a little inside joke ☺. Anyway, who says Garry doesn’t read the blog? I love this album, and I am happy to answer some questions.
Garry, what are your thoughts about the songs you recorded?
I will start with “The Gate.” This song is magic to me. It was written at a time in my mission when I needed a boost. I didn’t feel I was successful and I was really discouraged. Victoria wrote this song and I still remember coming home and having her call me over to the piano to hear the recording of the piano accompaniment. I sat on the floor by the piano and listened and remember crying as the music played. I don’t normally get emotional over music that has no words but there was something different about this one. As soon as I heard the words I knew that this song was a gift from Heavenly Father sent through a righteous mother and friend to help a weary missionary. Recording it was a process. It went from a bright cheery sound to a quieter breathy sound. The change was new to me. I didn’t normally sing breathy but I am really pleased with the way it turned out and Victoria made the right choice to change the style.
Then there is “Did You Know?” Victoria first introduced this song to me when I was serving in Oceanside, California. She was nice enough to come down and play for me at a ward Christmas party, along with the whole family. She brought this song along to see if I would like it. She played and I did my best to follow along. I loved it instantly. I loved the simplicity of it, but more importantly I loved the spirit of it. We recorded it this summer and after I left I listened to it a couple of times and realized that I wanted to change a few things to make it sound more professional and fun. When I returned in October I wasn’t planning on us rerecording that song but with some time left over we decided to try it. I made a few changes and Victoria helped me add some things and correct some things that made the song come more alive. I know this song has a deep heritage, having been sung long before anyone ever knew me. I just hope that those people who knew it before are satisfied with how it turned out.
Lastly, “Will You Hold Me on Christmas Eve?” I love love love this song. I didn’t think I was going to get the opportunity to sing it. For the longest time I wanted to do a duet with Rachel and the chance never came up. Well, when Victoria told me that she was looking for a different sound than what she had heard and asked if I was interested in doing it I had to say yes. I listened to the song because I wanted to make sure I could actually do it justice and not just say yes to be selfish so I could sing a stellar song with a superior vocalist. Well, I got those things anyway and decided to tell Victoria that I would love to do it. Recording it without Rachel there was a trick, but a necessary one. I’m grateful that I was given that chance.
What was recording like? Were there any surprises?
Recording was a mixed experience. I always said that if I got the chance to record some music I would do it. Never did I realize the amount of time and commitment it would require. I wouldn’t change it though. During the process I realized that my voice is very untrained. Only after a couple of hours my throat would start to hurt and I would have to rest. Suddenly it hit me that professional vocalists spend tons of time singing to keep up that stamina. Overall, however, it was fun. It was fun to hear the end result. It was fun to hear the outtakes from all the recordings.. Victoria and I would go back and listen to the outtakes and just laugh because of our conversations. That was a blast.
What is your favorite song on the CD, and why?
I know I might be a bit biased but I really do like “Will You Hold Me on Christmas Eve?” I like how it has a country element. I love the power of Rachel’s voice. I love the jazzy piano. The writing on this song is ingenious. It should be on the radio being sung by someone like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. It has a special feeling.
Would you record again, if you had the opportunity?
Hands down I would, and hopefully will record again!
Tell us something about Victoria that we might not know.
Vic really is a jokester. We had so many inside jokes that they seemed to come up every single hour. From Harry Potter jokes, to jokes about missionary work, to pokes at my personality. I love that about her.
This whole experience has been very surreal for me. I am so appreciative to the McDaniel family for letting me live with them for upwards of eight months now, collectively. They are wonderful people who will do anything for anyone. Victoria doesn’t even realize fully that she fulfilled a dream for me by inviting me to record. I would never have gotten this opportunity anywhere else. My hope is that everyone who listens to the CD will enjoy the music, get into the Christmas spirit, and feel closer to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know he is the Son of God and it is truly an honor to sing about his birth and life. I love him with all my heart.