this song originated from a very small idea i had right before yearbook began – a piece of music that would be built around this particular rhythm on guitar… i liked the idea of having this frantic, and almost out of control type of acoustic acoustic guitar rhythm, while layering simple, gentle and romantic melodies over it. i liked the idea of that contrast.
when it came time to write the final song for the “april” ep, i remembered this fraction of idea via a small recording i made of the guitar rhythm, and began sorting out the chords and structure of the song.
it took many hours of me playing that rhythm on the guitar in order to play it sturdy enough to record. i’m not a very technical guitar player, so fast movement and many fingers picking at once definitely stretched me a bit. i loved it playing through it though… it felt like a good workout or something! it’s funny to play this song now, as i can pick and up play it with no trouble, but when i was first working through it – it was wobbly at best.
as i was working out the arrangement, i decided to reflect the subject of the lyrics with the music… (more on that in a minute) as i mentioned in the previous blog post (read here), this song was written as the 2nd half of the song “”intermission,” which was very much a song about the frustration and challenge of transition, being stuck between point a and point b. “in the meantime” was intended to be an answer of sorts to those feelings… a different and more healthy thought process… not necessarily a conclusion, but a more hopeful way to interpret those feelings.
“in the meantime” was written about the art of patience. especially in relation to faith and trust (since both of which require an immense amount of patience to fully understand)… so this song is very much about making the best of our meantime, our middle place.
in sorting out what it means to truly be patient in these lyrics, it felt necessary to address fear. in my life, i’ve been realizing more and more every day that fear is truly the most paralyzing emotion there is. it drives every negative reaction i have to the surface… frustration, confusion, sorrow, anger, doubt and of course, impatience. the lyric that best captures the thought process about fear that i’d like to have is:
“fear is illogical math-
an impractical skill to have.”
so that lyric is a reminder to me that fear (when left unchecked) is rather impractical, to put it gently.
my answer to the challenges of being stuck, suspended in mid-air, are in the final lyric of the song… a prayer:
“here, in the meantime,
in the gospel of nearsight,
may we learn to live a nourished life.”
so the arrangement of the music was meant to represent all of these mood swings. i wanted the music to sound romantic and sweet in a way, representing ideals and hope but at its core, i wanted there to be a pushing, frantic feeling as well, to represent the challenges of impatience… i wanted the music to swell up and down, to represent the lack of control we have to tame our worries and fears.
after i finished up the lyrics and vocal melodies, i wrote to my pal brooke waggoner (who is one of my favorite artists/songwriters making music today!) an email and asked if she’d be up to singing some harmonies throughout this song. she accepted my invite and did such a beautiful job… really lovely to have her! mini side note: one happy accident that happened – i sent brooke an early draft of the lyrics to sing and there was one word that i ended up trading out for another, and after she recorded it the old way, i didn’t notice and sang the lyrics the new way… after i finalized my vocal takes of the song, i noticed that we were singing different words… but i left it because i love the double meaning… the word is “farsighted” and the brooke sang the older version which read “foresighted.”
“though our patience is always in short supply,
we’ll leave our foresighted/farsighted worries behind.”
i sent another invite to another pal of mine (and no stranger to yearbook – she’s on a bunch of songs!) to contribute to this song, the incredibly talented laura musten. i asked laura to record some clusters of strings for this song, weaving in and out of the vocal melodies and honestly couldn’t have done a more lovely job! was such a delight to hear her tracks sent back… her playing is so gorgeous and her ability to overdub is just wonderful. i love the lines she played – she really understood the idea behind the arrangement of the music, mirroring the lyrical subject. side note: laura recorded all of these violins on her laptop with garageband and a usb mic, and yet they sound rich and lovely as ever. in your face, expensive recording gear!!
yet another side note: i met laura through brooke, so it only felt fitting to have them both be a part of this song.
and lastly, my bestie, dan perdue contributed some lovely rhodes piano throughout.
this one turned out to be a fav of mine… from concept to completion, i was very pleased with how it all came together.
thanks so much for reading!!
IN THE MEANTIME
maybe there’s no answer here,
at least one we’re ready to hear.
no string of words will satisfy.
no simple equation to edify us
here, in the meantime,
may questioning nurture life.
fear is illogical math-
an impractical skill to have.
still, we talk of our future ’til we have no voice;
we’ll try to outsmart it with noise.
but here, in the meantime,
may the unknown harvest life.
we’re conditioned to mourn our empty glass
long before it ever poured out our past.
though our patience is always in short supply,
we’ll leave our farsighted worries behind.
here, in the meantime,
in the gospel of nearsight,
may we learn to live a nourished life.