Friday, December 24, 2010

Luminarias

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I write on a deadline all the time as a journalist. But as a songwriter, I'd never had an assignment I had to complete by a particular day until I got invited to be on the 4th edition of Willamette Week's holiday compilation this year. It's raising money for p:ear and you can download the whole thing for $5 (recommended) or just my track for $1 (or stream it for free).

After waiting all week for inspiration, I found myself with the song due Monday, a recording session scheduled for Sunday and virtually nothing as of Saturday at midnight. Usually when I write a song, I know where I want it to go and what I want it to say. This time, I only knew I wanted it to be about luminarias, the traditional southwestern Christmas decoration. So I tried an experiment and just let the song write itself. I didn't know what was happening or where it was going, I just tried to picture the story happening in a waking dream.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out, but the next day I was even happier when Michele Wylen and Randy B helped me out with some production and backing vocals that I think really make the track. Michele, who normally records dance music and has recently been guesting on a lot of hip-hop tracks, was challenged to sing a fairly cheesy, straightforward part in a high register. I mean, she seemed to think it was challenging--she nailed it all on the 2nd or 3rd try like I knew she would since she has perfect pitch and an amazingly versatile voice.

Anyway, this is the first bona-fide country song I've recorded so let me know what you think!

luminarias
With rain on Christmas in Portland, this is the best I could do at my house this year.

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