For a good look at Wedding Hymns and where and how to use them in your ceremony, read this article.
Yesterday evening Tobin Wingard and I began creating our new wedding hymns album. The usual m.o. for me on this type of project is to arrange the music and have all the other musicians play (or sing) their parts, and then add the soloist.The arrangements can change slightly after the solo performance is complete, and sometimes certain overdubs may be better left for later.
After pondering how this would work, I realized I wasn’t as familiar with the instruments Tobin plays – the ranges, differences in tone and so forth – as I am with more conventional orchestral or pop music instruments. So Tobin joined me for the evening, and we started to create arrangements on the fly – discussing whether Indian flute, recorder, slide whistle, or any of his other assorted instruments would be a nice fit for the hymn we were working on, experimenting a bit with him playing a few phrases so I could hear the timbre, and me playing along on the piano.
I will probably replace much of the piano I recorded – it was primarily to establish tempos, ritardandos, what the key changes would feel and sound like, and to provide an emotional backdrop for the solo performances.
We started with Be Thou My Vision, one of my favorite wedding hymns – and worked for perhaps an hour or a bit more, laying down the introduction to the song and the first verse, and then stopping to regroup and discuss where the arrangement would go from there; continuing on with the next verse and transition to the following verse or perhaps a short interlude. Rinse, repeat.
Since this is a bit of a new process, and Tobin and I didn’t know each other that well, it was somewhat exploratory in nature, but we did work on Fairest Lord Jesus as well, and got a good enough start on that one that I believe I’ll be able to finish the arrangement now without Tobin, and then bring him in later to finish his solo work.
Thursday we plan to put in a few more hours, and I hope to have the album finished within the month – possibly sooner, but I’ve learned not to be optimistic when trying to predict when I’ll finish with my current project! I think you will enjoy the lovely celtic, folk, and classical sounds we have on these wedding hymns.