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  • Writer's pictureJess Kady

So much lead up to this...

I'm proud to make public my very first "song," that is, my first original song where I'm playing the guitar(s) and singing. This is definitely a huge first for me, and I'm very grateful for all that's lead up to being able to record my own live song with acceptable quality in the comfort of my own studio.

As you should know that I'm a classical composer, writing mostly very intricate pieces for ensembles, I found it particularly hard to wrap my head around writing "regular" music. I definitely over think it! Part of what I love about the craft of intricate classical pieces is that you are trying to make sense of a trillion possibilities; it's like a Rubik's cube to me, where specific turns and strategies get you to the goal that you want, but there is almost an overwhelming amount of possible paths, which makes the journey so satisfying when you finish something that is cohesive and that works. So whenever I have tried to tackle writing a singer-songwriter type thing in the past, I always got caught up in my own head, trying to design the perfect melody, trying to craft interesting chord progressions that hadn't been done a billion times but were also nice on the ears, and trying to write lyrics that packed the right amount of enjoyment, meaning, rhythm, and emotion. In other words, I vastly overthought it.

During my time at PLU, I took one semester in the recording studio for my Composition lessons, and it was a total disaster. I could not come up with anything that I liked, or even felt halfway decent with. I wasn't feeling it in any way, shape, or form. I didn't complete a single verse of music, let alone a whole song. It drove me crazy, and I think I've had a mental block with writing "songs" ever since (until now!). That was TEN years ago. It took me ten years to finally be comfortable writing a regular song!

For this song, I took an old acoustic riff that I vamped on all the time when I fiddled with my guitar, and added a little bridge/outro. For the melody, I tried my best to just let it flow, and I took the "101 Dalmations" songwriting advice of writing the melody first, and then coming up with lyrics. I think these lyrics are a gift to me from God to help me finish just one song, as I've never been able to do it before! In other words, I did what I hadn't been able to do for ten years, and just go with my gut, and feel it out. Of course I had to apply a little technical analysis to the music, but its foundation is from the heart.

Apart from my history of great trouble writing songs, I am fascinated with how much providence has led me to be able to self-produce a song. First and foremost, the advent of home recording software, mixers, mics, cables, etc., at extremely low prices is something that I can't be thankful enough for. It may not be as flexible as a "real" recording studio, but it gives a normal citizen like me access to quality that in years past would have been tens of thousands, but today is only a few hundred.

I'm thankful for the less-than $100 acoustic guitar from an antique shop that you will hear in this song. I'm thankful for the electric guitar that my brother left behind when he moved to New York (if you're reading this, take it back with you so I have an excuse to buy a nice new one!). I'm thankful that we recently remodeled my loft of my garage so that I can have temperature-controlled and sound-controlled space for working. I'm thankful that I was able to get over writer's block and come up with something in an area that I've never done before.

It may seem like I'm making a big deal out of a very short singer-songwriter style song, but there have been years and years of life lived, innovation, and struggle that led to me being able to complete it. So I'm very thankful to God for leading me and my family down every bump and turn that led up to this very moment in my life. I don't necessarily think that I'm at a turning point in my life, or that I'll get famous from my songs I can write now. I'm simply taking a moment to step back and enjoy looking back on the journey that has been my life so far!

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