Recordings: Overview

The following summaries provide quick overviews (in Alphabetical order) of TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s recordings (available and planned). Greater details about each recording are available by clicking on the dropdown submemu in the upper left, then clicking on your choice of recording.

Overviews below:

"And So It Goes" by Billy Joel. Multi-part harmony version of this haunting song © 1989 (Fall 2023)

The Crucifixion, 1959 performance by AHS choirs (Available now)

"God Is My Shepherd", (Available Fall 2023)

Advanced Podcasts of chapters from eBook, History Through 26 Hymns and Songs (Beginning fall 2023-2024.) (Followed by completed Audiobook - Late 2024)

Hymns & Songs of My Mother (Fall/winter 2023)

Kathy's Songs (unknown)

Nostolgic Solos (Late 2024)

Romantic Duets (TBD)

"And So It Goes" (This Fall)

Multi-part harmony version of this haunting © 1989 song by Billy Joel, recorded with friends Heidi Gerber-Salins (who also produced Phase I of Hymns and Songs of My Mother and sings on many of the hymns) and Terry. This was recorded at Bias studio, about 1993. It's simple accompaniment emphasizes the vocal harmonies. It will become available late this fall, 2023, for download and streaming from the Online Music Store along with:

Annapolis High School Choirs, 1959: The Crucifixion (Available now - free)

This is TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s 1st Publicly released production (previous recordings by TortoiseClimbing Audio™ were for Private release). This restoration and mastering of the 1959 AHS recording is the 4th production worked on. For details about The Crucifixion see The Crucifixion.

(Note. The 2nd production for Public release by TortoiseClimbing Audio™, Hymns and Songs of My Mother, is targeted for release late Fall 2023, see below.)

The Crucifixion's score became Public Domain the beginning of 2023, allowing TortoiseClimbing Audio™ to provide Free audio file downloads of the digitally mastered and restored version of this distinctive, vintage recording made from the historic 1959 performances.

The original 1959 record made of The Crucifixion was developed from tape recordings of 2 performances given by the Annapolis High School choirs in spring 1959, Robert F. Kunkle choral music director. Participating were Mr. Kunkle's: mixed chorus; two women's choruses; and limited soloists from the mixed chorus. Members of the choirs were in graduating classes of 1959, 1960 and 1961. This 2023 mastered and restored file is developed from the 1959 private, limited edition, monophonic LP made and sold to choir members and families.

This performance is a unique, much more choral variation than commonly created following the orginal score, using soloists to sing perhaps half of the performance. In this production, the women's choirs sing a large percentage of numbers scored as recitatives and arias for soloists, creating a dramatically more choral performance. Thus, instead of usual, limited quality soloists, you are treated to the wonderful sound of womens' choirs on those recitatives and arias.

For color variation, Mr. Kunkle included a few limited solos from student members of the mixed choir. (David is one of those student soloists, singing parts of Christ, and is the earliest recording of a young David.)

In addition to this 2023 mastered and restored audio file being available for download from this website, it is also available from the online music store via Bandcamp.

You can obtain your free copy of this mastered and restored digital audio file by:

NOTE. The 2023 mastered and restored audio file is also uploaded for Free availablity from TortoiseClimbing™'s online music store on Bandcamp.

"God Is My Shepherd" (This Fall)

This number is the 4th from the 10 Biblical Songs by Antonin Dvořák. It provides a beautiful pastoral setting of the 23rd Psalm's reassurances. The English lyrics are a translation from the 16th century Czech bible, know as the Bible of Kralice. The original piano version was published in Czech by Simrock in 1895, with English and German lyrics translated from the Czech. Dvořák took particular care that the translations were appropriate to the musical vocal line.

This recording uses the original piano accompaniment version. (Dvořák subsequently developed orchestrated accompaniments for the 1st 5 of the 10 Biblical Songs.)

Publication - History Through 26 Hymns and Songs eBook (Winter 2023/2024)

Two recording products will be created from the companion ebook. (The ebook will become available in the music store as an part of an optional bundle with its companion hymns' album recording. The ebook will also be available alone, likely from a different online store. Both online stores will be accessible from this website's Store Access page.) The following audio recordings will be made from the companion eBook:

Audio files from The Companion Publication

Advanced Podcasts (Beginning Winter of 2023)

Note. The ebook publication, History Through 26 Hymns and Songs is the companion to the album Hymns and Songs of My Mother. (See Publications for details about this eBook.)

When the publication History Through 26 Hymns and Songs is finalized later in 2023/2024, TortoiseCimbing Audio™ will begin recording a series of advance audio podcasts of the chapters from that book. Those advance chapter podcasts will be available as:

Audiobook (Late 2024)

When the series of podcasts are completed, the complete audiobook will be assembled and made available. Target is late 2024.

Hymns & Songs of My Mother (Late Fall 2023)

Hymns and Songs of My Mother is the 2nd album produced for Public release (targeted for late Fall 2023). For more details see Details. [Several selections are available for streaming from Annotated Playlist) and shortly will become available from the online store at Bandcamp.] (While this is the 4th album TortoiseClimbing Audio™ has produced, it is the 2nd album for Public release.

The impetus for creations of the Hymns and Songs album indirectly was David's father's death in late 1996. Subsequently, in Spring of 1998, (some months before his mother also would die that August) she requested TortoiseClimbing Audio™ create a quality recording of selections from their favorite hymns and religious songs. David and his mother jointly selected the wide ranging representaive list included on this album, which is a homage to both of them:

  1. It includes 21 widely ranging hymns selected from hymnals his parents collected over their lives as their respective churches replaced older hymnals with newer hymnals, plus
  2. 5 religious songs selected from several sources:

A number of professional musicians were involved, both instrumental and vocal, bringing a wealth of experience and skills to this magnificent recording. Credits for each participant are included on individual webpages, grouped by the recording phase they participated in. Plus, an Artists' Cross-reference is also provided to facilitate locating information about specific artists or instruments.

Because all except lyrics for 1 hymn are now public domain, they have largely disappeared from commercially sold hymnals. Lyrics for 1 song are still under copyright, plus there is the unpublished Contemporary Christian song, written and composed by Ms. Kathy Haupt. She gave TortoiseClimbing Audio™ permission to arrange and make the 1st recording of her song. The 3 are:

  1. Hymn - "Morning Has Broken" (lyrics);
  2. Song - "Be Thou with Them" (lyrics);
  3. Song - "Welcome Home" (both lyrics and tune).

NOTE. Work on the Hymns and Songs of My Mother album took place over many years. Thus, descriptions of the work are grouped into 2 widely separated Phases. For those interesed, you can see a summary of how that project evolved by clicking to open the window below.

Phase I

Phase I of the recording began immediately after his mother's request in Spring 1998 to make the recording. Ms. Gerber-Salins became producer, vocal arranger for several hymns, audio engineer, and a significant duet partner on many numbers. Her creativity as producer significantly shaped what became the final product. (Ms. Gerber-Salins sings lead and harmony parts on her original arrangement of "Were You There.") Vocals on this album are a mix of solo, duet, and multi-part harmonies, some a cappella.

After his mother's death, work on this recording slowed. Then in about 2004, because of other competing events in the lives of both David and Ms. Gerber-Salins, TortoiseClimbing Audio™ put this project on hold for a number of years.

Phase II

Beginning in 2019, David again had time to devote to this project. TortoiseClimbing™ undertook Phase II to complete this project. At that time, Ms. Gerber-Salins' life was still wrapped into other endevors. Fortunately, during the long hiatus between Phases I and II, David and her had shared a number of brainstorming sessions analyzing needed future work, and developed extensive notes. Those enabled David to take on the Producer's rule in Phase II implementing their notes, plus including other ideas developed as the work progressed, such as those contributed by the Associate Producter, Mr. Bill McElroy.

This is the same Mr. Bill McElroy, who engineered David's 1st Private recording. In 1993 he had left Bias Recording Studio and the recording industry. However, he subsequently returned to the recording business, first as a mastering studio in Richmond,VA, and then in 2000 a new studio in Ashland, VA. Thus, he was again available to replace Ms. Gerber-Salins. It was sort of a homecoming to be able to return to working with Bill to complete this project from his new enterprise, SlippedDisc™, as Associate Producer and audio recording engineer.

Various augmentations were added to the overall project, including:

In addition TortoiseClimbing™ took on the related efforts to:

In 2022 & 23, Ms. Gerber-Salins again became available for limited advice in completing Phase II. That included providing tuning for one number before an auto accident, being struck from behind, and needing to recover. She subsequently provided valuable comments for refinements to the draft master for this album.

-- End of Accordian Window on evolution of "Hymns and Songs of My Mother" --

Kathy's Songs (Unknown)

Many thanks to Ms. Kathy Brigman Haupt, the composer and writer of "Welcome Home" for granting Tortoise Climbing Audio™ permission to create an arrangement and make the 1st public recording of her song, "Welcome Home". It became a favorite of David's mother when Kathy wrote and performed this original Contemporary Christian song for the funeral of Kathy's grandmother. Therefore, David's mother wanted this song included in this collection. With Kathy's permission, TortoiseClimbing Audio™ facilitated creation of an arrangement for solo, duet with the author, women's chorus, and acoustic accompaniment.

Note. Previously in her youth, Ms. Haupt wrote several other contemporary christian songs. TortoiseClimbing Audio™ proposed creating arrangements for each and recording a small album containing Kathy's other songs. To date, Ms. Haupt is reluctant to have that done.

Nostolgic Solos (Target, late 2024)

A simple version of this was 1st produced by TortoiseClimbing Audio™ in 1992, titled Solo Collection, and Privately released for family and friends. The plan is to upgrade that album in accordance with TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s evolved mission, and re-release as a Public offering under the new title Nostolgic Solos. This will make it the 3rd Publically released album.

This is a collection of ballads from the 1940's through WWII and a few decades afterward about values that make life worth living. It includes songs about: love; loss; sorrow; bereavement, dedication; and needed social change. The original acompaniment for most songs on that album was solo piano. TortoiseClimbing Audio™ is investigating augmenting the piano only accompaniments, and replacing the couple of karaoke accompaniments.

Use of karaoke tracks as accompaniments is no longer compatible with the evolution of TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s mission to only produce high quality recordings, plus use would create the additional issue of obtaining a Master Use License for the right to use the accompaniment recording. Thus, for the planned upgrade and public release of that album, TortoiseCliming Audio™ is investigating replacing the Karaoke accomplaniments, and augmenting the piano accompaniments. All of those will require getting arrangements created, plus recording the new arrangements.

The plan is to revisit and publically re-release the upgraded version of that album, plus write a companion history publication. Work on that project is anticipated to be concurrent with production of the advance podcast series from the eBook History Through 26 Hymns and Songs. Completion of that series is projected for late 2024.

Note. Since all songs on the Nostolgic Solos album are still under copyright, there is the cost of getting mechanial licenses for all songs, and paying royalty fees for all albums.

Romantic Duets (TBD)

Following the private release of Solo Collection in 1992, TortoiseClimbing Audio™ began production of another album with the working title of Romantic Duets. That album was put on hold to produce Hymns and Songs of My Mother.

Work on this album began in 1993 after Mr. McElroy left Bias and Ms. Gerber-Salins became TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s lead audio engineer and co-producer, having recently completed private release of Solo Collection in 1992. The duets included on the album are a selection of popular romantic songs, primarily from the 1970's through the early 1990's, largely in the style of ballads. (All accompaniments were prerecored Karaoke tracks.

Note. Use of karaoke tracks as accompaniments is no longer compatible with how TortoiseClimbing Audio™'s mission has evolved to only produce high quality recordings, so that is a challenge to be addressed.)

For the next 4 years TortoiseClimbing Audio™ gradually recorded materials for that project. Thus, production of that album was ongoing at the time David's mother requested TortoiseClimbing Audio™ produce the quality recording of Hymns and Songs of My Mother for public release. (As noted above, work on Romantic Duets was put on hold in 1998 to focus on the Hymns and Songs of My Mother.)

The analogue materials from the master tapes for the Romantic Duets album are decoded from Dolby A and converted to digital. However, no decision has been made about completing those draft recordings and public release.

That recording would also have to deal with copyright royalty requirements.

Note. Any work on this album presumably will take place after completion of:

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