My long time collaborator for my progressive rock band Philhelmon and I have finished a new video! This is something that was being worked on at the same time as our last album Perpetual Immobile, but we chose not to include it on that album. I can’t speak for Henk (from Philhelmon), but I think it made sense since this didn’t quite fit the narrative of Perpetual Immobile. We decided to finish it and put it out since we are both quite pleased with how it turned out!
The hymn “Flee as a Bird” originates in the 1800s of USA. Henk did a great job making it unique. This may be on the forthcoming Philhelmon album that Henk and I are currently working on. What do you think of our reworking of this classic hymn?
Here is a little history on the song - impressive since this woman is known for writing these hymns in a time where women were more repressed than they are now:
“In 1839, beset by the recent deaths of her husband, brother, sister, and infant son, twenty-seven-year-old Mary Dana began to pour out her grief in verse. Although her diaries do not record when she first conceived of writing songs as such, she had expressed her disdain for the repertoire heard at an 1835 sacred concert in no uncertain terms: “Deliver us from such Music.” That deliverance came, in part, through th esix song collections sh ewould publish before her own death in 1883. Those songbooks would brilliantly document in music the wedding of American religious life and the antebellum of reform impulse. While she faced difficulties common even to the relatively privileged women of nineteenth-century America - physical illness, widowhood, and economic hardship - her career represents a remarkable triumph: transforming love songs into sacred lyrics, she produced engaging compositions that are performed to this day, living links to the musical and reform cultures of her time.”
- From Patricia Woodard’s “Flee as a Bird”: Mary Dana Shindler’s Legacy
This cover is a bit different in that it’s stripped down, under-produced, and totally live. I don’t usually do very simple videos and I’m not sure why, so I think I’m going to throw more of these live and “off the cuff” style videos and performances at you now and then. I was going through my phone and deleting old videos because it had filled up completely, and fogot that I had recorded this. I’ve got a lot of these odds and ends just sitting on my phone so I figured… why not share?
A cover of Elton John’s Rocket Man just in time for the 4th of July. I had fun coming up with the arrangement on this one. I slowed it down just a tiny bit and gave it more of a groove. I especially enjoyed recording the harmonies and the bass guitar. Enjoy!
One of my favorite Monkees songs you’ve probably never heard! Funny story, Margie’s drum parts were recorded 5 hours before she gave birth to our son Oliver! She was having labor pains but wanted to do something to stay busy an dkeep her mind off it, so we opted to have her record tehse drum parts! She’s an animal!
A stripped down version of King Crimson’s Epitaph. The acoustic guitars were played by Poor Li who I believe is from France. When I recorded Philhelmon’s version of this song, one of my youtube subscribers directed me to Poor Li’s version. I reached out to Poor Li via his youtube channel and asked him if he minded my adding vocals to his classical styled version of the song, and he said yes.
As for the video itself, I wanted to try something different and went with Rotorvideos.com - honestly, the experience left me with a lot to be desired. Their interface was frustrating and buggy. I had a tricky time demoing their clips. I went this route to save time, but ultimately it took longer than if I had just filmed and done my own. That said - it is nice to have some more atmospheric clips as opposed to the usual footage of me playing the instruments.
Anyway, special thanks to Poor Li for his super cool and vibey version of the song. Lots of fun to collaborate with people this way! We live in an amazing time!