For The Morning Light

The crystal ball of email presented me two requests this week to make string arrangements which is a nice problem to have.

I like to find within the song some essential part and mirror one voice after that. For instance if it is a singer-songwriter thing, and often it is, I will tune into the main instrument probably guitar or piano, and try to use a lower voice like cello or viola in an identical way to the main instrument. Then if I mute the guitar or piano I still feel like I’m hearing the musical mind/ intent of the original voice (did you follow that?). Then the remainder of the arrangement is built up from there to harmonize or play with that first voice. What’s good about that is it blends with the feel of the leader of the song.

What’s bad is it isn’t yet in the realm of great string arrangement. Not organic and spontaneous enough. Not sure I know how to make great arrangements but absolutely certain about the how to’s of making horrible shit – I can do horrible easy. Simplest way is to play sampled strings or horns as though I’m a pianist. Very easy because – I’m a pianist. My wife Magali helped me figure that out.

I was writing a string part in 2010 for that strange mystical creature known as Anhai and while feeling very proud of my first sketch for two violins I played it to Magali, who doesn’t play much piano and she responded,

“It sounds like something I would do”.

She meant it sounded simple and like someone playing string samples from a keyboard. I was crushed. Now every time I replayed it I only heard someone playing string samples.

So being the spiteful, vengeful, competitive Juno award winner that I am – I started to try things which in my mind Magali couldn’t possibly do. No way. No how. Whacky chords, strange intervals and blind stabs like a free improvisor searching and then I started to land on ideas which were more believable and authentic sounding (at least to me).

My next trick will be how, without enough money,  to get real players to experiment/ record with me.

2morrow is still 2day

the fool,

the sun,


B” on  my way

2 the waiting

little birds

4 the morning  l-eye-t

4 the morning  l-eye-eye-t

4 the morning  l-eye-eye-eye-t….

i’ll B there,

we’ll B there,

we’ll B there!

in the twilight’s bloom,

deepest bloom,

golden light,

and all is new….

green + red

meets the heart

so warm & happy

so warm & happy

a  fresh  start!

i’ll B there,

we’ll B there,

we’ll B there!

and in rain,

or in snow,

and in the way

the wind blows,

or the storm,

or in the still….

feel the heart,

feel the heart,

feel it?

i feel the wind….

i’ll B there,

we’ll B there,

we’ll B there!

for the morning l-eye-t

for the morning l-eye-eye-t

for the morning l-eye-eye-eye-t

2morrow is 2day,

B4 the sunrises….

i’ll B on my way

2 B waiting

with the birds

4 the morning  l-eye-t

4 the morning  l-eye-eye-t

4 the morning  l-eye-eye-eye-t….

i’ll B there,

we’ ll B there,

we’ll  B there….


transcription (poetical) by MEG*m.e.grey


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