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And Now For Something Completely Different...


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…as Monty Python used to say. I wrote music for a hymn.

Maybe I had spent too much time researching the old public-domain hymns for the music publisher, but when I read Rev. Skip Johnson’s lyrics for “Lord, Tune the Strings of My Soul,” I could hear a choir singing it. So it got music—a simple (5 chords), uptempo, bluegrass Gospel sort of thing. It also got a chorus—something else I picked up from the 19th-century hymnmeisters—a simple 4-line thing, with one line repeated three times so it’d be easy for a congregation to sing.

I recorded the guitar and vocal, and Dan Doshier, who runs a religious bookstore out of his music store, did dual leads for it (mandolin and harmonica), and I sent the product off to Skip—and he liked it. (Yay!) Not sure where it’ll be posted yet; I don’t know if Skip’s got an “OMD” site like Soundclick or MySpace, since he usually writes only lyrics. I’ve offered the use of my Soundclick page if he doesn’t.

We did the thing within a couple of days after getting Skip’s okay. The music was able to be recorded so fast because it was stolen. (I stole it from myself. It’s okay.) Part of the music is from “Tugga Pa,” the Swedish song by Leif Alderman that I’ve been setting to country music (I still don’t have those Swedish pronunciations down yet), and part of it is from a love song I’ve been writing for my wife. The combination sounded okay—and because it’s different, it won’t prevent me from finishing both the other songs.

I have robbed music from myself before. I try in those instances to make sure the two (or sometimes three) songs sound different enough from each other—because of tempo, arrangement, or whatnot—so they can’t be confused with each other. I still avoid performing them next to each other anyway, on principle.

OTHER STUFF: Well, I’m ensconced in our rental house in Cascade Locks, 7 hours from southern Oregon and 3 from wife and child on the Oregon Coast. Lot of work to do on the house—the last renters really trashed the place. Haven’t played any music; I’ve been a carpenter, weedeater, and garbage hauler instead. Got computer and Internet back after a 4-day hiatus. I still have an interview to finish for the music publisher (a press release, too, maybe), and John Lennon-style guitar to record for a Vonee Rose song. I will keep busy. If there isn’t a song (or two) in the remodeling, there my be one in the loneliness.

Joe

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