Sunday, July 8, 2012

Song Insight: "Sunset Chairs"

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2012
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2012 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Loss, regret, conviction, passion, energy, love, adventure!

Listen and Watch:                     Other song insights

I'm stoked about this song...about what it says, and how it ends. But as I finished the video I realized I've got a lot to learn from it still.

The song inspiration came from my blog post early summer 2011.

At the time I had been so busy with work that I didn't have time to do much of anything with the kids or wife...and my bible studying was nonexistent. My wife's brother and sister-in-law visited with their family, and while we sat outside under the wonderful summer air, I wrote the majority of the song that afternoon.

 The words, however, we're tweaked over the next several months. I knew what I wanted to say, and I knew I wanted minimal notes in the verses...which meant each word had to count. Further. The "first person" point of view changed in each verse, so I needed to make sure the listener knew who was speaking...and unlike a book or video, I couldn't use a narrative voice or quotes or even subtitles.

 I hope I pulled it'll have to tell me.

 The full dream if mine for this work would be a short film of the blog post...where the detailed words are spoken and acted out..and then the character breaks into this song with visual memories, current exploration and conflict, and at the end a montage of all the adventures he has with what he finds. 


 The irony is that I am still failing to focus on what really matters. I guess I should read that post and listen to this song over and over so I don't forget. This summer has been especially hard with the kids schedule and my work schedule...we just haven't enjoyed each other nearly as much as we should.

 The fact that it's been over a month since my last blog post says something.

 But, we've got over 1/2 the summer and really the rest of the year to change my focus. I hope through this song that I can remember what's important to focus on in life... ...and maybe this song will help someone else, too.


Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080 for all drums except Tom-toms: Alesis DM-Pro
Acoustic Guitar: Paul Reed Smith Tonare Grand Custom
Electric Guitar: Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody II
Guitar Amp: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Acoustic Guitar Mics: 12th fret: CAD E100, 3ft back: Rode NT1
Electric Guitar Mics: close: Shure SM57;
Keyboard: beginning moody pad: XV-5080; synth pad at end: RD-500
Bass: XV-5080

Recording Specifics:
 I thought I'd make this an acoustic song first. But then I thought a bit of drums might help. Once I got serious about arranging the song, I played through the whole song and while it had a great groove, I felt something was missing. While many songs I like to leave open-ended, I felt the ideas of this song needed resolution and to have the listener understand the potential of focusing on what is important.


 ...I came up with the ending 1:27 of rocking, solo-filled, screaming-fun ending that I love in songs. This was about the most fun I've had in recording. The drums I "programmed" over a couple weeks this spring, and the acoustic guitar in May. Finally for the week of the "fourth of July" holiday, I took the whole week off from work just to decompress from the crazy schedule we are finding ourselves in. I spent the better part of 3 days recording the keyboards, bass, guitars, and vocals. The end solo was the funnest I've had recording in a long time. Had to really work on some of those parts :-)

We are so far apart
You need to be re minded
Our time with you feeds us
Before we're grown lets grow together

Lets meet at the sunset chairs
We'll find what matters there
We'll talk and laugh and play all night
We'll start our adventure there
Lessons learned and secrets shared
Show us how to grow up
So we'll find our life at the sunset chairs

We are so far apart
We said "I do" and promised
To have and hold our hearts
But now we're lost lets choose to fi-nd us

Lets meet at the sunset chairs
We'll find what matters there
Love, joy, and hands to hold on tight
We'll start our adventure there
Raising kids and love to share
Living life together is how
We'll find our life at the sunset chairs

Campfires, Eagles soar, fog caressing soul refreshing
Explore the reservoir, a daughter's fears, a father's failings
Frisbees and baseballs thrown, backyard tents, stars for gazing
But there's more I need out here

We are so far apart
You once asked me in your heart
Sold out, on fire, believer
Come back to me your life is waiting

Meet me at the sunset chairs
You'll find me there
Sit down and rest by my side
We'll start our adventure there
Word studied and faith to share
Stand up and follow me to find
Your life at the sunset chairs

I found my life at the sunset chairs
My kids, my wife, my God...They're all right there
I found my life at the sunset chairs
All the rest is behind me. It starts! right! here! Ya it starts right here!

I found my life!
I found my life!
I found my life...At the sunset chairs!

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