Friday, 22 April 2011

17 days

Thus emerges the first of the promised songs from our Collingwood recording session. I wrote this after having played at the Students' Union in Stockton back in October. While I was playing there and everyone was facing me, behind them the tv was on and showing sky news or bbc news or some other such channel. And so there infront of me was being shown the live rescue of the 33 Chilean miners (reported here in case you slept for three months last summer). One thing that struck me was that nearly all the miners knelt and prayed as soon as they were free. I found their level of faith and the hope that sprang from it incredible. This, coupled with a difficult few months in terms of family health, my Grandad passing away, a brief consideration of Plato's cave and something Paul says in Colossians 1:13, led to this song. Fairly obviously it's a draft recording, hence the mistakes and less than perfect quality, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Oh my friend won't you hold my head,
inside your arms again.

The streams inside, have run dry,
and the water drips from my chin.

We cry oh Lord, oh Lord,
How long must we wait down here,
In darkness and in fear.

I'm sick and tired of endless fights,
with the prince of this cruel, cruel world.

And my heart aches, from years of strain,
But I'm not this old yet.

All my friends stand round as I'm carried home,
In a box just big enough for my soul.

Stones are rolled,
With a gasp the surface breaks,
I'll rise with wings from deep,
To a light so bright we can barely see.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Collingwood Studio Session

Last week me and my housemate, JP, went to the studio in his university college and recorded a few demos. We were only there for a few hours, and given some extraneous circumstances, we didn't really give too much attention to things like quality....

It happened that the day we chose was an open day, and so we had regular visits from eager eyed 17 and 18 year olds who, considering how young they seemed to me, must have been slightly afraid that three/four years in Durham can turn anyone into an old, bearded, unimpressive twenty-something. The open day reps also opted to set up an admirably loud set of speakers, and given the limited sound-proofing of the recording room, a hint of Lady Gaga and/or MGMT may have sneaked its way into our recordings.

We decided that the quickest and easiest way to record was to do the vocals and guitar together - mixing them on the desk and inputting them as a single track into the computer. Consequently there was no opportunity to layer anything, or correct any minor mistakes. We pretty much used the first take unless something catastrophic occurred, so there are plenty of points at which I miss a chord, forget the words or sing a wrong note. Apologies in advance.

What I like to do when playing live is to explain the heart and message behind my songs, and as I post them up here over the next few days, I'll include a little summary of what each is about and what drove me to write it. I might even put the words up if I can remember them.

For now, have a photo, and a promise that songs will follow...

(© JP Wright 2011)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

The other day I found out some frustrating news, that I hadn't received the funding for the PhD I wanted to do. This didn't make me very happy. However, I decided to sack off work for the afternoon and went for a walk. Which was far better. I saw a butterfly (the first one I've seen this year I think), and was reminded of something Jesus said to his worrying disciples:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matt 6:28-29)

There is, however a difference between hearing in my head and applying to my heart, and so the next morning I woke up in a foul mood. Out of nowhere I suddenly felt like singing 'Come thou fount of every blessing', so after procrastinating for a while I did. I added some guitar to it, and decided to post it on here.

The original words are by Robert Robinson. However my version is modelled more closely on the one Sufjan Stevens did for his Christmas album a few years ago. Inevitably I will have mixed up words, I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy unchanging love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here by Thy great help I've come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above