Friday, December 13, 2019

Over Jordan….or why I bombed my entire website and rebuilt it in 2 days (from December 13, 2019)


When I decided to do a short run of podcasts to see how that format worked for me, I knew I’d need intro/outro music for it…. music that reflected the ‘unvarnished first-take’ quality that was the theme of the whole ‘Ivy Reads’ podcast.  And then suddenly, it happened – in exactly the best way 🙂

Over Jordan, performed without warm-up, with my oldest kiddo

Here’s what I wrote for the notes on the podcast episodes – because the way this recording came about was so perfect and unplanned, it’s just too fun a story not to share.

If you’re one for ‘The Whole Song + story plz!’ – this post is for you 🙂

I have a lot of polished music recorded to my name…but the whole point of this series is that it’s unpolished reads, and it occurred to me that this version of Over Jordan has exactly the same ethic and origin. Here, let me tell you a story.

*3 years ago, oldest son races upstairs guitar in hand, wakes me up*

son: ‘Mom! I need you to record a song for my D&D campaign!’
me: *mumble* what? what song?
son: I’ll tell you on the way downstairs!
me: *mumble* mmmkayyy…
me: ….do i get coffee first?
son: NO! Must record now!
me: pffffffllfflllfffff

Strangely, despite a singing career that stretched back to 6yo, I had never heard Over Jordan. (he was suitably shocked)

him: It’s easy! I’ll hum it for you! Super easy fast recording np!
me: ….*still mumbling* can i at least look up lyrics?
me: *gets out iPad, lyrics are acquired*
him: it goes like *hummms verse* and then like *hums chorus* got it?
me: you have a lot of faith in your mother. okay. lets do this. ….probably 10 times.

I flipped on the studio power, sat in front of the mics; he stood, guitar stuck just inside the studio door (it’s 4×4 – no room in there for both of us), and we did a rehearsal take.

…..and that’s what you’re hearing. We didn’t need a second.

It’s so fun when that kinda stuff happens 🙂 

I hope each of these reads has something similar – some moment when an un-rehearsed note hits just right – an utterly spontaneous delivery directed only by the prose itself. Cause sometimes? The artist’s sketch is so much more alive than the finished painting, even when it’s nowhere near the final thing.


I realize I probably have exactly zero visitors to my site as yet (talk about being an unnamed artist at this time!), but if anyone was here this week, they may have noticed my entire website just went sideways.  Ultimately I had to delete everyyythinnngggg and reinstall the CMS from scratch, and then rebuild the whole site from memory (and the largely preserved text on my tumblr, thank goodness!).  And what I was trying to do was so simple!  Maddening 😀  And what was that you ask?  Stream .mp3 previews for my audiobooks.  That’s it.  That’s allll I wanted!  *shakes fist at html gods*  But now I can – mwa ha ha!

The only thing that truly bothered me about wiping out the website, was I did not preserve the blog posts that I had accumulated during the recording of The Lost Children, and I really liked them 🙂   A lot of bits and bobs about how the recording and editing were going, my use of new post-processing software and what I thought about it, my thoughts about how the loss of my mother in the midst of recording gave added weight to a weighty part of the story.  But that’s okay – more blog posts will be written!  

And here we are – an .mp3 you can take a listen to and enjoy 🙂