Posts Tagged ‘song writing’

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Recently a gentleman commented to our FB Solo Thoughts Group with a statement that we hear all too often.  In essence, he stated that when he would choose songs to sing in church and the lyrics in places were inappropriate for his service, he would simply rewrite those lyrics to fit.

Julia Wade, our Director of Digital Sheet Music, brought the comment to me for a “yet again” discussion that was now becoming far too repetitive.

She had written him back the following:

Thanks so much for your contributions to the conversations here in this group!

With respect to changing lyrics, you bring up a relatively constant issue that has come up again and again over the years. It was interesting to me that your comment came on the heels of an hour-long conversation with a soloist/music committee chairperson who called recently to discuss the changing of lyrics for a composer’s work represented on WFM.

That conversation, combined with your comment, showed me one more time that this issue is a timely issue. So, I asked my partner, Peter Link, who is a successful and experienced composer, to give a definitive statement on this subject.

Since this topic of changing lyrics is a new subject, Peter has posted his response to all concerned in a new conversation thread.

Here is his answer:

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

One does not even consider rewriting Shakespeare to fit their needs. No one would ever consider taking someone’s movie and adding their own scenes to it to make it “better.” I can’t imagine anyone buying a Picasso and bringing it home and adding their own brush strokes to the work to “improve” it. Would anyone ever rewrite the fourth chapter of a Hemingway novel to better the writing?

Perhaps one could get away with doing these things in private, but never in public.

These works of art belong to the artists who created them and are sacrosanct and inviolable to the original artist who created them whether or not the original artist is a master of his/her work or a beginner.  Their “intellectual property” is clearly protected by copywriter law.  So, consequently, changing someone’s lyrics or music to “better fit” one’s needs is not only illegal, but also immoral.  Simply put, their work is not yours to change, whatever your philosophy.

Rather, we would strongly suggest, if the song’s lyrics do not fit your message, go back to your research work and find another song that does.

If your neighbor’s new car is blue, yet you wish it were red, you may not repaint it to your satisfaction.  It belongs to them.  There is a principle here that really needs a deeper understanding by many, it seems.

In essence, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Link

CEO & Creative Director

Watchfire Music

Nuff said.

 

Water

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

All the water there will be,

Already is …

“The very same water

That is wetting your lips

May have flowed through the streets

Down in New Orleans

Or flowed down the cheeks

And spilled upon the piano keys

As the brilliant Tchaikovsky sat

And wrote his Pathétique.

 

“Did ja’ know that

Here on this rock

As we journey through time

We live by the grace of water”

With all the water on this planet, who ever thought we’d run out?  They’re certainly not worried about running out in Houston.

And yet water is their biggest problem.  For some it’s too much; for some, too little.  For most, what there is, is unusable – too salty, too chemical, too dirty.  And for me, well, I’m told I should drink more of it.

“The very same water in the apple you eat

May have fallen as rain

Half-way ’round the world          

Or could have been used

A hundred million years ago

By a mighty mama brontosaur

To bathe her baby girl”

“Water”, a song from our concert, “Is Anybody Listening?” is sung by a trio of sterling singers, Freedom Bremner, Brian Collazo and Jonathan Singletary on our new CD just out.

If you’re listening, you’ll find it much worth the listen.

“Yes the very same water

That grows the cocoa bean

And brings the sweet taste of chocolate

To the hungry world

May be the mystery

That carries forth the seed of life

As it brings to pass the life and times

That spring from you and me”

Water – it’s the stuff of life.

“One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put ‘em both together an’ whadda you got

Clean

Clear and cool

Pure water”

 

“Water” – Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On My Way Home – A New Song

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Immigrant – A. Einstein

“Is Anybody Listening?” continues to develop and evolve. Looking at the issues that we all face as a people going forward, we decided to explore the issue of immigration. What better way to do this than to put myself into the shoes of one actually going through the experience? Though this lyric is of my imagination, it comes from a deep research into 5 or 6 heartbreaking stories of modern day immigrants that I found exploring the Internet.

The song itself is a tour de force soaring and heartfelt performance sung by one man who represents so many experiences.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know him.

On My Way Home

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Enter a man, either Middle Eastern or North African, dressed in an expensive subtly pinstriped suit, white dress shirt, no tie. He’s elegant and from all manner looks to have been a most successful business man, however his suit is filthy, perhaps torn, his shirt has been on his back for days and is dirty and stained, and a rough stubble completes his unshaven presence.

Man

Look at this face

Look at these dirty clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

Ah yes, I’m one of those

Just look at this face

Look at these filthy clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

 

I come to you by land, by sea

On foot, I come

By raft, I come

A refugee

I seek your asylum

A cup of your kindness

I come from a place of nothing but blindness

 

I run for my life

A flight into exile

A fugitive from the heart of darkness

My lot in life, yes, a refugee

My future, so far, unknown

I live in a chaos that spans the world

 

I look to find my family

I search to find the man I used to be

 

I know so well this road of desperation

I carry what little hope that’s left

In my frail imagination

 

And I carry my past life

In this pack up on my back

I carry my past life

In a sack

 

With all that I’ve worked for

Gone

All that I’ve fought for

Gone

And all that I’ve lived for

Gone

 

Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home

 

Look at these hands

So sad what this life can bring

Look at these wasted hands

These hands that have built such things

 

And look in this heart

This heart of a worthwhile man

Look at this broken heart

 

I offer you a man of dignity

A fruitful life I’ve lived

But now, a refugee

I seek your asylum

I seek your compliance

I beg you renounce your thoughts of defiance

 

What I’ve left behind …

A life of such promise

A family with its long traditions

But along the way, yes, I’ve let them go

My future, so far, unknown

To live now in peace is my only need

 

Each night before I sleep I ask

What wrong I must have done that brought me here

 

I cannot find the answer to this question

I carry this damning pain of guilt

Like a rancorous obsession

 

And so I run from my past life

Yeah, from one to the next

Confused and disheartened

So perplexed …

 

And all that I’ve loved now

Gone

And all of my dreams now

Gone

My life as I knew it

Gone

 

Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home

{Shouts}

Afghanistan

Somalia

Iraq

Sudan

 

I come to you, a man

Trying to stay alive

Trying my best to survive

While I’m on my way home

I’m goin’ home

Lookin’ for a new home

Yes I’m on my way home

 

Yeah I’m goin’ home

I’m goin’ home

Ooh I’m goin’ home

Aaaaahhhhh

I’m goin’ home

 

 

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 6

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The Benefit – More Or Less

I’ve been to many benefits and sometimes found them overly long and speech-ridden to the point of boredom. How can we avoid this all too often problem?

Most Benefit entertainments are sloppy, overly long and disorganized — and for good reason.  Rarely is there enough initial funding for proper rehearsal of the event, so things are thrown together at the last minute. Talent is also often donated and so they come in the day of, do a sound check and perform that evening.  Most events never even have a run through.  There simply isn’t enough money to do things right. It’s a one-time performance and the object usually is to just get through it with no total breakdowns.

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast is a fully developed, fully rehearsed performance that has been filmed, edited and remixed to provide you with the most professional of entertainments. What’s on the stage represents the worth and quality of your organization and it better be elegant, highly organized and run smoothly if you expect people to get behind your project. Going in, you will know what you have on stage and how well it works. No surprises.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 4

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Promoting Your Benefit

Our organization has a strong and dedicated following, but we need to get them all under one roof at the same time. Promoting this event seems both expensive and time consuming.

Where do we start?

Most organizations have a tough time at promoting, advertising and audience development. Again, monies are spent where they don’t need to be spent and promotion opportunities are missed because the organization is not in the business of promoting. Also, the organization’s staff is too busy running the organization to do all the extra work of promoting the benefit properly.

An “Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast can be easily promoted through your emailing list and physical posters distributed in your community, but where our expertise really becomes effective is in our ability to promote through social media. As an example, if your organization has a Facebook page, we can help you design and expedite a very focused Facebook Ad campaign targeting your particular audience for your benefit.  If you are interested in working with us in this capacity, we’ll be glad to offer professional services for your benefit ad campaign.

Also we recommend having at least 4 weeks lead-time where we will supply you with 6-8 professional email flyers promoting the various aspects of the Webcast and parceled out evenly over the 4 weeks. We’ll do the heavy lifting while you can just sit back and count the blessings!

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 3

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The Professional Producer/Presenter

I’m good at what I do, but a bit out of my league when it comes to producing an event.

How can you help?

Most organizations, both church, business and charity are good at whatever it is that they do, but not necessarily good at putting on a compelling, entertaining and inspiring evening in the theater. So often what ends up on the stage isn’t worth a $10 ticket much less a $1000 ticket. The craft of putting on a great evening is a developed skill that normally requires going out of house and hiring a company that knows the ropes. This can be very expensive. An outside production company can eat up the profits of your donations before you know it.

An “Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast takes no percentage of your donations. Its low fees are the same for all its clients whether your ticket price is $10, $1000 or free. We will Co-Produce your benefit with you bringing our 4 decades of experience to your project.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 2

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Your Audience

My audience of potential donors is small and scattered around the globe. How do I reach them?

Most benefits only reach a local audience – those who are within driving distance of the venue and also happen to be free on that particular evening at that particular time. But what if your audience is bigger than that? What if your potential reach is world-wide? What if your potential donors are scattered around the country? Or what if they just happened to be traveling elsewhere on that particular evening?

Here’s how to go far beyond your usual local audience and reach people of interest around the world.

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast goes to them wherever they might be – anywhere in the world. It can play to groups or individual on their meeting houses or their living rooms. Additionally, when the webcast is presented, it is also recorded in its entirety at absolutely no extra cost and can be shown again and again to individuals and groups when needed.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 1

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

 

Producing A Benefit

I need to raise money for my favorite cause. Where do I start?

Here’s an engaging way of producing your next benefit!

Need to raise funding for your special church project or favorite charity organization? One of the first things a good event producer looks for is an Inspirational Entertainment that draws potential donors to your benefit evening. Clearly the draw of the event needs to be compelling, elegant and inspiring. Yes, it’s all about the giving, but if there’s one thing I’ve always understood, it’s this:

Working in the theater for some four decades now, I’ve had the necessity to raise money for my various projects through backer’s auditions again and again. What I’ve learned is that potential investors who attend really don’t invest in the play or musical, but instead, they invest in the backer’s audition. They come to your evening knowing relatively little about the concept or script, but if you do the audition right – polished, professional, with great talent and great songs – they gain a kind of confidence in the talent behind the audition and decide to invest in that.

 I’ve also had the opportunity to produce and direct many world-class benefits at both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in NYC and have seen the power of presentation result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations.

And, unfortunately, I’ve also had to attend all too many benefit evenings that simply do it wrong – are overly long, disorganized and simply boring. Ya’ wonder how they ever raised a cent.

I’ve also seen benefits that were so costly to produce that the benefit cost more to produce than the money raised!

So the trick is to do it with low cost up front, put a well organized and inspiring entertainment on the stage, keep the speeches short and give the potential donors an evening that thrills and inspires and builds confidence in you, the producing organization..

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast is a professional, polished and inspiring concert with a theme that touches hearts and minds and can be shaped to meet your constituency.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech


Get Adobe Flash player