Album: Elyon’s Worship Instrument

Download or stream at Bandcamp.com

cd2_front_smcd2_disc_sm

Released in 2010, my second album  takes a dramatically different turn from the debut “Everlasting, Wonderful, Immanuel”. While still heavily featuring electric wind instrument (EWI), “Elyon’s Worship Instrument” also adds Biblically-based lyrics, solid songwriting and heartfelt vocals. Three instrumental tracks and eleven vocal tracks range from smooth jazz to heavy rock with several stops in between, combining to produce an eclectic worship experience for the contemporary church.

Elyon is one of the Hebrew names for God, usually translated as “Most High” in English. Thus, Psalm 9:2 says: “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Elyon”. I hope this collection helps you to rejoice in and sing praise to Elyon and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, making you the true worship instrument.

Liner Notes/Lyrics/Technical Details

  1. Psalm 150
  2. A Joyous Offering
  3. Sing Praises
  4. The Slow Miracle
  5. Between You and Me
  6. Use What You Got
  7. Calvary Hill
  8. It’s a Celebration
  9. Wonderful Grace of Jesus
  10. Psalm 23
  11. B.H.G.P.
  12. His Eye is On the Sparrow
  13. Trumpet Call
  14. I Will Be Revealed

Credits


Psalm 150

Liner Notes:
I had chosen Psalm 150:3-6 as my “ministry verse” prior to the release of my first album “Everlasting, Wonderful, Immanuel”, but it wasn’t until later that I attempted to put the words to music. I admit making substitutions for some of the instruments: mouth harp for harp, guitar for lyre, and modern trumpet for Old Testament “trumpet” which is really the shofar or ram’s horn. For a much different vibe to this text, check out P.O.D.’s “Psalm 150” which simply recites the Hebrew text on top of a rather somber, reverent backdrop. While I decided to present the text in a more celebratory fashion, the Hebrew reveals the origin of the word “Hallelu-Jah” which I brought out in the last chorus where it is sung in conjunction with the English “Praise the-LORD”.
Lyrics:

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD (x4)

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.
Praise Him with the flute and the strings.
Praise Him for His surpassing greatness;
That is why we shout and sing!

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD (x4)

Praise Him with the clash of the cymbals.
Praise Him with the harp and guitar.
Praise Him dancing and timbrels.
Praise Him with the loud and resounding cymbals!

Let everything that has breath hallelu-Jah (x4)

Hallelu-Jah (x8)

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD/hallelu-Jah (x4)

Hallelu-Jah (x8)

Technical Details:
In addition to the programmed Reason instruments (“jazz” bass and drums, Hammond A organ, acoustic and electric guitars), this arrangement uses 4 “wind” instruments: Trumpet (Patchman#3) and “flute” (really Ambient Recorder) (Patchman#9) which take the “solo” section, Nanosynth “Full Strings” (Patchman#76), and harmonica. The harp is a Hohner Golden Melody in the key of F played through a Shaker microphone into the audio interface – no amp or amp simulator in the chain. It starts in cross harp for the beginning key of C and then switches the straight harp later as the song moves to the key of F. Fairly unusual for me was the use of styles from the “Country” folder in Band-in-a-Box. But I just couldn’t fit the banjo in the bridge sections into the sound I was after, so I let the acoustic guitar handle it – see if you can “pick out” that part (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Top

A Joyous Offering

Liner Notes:
This song comes from 1 Chronicles 29:10-19, the prayer of King David as he turns over his throne to his son Solomon. At the end of his life, it didn’t matter about the battles he had fought, fame and fortune he had amassed, or even the mistakes he had made. What mattered was simply giving thanks and honor to God who brought the victories, gave the gifts, and forgave the mistakes. A reminder of how we should live our lives each day.
   Lyrics:
You reign over all; it all belongs to you.
Every thing in heaven and on earth is yours;
This is your kingdom.
We thank you O God and praise your glorious name.
Forever and forever we adore you Lord;
You are exalted.And so we offer up our lives to you,
Freely and wholeheartedly,
Willingly and joyously we give.
For yours is the greatness, the power, the glory,
The vic’try, the splendor, the majesty!But who am I LORD, and who are my people
That we could give you anything that you did not give to us first.
Our days upon earth are like a passing shadow.
We’re here for just a moment then it’s time to meet You face to face.

And so we offer up our lives to you,
Freely and wholeheartedly,
Willingly and joyously we give.
For yours is the greatness, the power, the glory,
The vic’try, the splendor, the majesty!

For thine is the kingdom, and thine is the power,
For thine is the glory, forever and ever.
For thine is the kingdom, and thine is the power,
For thine is the glory, forever and ever, amen!

And so we offer up our lives to you,
Freely and wholeheartedly,
Willingly and joyously we give.
For yours is the greatness, the power, the glory,
The vic’try, the splendor, the majesty!
For yours is the greatness, the power, the glory,
The vic’try, the splendor, the majesty, the majesty, the majesty!

Technical Details:
This song explores a little of the more synthy brass sounds of the EWI using “EWI Lead” (Patchman#67) for the intro and choruses, switching to Chariot (Patchman#64) for the solo section. Instrumentation is acoustic piano, electric bass, and two guitars: acoustic and electric.
Top

Sing Praises

Liner Notes:
The text for this song comes from Psalm 47. Lyrically, there’s not much to it, but it’s a good excuse for some blaring trumpets and blazing guitars (and an effected “clarinet”) from the EWI.
Lyrics:
God has ascended with a mighty shout.
The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
Sing praises to our King, sing pra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aise!God has ascended with a mighty shout.
The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
Sing praises to our King, sing pra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aise,
Sing pra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aise,
Sing pra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aise,
Sing praise!
Technical Details:
EWI patches are “Tigress” (Patchman#86) and “Clarient” (Patchman#10). I had a lot of fun in Propellerhead Reason with this one as well. Lots of custom drum programming, distortion effects, and even guitar re-sequencing to match the vocal rhythms.
Top

The Slow Miracle

Liner Notes:
This song began in the twilight hours as I laid on the couch one morning (after several such mornings) when my special needs son got up early. Living with a child with disability certainly has its unique challenges, and every parent in that situation can relate to the at least occasional feelings of fatigue and “overwhelmed-ness” expressed in the first verse of this song. Sometimes in moments of crisis or just the daily grind, it can feel like God isn’t there. But a little hindsight can put things in perspective and help realize that even in the trials, especially in the trials, God is at work.
Lyrics:
Well my back is aching and my brain is racing;
I could very well lose my mind.
I am agitated and flusterated.
I keep coming back time after time.
I’ve been praying for divine intervention,
to see Your power revealed in an instant.
But as I wait impatiently,
I find that’s not the way You work for me.For day by day, the story is told,
And moment by moment Your glory unfolds.
By faith I know Your hand’s at work in ways invisible.
When I look back, I can see the slow miracle.It’s been a long hard slog through a thick, deep fog,
And I can’t see the path ahead.
So each step I take, it has to be by faith.
Sometimes I wish I could see clearly instead.
But more and more as I grow older,
I feel the weight of Your arm on my shoulder.
So while I still am pleading,
I feel at peace that You’ve been leading.

For day by day, the story is told,
And moment by moment Your glory unfolds.
By faith I know Your hand’s at work in ways invisible.
When I look back, I can see the slow miracle.

I’ve been praying for divine intervention,
to see Your power revealed in an instant.
But over and over I see that’s not the way You deal with me.
I keep coming back time after time,
But Father have Your will, not mine.
By faith I know Your hand’s at work in ways invisible.
When I look back, I can see the slow miracle.
When I look back, I can see
When I look back, I can see
When I look back, I can see the slow miracle.

Technical Details:
Not many secrets here. The lead instrument is of course harmonica. There are no EWI tracks in this song.
Top

Between You and Me

Liner Notes:
The is a cover of the original by dc Talk . I didn’t feel I could add anything vocally so made it into an instrumental, but I encourage you to look up the lyrics as they have a great message about forgiveness.
Technical Details:
This song features 4 different EWI instruments. The intro is a patch of my own design called Talkbox. The verses use “Michael Lead” (Patchman#56), the choruses use “Metheny” (Patchman#88), and the bridge uses Gary Zydek’s “Bright Trumpet GZ” patch submitted to the AkaiEWI group at Yahoo.com),
Top

Use What You Got

Liner Notes:
For the past three years, my family’s main vacation has been Family Retreat, sponsored by Joni & Friends. This is a one-week summer “camp” for individuals with disability and their families. Last year, one of the sermon titles was not exactly the title of this song, but close. This was a great encouragement to a room full of people like Bartimaues who can sometimes think they got a raw deal but find that whatever they’ve been given can be used for God’s glory. None of the characters in the song were actually in the sermon, but I used it as a catalyst for these vignettes about Bart(imaeus – Mark 10), Zacch(aeus – Luke 19), and Jo(seph of Arimathea – Matthew 27), as well as the unnamed boy in John 6.
Lyrics:
Bart, he was a blind man.
He begged out on the street.
When Christ came to town one day,
He thought, “There’s a man I’d like to meet.
My eyes don’t work to pick the Son of God
Out of the crowd.
But I can use my voice to shout;
I’m gonna cry to Him out loud!”You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Refreshing cool or blazing hot
You’ve gotta give it your best shot.
You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Keep going no matter what.
You gotta use what ya got.Zach, he was a short man.
He couldn’t look above the heads.
He pushed and shoved to no avail,
So tried something else instead.
He thought, “I don’t have a ladder here
To step up on and see.
But I’ve got arms and legs that work,
And I can climb up in this tree!”

You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Refreshing cool or blazing hot
You’ve gotta give it your best shot.
You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Keep going no matter what.
You gotta use what ya got.

A little boy sat listening to Jesus on a hill.
Some bread and fish were all he had,
Just enough to make his meal.
He gave his lunch and watched in awe
As it was multiplied, til thousands ate
And all were satisfied.

Joe, he was a rich man.
He paid for his own tomb.
When the Council cast their fateful vote,
he was absent from the room.
He thought, “I could not stop the death of Him
who rules all time and space,
But Jesus died for me, and now He’ll be
Buried in my place!”

You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Refreshing cool or blazing hot
You’ve gotta give it your best shot.
You gotta use what ya got,
Be it a little or a lot.
Keep going no matter what.
You gotta use what ya got.
Keep keepin on no matter what.
You gotta use what ya got.

Technical Details:
Due to the complex syncopations of this song, the primary Band-in-a-Box style is one of Norton Music’s Expanded styles, switching to a less ornamented style for the solo chorus in the middle. Instrumentation likewise changes at this point from pianet and guitar to organ and clav, with all the keys coming from Propellerhead’s excellent (and free) ElectroMechanical refill for Reason. The EWI lead is an internal patch from Gary Zydek called “Airy Tenor GZ”.
Top

Calvary Hill

Liner Notes:
This is an Easter song. If something about it sounds vaguely familiar, the song started as a re-writing of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” but then mutated into something almost, but not quite, completely different.
Lyrics:
Climbing up on Calvary hill, I can feel my thorn-ed brow.
I’m too weak to bear the cross, so Simon walks behind me now.
All my friends have gone away; one of them he did betray,
Placed me in to sinful hands, and put me on this path of pain.
I can feel each stripe where the whip hit.
I stumble and fall to the pavement.
My heart is crying, “Father God!
Are you sure? Are you sure there is no other way?”Hanging now upon the tree, I think back to days gone by.
Walking on the Galilee; Peter says, “Can I please try.”
I say, “Sure, come walk the waves.” Peter steps out of the boat.
He starts well but begins to sink, slippin’ down into the drink.
I reach out and pull him to safety.
The wind and the waters, they obey me.
My heart is crying, “Why’d you doubt?
Don’t you know all power in heaven and earth is mine to give.”And again a happier scene; thousands sit upon a hill.
Hungry souls they look to me, and their spirits I do fill.
I feed with wisdom from above and also with fish and bread.
I pray it was not just a meal, and they remember what I said.
I said to show love to your brother,
to love Jehovah God and no other.
My heart is crying, “Follow me!
I’m the Life, the Truth, and no, there is no other Way.”

Now I’m back on Calvary hill. Time has come to breath my last.
Time to give my life for you. The power of sin and death is past.
Three days later I return so you’ll see my words were true.
Resurection power displayed; at Penecost, the Spirit too.
You will be my witness to the nations
To spread the Word to each generation.
May heart is crying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!
This is why I came to Earth and died and rose again.

But there’s one more scene to share. One day I will come again.
From the clouds I’ll shout with joy, the beginning of the end.
Final judgement then will come. I’ll separate the goats and sheep.
Will you earn the wage of sin, or the gift of grace receive?
The choice is still up to you to make friend;
Unending love and joy or torment.
My heart is reaching out right now, “Trust in Me.
Take my hand and I will lead you home.”

Technical Details:
This is a rather long song with 5 verses and no chorus or bridge, so to add a little spice, it changes keys twice: from Eb to E to F. There is only one EWI part: “Ambient Recorder” (Patchman#9).
Top

It’s a Celebration

Liner Notes:
This “praise song” is itself a celebration and shows what the church is to do when we get together for worship. The main text comes from Romans 8:35-39, although there are numerous other references to rejoice whatever our circumstances ( 1 Peter 1:6-8, 4:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thes. 5:16). It is when the church is able to demonstrate that quality, that others can see what Christianity is all about.
Lyrics:

It’s a celebration!

It’s time to celebrate the resurrected Lord.
It’s time to celebrate the risen, living Word.
It’s time to celebrate eternal life in Him.
It’s time to celebrate for Jesus is our King.

It’s a celebration for every woman, every girl.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna shout it to the world.
It’s a celebration for every man and boy.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna show the world our joy!

We are to celebrate in trials and in pain.
We are to celebrate in sunshine and in rain.
It’s hard to celebrate when life is crashing down.
But still we celebrate for we wear the victor’s crown.

It’s a celebration for every woman, every girl.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna shout it to the world.
It’s a celebration for every man and boy.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna show the world our joy!

We celebrate for He has said to rejoice.
We lift up our hands and we lift up our voice.
For nothing can separate, separate us from Him.
Not tribulation or persecution,
things present or things to come.
Not trouble or hardship or angels or demons
or power in all of creation.
Not life, not death, not heights, not depths,
Not famine or peril or sword.

It’s a celebration for every woman, every girl.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna shout it to the world.
It’s a celebration for every man and boy.
It’s a celebration! We’re gonna show the world our joy!

It’s a celebration!
It’s a celebration!
It’s a celebration!

Technical Details:
EWI is kinda sparse in this one. It’s Trumpet (Patchman#3) with some processing in Reaper.
Top

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Liner Notes:
Kids today. Those young whippersnappers don’t know good music when they hear it. 😉 Just because music was written 100 years ago or even 400 years ago doesn’t mean it can’t speak to people today. There is a lot of good teaching and theology to be found in the hymnal (not to mention music lessons). I admire artists like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and others who aren’t afraid to remake classic hymns with a modern twist, and this song is presented in that spirit. If you’ve heard the traditional version, this rendition might come as a shock, trading the upbeat tempo and galloping bass line for a more reflective mood. It uses the 1918 lyrics by Haldor Lillenas but completely replaces the melody and chord progression.
Lyrics:
Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.Oh wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
It’s deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me,
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,
Praise his name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Oh wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
It’s deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me,
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,
Praise his name!

Technical Details:

This is the only song on this album to use Propellerhead’s Record exclusively, instead of Reason/Reaper. EWI instruments are “Bass Clarinet” (Patchman#12) and “Pulse Bass” (Patchman#97), but played a couple of octaves higher to give a more guitar-ish usage.

Top


Psalm 23

Liner Notes:
The text is taken from the 23rd Psalm, adapted from the King James Version, although I took out most of the old English. The musical inspiration for this version started with a version by the band Sin Dizzy but of course I changed it all around.
Lyrics:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters; He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD.

Yea, though I walk… (x4)

And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD.

Technical Details:
The lead “guitar” is “Guitarrish” (Patchman#46) with just a little more delay and reverb applied.
Top

B.H.G.P.

Liner Notes:
The impetus for this song is the contemporary worship classic “Ancient of Days” by Gary Sadler and Jamie Harvill. When I used to play this in church, we did it much closer to A-o-D, usually as a prelude or reprise to that song. For this production, I’ve completely changed the harmonies and rhythms; the only thing remaining is one chord change and 4 words (but those are straight out of scripture). The laid-back, island-y, groove is perhaps at odds with the scene depicted in Revelation 5:12-13, but I’m taking some poetic license. Just close your eyes and imagine the scene, with the background vocals swirling in, out, and across the stereo field like a couple of flying cherubs. 😉
Lyrics:
Blessing and honor, glory and power
Blessing and honor, glory and power…To the One, who sits on the throne
And to the Lamb forever and ever
To the One, who sits on the throne
And to the Lamb forever and everWorthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Technical Details:
This song uses using electric piano clean-ish guitars to create an easy “Caribbean fusion” groove. The EWI is “Fusion” (Patchman#31).
Top

His Eye is On the Sparrow

Liner Notes:
My arrangement of this classic gospel hymn features real sparrows! Thanks to Tony Phillips at SUNY for use of his sparrow recordings. In the intro, the sparrows are accompanied by alto recorder in an “open” space reminiscent of the outdoors. The sparrows exit to make way for EWI trombone and piccolo until they return at the end with the trombone.
Technical Details:
The EWI “trombone” is the Akai factory “Soprano” patch played in a lower register! The EWI piccolo is “Ambient Recorder” (Patchman#9), for the third time this album. Background instrumentation is rather sparse, just electric piano, acoustic guitar/bass/drums, and light strings in spots. I got permission from Tony Phillips at SUNY to use his raw sparrow sounds for this project. They were not intended for musical use so there was a lot of noise, clicks, etc. that I cleaned up in Reaper and chopped up into samples. The samples were then loaded into the NN-XT sampler in Reason.
Top

Trumpet Call

Liner Notes:
This was originally intended as the first track on the album leading into “Psalm 150”. This would have ideally meant using a shofar, the Hebrew ram’s horn translated as “trumpet”. I found an example at a Jewish website online, but they declined permission to use their sample. Then I found the passage in Matthew 24 which is a perfect prelude to the events in “I Will Be Revealed”. The Greek word for “trumpet” here is “salpinx”, an instrument much closer to modern brass instruments than the shofar. This is my interpretation of what that trumpet call might sound like echoing “from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Technical Details:
This track uses the Nanosynth french horn patch (Patchman#9) as the tone seemed to fit better than the actual trumpet sounds (and who’s to say it isn’t closer to a real “salpinx” 🙂 ). The raw sound passes through a tube distortion for a little extra bite before splitting into a simple delay (777 ms). The undelayed sound goes first to a reverse reverb (77 ms), with both delayed and undelayed paths then going through a long tail reverb. Finally, the panning of both is automated for the “one end to the other” effect.
Top

I Will Be Revealed

Liner Notes:
Now for something completely different! This song is a dialog between Satan and Jesus based on the events related in Revelation chapters 12, 19, and 20. Hopefully, it’s pretty obvious who is speaking during each section. And we all know Who gets the last word.
Lyrics:
Woe to the earth. Woe to the sea.
You’ve never seen the likes of me.
My time is short; the end’s in sight.
I’ve lost the war, but still I fight,
I seek to lead the world astray.
It stands accused both night and day.
I’m filled with fury!You still don’t get it, do you devil?
You were created to worship me.
I made you as a powerful angel,
But in your pride and lust you will not see
That I am in control of the story,
And I have been from the very start.
It doesn’t matter how you rant and rave.
It doesn’t matter how you scream and shout.
For the time has come to show my true colors,
And the time has come to take you out!I will be revealed!
You will see me as “I AM.”
I will be revealed!
Both the Lion and the Lamb.
More than a babe in a manger or a carpenter’s son,
More than a dying man on a tree.
More than a miracle worker or a fisher of men.
No, you’ve never seen the real me.
I will be revealed!

You should have kept me in prison locked;
A thousand years, revenge to plot.
Now I am loosed to havoc wreak.
Your death and throne is what I seek.
My army marches across the land,
Surrounds your people;
Their final stand my final fury!

I now appear with eyes ablaze like fire.
I now appear with hair as white as snow.
In my hand I hold an iron scepter.
Out of my mouth comes a two edged sword.
Into the lake of fire you’re cast with but one word.
You join your beast and false prophet there.
You’ll have no kingdom and you’ll have no throne.
For your torment it has now begun.
Along with all whose names are not in the book of life;
Final vic’try of the righteous has come!

I will be revealed!
You will see me as “I AM.”
I will be revealed!
Both the Lion and the Lamb.
More than a babe in a manger or a carpenter’s son,
More than a dying man on a tree.
More than a miracle worker or a fisher of men.
No, you’ve never seen the real me.
I will be revealed!
I will be revealed!
I will be revealed!

Technical Details:
Both compositionally and production-wise, this arrangement was very challenging. I wanted there to be a clear contrast between the “devil sections” and the “Jesus sections”. The devil sections are tuned down a half-step with more distorted vocals and evil-er solo work from Patchman’s “Jan Lead 5th” (Patchman#87) and “Tigress” (Patchman#86) guitar-ish patches. The horns are trumpet and trombone courtesy of “Trumpet” (Patchman#3) and Gary Zydek’s “Airy Tenor GZ” (also used in “Use What You Got”). The backing uses 3 other guitars in addition to bass/drums – can’t use keyboards for metal. 😉
Top

Credits

A special thank you to the following individuals for allowing me to use their work:

CD Artwork

Samples