On this first part about my song “The Door, “ I share my first arrangement of “The Door” as an instrumental.
The arrangement is very lush and orchestral, which made it hard to sing along with. I was never satisfied with my vocal for it and plan to revise the song someday by changing the key and tempo. There is actually a part in the chorus that reminds me of a wedding march. But this song is definitely more of a “divorce march!”
Links to recordings:
Link to song story with more links: THE DOOR––
My song named “The Door” was written in July of 2012. It was one of three songs that prodded me to end my marriage of 31 years.
It all began with my first song “The Unknown.” Suddenly, my subconscious began to guide my life as words erupted from me that I didn’t plan on writing.
The second pivotal song I composed was named “Clear.” That song ended with the line of “It’s never too late to turn your life around, no reason to wait.”
I cried singing that last line because I was waiting.
Finally, I wrote clear and obvious lyrics about where I was going with “The Door.”
But because I did not have the courage to tell my husband, I kept my songs “The Unknown” and “The Door” a secret for over a year. It was when my father died that I finally became ready to go through the front door into a new life.
I loved sharing the songwriting process with Peaches Chrenko, who was my vocal coach at that time. It was a blessing for me during a very challenging part of my life.
Although I have not yet shared my song on this blog, after my separation I did have several stories with themes related to it. In fact, the very first story I shared on my blog where I announced my separation was aptly named “Empty Spaces.”
Below are links to them:
The audio recordings from my lessons with Peaches are very precious to me. For Part 1 of my story, I share recordings about my creation of the verses and melody of this song.
Clicking the blue link plays audio:
Judy: You know how I always say John Denver was a great influence on me? Well, Don Maclean was also.
Peaches: Oh, wow.
Judy: Did you ever like his stuff?
Peaches: I’m not familiar with him.
Judy: Well “Vincent” was one of the most beautiful songs; I loved learning the guitar to it.
(Judy demonstrates by singing, “Starry, starry night . . .)
Judy: I got the idea for the theme of my song and it reminded me of another song Don Maclean did that I used to like. It was called “Empty Chairs” and is amazing. I’ll do the first verse . . .
(Judy demonstrates by singing)
Judy: These lyrics – when you listen to this guy’s descriptions – that’s what gets me!
Judy: That’s what I want to write – songs that bring a picture. The reason I mentioned him is because I wrote some lyrics to go with my melody. And I didn’t want it to be like his song, but I think my song is different. In this key, it does sound like “Beside Me Always.” I’ve got two verses, but no chorus. I don’t know where I’m going. But I like the way the words sound. I had no idea what I was going to write! It’s so exciting!
(Judy plays the guitar and sings her new song)
Judy: That’s it, that’s all I have. And that’s why I thought of that song “Empty Chairs.” I have the line “the closets are bare.” It’s not the same rhyme, but it’s that feeling of the house being empty and I’m thinking of how it will be when I’m gone.
Peaches: When. That’s interesting – listen to you!
Judy: I’m projecting – I see it. When the closet is bare empty drawers are everywhere. That’s what I was thinking of – a visual of empty drawers that he’d open. But then I made it empty spaces because it implies it’s empty all around.
Peaches: The drawers – the kitchen . . . That’s true.
Judy: Yeah, exactly. And then the other thing that I thought was interesting was I put the words, “How sad we were together.” My love song when we got married I renamed “Together.” I couldn’t wait to share this with you.
Peaches: It’s all so beautiful!
Judy: It’s so painful to write it, though. I don’t know why when I’m writing a song I go to the painful place. I don’t want to be sad, but that’s my way of writing a song.
Peaches: You’re just honest.
Judy: I live in what is hurting me. To find a way to find the words, I have to find the pain . . .
Peaches: To feel it.
Judy: I do a lot of self-talk.
Peaches: But it is so beautiful, Judy. Wow!
Judy: I feel like this kind of song has already been written. You know what I mean? There are so many songs like this and I want to be unique. How can I be unique? Though it is such a universal thing.
Peaches: So were you leaning towards a name yet? Or, you haven’t gotten that far.
Judy: Oh, I haven’t gotten that far.
Peaches: Of course.
Judy: I just don’t know what the story is – where it’s leading. But I do think of that Don Maclean song, that feeling of the empty house. Not like I’m trying to be mean; I’m trying to be gentle. At the same time it’s inevitable with the words “when I’m gone . . .” the secret. That’s the part that’s so painful!
Peaches: Wow, Judy, that’s heavy.
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