Tuesday, January 26, 2010
"from the salt land to the river"
I'm beginning the planning for my next solo project. I have not released a real record for about 5 years so as you can imagine I have a lot of songs to choose from. I didn't really write any songs in 2006-7 as I was very focused on my role in the newsboys. I decided to take a break from song writing during this period as it had become kind of an obsession. This was partly due to having to write songs not just for enjoyment or self-expression but to keep us all eating. Not really the best source of inspiration! I was, and am still, very inspired by an old Scripture written by the prophet Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (New International Version)
5 This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."
This idea of a journey from the desert to the river has been a rich source of inspiration for me since 2006 and has been the source of many conversations, sermons and songs. I am still making the journey Jeremiah talks about. Therefore, the working title of my new project is called "From the salt land to the river". I have about 20-24 or so songs that are inspired by this scripture and even though not at all intended, 10-12 of them seem to be really about the desert and 10-12 about coming to the river.
Nothing is set at all right now but I was thinking about a double album. 'From the salt land…..' is CD one and …To the river" is CD two. Most of the songs are written although I have writing sessions planned to finish them. So far i have co-written with Tyler Burkham, Jason Ingram, Nathan Tasker, Mark Byrd, Peter Furler, Bran White, Chad Cates, Tony Wood, Brandon Bee, Paul Mabury, Michael Neale and my wife Rebecca.
The current plan is to record the album this year in about 5 sessions of 2-4 weeks at a time. The first job is to get a template for each song with an acoustic guitar, a vocal and some sort of percussion loop. Then I want to re-visit the songs, send them out to a select group of people and re-work them where necessary. The next step then is to start to build the tracks with some more guitars, keyboards, and percussion and go through the same process of listening and critique. In session three I am planning on assembling a band to track 2-3 songs a day for 2 weeks and get the drums, bass and guitars done. Then take a break and listen. Then stage 4 is over-dubbing on the songs for about a month. Stage 5 is mixing and mastering. All throughout his process I will have the tracks in my home studio editing and recording different bits. My hope is to have it completed by Dec 2010 for a 2011 release.
A thought about performing the record live is to actually play the entire record from start to finish and call it Paul Colman 'from the salt land to the river' live. I would possibly do it in two halves as there is truly a feel change on the 2nd record.
Not sure of any of this yet but this is the current plan. Here are the working song titles: I've played a few of these live.
From the Salt Land
The end of myself (f)
Run from Love (f)
This house (f)
Let me go (f)
Love is where you left it (n/f)
I miss you (f)
Rome is Burning (nf)
The Table (nf)
By the river (nf)
Religion town (nf)
Come on Love (nf)
To the River
The sweetest Place (nf)
I don’t know why (nf)
He is Alive (f)
Meant to be (nf)
The Real Jesus (f)
Your Cactus Heart (f)
Who I am (nf)
Need U Tonight (nf)
Call to me (f) *see.www.paulcolman.com for podcast of this song
(nf) = not finished
(f) = finished
I'm sure there will be changes to this list as I am currently experiencing a flurry of new inspiration.
I've also been thinking about a couple few media pieces to accompany the project.
Book: A 20 chapter book where each chapter is a song title from the CD. It would be the story of the songs and really involve a lot of back story and testimony.
CDR songbook: A CDR songbook of all the songs with videos of how i play them and chord charts for piano and guitar.
Videos: Short video clips that encapsulate the songs. Some would be on location i.e. Your Cactus Heart was literally inspired by a cactus in Texas. Check out the pic below. Have you ever been inspired by a cactus? :) Never thought I would be!
So anyway, that is what I'm thinking at this stage. I'd value your prayers. There is always a fair degree of self indulgence in creating a piece like this but I hope that there is a great deal of my motivation that is for the listener. I have found that when people share their stories it inspires me and helps me feel that I'm not alone. 'From the salt land to the river' is a story of faith, heartache, passion, disconnection, triumph and love. I guess it's all of our stories. I'm just writing from my experience.
Franklin, TN, Jan 26, 2010