..three of my favourite people (especially the hot polynesian one ;)

The entire experience was so much fun. Recording in a proper studio was amazing. I was buzzing for days afterward. The feeling of actaully doing what I know I am meant to be doing with the gifts God has given me was such a rewarding feeling and it completely outweighed the love I have of taking photos. I still love my photos, but I know even more so now, that music is my biggest joy. I have already started on the next one!
I'm looking forward to recording again, I hope I can round up my five talented friends again.
Here's a few more pics of the day..

A very expensive microphone - I can't remember if Steve said it was $4000 or $6000 dollars

                  I love this guy, he is so talented. Someone needs to hurry up and discover him.

   I'm so glad Leanne had my camera, she is one of the most artsie, creative people I know and she got some
   really good shots. She also made some really cool videos....

                            The only shot I have of you Laura :(  - Your hair matches the mic! :)

haha, this was the guys creating the sound effect of the 'boom boom' in the wise men song.

               Bad photo (taken by me) but this was the chill out zone where they'd wait between tracks.

                                                                     Beautiful Leanne

                                                                      All of us :)

I am so grateful for the experience and can't wait to do it again!!!


Sam and Mariah said...

It is great to see that you got to put this together and see a dream come true. A great reward for someone who helps others accomplish dreams that they thought were unattainable. We hope that it does well.
Love the new donkey song! Can we get a copy?

che carina! said...

you're amazeballs hun!!!

aaahhh..where to start. seriously though just seeing those snippets from the tasmania performance..just proves again that you need to put it on here. everyone needs to hear what you have to offer and feel of that same sweet spirit that i know you want to share. let's make it happen!!!

was an awesome experience and can't wait to be a part of your next fantastic project that you've got up your sleeve.

so grateful to call you friend and sister. love you tons!!

p.s. i was alternating between your camera and my phone that i think i missed recording a couple of songs on your camera..sorry.

The Kings said...

Leona!!!! This is super, super exciting!!!! You are SO talented. When you are famous (and hopefully rich!) I'll be stalking you like we stalk Kenneth, and Jenny and Hilary!!! :) Make sure you never forget me in all your fame! ;)

Kristy Pitman said...

So proud of you! But you already know I'm your biggest fan! Keep it up and don't forget me when you're rich and famous! xo

Nettie's Blog said...

oh wow...this post was are so talented amazing that you can see the fruits of all your hard work....