Posts tagged ‘lyrics’
She Writes Soulful Songs
with Words of Grace
An Interview with
Composer Carolyn Kardinal
Watchfire Music Composer Carolyn Kardinal is a prolific writer of sacred songs that have been sung widely in churches throughout the United States and abroad. Carolyn is not only a composer, but she is also a truly gifted lyricist. Her songs possess memorable, “sticky” melodies — they leave you humming the tune long after the song is over — and Carolyn’s lyrics contain ideas and images that take you on journeys of the soul, bringing healing inspiration.
I have enjoyed my many conversations with Carolyn over the last year since she first brought her sheet music catalogue to Watchfire Music. Additionally, I have loved the experience of performing Carolyn’s music. The response to her particular songwriting talent is always immediate and filled with testaments of healing and gratitude. Enjoy reading on as Carolyn shares with us her wisdom and experience as a creative artist in Inspirational music.
JW: What is your earliest impression or memory of music?
CK: I grew up in Seattle, but both my parents’ families were in Southern California where we spent our holidays. I remember sitting in the back seat of the old Ford, passing those long boring miles by singing. And on those cold, drizzly, pre-TV, winter nights in Seattle, I recall everyone sitting around listening to classical records. I’d go dancing around the living room on the fast orchestral pieces, or during those beautiful soprano arias, I would sit staring into the coals of the fireplace.
I tell you what, this business of planning and programming Inspirational music way ahead of the actual church service is serious stuff. Generally, I choose solos 4 to 12 weeks in advance of each service.
In order to make those choices, I study the content of each future sermon. I research available music selections that will highlight an aspect of that sermon or support the overall message. I also have to get lyrics approved by the folks who maintain the consistency of message within each service.
With planning so far in advance, as I get closer to the actual performance, sometimes I have to rediscover why I chose a piece in the first place.
Here’s an example: I performed a beautiful song entitled “Soul’s Perfection” by Carolyn Kardinal for a Sunday sermon whose subject was “Everlasting Punishment.” Ugh. Heavy theme. But actually, the point of the Lesson-sermon was Redemption — God’s everlasting love for His creation.
During the week leading to the performance of this song, I suddenly found myself very troubled about the lyrics. I loved the lyrics, but I was suddenly confronted with major doubts.
Recently, my good friend Kristie commented on this blog that she sang “From A Distance” as a solo in her church. Now, unless she corrects me, I believe she is referring to the Julie Gold song “From A Distance” sung by the divine Miss M, Bette Midler. (I love her! And I love Julie Gold!)
Feedback that came to Kristie was that some folks weren’t thrilled about the lyrics — meaning, I think, that maybe they thought the lyrics weren’t quite right for their church service – the song may not have had the substance they were looking for.
It’s happened to all of us who sing regularly in church: we sing something that is not everyone’s “cup of tea” or preference, or sense of theology. It’s a tough one. (more…)