Note: I suggest that if you haven’t yet read Miracle Of Faith – Parts 1-6 yet you start there. This way you’ll get the whole story.
Casting the second song:
I am a man of great faith. I run much of my life on faith – faith that I can always write the next song, faith that I will wake up the next morning, faith that the music business will come back to life, faith that I am well.
I can also have my more skeptical moments as well. I try not to, but this time around I’m faced daily with my own humanity. I suppose that my life’s quest is to get over it – to get over or beyond my own humanity.
So as we wrote, I understood this guy, Thomas, more and more. You might say that on certain levels I even began to identify with him – on certain levels. I certainly have compassion for the guy.
So when it came to finding the right male voice for the role, I looked through my book of wondrous singers that I know and have worked with over the years and searched for the man with the right spirit, mentality and voice for the role.
I did not find the perfect choice. One did not jump out at me.
I do not consider myself a singer’s singer. Oh I can carry a tune and all, but I do not spend my life working at this craft. I coach and teach singers, but I do not consider myself a singer per se.
But this nagging thought kept coming to me saying, “Sing it yourself. You know this guy, you feel this guy. You could do it.“ But then I’d think, “No, you’re not in shape, this song requires a bigger voice, this song requires more than you can give it.”
But the more I looked for the right guy, the more I came up empty.
So finally I thought, “Well, why don’t you just try it. If it doesn’t work, you can always use what you do as a demo in looking for someone else.”
So I made the commitment. I began to get my voice in shape. I hadn’t really sung much for a couple of years, but I’d thought a lot about it since I had been teaching voice pretty regularly for the past couple of years.
I began to exercise for an hour a day – scales, chest voice, head voice, etc., etc. I did not sing an actual song for 3 weeks – just getting’ in shape exercises. It wasn’t easy for me. Back in the day, oh a hundred or more years ago, I could sing pretty well. I did the lead in Hair on Broadway and one of the leads in my own hit musical, Salvation, and sang in my own folk group and rock bands, but that was then.
After 3 weeks I decided, besides vocalizing, to start working on the song. I was shocked at how difficult it was even though my voice was now in pretty good shape. I would vocalize and warm up every day and then work on the song for an hour going over vowels, breathing, character development, the 5 necessary questions that every singer has to answer in order to really perform a song – all the things I teach.
Because I now teach these things, I had to take the teacher’s hat off and put the doer’s hat on. That was very interesting …
I must admit, recording this song has made me a much better teacher. It’s also made me a much more compassionate teacher. Singing well is extremely hard. Singing well enough to record is ten times harder. When you record, it’s for all time, a permanent record. It has to be perfect.
In considering perfection I finally came up with, “Well, it’s as good as I can do it.” It is me at the time in my life the best that I can be.
Is that enough? I certainly hope so.
I’ll let the listener be the judge.
Next: The Sessions.
Even More Inspiration
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