Early release of selected hymns targeted for late summer 2023. Release of complete album targeted for late summer/fall.
Initially, several tracks will be offered with Pre-ordering available for the rest of the album via Tortoise Climbing™'s online store at Bandcamp. Easy access to the online store will be provided via the Store access page.
Following the death of David's father in late 1996, in early 1998 his mother requested David make a recording selected from their favorite hymns and songs. Together David and his mother collaborated on puting together the list of hymns and songs to include in this extensive album.
Therefore, this is dominantly congregational hymns, sung mostly as they would be in church, although there are numerous vocal variations and instrumental embellishments, plus a few songs that were important to them.
David put the ongoing project recording Romantic Duets on hold to focus on producing Hymns and Songs of My Mother.
Later that year, his mother also died. Subsequently, 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 its production. (Therefore, the initial period of work on this album is referred to as Phase I.) It succeeded in recording all foundational components, including a reference version of "Welcome Home" with Kathy Brigman Haupt singing and playing. (We later used tit bits of Kathy in the final mix.)
The challenge was to lift the the nice, solid foundational recording materials to the truly quality recording requested by his mother. That was done as Phase II. It began in 2019 and magnificantly achieved that goal.
The dropdown submenu top left provides links to both a simple and augmented playlist for the 26 hymns and songs. Almost all are public domain. The exceptions are:
"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 TortoiseClimbing™ Audio to arrange and record the initial release of her song on this album of Hymns and Songs of My Mother.
The album includes 21 congregational hymns selected from the hymnals his parents collected over their lives when churches bought new hymnals.
In addition, the album includes 5 additional religious songs, representing a combination of service and religious songs.
The 2 service songs came from the back of hymnals, and are commonly considered doxology or service songs/benedictions, rather than congregational hymns. They are:
The other 3 are categorized as songs. They came from several sources and are:
Note. A more detailed discussion of why Kathy wrote this song, 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."
Because "Welcome Home" is an unknown Contemporay Christian song a few notes are provided here. This song became a favorite 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 funneral by one of her sister's grand-daughters.
The other grand-daughter involved in this story, who David's mother's sister had gone to Alaska to assist, Ms. Donna Hicks, 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 sent to his mother.)
Kathy also sang this song at the memorial service for David's mother.
When originally created in 1992, the goal/mission of TortoiseClimbing™ was the very modest hobby orientation of recording nice albums for private release.
As part of discussions with his mother in 1998 about what she wanted the album to be, she expressed her preference that it be produced as:
That caused the first change in mission of TortoiseClimbing™ from the original goal/mission, and would ultimately lead to a change in its organizational structure.
First, it changed the goal/mission to: 1) producing exceptional music; 2) for public release.
Second, it meant TortoiseClimbing™ needed to become functional in capabilities beyond just the originally conceived in 1992 recordings. That led to evolution of the new subdivisions: Audio, Publications, and Website. The overall project came to consist of at least 6 significantly separate parts:
Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins (producer and engineer of Phase I, and a significant vocal talent on this recording) worked with the mostly older traditional congregational hymns and songs they grew up with, and completed production of the Phase I draft recordings, including all portions of the project, plus a reference recording of "Welcome Home" with Kathy singing and playing her acoustic guitar. (Note. Making a simpler arrangement recording using Kathy's simple accompaniment reference version may be revisited in the future.)
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 for his mother and her friends and care givers to review. She was thrilled with the progress, but sadly did not live to hear the final version.
Shortly following mother's death, a major hiatus of many years' duration evolved because of various preemptions in the lives of both Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins. However, over intervening years we worked together developing notes for finishing the recording.
Production resumed in January of 2019 to complete his mother's requested quality product for public distribution.
Also at that time, another evolution in the mission occurred. Namely, 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 notes he and Ms. Gerber-Salins developed during the intervening years. They provided significant guidance for: harmony additions; changes in mixes; and replacing the poor electronic keyboard synthesized organs would benefit the recording.
New production initiatives included coordinating all steps for adding handbells, handchimes and shuttle pipe (baby bagpipe). That included:
Recording engineer and associate producer functions were replaced by returning to the first recording engineer who made the 1st private album, Mr. Bill McElroy, since he was again available. He helped augment the ideas previously developed with Ms. Gerber-Salins.
Mr. McElroy located and arranged participation of several additional artists from the Ashland, VA area, who:
Mr. McElroy made himself available to travel to Westminster, MD and set up his recording equipment to record the Westminster Ringers and the additional shuttle pipe part.
On a different dimension, David took on the technical role of audio post production processing for reviewing and editing vocals, as necessary tuning vocalists.
-- End of Accordian Window on Phase I & II --
Separate webpages are included for each of the artists who participated (instrumental, vocal and technical) providing their wealth of training, experience and skills that helped create this exceptional album.
Organization of those artists' credit pages are grouped by which phase the artists were involved with:
For your convenience, an artists Cross Reference webpage is provided to assist easily finding credits for any artist or instrument used on the recording. See Cross References webpage for Hymns and Songs of My Mother
Information about the extensive companion eBook History Through 26 Hymns and Songs is found under Publications at: History Through 26 Hymns and Songs. Target for availability is latter part of 2023. 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.
When the companion history eBook becomes available (target late 2023), we will begin producing podcasts of the chapters. They will be offered via an advance subscription series for the audiobook, with a fee download of the audiobook to subscribers when completed. The subscription series is targeted to begin in late 2023.
The plan is to also offer each of the subscription podcast chapters for standalone subscriptions, i.e., individual chapters available separate from the subscription series. These will not include a download of the audiobook when the subscription series is completed.
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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