I know you must be thinking “Wow! It’s not even January and she’s gone back to the studio!” and yes, it’s been a pattern for me to, thus far, only have/make time once a year to pour into this project, but no more! J God has been challenging me again, through my quiet time with Him, through more songs that have been given, and through the people around me that continue to relentlessly ask what I’m doing to move forward. His challenges have been very specific to go forward, not to look back, to proceed in a way that others will see progress and faith, and not to be hesitant in any way. It has truly been an encouraging 9 months and the time finally came Saturday, Oct. 31st and Dan and I made our way to the studio…this time with a detailed list of what songs would be on the two albums, what order they would be in, and with the purpose of starting the first of three steps in the album completion process.
The steps are to lay down the piano tracks, put vocal tracks on top of those, then to add harmony/echo/backup tracks to that. This first step of laying down the piano tracks is both for the making of separate accompaniment track CD’s AND for the foundation of the songs; thus they need to be pretty close to perfect. This was quite the intimidating thought for two reasons: 1. I had no idea how to prepare for this stage of the recording and 2. I had no idea how I would do under that kind of pressure…I could definitely picture myself having to do one song over and over and OVER again to get it right.
Sooooo, after much prayer, I decided NOT to prep, NOT to stress out over something I had no idea how to prep for anyway, and in doing so, God gave me wonderful peace about the fact that even if I only get one song done, it’s one step closer! I finally was realizing I needed to let go of trying to accomplish so much in one sitting and let God set the pace as I was faithful to set up studio dates. So on October 31st Dan and I found ourselves driving there for our 1:00 appointment and talking again about how, even if we only get in to the studio twice a month and only accomplish one song per sitting, we’ll be done with this part in 6 months and can start the next stage, which is what I’m looking forward to the most! This was the perfect set-up for me and I walked into the studio calmed and ready.
Instead of giving you every detail of the six hour time slot in the studio, I’ll give you the shorter version and get to the point of what was accomplished. Subtracting about an hour’s worth of set-up and other details, five hours later we were getting ready to leave and all 22 songs that needed to have piano foundation tracks were done! I walked out feeling completely elated and yet very sobered by what was probably also the most surreal moment I’ve ever had…You know that feeling when you ask God to go before you in something incredible and you trust Him completely in it, walk in peace through it, and then find out He went above and beyond everything you could have hoped or dreamed? That’s where I was…not to say it was the first time He’d brought me to that place…but once again, that’s where I was…
The two albums will each have 12 songs on them and I know that, if you’re doing the math, you’re wondering about those other two songs (making the total 24). The final two songs on each album will be acapella and will not need piano tracks laid down for them and, due to a great recording last time we were there, one of them is already done and ready to be added to the album once the rest of its songs are completed.
~Discernment as I decide whether each song is what it needs to be and, if not, what I need to change
~Wisdom in decisions regarding the upcoming website, song and album copywriting, CD insert design, and companies to do each with?????? Sooo many questions to answer…
~Continuing prayer for diligence in this project, that I would be reminded that God has made it very clear I am to complete it now and that it is up to me to move forward because He has opened the doors WIDE
~Please include Randy Green in your prayers as you pray for me and this album project; as you’ll read in the next section, he got an earful (in the best way) and, as long as I have the opportunity to show Him my amazing God and Father, I will…which means that for however long this project takes, Randy’s got that long to hear about Jesus, and hopefully someday to make Him his Savior!
As I mentioned above, the whole time I was playing the piano, Dan was with Randy and since each song was bout 3-4 minutes long, Dan had that long before Randy was busy again and took each segment as an opportunity to chat with Randy, to give the Gospel, and to reach out to where he was. The neat thing is that he didn’t shut Dan down once and was very animated in his discussions, agreeing with Dan 100% of the time so we know that there is a background there that lets him be comfortable around this discussion, but there’s a light in his eyes missing and we know that either Christ has not been a personal choice yet and he knows who He is, he just doesn’t believe in who He is for himself, OR he believes in Him and it’s never been made alive and real in His life. Either way, recording there is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to talk with Him and give him a literal earful of music with words that can’t be mistaken!
The other piece of information I’d like to share with you who still have your booklets of the songs we originally went through, is the song lists and titles for the two albums. Some of these song titles may sound unfamiliar and that’s because they are some of the new ones God’s given in just this last 9 months. Also keep in mind that they may change order, but will not change in content; these are IT!!!
One Day at a Time
Not About Me
See Me Through
Commission of Joshua
Who You Are
On My Knees
The Love of One
All of You
In the Stillness
I Am With You
If I Would
My head is still swimming with all I need to do before the next 2 ½ weeks go by…yep…2 ½ weeks! I have till my November 21st appointment to figure out which songs are going to need to be done over, if any, and whether I want to keep these songs in their current order. I also need to “practice” – I need to sing with them and make notes for myself so I’ll remember where and when I have different transitions; since I play each song differently in little ways each time, I’ll have to know really well which way I picked when I recorded so when it comes to the November 21st appointment, I’ll be ready!
So what am I doing on November 21st then?!? If none of the songs, or not that many, need re-recorded, I’ll finally begin my most anticipated part: laying down the vocal tracks!! Yay! Please keep that date marked on your calendar (this whole month for that matter) as a particular time to keep me in prayer, mainly for my expectations of accomplishment not to be too high and just take it one step at a time, just like how He’s lead me to thus far!
Thank you Thank you Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and questions; you have been a vital part in helping me to see that God is truly in this project, from start to finish!!
~one day at a time, only through His grace~
Gretchen R. L. Jester