Studio Time
So to all of you who have asked about how things are going or have not given up hope, thanx so so much! :~) I’m still here and we’re still moving forward!  It may be slow, but it is steady progression and God is still leading us a step at a time :~)

We are still waiting for that last practice to happen before we head into our first studio time as a group of musicians, but there have been some developements, the second of which will be in the ‘Interesting Tidbits’ section.  The first is that recently I’ve actually gotten the chance to experience some real live time in the studio, recording like you see on a movie or music video – and I know that may sound really cheesey, but it was so surreal and exciting to really be standing in that booth with that weird looking mic in front of me and singing my heart out to the music I had just played and recorded minutes ago…WOW!!
So I know that now you’re asking how that happened and why I hadn’t shared it with you earlier and it’s because it didn’t actually have anything to do with this album…well, not really anyway…let me explain…
I was asked about a month ago now to write a song for an advertising agency for a client that needed a 60 second slot filled with something regarding their ‘I live here’ environmental campaign.  I was told it needed to have that slogan included in the lyrics, it needed to talk somehow about the environment and how we need to take responsibility to keep it clean, and it needed to sound like a cross between Norah Jones and Sarah McLoughlin.  I was also told that the reason they were going for this kind of sound for this radio-spot commercial, was that they wanted people to think they were going right into another song instead of hearing a commercial and then switching the station.  So anyway, I jotted down some ideas and music and got the main layout done and then called the agent and presented it to him.  After about 15 minutes or so of taking out some of the lines and moving others up to make it fit into the allotted time spot, we had worked out what the finished product would be and set a date for the actual recording to take place…in a studio!!!  That was a Tuesday night and two days later, on a rainy Thursday morning, Dan, Dad, and I headed off to the studio that’s in the Channel 3000 News building.
We walked in and met the guy who owned the recording studio on the same floor as the news station and got acquainted with the area and went over how things were going to happen.  I was going to play the piece, adding in some extra music where the commercial words would be read, and then we’d record me singing and add in the commercial being voiced in over top of the piano recording.
Sounded alot easier than it was, but eventually, with lots of prayer :~), I got used to his piano and was able to make a smooth recording of the part.  Next I headed into the booth off the main room and put on the headphones and began singing to the music we just recorded and it was…well, like…like I was really doing it!!  To say the least, it really made me excited for when I would be able to sing ‘REAL’ songs and be recording for the actual CD…omygoodness I can’t wait!! :~)
So anyway, back to the studio…the commercial was then read in between the singing parts, just as it was planned, and then the studio owner went to work and really showed us what amazing talent he had.  In about 20 minutes or so had the whole thing mixed perfectly and ready to be listened to…which is where I began to cringe…ever heard yourself recorded before?! It usually sounds really weird and you wonder why people even bother talking to you…well, that’s where I was, just waiting for it to sound weird once again…but, as you’ll be able to hear since I sent you all a copy of the sound byte, it turned out really well and was a huge encouragement for what lies ahead in all this recording stuff…God is so good to give us those little encouragements along the way when we begin to doubt, huh?! So thank You Lord, for the encouragement and the nudge forward! :~)
By now you’ve probably already guessed, since iI’m sending it out to you, that it did not air…one of those weird things that maybe I’ll find out the reason for someday – but when presented to the client, the reaction was just what the agent hoped for: she loved it! But then replied later that she wouldn’t be able to use it because the time slot had been cut from 60 seconds down to 30 seconds.  Was I disappointed? Well, yes…but actually very encouraged that God is moving all of this along at HIS pace, and THAT’s what we’ve been praying for all along, right?!

Prayer Requests
~Please continue to pray for God’s timing in providing the time to get together and practice these first 3 songs so that we can keep moving forward

~ Please pray that God would lead in WHO will be in the group of those getting together for those practices, so that we will have the efficiency and accuracy that He would want for this project (the details of this request are in the ‘Interesting Tidbits’ paragraph to follow)

~Please pray that God would continue to give encouraging pieces, like this random commercial and the studio time it allowed, to be a driving force toward what He wants to see succeed

~Please pray that I would not neglect what God has already given me as responsibilities, to do this next thing He has given me; wisdom in time-management is so key right now

~And finally, please pray that God would provide for the pieces of this whole project that are not in place yet, like the web-site and someone to run it and the possible need for a bass player – I know that all these details are as important to Him as they are to me so I want to fully trust Him with them and not even spend my time thinking about them! :~)

Interesting Tidbits
Now here is that promised piece of information regarding some interesting developements that I wanted to share with you earlier.  With Zach’s crazy schedule and the fact that my brother, Titus, is currently in town indefinitely (who plays the drums too), we are adding his name to the list of those that will be a part of helping with this process.  Zach has been incredibly gracious and volunteered the idea that Titus could either fill in where he could not due to his schedule, or visa-versa and I truly count myself blessed to be surrounded by such humble people that would choose what is needed over the ‘glory’ of being ‘the only one’ for a position as this; so thank you to Zach for making that a smooth possibility.  I also count myself blessed to have a bass player that feels the same way and wants what God wants in this.  Due to his location and tight schedule as well, he also volunteered the idea of seeking out whether God would provide someone to play that would be closer in proximity to our practices and/or more available.  Again I feel very blessed and now you understand what I am requesting within the prayer requests above – it will be incredible once again to see what God does and how He answers prayer! :~)

Next Steps
So much of the next steps that are to take place have to do with how and when God will answer the above requests, so for right now, pray alongside me for God’s will to be done! :~) As far as I know right now, we will be getting together to practice with whomever is available, as soon as all pieces needed are available, and will have a practice that will be recorded and sent to Randy.  The reason we’re recording it and sending it to him, (some of you might remember this process that I talked about in earlier newsletters), is so that he can give us his tips on what we’ll need to work on.  He’ll then mail it back to us and we will need to practice again, encorporating the tips he gave us.  This will help us to ultimately go into the studio better prepared and spending less money on studio time for the time it will take to make the recordings of the first three songs.  After we’re done with these first three songs, then guess what?! We’ll get to do it all over again with the next three!! :~) TEEHEEHEE :~)

Seriously, this WILL be quite a process and it makes it that much more meaningful that you have stuck it out with me even this far and that you continue to ask ‘what’s up!? how’s it going?! what’s next?! what are you doing with it now?!’ – it’s encouraging to know that you’re hangin in there with me! :~) Thanx again for your prayer and support and know that if there’s any questions you have, I’ll always do the best I can to answer all of them! :~)

~Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me~
~Gretchen & Family~