In preparation for Rise Again I made two home-made demo albums. The first was “Forever” (listed as a Warhorse album) which I recorded April 4-5 2011. I used Finale for the backing tracks and recorded the songs with a Yamaha MD8 multitrack recorder.
Then in April-May 2012, I made “Rise Again Demos” (with an updated set of songs) this time using Cubase, which I had just acquired.
SONGS THAT WERE CUT:
Crying Out (May 2010)
This one I wrote just two weeks after the funeral. I was inspired by a metaphor someone told us at the Cursillo weekend of a good swimmer who starts to drown and how that changes his attitude toward the lifeguard, a man he respected before but never before felt he needed. The song though is about drowning, but is basically the idea of having to swallow ones pride and realise they need help. It reflected the overwhelmed helplessness of that first month after my wife’s death.
Though I really like the work Sean Chhangur did on the music and though I had already recorded the vocals in studio, I came to the conclusion in February 2014 that this song doesn’t quite fit the tone of the album.
Crying Out 2012 demo version featuring Sean Chhangur on all instruments and backing vocals.
You’re Gone Now (June 2010) Lyric by Marina Coderre (June 1996)
The day after her death, I found a work book that my wife had used to write lyrics for songs she meant to record at home with my equipment in 1995 and 1996. The first lyric that caught my eye and made me want to set her lyrics to music was one called You’re Gone Now, which about someone facing the shock of losing a loved one. It was eerie to read my wife writing about what it would be like to go through that. I set the words to music I recycled from a song I made back in 1993 called Dead Rose. But by February 2011, I came to feel that this song didn’t really hold up so I decided to drop it from the list. This was included on my Warhorse album “Forever”.
You’re Gone Now 2011 demo version
The Shepherd’s Requiem (August 2010)
Death was still clearly on my mind when I was trying to come up with words for this one, but I was wary of taking on the subject again. Instead I opted to adapt psalm 23 (‘the lord is my shepherd’) which is popular for funerals and also included the Latin Requiem Introit, which is for funerals as well. This one though was cut in late November 2012.
The Shepherd’s Requiem 2012 demo version
Before I was ready to start working on Rise Again and while we were still mixing Inspiration, Alan Cranny went ahead and created his own instrumental backing tracks for the song. The Shepherd’s Requiem 2010 instrumental
Love is the Way (October 2010)
From time to time I write songs that are calls for peace love and harmony. I was getting a bit annoyed at the time with religious intolerance brewing in the United States at the time. While not explicitly about any of that, this song, from October 2010, is mainly a call for harmony and the extols the important of love. There’s bits of psalm 96 and the beatitudes inserted in there as well. In May 2012, when reviewing the would-be content of the CD, I decided to drop this one from the CD. While musically I really liked this song, on the whole I felt this song didn’t really fit as well as the rest. Though I recorded the demo at the same time as the rest of the Rise Again demos, I included it on my Warhorse album “Year of the Dragon” instead.
Loves is the Way 2012 demo version
Rise Again version 1 (March 2011)
This is a song of support and encouragement, inspired by the tragic disaster in Japan. The lyric is part Japanese too.
I felt the title also sums up the over all idea of the album. Much of the album, like this song, is about getting back up again after being knocked down. In January 2012 though I decided to remove this song from the list. Then in April I revisited it and built a new song around the refrain words. This version is featured on my Warhorse album “Forever”.
Rise Again 2011 version
Rise Again version 2 (April 2012)
I decided I wanted to reuse some of the words of the first version: specifically the English and Japanese version of refrain. Instead of overlapping with the English refrain, here the Japanese words are used for the verses. The music is all new in this version. In late November I cut this song. Musically, I like it but felt the it was not essential.
Rise Again 2012 demo
Carry the Cross (May 2012, July 2013)
This was originally written in May 2012 as part of Warhorse “Year of the Dragon”. It was only at the end of 2012 that it became the newest addition to Rise Again, at which time I felt the lyric was stronger than some of the other songs that had been cut. The music for the Warhorse version was done using Sony Acid loops. I had hoped to basically have live musicians recreate the arrangement, but instead I decided in July 2013 to just set the words to new music I had been tinkering with on the piano. The new demo I made is thus quite different from the Warhorse version. In September 2013 I modified the demo by replacing the drum track and adjusting the piano rhythm. In February 2014 however I decided to drop this one in favour of re-including Be Not Afraid, You Are Mine. The 2013 version instead appeared on my Warhorse album “Antidote”.
Carry the Cross original 2012 version
Carry the Cross 2013 demo version