Granite Meadow Music Video
Granite Meadow- Click streaming icon to listen
A Few Thoughts on writing & Recording Granite Meadow
I was sitting in a meadow in Kings Canyon National Park and there was no one around. There were none of the sounds of the city or suburbs; no cars, no voices, no sirens, no leaf blowers. At first all I heard was silence. Next, I started to hear my own breathing. A short time later, I started to hear the music of the meadow. It was the sound of the wind moving through the tree branches. I tuned into the low hum of different insects flying around. And in the distance, I could hear several types of birds who were all conversing with each other. After some quiet contemplation, I looked up at the shear granite cliffs and outcroppings. The scope of geologic time hit me upside my head! I could actually feel both my relevance and irrelevance in the scope of life. I could feel the here and now but also clearly see that I was just passing through time. A blip on the radar of the mountains and meadow. Just like the insects, birds and the breeze.
When I got home I wrote this song on an acoustic guitar and voice. In it’s simplest form the song had a nice pure quality that I wanted to protect when I arranged it. But I also wanted to hear the colors that I saw in meadow and the mountains. For the recording, I decided to keep the verses sparse and build the color palette in the chorus. Tim Freund, who is my musical partner and drummer, worked with me to create a subtle drum groove that could add some soft rock feel to the arrangement. After some experimentation I decided the arrangement should develop very patiently. I introduced a soft but grooving bass line to start the chorus. I added in a Rhodes electric piano to add color to the sound palette. The piano part has a different rhythm that nestled into the groove very nicely. A few bars latter, I added in a shimmering electric guitar playing one long beautiful chord with tremolo. Then, as the electric guitar chord naturally faded I added in a subtle Hammond organ with a Leslie. Because that sound swirls, it gave me the wind texture I was looking for as well as a counter melody line. I arranged the turn out of the chorus with a crisscrossing harmony. The melody and harmonies engage above and below each other as they reach a dominant 7th chord which signifies a moment of change in the music. I decided it was best to end the song with just the acoustic guitar playing alone to signify the serenity of sitting in the meadow.