Background:
Hymns and Songs of My Mother


Topics Discussed below:

Why and What Is This Project

Insights About Selection of Hymns and Songs

How this Album Changed TortoiseClimbing

Album Produced in 2 Phases

Many Are Due Credits

Related Recordings of Companion eBook


Why and What Is This Project

Following the death of David's father in late 1996, in early 1998 his mother, knowning he was recording at a professional studio, requested David record a selection of their favorite hymns and songs. David and his mother collaborated in developing the list of hymns and songs to include.

Included are 21 congregational hymns, sung as they might be in church, with the following variations:

Also included are 6 religious songs important to them.

(David put the then ongoing project recording, Romantic Duets, on hold to focus on producing Hymns and Songs of My Mother.)


Later that year, his mother also died. Subsequent intervening events in the lives of both David and the Phase I producer of this recording, Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins, led to an extended hiatus in completing of this album. (This website refers to that initial period of work on this album as Phase I.) That phase successfully recorded all foundational components to all but one number, "Welcome Home," but included recording a reference version of that song with the composer and lyricist, Kathy Brigman Haupt, singing and playing aoustic guitar. (That recording subsequently furnished titbits of Kathy's vocal used in the final master.) The Phase I version was a very nice recording.

The remaining issue was to transform the very nice solid foundational materials recorded in Phase I into the truly quality recording requested by his mother. That was done as Phase II, which began in 2019 and magnificantly achieved that goal.

Insights About Included Hymns and Songs

The dropdown submenu top left provides links to both 1) a simple and 2) an augmented playlist for the 27 hymns and songs. All the hymns are public domain except for lyrics to the hymn "Morning Has Broken". Additionally, lyrics to one of the songs are still under copyright:

The plan is to copyright the music and lyrics for "Welcome Home" on behalf of the composer.

"Mechanical licenses" were obtained for lyrics to "Be Thou with Them" and "Morning Has Broken." Ms. Kathy Brigman Haupt, author and composer of "Welcome Home," gave permission for TortoiseClimbingAudio to arrange and record the initial release of her song on this album of Hymns and Songs of My Mother.

Note. Mechanical licenses will not be needed for the planned backing track version without vocals, or the easy listening versions, since those versions of this album do not include the copyrighted lyrics.


Hymns

The 21 congregational hymns were selected from the hymnals his parents collected over their lives when their churches bought new hymnals and disposed of the old, and represent a wide range of types.

Songs

In addition, the album includes 6 religious songs representing a combination of service and religious songs.

Two are service songs from the back of hymnals, which are commonly considered doxology or service songs/benedictions, rather than congregational hymns. They are:

The other 4 songs came from several sources:

(Note. A more detailed discussion of why Kathy wrote "Welcome Home", and why it was very special to David's mother, is found under the dropdown link above left for Kathy Brigman Haupt: Author and Composer, "Welcome Home." However, because "Welcome Home" is an unknown Contemporay Christian song, a few notes are provided here.)


This song became a favorite of David's mother because Ms. Brigman Haupt wrote it as a tribute for her grandmother's funeral, who she was very close to. That occurred when her grandmother suddenly died on a trip to help another grand-daughter in Alaska. Ms. Haupt's grandmother was the elder sister of David's mother (i.e., David's Aunt), and David's mother loved the song written for her sister's funeral by one of her sister's grand-daughters.


The other grand-daughter involved in this story, is the one David's mother's sister went to Alaska to assist, Ms. Donna Hicks. She later sent an artistic rendering as a framed copy of the song's lyrics to David's mother from Alaska. She hung them on her bedroom wall, where they hung until she died. (David now has that copy of the framed lyrics Donna sent to his mother.)


Kathy also sang this song at the memorial service for David's mother.


(It was during Kathy's trip back to Maryland for that memorial service when we were able to record Kathy's version of the song at Bias, portions of which are used in the final album mix. FYI - That was a Labor Day Weekend, and getting an audio engineer to work that Saturday was not easy!)


How this Album Changed TortoiseClimbing™

The original goal/mission of TortoiseClimbing™ when created in 1993 was the very modest hobby orientation of recording nice albums for private release.

That changed in 1998 because of his mother's preference for this recording to be:

  1. A high quality product, and
  2. To Publicly distribute it to anyone interested!

To achieve her preferences required a significant change in goal/mission of TortoiseClimbing™, plus required becoming functional in capabilities beyond those conceived in 1993. That led to creation of specialized subdivisions:


The project came to consist of at least 6 significantly separate parts:

  1. Making the Recording;
  2. Figuring out the method(s) by which each packaging variation of this recording (CD, digital files, backup tracks, and easy listening) will be made publically available;
  3. Writing, editing and marketing the companion History book;
    (After editing the book text, the plan is to add public domain photos for the large number of historical persons discussed in the histories);
  4. Building the extensive, responsive, dynamic new TortoiseClimbing™ website, which you are reading,
  5. Putting the history book into an eBook book format that preserves the extensive footnotes (likely as a pdf); and
  6. We plan to record advance podcasts of the chapters (planned to begin as soon as the eBook is completed), and creation of an audiobook version of the History Through 27 Hymns and Songs (targeted for late 2024).

Those requirements led to creation of the 3 subsidiaries of TortoiseClimbing™, namely 1) Audio, 2) Publications and 3) Webservices. In turn, that led to another subsequent revision in TortoiseClimbing™. Namely, to become a for-profit endevor, to try recouping the substantial expenses incurred to create:

The album was produced in 2 Phases


Phase I: Initial Recordings

Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins (producer and engineer of Phase I, and a significant vocal talent on this recording) worked with the older traditional congregational hymns and songs they grew up with. They completed production of the Phase I draft recordings, which included all portions of the project, except the song "Welcome Home". It is noteworthy that with the help of Mike Griffith, then a new audio engineer with Bias, over a labor day weekend, a reference recording was made of "Welcome Home" with Kathy singing and playing her acoustic guitar. (Note. A future possiblility is making a simpler arrangement recording of "Welcome Home", using Kathy's simple acoustic guitar accompaniment reference version.)

For Phase I of the recording, Ms. Gerber-Salins was:


Every weekend until late August of 1998 David took working copies of the latest draft recordings to play for his mother and her friends and care givers.  She was thrilled with the progress, but sadly did not live to hear the final version.

Hiatus

Shortly following mother's death, a major hiatus of many years' duration occured because of various preemptions in the lives of both Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins. However, over a number of those intervening years they continued working together developing notes for how to finish the recording.

Phase II: Completing the Quality Recording

Production of this album resumed in January of 2019 to complete the requested quality product for public distribution.

It was early in Phase II the decision was made to convert to a for-profit endevor, to try making TortoiseClimbing™'s activities pay their own way.

Because Ms. Gerber-Salins was no longer available, David took on the role of producer, working from the notes he and Ms. Gerber-Salins developed during the intervening years. They provided significant guidance for: harmony additions; changes in mixes; and replacing the unsatifying electronic keyboard synthesized organs used on the recording.

New production initiatives included all steps for adding handbells, handchimes and shuttle pipe (baby bagpipe). That included:

Recording engineer and associate producer functions were accomplished by returning to work with Mr. Bill McElroy. (He had been David's recording engineer for the 1st private album, Solo Collection). It was possible to return to working with Mr. McElroy because he had returned to working in the recording industry. He helped implement ideas from the notes developed with Ms. Gerber-Salins.

Mr. McElroy located and arranged participation of several additional artists from the Ashland, VA area. Those vocalists and musicians:

Mr. McElroy also made himself available to travel to Westminster, MD and bring his recording equipment for that onsite recording of the shuttle pipe part and the Westminster Ringers at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, MD.

In addition to Producer, David took on the technical role of audio post production processing for reviewing and editing vocals, and as necessary, tuning vocalists.

-- End of Accordian Window on Phase I & II --


Many Are Due Credits

The quality and variety acheived by this recording was made possible by the participation of numerous professional artists. Separate webpages are included for each of the artists (instrumental, vocal and technical). Their wealth of training, experience and skills contributed to creation of this exceptional album.

The artists' credit pages are grouped by which phase the artists were involved with:


Because most are not familiar with the creation timeline of this album, an artists' Cross Reference webpage is provided to assist finding credits for any artist or instrument used on the recording. See Cross References webpage for Hymns and Songs of My Mother.

Companion Recordings to Be Made (from Companion History eBook)

Companion eBook: History Through 27 Hymns and Songs

Information about the extensive companion eBook History Through 27 Hymns and Songs is found under Publications at: History Through 27 Hymns and Songs. Target for availability of the ebook is as early in 2024 as possible. At that time the eBook will be offered as part of a discounted bundle with the album.

This eBook provides extensive historical details about the times each of the hymns and songs were written, and how those world histories influenced the hymns and songs. Publications can be reached by selecting that choice on the Top menu. Or, for easy access you can click the above link to jump directly to the write up on the extensive companion hymn history book.


Advance Podcasts

When the companion history eBook becomes available (as early in 2024 as possible), we will begin producing advance podcasts of the chapters. They will be offered via an advance subscription series for the audiobook, with a free download of the audiobook to subscribers when completed. The subscription series is targeted to begin in early 2024.

The plan is to also offer each of the subscription podcast chapters for standalone purchase, i.e., individual chapters will be available separate from the subscription series. These will not include a download of the audiobook when the subscription series is completed.

Audiobook

The audiobook of the companion history eBook is targeted to become available after completion and release of all advance subscription podcasts, with completion of audiobook targeted by the end of 2024.



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