May 5, 2013 in News, Uncategorized

History of Whispered Words, pt. 1

Hey all!

Jared here:

I am recording an album, and if you are at all a music geek like me, you like to hear the story behind the music. If so, here you go, and enjoy! If not, you are in for a rough ride below! 😉

The Music:

I have been writing music since the 10th grade. I was listening to my dad’s old Doc Watson recordings playing in the house on a quiet Saturday, something hit me, and I sat down and wrote my first song, “Works of Glory”. It was an old-school hymn, I was done writing it inside of ten minutes, and it has survived in that same completed form ever since.

The first time I sang one of my songs, it was at a youth conference at Covenant Bible College, just outside of Calgary in Strathmore, Alberta. There was a talent show on one of the evenings, and even though I didn’t (and still don’t!) play any instruments, I just felt it was something I should do, and signed up. It went well; I got a standing ovation from the crowd of teens and CBC staff, and I was very humbled and pleased. It didn’t seem strange to me that this song had appeared very much out of nowhere at the time.

A few months later, I had another epiphany, and I wrote three songs in a two-day period- “Face of Him”, “You Are”, and “Thank You”. The first two of these still hold up so well that I am putting them on the recording that I am working on. (The third… not so much. It sounds a little juvenile these days, lyrically speaking…. but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t turn into something else someday!)

I still had a problem, though- I could not play anything, intrument-wise. When I write, I sit down and write a fully-formed song in about twenty minutes, usually. The melody and lyrics arrive at the same time, and as soon as I am done, I sing it into a cell phone recorder or something similar to make sure I don’t lose the melody. So, without someone in my life who could play a guitar and help me “chord everything out”, I just sort of sat on them.

A few years went by. I finished high school, got married, and moved to Saskatoon, in fairly short order. My Beautiful Wife and I started attending a church, got jobs, and a year went by. I met some friends at the church, but we eventually stopped attending and started looking for another church that suited us better. And by “looking”, I mean “sleeping in on Sundays instead of looking”. After a year and a half, we eventually decided that we needed to start paying attention to our spiritual lives again, and had heard that the situation at our original church had changed somewhat. We went back, were welcomed with open arms, and we had found what was going to be our church family for a long time.

One of our first few Sundays back to the fold, I sang Works of Glory as a special music thing in one of the services, and caught the attention of Larry and Troy, two music-minded men in the church who were going to be hosting a “coffee house”-style shindig. They asked if I was interested in joining them to sing backup, and I was very flattered. Eventually, the subject of my having some original music came up, and they asked if I wanted to do something with it. Having musicians at my disposal was too good to pass up, so I not only had them help me suss out the stuff I had already written, I started writing again in earnest, and wrote a good chunk of material in the 2004-2007 period with their help. “Broken Man” and “Old Letters” both came out of this period, and will be on the upcoming recording as well.

Through this time, I also made two of the longest-lasting and rewarding friendships of my life! Troy and Larry are still major influences in my life, musically and otherwise.

Troy has moved on to a promising and exploratory solo career and is headlining his own alt-country band now, but Larry and I played together often, on the church stage and off. We continued to play little coffee house gigs here and there, and even got paid to play at a wedding once (the high point of the old band, for sure)! In the last couple years, though, we hit some major life changes- Larry and I both decided, for different reasons, to move on from our church home to see what was out there.

Around the time of the move, I wrote a few songs (the last in 2011)- “In Your Presence”, “We Come to You”, and “Carol for a Child” (my one and only Christmas song). I actually sang and performed “We Come To You”, an exploration of prayer, on my last Sunday service at our old church, and was moved to remember how much growth and change My Beautiful Wife and I had been through there, and how much we had to thank everyone there for. It remains a precious memory to me. “We Come to You”, “In Your Presence”, and “Carol for a Child” are all going to be recorded during this project, as well- I will just be holding on to the Christmas song until the season is right. 😉

Larry and I moved into other church families, but I absolutely did not want our musical relationship to end there! Over the years, I joked with him that if I ever recorded a real professional studio release, he was going to get a co-writing credit for music, as his sensibility and skill absolutely informed every single one of the songs in my catalog! Joke or no at the time, it was and is absolutely true- I plan to keep playing music with him as long as he and I are both able, and he will be getting a co-writing credit on the album as well for everything I have played with him over the years. I can’t even remember what some of these songs were like before he helped me shape them. He has been a true brother, musically and otherwise…

End of part 1- part 2 to follow soon!

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