Diary of a Song: Eventide

This is the ninth of a series of blog posts entitled “Diary of a Song“, where I share the stories behind each of the songs from my latest album “Illumination“.

At the end of each post, I also include a link to buy the sheet music, and the MP3 download.

Eventide

(From the artwork in the CD booklet)

eventide pic

Is it okay to have a favorite of my own compositions?  Well if so, this would be it. “Eventide” is by far, hands down, my favorite song on my Illumination album.   This was just one of those songs where the music flowed to my fingers and I really felt a spiritual connection to the music I was creating.

I composed this song while we were living in a rental home that had this big window and my piano sat in the nook of it.  Across the street there was an open field and so in the evenings, when it was dark, there were no trees to block a perfect view of the twinkling stars (if the sky was clear, that is).

6
My two boys – Preston and Taylor – at the time were ages 2 and 6 months

“Eventide” is another word for “evening”.  And with the minor to major triad chords going on in the song (proven by science to create an emotional crying response from people), this song really pulls at my heart strings.

I originally just wrote it as a solo piano piece, but then later as I worked on the orchestration for Illumination, I added strings and a boys choir to the song  – which ended up having a sort of Danny Elfman-ish sound to it.  Or, I’ve also been told it sounds like something James Newton Howard would have composed for a film.

I had this piece completely finished and orchestrated, when one evening when I was driving in my car and listening to a rough mix of it, I started hearing and humming the theme from “Sheherazade” to it.  Sheherazade is an orchestral work composed by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov that I performed both in college with my university symphony, as well as the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra a few years later.  The solo violin part of the symphony represents the character of Sheherazade, whom in the story of “1001 Arabian Nights” (aka “Aladdin”, etc.), is the Persian queen who saves herself from death by telling a story to her husband, the king, every night for 1,000 nights.  As the story goes, the king would take a new wife and then sentence them to beheading the following day.  Sheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the king – in which she ends up telling him an entrancing story which she does not finish. She only promises “I will tell you the rest of the story tomorrow night.”  She keeps herself alive for 1000 nights by telling story, after story, after story…in the end, leads the king to fall in love with her and spares her life forever.

The musical theme fit so well with the music, and also the night time essence of the song that I went back and wrote the solo violin part into the music.  On my album, you can hear violinist Kelley Marie Johnson give an emotional performance of the song with me.

You can BUY THE SHEET MUSIC from my website below:

Solo Piano version

or

Piano/Violin Duet version

eventide

You can BUY THE MP3 from any of the following retailers:

Jennifer’s Web Shop

Amazon

iTunes

Cdbaby

Loudr.fm (choose your price)

You can BUY THE PHYSICAL ALBUM from me directly, or from Amazon or CDbaby. I will even autograph it for you!

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