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Archive for the ‘My Music’ Category

Well, It’s been over two months since I last posted. My computer got fried by lightning about two months ago. It was an iMac, and our back up computer is an old Gateway laptop. It’s just not the same. I haven’t gotten over it enough to get back to writing. I know that’s a really bad excuse. We’re getting a new iMac today, and I expect to get back into my writing again soon.

I’ve had a few good ideas during my off time, Most came in the usual way, middle of the night epiphanies that I’m too sleepy to write down. I’ve tried to remember most of it and bounce the ideas off my husband to see if any of them are actually good. If nothing else, I’ve gotten to know my characters better in my reflections.

I got one of my more unusual ideas just before my computer got zapped. I had an idea to actually name the chapters of my books. I wasn’t planning on this, because I have so much trouble naming things as it is, but I just got this idea stuck in my head. I was lying awake thinking about the first chapter, which I was adding scenes to at the time. Since I was sleepy, my thoughts kept wandering randomly, and a song kept popping into my head. It kind of became like a soundtrack to my thoughts. It was one of the songs my husband and I wrote. This gave me an idea that I wanted to test, so I fast-forwarded in my head to chapter two, and another one of our songs came to me. Then I realized that I could think of a Tiny Rain song that would fit, either perfectly or loosely, with almost every major part of the story. It also worked for the other book ideas I have for the series. So I decided that I would name each chapter after one of our songs, and if one didn’t fit then we could write a new one just for it. We need some inspiration to make new music anyway. Since I love writing, and I love music, I thought this would be a great way to bring them together. This idea also led me to a few other ideas, like book names, a name for my fantasy world, and also the idea to play up the role of music in the story.

I actually have to give partial credit for this idea to (I don’t remember who) who wrote (I don’t remember what) which used titles of eighties songs for the chapter names. I had started reading this book because of this interesting hook, but it didn’t otherwise grab me, so I stopped.

At some point I might share these ideas more specifically, but I’m not sure how much to reveal at this point. Until next time (hopefully not months from now), listen to some Tiny Rain songs at our Virb site.

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These are the lyrics to a song that I co-wrote with hubby for the album, Mizzle. It describes how I feel most of the time… about writing, about music, about life.

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Loss for Words

*****

I’m trying to find the words

To this song

But I am slow of tongue

My mind is cluttered

And I have just begun

***

Tell me, how can I speak

What must I say to reach your soul

How long will it be

While I am stuck here

Wondering what will be

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I met my husband almost 11 years ago, and we bonded immediately over our mutual interest in music.  He played guitar & wrote songs.  I sang in a choir and in church, and I played the flute.  We also had similar taste in music.  It was a match made in heaven, of course. I was still a teenager at the time, and there were more than a couple of years separating us, so we had to limit our relationship to a casual friendship.  When I turned 18, we started dating, and the beginnings of Tiny Rain formed.  We jammed together and played one small “show” for a handful of his friends/coworkers.  We mostly covered Sixpence None the Richer songs, because we both knew the songs well and it was in my range.  There were a few songwriting attempts during this time, but the best thing to come out of that period is the song “Pixie Dust” that hubby wrote for me.

We got married and continued with our music.  We were discussing possible band names on the long commute home from work one day when it began to rain.  It was a strange kind of rain, more like a mist or a “mizzle”, and it looked really pretty on the windshield.  I exclaimed, “Look!  It’s tiny rain!”  Hubby thought that had a ring to it, so we dubbed ourselves Tiny Rain that day.

Shortly after we got married, we purchased a cheap 4-track recorder and recorded a rough Christmas EP for family including a couple of original instrumentals with a few classics.  We continued writing songs and honing our recording/performing skills and released our first full length album, Bittersweet, in 2002.  We’ve re-mixed or re-recorded several of these songs on our computer to improve their sound and musical quality.

We continued writing and recording, adding a computer to our pieced-together recording setup, and releasing Little People Too (LP2) and Evaporated that same year.  It was a very prolific year fueled by our newlywed love, I guess.  We played a couple of shows at a small Christian bookstore, and that was all.  We had agreed early on that we didn’t want to pursue fame and fortune. We were concerned that it might distract us from what was really important, God and each other.  We wanted to make music for art’s sake, for God’s glory, and as an outlet for our creativity.  If anybody else took notice, mostly friends & family, that was an added bonus.

We continued writing and recording and released another album, Treasure, in 2003.  Deciding to take a break for personal reasons, and to focus on music ministry in our church, we didn’t release another effort until 2005.  With the release of See us Through, we decided to try promoting our music a little more.  We  played a few more shows and put some samples up on the internet.  We even tried to sell some CD’s.

Then we had a baby.  At first we tried not to let that slow us down.  When Little One was a little baby, we recorded another album, Mizzle.  We tried promoting this one on the internet as well, but didn’t play any shows because of the demands of parenthood.  We even got the album reviewed on Phantom Tollbooth.

Still, we had little success.  We became a little discouraged and as Little One grew, it became even more difficult to write and record with a toddler in the house.  We decided that it would take more effort than we were capable of to have any kind of breakthrough or following in our area.  We couldn’t seem to get through to the right audience.  Our area is a bit unenlightened when it comes to good original music.  There really aren’t a lot of opportunities around here, especially for a quirky, indie, Christian, pop/folk/rock/electronic/etc. husband-wife duo.  I guess most people want their music to be predictable.  Ours is not.

So we became very discouraged, between the lack of interest and the new demands of parenthood.  We also thought that maybe our reasons for making music had gotten a bit mixed up.  We pulled all our music off the internet and just focused on our family.  During this time we did release an EP strictly to our closest friends and family.  The mood of our music has had it’s ups and downs, but Under the Shadow of Clouds is definitely our darkest work yet.

Since then, we have started, but not completed, a few original songs and recorded a few cover songs to learn the software on our new computer.  We both feel that we need to continue our work as Tiny Rain, if only to preserve our sanity through some creative outlet.  That is also why I’ve started this blog.  I convinced hubby to re-establish our internet presence, so we opened a Virb account.  We are optimistic that we will soon break our silence and get back to writing and recording.  I’m looking forward to sharing more of our music with whoever will listen.

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