Recording the Kids

30 03 2009

Well, we have finally reached the end of the recording process for the new Doorpost Songs record.  Last weekend our friend and producer Scott Williamson came down from Nashville to record our 25-voice kids choir for the album.  We set up risers for the kids in the Fireplace Room at the church, set up a makeshift studio for Scott just outside the door, threw up some microphones and went for it.

The kids did a great job.  I don’t know if they realized just how much energy it was going to take to sing the songs over and over until they were right, but (after a bit of mild grumbling) they got used to the process and thoroughly enjoyed it.  At the beginning of the first night I was talking to the kids about giving me lots of energy, and Grace Jones, a fourth-grader, raised her hand and said, “I’ve got five million shots of energy!”  At the end of the night, before the last song, I asked her how much she had left, and she responded, “One thousand, one hundred.”  Then, after the final take, I asked her if she had any energy left and she held up one finger and said dramatically, “One.  Just one.”

I had a blast conducting them (although my arms were quite tired at the end of Saturday from waving them all day) and was especially moved to hear them quoting the words of the songs from memory.  Since they were singing from memory, before each song I would review the words for them, asking them to give me each successive line of the song.  The words just flowed out of their mouths, and it was incredible to hear that they had already committed these great truths to memory.

Perhaps the most fun moment came at the very end of Saturday’s sesssion.  We had finished early – because they sang so well! – and had lunch together, and then as we waited for parents to come and pick up the kids we went back into the “studio” and Scott played a couple tunes for them.  They were incredibly excited to hear themselves, crowding around Scott’s little desk and dancing to the music.  After the first song, Scott started a second, but stopped it in the middle, saying “You get the idea,” which was greeted by a unison chorus of “Awwwwwwww!”

All in all it was a very rewarding weekend, and it was my privilege to be a part of it.  Thanks to all the kids who sang, and all the parents who helped!  Now we start mixing and mastering and before you know it the new Doorpost Songs album will be here!

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