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! ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ

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!

May 1, 2013 in News

Whispered Words: The Beginning

Jared here! So this is going to be the first blog post for the newly-minted Whispered Words blog, and to catch everyone up on the whole process, I am going to transfer over the original entries from my¬†personal blog¬†in order of original release. Please keep in mind that I barely have this blogging thing figured out a year later, and if you could think of an easier way to accomplish this than copying and pasting manually, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. Leave me to my folly.

The first post is from 5/1/2013, and goes like this:

I am recording my first album! I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign soon to fund it!

Okay, maybe not EARTH-SHATTERING, but long-overdue, at least.

I have held off of officially announcing this project for a wee bit because I was unsure how the funding was going to all work out, and also unsure about whether this was going to be a small project for posterity, or whether it was going to be My First Album. After spending some time in the studio with my producer/sound engineer/studio musician extraordinaire, I have decided that this will be My First Album.

The aforementioned studio genius is Colin Richet, owner and purveyor of¬†Revelation¬†Studios; Colin’s specialty is taking a basic melody and a voice and turning it into a fully fleshed-out song, produced to whatever level you require, and it has been amazing to hear my music (some of which I wrote back in late high school) taking a shape I never imagined! Colin and I go a ways back. We reconnected in late 2012, and after some deep conversation realized that it is our destiny to work together! I waited while he finished some projects and cleared some space for me, and I am super-pumped about taking this journey with him!

I will be giving updated progress reports on this page as well as my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and I have created a band page on Facebook as well for anyone interested to follow and keep up with the project.

¬†The name of the project (and the band name I have chosen) is Whispered Words. I was leaving work and walking across the street when the thought “I wonder what a good band name would be?” Instantly, “Whispered Words” appeared in my frontal lobe. I gave it some time to sink in (and checked registered band names) and it looks like it is all mine, and it just FEELS right.

The E.P. itself (six songs) will get a title later on.

Despite praying for peace about this, I still can’t get over the scariness of not having all the funds I need to complete the project; but here’s where you can help! I have had many people ask me when I plan to record a CD over the years, and have had a few even tell me they were looking for something to invest in re: my music, so I intend to launch an Indiegogo crowd-funding effort very soon to finance the E.P.! You will be able to donate the amount of your choice, and depending on the amount, you will get certain perks in return, i.e. an advance digital copy of the E.P., a physical copy of the finished CD, your name mentioned in the liner notes, I mow your lawn, a house concert, etc. So when it launches, please consider funding the album- you won’t be sorry! Colin and I are working some magic here!! I am really excited about this, and very nervous as well… being able to put the funding issues to rest and give you nice folks some audible chocolate in return would make me very happy.

Thanks for listening!!


P.S. The cat’s out of the bag now! Here is that particular self-satisfied-looking cat in the studio, seeing his dreams take shape!