Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In Anticipation of Adoration...

It's been 18 months since the release of my last CD, Overcome, and you know, never has there been so much pre-released excitement about a new "David Nevue" album as there has been about my next one, my CD of Hymn Arrangements called "Adoration."

Whenever I run into someone familiar with my music, they inevitably ask me, "When's the new Hymns CD coming out? I can't wait for it! It's going to be SO GREAT!"

Seriously, I get asked that question at least once a week. I don't remember any album of mine ever being so eagerly awaited for.

It's a bit daunting.

What if the album turns out to be just "okay." What if it's not "Amazing?"

I felt a lot of pressure going into the studio for this CD. I booked an entire week near the end of this last March. I wanted to take the time to make sure the album was perfect. I wanted to knock the ball out of the ballpark. I wanted to sit down at the piano, feel the Spirit move on me, and play these Hymn arrangements like I had never played them before.

At least, that's how I pictured it before I went into the studio.

It didn't turn out that way. It was the most difficult recording session of my career. On top of the "human" pressure, the pressure of knowing people expect me to put out a GREAT album, was the pressure of wanting to honor God with this music. I mean, Adoration is an album of songs that have been devoted to God for generations. These songs speak of life and hope and faith in God, the Eternal One, the Everlasting One. The Alpha and the Omega. The First and the Last. The Beginning and the End.

What do I do if the album is not "Amazing?"

After I finished recording the album, I couldn't listen to it for a month. Even now, almost two months later, I still can't listen to the album as "music." I'm hearing this thing in the mix, that thing, the other thing - stuff that bugs me in the recording.

And I keep thinking, what if it's not just absolutely "Amazing?" I can't release this if it's not worthy. It must be worthy.

Finally, I burned a few copies of the pre-mastered CD to hand out to a few people to get their initial response. And now I wait for the feedback.

And yet, even if they say they LIKE it, how will I know they really like it? How do I know they won't just tell me what they know I want to hear... that it's "Amazing," when maybe it's just "okay."

Alas, this is the torment I go through as an artist. With every album I release, I become more obsessive - my brain focuses in so hard on every little detail. I can't hear the musicality of what I've recorded because I'm zooming in on overtones, harmonics, imperfections in the instrument, mechanical noises - you name it.

I can't hear the music through all the noise.

And then I think back on my previous album, "Overcome."

I had the same problem with that one. For the longest time, I wasn't sure I wanted to release it. And then I did, it became a hit, and won an award for "best instrumental album of 2005."

It turned out to be "Amazing," despite all my fears.

And now I look back at Overcome and I see it as a defining album. One of the best of my career, even as good as The Vigil, which I have always considered a personal favorite.

And so, what of Adoration? How will I feel about it five years from now? Will I look back and think.... "that was Amazing!"

Let's hope so.

More on Adoration next time.

David Nevue


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