Thursday, September 30, 2010

the story of 'Awake'

i met Caleb during my freshman year of college - he was limping down the hall with some crutches.  turns out he was on the soccer team, and had broken his ankle in one of his first matches, and he was limping to a room right across the hall. 
thus began a friendship that has spanned 11 years - a friendship that is significant for both of us.  we have personalities that complement each other... he is structured, concrete, analytical - i am artsy, flaky, and emotionally intuitive. 
it has been a huge blessing to me to have someone who can be objective about me and my junk, because it puts things in perspective where i can begin to make changes - i hope that each of you reading this can claim a friendship that helps you grow as much as Caleb's friendship has helped me in our journey. 
I knew Adrienne separately from Caleb, and when they began dating it was a little like two circles of friendships colliding into a pretty interesting kaleidoscope.  She is the more artistically inclined of the two, even though she worked in the structured IRS environment after college!
i'm not really sure what prompted me, but at some point around the time Caleb asked me to be one of his Best Men, i suggested that i could/would write a song for their wedding, to which Caleb readily agreed.  by the time he agreed, i was already asking myself, "what did i just do...?"
in order to write 'Awake,' i had to get into Caleb's head.  as mentioned earlier, we are pretty different when it comes to thought process, personality, etc... which i later realized was to my advantage.  Caleb had no idea how to describe how he felt to Adrienne, and i was ALL about describing feelings - so i spent some time listening to him and reflecting on what he was saying about the thoughts/emotions he had about getting married to Adrienne. 
I’m standing here                                                                        
More awake than I’ve ever been
At least the shake in my hands tells me that much
You’ve just walked in
And I swear I’m in that dream again
The one where I'm standing here, the music plays, and you walk in

To Caleb, there was such a surreal vs. real tension going on - marriage was really happening, it was going to really affect his real life, and every day would be different from now on; and yet, it hadn't really sunk in all the way, it still seemed like some sort of dream while they were in the planning stages and during engagement.  

But you’re more beautiful
Than all that I’ve dreamed
Surpassing anything that I’ve ever seen
You’re more beautiful right now
Than ever before in my dreams

Caleb expressed to me that he was relying on God to teach him and show him how to deeply love Adrienne, and i thought that should be a key line in their song, so it made it into the second verse.  I also thought that the real, tangible ring on his finger would go a long way to reminding him of the real, tangible commitment he made, so i found a way to work that into the verse and bridge.   
On this day

As God’s presence stills my hands

I pray that He will show me how to love you
Every new day
With this ring still on my hands
I’ll wake with you and live this dream through

Truly Awake

With this ring

With this kiss
I will awake to find

i've had the chance to record this song 3 times - once as a demo, once on the Resistance, and now on WeddingSongs, and it's still not old to me.  like i mentioned before, it's the song i've played most off this record, because it resonates with so many people, especially men who may or may not be like Caleb when it comes to articulating how they feel :-)  if i've played this song in your wedding, leave a comment - and spread word that the song is available for download through CDBaby, and soon to be on iTunes.  

You’re more beautiful
Than all that I’ve dreamed
Surpassing anything that I’ve ever seen
You’re more beautiful right now
Than ever before in my dreams

Friday, September 24, 2010

a new story

i have to give credit where it is due - my friends Ashley and David @ Storyphotographers are responsible for planting the idea in my mind for using the word "story" to shape the wedding songs project you're about to explore, and you should definitely visit their site to see the way that they have captured and tell stories in their medium.
my tool is  s o n g w r i t i n g, and for each individual song i write, there is a greater context, a larger story.  but within each song, i try to tell a story, if only a small part of the grander narrative. 
the WeddingSongs album that has just released (soon to be available on iTunes, currently available for download on CDBaby) is a collection of songs/stories i've written over the past few years, but the song itself is only one small story - i will use this space to give a better picture of the larger story behind each song. 
check out the fellow storytellers page to see who has helped me along so far, and check the following stories to see a glimpse of the power and the mystery that is 'marriage'

i'll be posting the stories over the next few months, so check back for the first story next week - the story behind 'Awake,' the first track on the album!