Thursday, June 7, 2012

Song Story: 'Here With You'

Truth be told, I'm super amped about this one. It's actually the first single on the EP and the favorite of quite a few of the people who have given me feedback both before the project released and since. I was actually writing another song, 'Holy Lord,' when the chorus of this one kinda just fell on me. Lyrics and melody, all at once--and I love it when that happens--just kinda came out one day. The thing is, I think if I wouldn't have been writing 'Holy Lord' at the time, I would have been more hesitant to finish this one. It's kinda just a simple love song to God. If I'm being honest, I tend to feel a little guilty getting gushy in a worship song with no theological backbone or scriptural foundation--but I was already writing this other tune steeped in the mysterious truth of the trinity and lathered with scripture references. So... I don't know, I guess I kinda felt like that gave me license at the time to make this one what it ended up becoming.

I'm a big first line guy... now, that doesn't mean I think every one of my first lines is epic and grammy-award-worthy. But I'd like 'em all to be, 'cause I think first lines are super important. I started 'Here With You' with a first line that has a little duality to it. You can kinda break it up different ways and it means different things:  Lost... in You I'm found. So that just says, quite simply, that I'm lost, but I'm found in Him. But you could also say:  Lost in You, I'm found. That kinda suggests that I'm no longer lost when I'm lost in Him. Kinda of a cool paradoxical twist there for ya. :)

Anyway, once I'd written the chorus, the rest of the lyric sort of just inspired itself. I titled this project Beautiful Truth because I truly think that worship music should be full of the beautiful truths of God, and I think the premise of this song is one of those. On my best days, when I'm really well aligned with my Creator and walking in truth, I can scarcely think of a place I'd rather be than in a church, in a congregation, singing surrounded by believers... in His presence. And yet when I turned that reality on its head, that's when the amazing part surfaced: even on my worst days, God is elated to be in MY presence! That just seems nuts, doesn't it? And yet, I believe that's the heart of the God we serve. He longs--desperately--to be with us. To me, that deserved to be declared at the top of some lungs in some worship services. :)

Ok, how 'bout the geeky theory stuff... this one has another big instance of the whole polyrhythm thing that kinda threads a lot of this project together. Here it shows up more in the oddly imbalanced harmonic phrases. I don't know why this hit me when I wrote it, but I had this bent to write chord patterns in 3 over really straight-forward grooves in 4. So the entire intro is very asymmetrical in terms of the chord structure while maintaining this simple lead over the top of a very predictable groove. I'm simply using 1/3, 4 and 5 in the intro but each phrase ends up starting on a different chord than it did the time before. Kinda wacky. The other thing I did here, which I did a decent amount on this project, was hold a simple 1 and 5 in the right hand over every variation of bass note. So with a 1 chord, in this case C, the notes C and G play a very simple role as one and five, but as you move to the 4 chord (F) they function as a 5 and a 9, the 5 chord (G) turns the C into an 11 and so on. Lots of color comes from a very simple, stagnant repetition there. Similar stuff in 'Holy Lord' but we'll be talking about that one a little later, won't we? :)

Hey, don't forget to comment, share, like, flag, tweet, retweet, plus, minus, group, cough, sneeze and whatever else you're supposed to do. I wanna hear from you all. Tell what has compelled you. What details did I leave out? What song did YOU write that included some of the same ideas... or different ones? This is really way more fun as a conversation, so invite your friends and pull up a chair!

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