A song is (re)born

This is a fun story from back a few years ago, and is certainly one of the coolest and most fulfilling things I have done as a wedding DJ:

In September of ’03 I got a call from a very cool girl named Alyssa, who was friends with Lupe and Joe, and (Lupe’s sister) Claudia and Dave, both of whose weddings I had DJ’d years earlier. We hit it off on the phone right away as she was explaining her vision of her wedding to me: elegant yet casual, and definitely fun and unique – all the right buzzwords for the typical Adrian client : )

Then she told me about this song that she loved. A rather obscure song, she said, but she loved it. It was called “You’re Not Alone”. Right on cue I said, “oh – you mean the one by Olive?” She was quite surprised I knew it, and delighted when I told her that it was one of my favorites from it’s time as well. She then proceeded to explain to me that the song had a lot of meaning to her (a really great set of lyrics, IMHO) and that she wanted to know if I’d ever heard a slower version of it because she really wanted it to be her first dance with her new husband (Thomas) at the wedding.

After a bit of research, we concluded that a slower version did not exist. She was disappointed, but I had a bit of a far-fetched and certainly somewhat risky proposal for her: I had, unbeknownst to her, gone online at eBay and found a person in England who had the 12″ vinyl single of this song, which also included the a capella vocal track on its flip side. I had won the auction and was having the record shipped to me. From there, I explained to her that I wanted to explore re-creating the music for the vocal track and making a ballad out of it for her to use at her wedding! Now, I had not really done a project of this magnitude before, so we decided to invest a minimal amount of time and resources into it to see if it was possible to even just put a string section behind it to make it usable at the wedding at some point, if not the first dance.

What unfolded was a month-long project for me in my computer-based recording studio at home, using Propellerhead’s brilliant Reason and ReCycle software packages, Bias’ Peak editing suite, my electric guitar with an amp modeler and a MIDI keyboard for inputting all other instrumentation.

When I emerged from the studio with a result that I felt I could live with, I sent it to Alyssa and Thomas, and on September 25, 2004, they danced for their first time as husband and wife to it.

Want to hear some samples?

OK – here’s an excerpt of the first instrumentally-backed verse and first chorus out of the break from the “Original Mix”
click here – 917k mp3 @ 128 kbps

Now, here are the exact same parts excerpted from the “A&T Mix”
click here – 930k mp3 @ 128 kbps

: )

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