Behind the music of "The Thief" | Somewhere The Sky Is Blue

Recording strings for The Thief with The Family Crest. © 2011 Roem Baur Music.

"Somewhere The Sky Is Blue"

This is an epic song title.  It's fitting then that this song is the biggest song on the album in terms of production. The title was given to me from a friend.  And to many others... you see, "Somewhere The Sky Is Blue" was a public songwriting challenge.  Hundreds of songwriters writing the same song. Sort of a funny place for "real" inspiration if you think about it, but given the right circumstances, as I have found, you never know where your next song will come from.  Or, how much it will mean to you.

My buddy KC Turner started a song writing club/challenge inspired by Bob Schneider and the great songwriters of Austin, TX, where you have one week to write a song to a title, use the title in the song and post it on youtube within a week.  Simple, right?  Well, I've only managed to finish one of these, but I aspire for more.  Hell, I'd probably have 10 albums worth of music by now if I committed myself to it.  Anyway, "STSIB" is not a song title of someone who is writing a biographical account.  I was just going to throw something together and call it a song.  But, this is a chorus.  An "Oklahoma" or a "Paranoid Android".  Epic.  It stopped me in my tracks.  And the more I got into it, at any length or aspiration, it wanted to be far more epic than I wanted to write.  Far more dynamic.  And broken.  And it was pulling something out of me.  

Then it happened.  I felt CHALLENGED.  I felt a song coming out of me and I couldn't stop the narrative or melody or anything.  I thought for sure I was ripping something off.  I always feel that way when it comes easy... but there's nothing new under the sun, as they say, so if it feels good, write it.  Ignorance is bliss.  And success followed by lawsuits.

One can only hope.

I can't explain the feeling or inspriration of a song more than I can explain the why my dog sniffs other dogs' butts.  But they're similar.  It's instinctual and intuitive.  It's hunting and being hunted at the same time.  Find the words.  

Narrow the scope.  

Let it happen.  

Swallow fear.  

Silence the critic.  

Pen to the page.

Sing your gut.

Kill it.

It's the one time I can feel my faculties focused, so I am a bit of a addict to that moment, I'll admit.

Liam McCormick approached me about the song after a talk we had about using retrospective elements in songs to convey a narrative that was both timeless and modern.  I think his ideas and talents are amazing and his arrangement of the song to my vision (with amazing The Family Crest string players and John Seeterlin, of course) took it from it's simple folk roots, to a grandiose collaboration.  It's both of our favorite arrangements on The Thief, and hints at some of the sounds brewing in my creative conscious.  More to come... I'm sure.

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