Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Christmas song, etc

Three things of import!

First, it’s my awesomely hot wife’s birthday today, so if you haven’t already told her happy birthday, do so now on her blog or, if you’re her “friend,” tell her on facebook. Or, and this is really crazy, call her on the telephone. I know, I know. Who uses telephones anymore?

Well, I do, but only to shoot videos. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that in a sec.

Secondly, I have confirmed that the CD will be delivered to my home/office – and available for download – on Friday. Expect to be barraged with info on my various networking sites. And hey, if you want your pal Ross to sell tons of records, get on the aforementioned facebook and tell all your friends to be a “fan.” And if you’re not a “fan” yet, that’s just sad.

Thirdly and finally, here’s something I’ve been working on. Lots of folks have been asking me about my “regular” songwriting career. You know, the songs for grown-ups that I used to write. Well, as I’ve said a few times lately, I am diligently working on those kinds of tunes for a new record that I will hopefully record in, I don’t know, 6-7 months and maybe have out late in the summer. I’m just guessing here, but that’s my plan at this point.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’m going to try to be better about sharing new songs as I work on them. I like the idea of my closest fans/friends/supporters being in on the creative process. It’s a little scary to show things to the world before they are completely done, but I’ve been writing songs – and being critiqued as I do so – for over 15 years now, so I think I can handle it.

Having said that, I’m not totally sure this is the “final” draft of the song, in terms of writing. There are aspects of it that I’m not sure I love yet. It’s not really a song about anything specific (I mean, other than the Christmas story), and that’s not my usual way.

Whatever, I’ll let you be the judge.

Other thoughts, as you listen: I’ve been fascinated for a while with 3 distinct aspects of the Christmas story. In no particular order, they are angelic encounters, massive cultural change, and “favor.” I’ll explain.

Angels encountering humans:
In the Christmas story, there are several angelic encounters. And it seems like every time the angels appear, they have to assure the humans who are seeing them that there’s no need to fear. I think that’s interesting. Are angels scary? They’re never scary in Christmas plays, cartoons, Christian bookstores, or TV shows? I don’t know. It’s just interesting. Some of you may have heard another Christmas song that I wrote called “Song of Gabriel.” I used to have it for free up on my site. Anyway, that song is pretty much centered around the idea that angels are scary beings with weird jobs. I’ll record it formally someday and you can hear it.

Massive cultural change:
This one is simple, but it’s something that I don’t know that I ever thought much about until recently. When Jesus arrived on the scene – as a baby born in a barn, no less – people must’ve had a terribly hard time believing that this was the promised messiah. A messiah coming changed everything about their world and their view of life. Moreover, a messiah born as a baby in a barn changed things further, because it wasn’t at all what most people expected. I won’t go into this too much, because there are countless sermons and books (and probably songs) that cover it in depth. But I just think it’s cool, and I sort of wish I could understand what it felt like to be there in that world at that time. I wonder if I would’ve believed it.

The angel tells Mary that she’s “highly favored.” The scriptures then tell us that she was very troubled by that message. Isn’t that strange? Mary was told that she had high favor from the Almighty God, and it troubles her. Boy, I wish I had some context for that one. But then you jump ahead 9 months or so, and she’s shivering in a barn with her carpenter husband, squeezing out a baby with sheep manure filling her nostrils. You have to wonder if she thought, “favor, huh?” I mean, I’m not doubting Mary’s faith or her tenacity or any such nonsense. Don’t worry. Again, it’s just interesting.

OK, anyway, that’s enough set up. Go watch/listen. Here’s the tech talk, if you care. I recorded the video on my iPhone. I recorded the acoustic and vocal at the same time with my Edirol handheld recorder. And I added the production with Ableton Live. The production isn’t anything fancy. Just some stuff to make it sound more interesting. Oh, and I didn't edit any of the singing, so beware of pitchy notes here and there.

If you have thoughts, feel free to share. But I warned you that it may not be finished yet. I’m being vulnerable here, so don’t beat up on me too hard.

More new CD info coming as I get it!


Ben Love said...

When did you get an iPhone!?! I like this song, sounds great.

Cindy Wilt Colville said...

I like this - puts me in the Christmas spirit which is a plus since we're just a little over a week away! Thanks

freetosing said...

Angels creep me out. I'm just sayin'... the way the Bible describes them makes me think I'd be more than a little fearful too. I mean, legs like fiery pillars or four faces, four wings, and under the wings things that look like the hands of men? I think I'd probably need some calming down if I saw that too.

And I know this is an odd thought, considering I've been singing Silent Night for years, but who says the night was silent? Is that in the Bible somewhere? I mean, really? There was a woman in labor, a baby born, a husband most likely freaking out, and a bunch of animals in a barn... and it's really hard to make animals be quiet. I would know. I grew up on a ranch. Anyway, does that not strike anyone else as not quite right? It's bugged me for a while now.

Oh, and the song is awesome. Rock on.

JLReed said...

great stuff. it's amazing the difference the electronic drums/keyboard makes... like as far as completing the song. i definitely look forward to hearing more!

Mendi said...

Angels are not human and not like anything we have ever seen. I don't blame them for being "sore afraid" (KJV! hehe!) but also, when talking about the shepherds being afraid- one of the elders at my church brought out the fact that the glory of the Lord shown around the shepherds- sinful shepherds had the glory of the Lord shining upon them- their sin must have been ugly and transparent in the light of His glory- and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

I love this song, great job!

jstew said...

All Things New is amazing.

I learn so much from your songs. I remember when I first got "And All The Decorations Too" how many truths about the Lord and deeper understanding of the word I gained through that album. You have a brilliant way of presenting God's word that we've read so many times, in a way that really makes us stop and ponder it again, and in a new fresh way that opens up so much more meaning and understanding.

All Things New has that same power and depth. It's also a great sounding, catchy song. I listed to it twice on Friday and had it stuck in my head all weekend. One morning I was outdoors watching the sun rise and had the words of the chorus floating through my mind. You just can't help but to stop and thank the Lord for the gift of His Son.

Thanks for teaching and encouraging us.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

maddie said...

Ross, B E A utiful! I love it! And I love your new children's CD. I just listened to it on-line and am fixing to buy it for my new grandbaby, Kinsey. I miss seeing your precious children at Rusty's, but especially your lovely wife whom I adore! love to your family,
nurse Gabbie