Producer’s Notes 8 – Seek No Other

Hi friends,

Today Kelly is sharing her Producer’s Notes on Seek No Other – a song which was especially enjoyable to work on and features exquisite instrumental contributions such as Ian’s rippling bass patterns and Adam’s multiple saxophone lines.

Year of the Nightingale Producer’s Notes Vol. 8

by Kelly Snook

Song: Seek No Other (release date 15 March 2017)
Words: The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, Part 1, No 17
Key: A major
Meter: 3/4
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/YKpyDm2Hk1w

This song is a meditation.

In the context of the album’s song order, this Hidden Word follows on perfectly from the one in the previous song, which has a similar theme and message. Musically, though, they take very different approaches. Whereas the previous song is filled with spaces, as if waiting patiently for the listener to turn their face, this arrangement provides such consistency that it can actually be used as an active exercise in focused meditation. The song consists of just two chords alternating with only a couple of breaks in the two-chord pattern. The slow pace is perfect for very slow inhales and exhales every four measures, so breathing can be matched to listening.

Astonishingly, there is one note – the root note A – that the guitar plays on the 3rd beat of every single measure throughout the entire song without fail. If you focus your attention on that note coming in every time, you will notice it never changes, never diminishes, never increases! It arrives reliably and unfailingly with absolute regularity and constancy. To me this note represents the covenant of God with man, that guidance is always there, no matter what may happen that seems to obscure it. And that even if attention is diverted elsewhere sometimes, it can be instantly refocused on that presence.

The song opens so gently and calmly that the brushes on the snare drum feel like someone lovingly and slowly stroking my hair or scratching my head. This is, of course, one of my favourite songs for this moment. There is nothing to challenge, nothing to upset – just one hundred percent comfort!

As the song moves along and more instruments enter, each comes in with a sweetness and an innocence that invites attention in new directions. The bass chords are marvelous, and the sax movements are particularly sparkly and alluring at first, and then increasingly confusing. I view the saxes in this song as the things of this world that demand our attention. As they become more insistent and cacophonous one starts to feel tensions and stress. Where is that calm from before? Oh…there it is…there’s that guitar note in there – everything’s still OK!

When all of the chaos of the world clears away, everything relaxes back to that one magical horn line at the end. The horn sounds like a trumpet, but it is actually still Adam’s sax, almost finding a new identity in the clarity. And that persistent A that had been so buried by the world becomes absolutely obvious again.

Direct YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/YKpyDm2Hk1w


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