Monday, April 16, 2012

Close Your Eyes - 4th installment of the Kickstarter Campaign Collaboration Reward

Here is the 4th collaboration from my Won Over Frequency Kickstarter campaign in which a Backer provides me with lyrics and I turn them into a hit song.  The original lyrics for this track were provided by Bryce Carter with contributions by his friend Todd. "The song was inspired by ideal summer moments, simplicity, space, and Carl Sagan."

Regarding the music: 
Since nostalgia seemed to be our most prominent theme, I opted to revisit the 50's aesthetic and arrangement-motifs of my hit song Coffeelocks. I'd worked out a few drafts in very different directions (most of them more downtempo and simpler instrumentation), but none clicked very well for me until I started down the doo-wop road. I used this recording as an opportunity to premier several new toys: my new M3 Hammond Organ / Leslie 45 (captured with a lovely pair of 421s ---- thanks Michael @ Sennheiser!!!), my theramin, my signature series Jay Turser electric bass ($65 value), and a beautiful pair of Cascade Fathead II-sp ribbon mics (thanks Rob @ Parson's Audio!!!). It's amazing how much less work one must do in the mixing phase when one simply utilizes the proper gear.

Regarding the lyrics:
Bryce sent me some lyrics back in mid December, and it took me several months to set aside the proper time needed to carve them into a workable structure. Once I got in there, it was quite a challenge to rework the cadences while maintaining the imagery. One of the more subtle but crucial alterations I made to the narrative was to make it past tense, which better suits the idyllic summer retrospective. I've interspersed my final lyrics (in italics) with Bryce's original lyrics so you can see the adaptation.

Close Your Eyes (Sweet Love)
Step into the lake on a warm summer night

We walked to the lake on that warm summer night
You laugh and tell me not to splash
You were laughing, you were begging me not to splash
The water is calm, we walk palm to palm
And the water was calm, I was pulling your arms
And hop in the rowboat to relive summer past
into the boat, as I'd done so many times in the past 

(Close your eyes, sweet love...)
Close your eyes, close your eyes, sweet love

We paddle past the dock and the shore waves goodbye
Out past the dock, where the shore disappears
The stars light our way from the sky
and the sun's closing eye was just a dent in the sky
The sun's not awake, he's done for the day
I was worn like a gown but could not settle down
But you're wide awake, the night sky in your eyes
I's as lit as the stars in your eyes

(...they swim above us.)

Worry settles to the bottom while we float on the top
Our troubles had tumbled to the floor of the lake
We lay down to look up above
as we lay on our backs in the craft up above
The stars are painting scenes that only we see
if the stars carved a scene from the space in-between
On a canvas of sky with a paintbrush of love
then the night was a canvas, and the paintbrush was love

(She told everyone what she saw...)
Close your eyes, close your eyes, sweet love
set adrift as the stars swim above us

It's time to head back but we circle around
We made to head back but were all turned around
Sometimes the stars beg you to stay
like the stars, in there way, still had much more to say
But you must listen close if you're to hear what they spoke
So we listened real close as to hear what they spoke
The stars are in us, we are they
but the stars were in us, or perhaps we in they

(...a candle from space)
Close your eyes, close your eyes, sweet love...

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