Recent comments

Author: Bob Young (not verified)
I agree...  Lovely and interesting words.  Bob Young
I'd like to redo some of the tracks I posted based on the things I learned along the way trying to do "God Hop" or "Hip Chant." Call it what you will, I think there are some particularly good moments. I'd like to replicate that groove consistently to create for you a resonant album of 10-12 poem-songs.  
Alex, let me get back to you soon. I'll give you my ideas and recommendations. Thanks.
Thank you for sharing this song. Voice and organ are nicely composed and performed. It would be nice to see the lyrics. Is sheet music available?
Congratulations, Mark! That's good news, indeed. Your band lives on. 
Author: Living Waters
Update! This song just won an award! Read about that here on our blog: "An Award for Living Waters!"
Hi, Jim. Send me a note via the Contact form and I'll try to connect you. Thanks for the photo!
Author: Jim Lee (not verified)
In the 1960s  we lived in Shrewsbury MO.  Bob was a family friend and frequent guest in our home.   I have been trying to track Bob down.   When he lived in Shrewsbury his roommate was "Rod"...I don't remember his last name.  I was about 15.   I have a grainy photograph of Bob playing a piano for my brothers and sisters.   any help would be appreciated.
Author: Alexander John
Hey Richard, sounds good. Very old school hip hop feel. For somebody fairly new to the delivery of hip hop I'm very impressed. Hope you are well. GOD Bless. 
I posted an audio file for Look Up. 
Keep posting your lyrics the way you have been. I’ll rap them as they are (with slight adjustments, as needed). Plus, I enjoy taking your seeds of inspiration to another genre, as a songwriting lesson for all of our viewers here at this website. I want to teach the craft of songwriting, but I’m best at Liturgical, Inspirational and Folk-Rock genres. So that noise you hear occasionally is me stretching beyond my comfort zone.
Author: Alexander John
Hi Richard, I agree that Love 101 would be the most fitting tittle for our project. I just listened to the recent uploads of our songs and they sound great. I do struggle to write in forms other than hip hop but if you are happy for me to continue posting lyrics in that form I will. I guess its because my whole life i have been into it and there is alot of great catholic hip hop artists I have been discovering this year in particular. Peace.
I just posted a revised version of the Folk-Country version of Love 101. I felt that some phrasing was either too complicated or a bit hard to grasp. I am trying to make the song accessible to many. Let me know what you think. The two versions of Love 101 should be the model for the rest of the songs. I'd like to suggest that the name of the album be Love 101. - Richard
Author: Alexander John
Hi Richard, we definitely have alot of good material to choose from and I look forward to seeing and hearing the lineup of songs that we choose to use. Thankyou for collaborating with me and bringing so much life to my lyrics and also adding your own style. Its been alot of fun and I really hope that what we have done touches peoples heart and soul. Were you thinking of putting the album up online for people to download and/or doing physical copies. If we decide to put it online you can put it...
Alex, I'd say we're about halfway toward completing our album. Now we're at the stage where we should decide what the best tracks are. Some of the recordings I did were very rough and I'd like to redo some of them. There are a couple standout tracks that have exceptional clarity, emaotion and/or artfulness. We should try to bring all tracks up this level. I need to master all the tracks so they have the same volume. I am going through all the tracks now and will give you my recommendations soon...
Alex, please check out the revised Country and Hip Hop songs. I uploaded them here. I added some extra voices in the Country version and adjusted the volume of my voice in the Hip Hop version.
Maybe I should do another version of Love 101. How about Gregorian Chant? :-) I'm glad you and your better half like what I'm doing here. Thank YOU for the inspration. My friend, poet Bob Young, also likes both versions. See his poetry here: 
Author: Alexander John
Hi Richard, my better half loves the country version and I dig both versions. I love how you can cross over my lyrics to different genres and make them sound as good as you do. 
Hi, Alex. I liked the title of your lyrics so much that I thought it should be folded into the refrain and repeated throughout the song. The lyrics below are an adaptation or paraphrasing of your thoughts – but put into a fairly strict and uniform rhyme and meter. As my version develops, I will be demonstrating how "prosody" can make the lyrics compelling. I'll post the lyrics this evening, then slowly work at a melody and chord progression over the next few days. I think this song could turn...
Alex, I laid down your Hip Hop lyrics over some drum loops in Logic Pro. I hope you don't mind that I changed a few things. It's very close to your original. I added the audio file to your original post entry above. Enjoy. Love 101 Hip Hop version by Alex John Slight revision by Richard  1st Verse: The cold weather followed me all around town But I never sold my soul even though I was down Then I got to know the lord That's when I knew it was time to put down my sword My frown turned...
Author: Alexander John
I like the fact you are crossing over the hip hop lyrics into other genres and I think it takes alot of skill to do that. I was just letting you know that the hip hop lyrics I write and the way I write them may sem a bit messy and a bit over the place but when it comes to hip hop that sort of thing is common. But I really like what we have been doing and the track God Is On The Scene is a great example of what we can both do with our skill sets. Love 101 I think will turn out just as nice. Alex.
It would help to hear some samples of your hip hop songs. I don't mean to push you into a structure that is not your style. My preference is for structure so I'm just showing you options that are inspired by your lyrics. With the above rewrite, I envision a Country styled style of music and singing, a genre that I have not explored. All for the glory of God!
Author: Alexander John
As far as the hip hop structure I am using it differs very much from the structure of all other types of genres. I have been writing and performing hip hop for over 10 years and am very confident in my ability to write "a good rap song". However i'm very new to all other forms of song structure and am willing to learn. I like what you do with some of my lyrics and the way you put them into other genres. It's all for the glory of GOD. Alex.
It'll be a rather eclectic album. I explored a lot of different ways of approaching your lyrics. We need to do more work on all the lyrics. But things are shaping up. Thanks. Sorry about the delayed approval of your comment. You forgot to sign in. Guest comments had been set to "require approval by admin" but I wasn't getting notices. I set guest comments back to automatic approval. However, I'll be at risk again for spam. It's a delicate balance.
Alex, I sang your lyrics but they need some work. Think of lyrics as structured in couplets and stanzas.  Your lyrics should tell a cohesive story that progresses from "problem" to "solution" or some other construct.  I may start all over with different chord progressions, melody and beat. Maybe I'll try it as a God Hop tune. Don't know yet. Just going with the flow. I really like a lot of your "thought-flow".
Author: Guest (not verified)
My mom and I both love this song.
Author: Joe Benco (not verified)
Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord) is a protestant song and should never be sung in a Catholic Church.  
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Thank you Richard for the nice comments. I also really like what you did with "Pieces of Peace". The melody makes it very soothing along with the vocals. Also very original the way it is put together. A cross between hip hop, spoken word with a very relaxing instrumental which makes it very memorable. Lookimg forward to hearing the other two and its looking like we have a full album on our hands. Alex.
I like your Love 101 verses. There are some particulary poetic and "dig-deep" expressions in there. I'll try voicing this, along with the last two. Good job.
Author: Alex John (not verified)
A very nice song sung very well. So good to spread the word through good music at the church.
Author: Speakslike
Thank you for the feedback and I pray that our music changes people or at the very least gets them to become more aware of the way we Catholics see the world.
Speakslike, you have an interesting song here. You have definite thoughts about the way some people live their lives without being grounded in faith and morals. I hope this sends a good message to people and encourages them to examine their lives. Thanks for sharing. 
Author: Speakslike
Thank you to all that are giving this song a listen. Please leave a comment telling what you think of this song. Thank you and God bless you all.
Author: Andrew Joyce (not verified)
Hello there, I've been looking for the sheet music for Mary Most Holy for piano accompaniment. I'm wondering if you have had it at all? 
Author: Nina Bewcyk (not verified)
About 10 years ago I was given a cassette with a beautiful song for children to sing and say the Rosary.  I all I remember is the  verse "Mother Mary, take my hand and teach me how to Pray.  Help me learn to love your Jesus More and more each day".  Does anyone know of this song or where I could find it?
Author: Alex John (not verified)
No worries Richard, I look forward to hearing them. Hope you have been well. Alex.
Alex, I'll be doing the voicings soon. Peace, Richard.
Glad you are back on the scene. Post more songs!
Mark, I remember when you first posted this. Did you remaster this? It sounds different in some way. Seems to have more presence and better instrumentation. The voices are better, too. Is it my imagination? This really rocks the house.
Author: MTR
I updated the Playlist by Uploading each of the Tracks in .mp4 format with a Bitrate of around 4096 kbps to make them play easier on a slow Internet connection.  Also, the original channel I published this playlist on was Hacked, and unfriendly messages were inserted for the viewer to see, so I had to take that channel down, and publish it on a new channel where the playlist was Unlisted to prevent that from happening again.
Alex, I'll be happy to voice your last two submissions. I do think your idea of trying out different structure, rhyming and symmetry in lyrics is good. I fully encourage that so you can expand your songwriting skills and genres. As always, I am willing to critique lyrics in a positive, constructive way. I gave you a sample of an optional song format/approach with "God Is on the Scene." I really like how that turned out. A couple fellow members of MAS (Minnesota Association of Songwriters) dig...
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hey Richard, hope you are well. Just wondering if you like the two latest song lyrics I posted and if you would be interested in voicing them? I am going to explore different ways of lyric/poem/song structure for my next song I think. All the best. Alex.
Author: Mark Lajoie (not verified)
Only a year late, I noticed that you had re-loaded the song, and wanted to express my gratitude!
Author: asiansa09
It is not easy to come by and that we are able to come up with a beautiful song "Our World is So Beautiful" like this in everyday life.  I really appreciate to work with everyone.
Our World So Beautiful is finished. I have posted both an audio demo and sheet music. See original post at top of this thread. 
Thanks, Albin, for listening and commenting. Glad you like it. Needs more work but maybe it's headed in the right direction. I'll also do a hip hop version. 
Alex, I can also rap your lyrics the way you wrote them, as an option. Just wanted to stretch and try something a little different. The rough demo needs work – I sing flat on some of the high notes. Thanks for being flexible in our collaboration. Having fun!
Author: Albin (not verified)
A wonderful composition and performance. The voice, lyrics and music work beautifully together.
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hi Richard,                     What you have done here by editing and re-constructing has worked well! As I'm so used to writing hip hop my song formations do jump around a lot and that's mainly because if you listen to rap it tends to jump all over the place unless it's a story telling track. But you have done good here and I very much enjoyed it.  Kind Regards, Alex.
Alex, I decided to do a rewrite of your lyrics to snap it all into a regular meter and rhyme. Check it out. No problem if you'd rather not have me rearrange your words. But I do want to show you the possibilities with using a "near-Nashville" formula approach to songwriting. I say near-Nashville because this rendition is my own self-styled flavor of Folk-Rock – I'm not following all the "rules," including the way I sing in my baritone register. This is a story that does not jump around as much...
Thanks, Alex. I just wish there would be dozens of people collaborating. Maybe there are connections and interactions happening of which I am not aware. 
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hi Richard,                     Hope your doing well. I forgot to write back on the chat app but just wanted to say that you running this site is a great way for people to collaborate and get their words and music brought to life with the help of one another. Blessings to you. - Alex.
Glad you like it. I made some adjustments to the song this afternoon and uploaded the new version. I did pitch correction to my voice, corrected a few notes, and added a little bit more reverb. The song is in the key of D. Now I have to figure out the chord progressions. The next thing I will upload will have a gentle guitar added to my voice.
Author: asiansa09
I feel so peaceful when I listen to the song.
Yes! I plan to make this a very beautiful song, complete with piano, guitar and flute. Who knows, maybe viola, too!
Author: asiansa09
Will you prepare the piano sheet arrangement for this song too. I plan to share with others at Providence meeting during Christmas season.
Thank you for your lyrics and your reflections. Yes, we must be attentive to the divine mysteries that miraculously touch our lives each day. 
Author: asiansa09
That is why I ask people to pray for me and others whom I know throughout my life upon Christ and Sorrowful Mother Mary. 
Author: asiansa09
When I go out to explore the world, the only thing I realize the different between me and others is that I baptism vs. others.  God bless me!
Author: asiansa09
I visited China and Thailand 10 years ago in 2007.  Hope that my quiet prayer upon Sorrowful Mother Mary and Christ on the land is the seed that I sowed.
Author: asiansa09
I really like your voice for the song lyric.  Keep it that way is good enough.
I am attaching to Dan's original post a rough exploration of a melody for this song. 
Please note that I may have to upload a new version of the piano sheet music again (it will be v9). There needs to be a key signature change from Bb to Gmaj in the chorus.
Author: asiansa09
Please let me know when you submit songs to OCP so that I can follow up with you to see what is going on.
 Note that I just uploaded version 8 of piano-voice score. Now we can submit to OCP.
Author: asiansa09
Thanks for posting the lead-sheet and piano arrangement sheet.  That is really help to share with others to sing the song. Also, I hope that you submit to Oregon Catholic Press soon to see if they accept our work.
I'd like to do more with the soundbeds on your poems. The one where I used orchestral brass was pretty cool. Something to think about. 
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hi Richard,                     I just read the interview with you friend and not only does he seem like a fantastic musician but what a prolific one at that. Also he seems very nice. I will listen to some more of his work throughout the week. An extremely inspirational man indeed. I hope to get some more writing done soon to post here and I think the EP is pretty good. Regards, Alex.
maddenmargie: Here are some songs to get started. By "upbeat" do you mean uptempo or a positive message? Will the songs be led by piano, organ, guitar, or sung a cappella? I will keep adding to the list. God Has Chosen Me (Farrell) God's Gift to All the World (Nguyen, Schletty, van Haren) Enchristment by Nguyen-Schletty
Alex, glad you think that Hip Hop project might be a good connection. Not sure if the project has a faith component to it. Let me know what you find out. By the way, you might think about doing a post that has a compilation of all our tracks to date – an EP (extended play playlist). I just sent links to all our tracks to Tobin Mueller, a friend and a great post-bop/jazz artist. See this article that just came out about his life with music:
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hey Richard,                        I will check out the link soon and get back to you. They might be intrested in our little projects. - Alex.
Alex, check out this Instagram user and let me know what you think:  I just ran across them today. 
Alex, I am just being your mouthpiece. I have no idea what you would sound like telling your story, so I just use my own "voice" and attitude and whimsy and gravitas to lay it down. No formulas, no constraints. Mostly, just letting it flow. I do redo a few phrases here and there until it sounds "right." Nashville or LA won't be able to judge these tracks! Thanks for putting your heart and soul on the line. We both hope it causes at least one person out there to think and feel and love a little...
Author: Alex John (not verified)
What you have done with both these tracks is amazing and what's best about our collaborations is it's GOD's work and I feel by doing this in a small yet positive way we are praising the lord aswell of giving believers and people in general something to ponder over and hopefully be touched by in some way. Blessings to you Richard and Thankyou for bringing life to my words better than I ever could.
Alex, my soundtrack is attached to your original post. It is a spoken voice and ceramic drum rendition. Enjoy.
Alex, I uploaded my vox track to your original post. Check it out. It is half-spoken, half sung.
Author: Guest (not verified)
Thanks Richard,                              Look forward to it. Blessings to you.
Good words here. I'll try to speak your soul. Talk soon, Alex. – Richard
Yep, I can lay a bead on this. Soon.
Very good. I see your lyrics are back up. Onward. 
Author: Alexander John
Hi Richard, I just took the tracks down for a little while as I needed to edit and change them a little. Look forward to hearing you bring the words to life. GOD Bless. 
Author: Maria7Steps
Wow 7 children - indeed they are blessings from above! True inspirations for song writing.  Thank you for sharing!  
Thank you for your kind and awesome reply! So good to know the details of your music ministry. I hope and pray your words will be an inspiration to others. What a blessing to have 6 children. We have 7 children – and 6 grandkids! We sacrifice much for them but receive much in return. Our concern for their welfare as well as our rejoicing in their "moments of achievement and goodness" are often the inspiration for our original songs. And as you rightly noted, God is the prime source of...
Author: Maria7Steps
Hello, Richard!  God works in mysterious ways indeed.  My husband and I have been serving in the Music Ministry of Couples for Christ since our children were babies.  I believe their exposure to charismatic, contemporary Catholic & Christian, and traditional music plays an important factor for us being a family band now (more of ministers really).   FOREVER (for the sacrament of marriage) was composed by our two elder daughters on one of our anniversaries.  SONG OF...
Maria, I explored your website and your songs at iTunes. I posted this story for you, based on the member profile you submitted and some images I found on your website. I look forward to your participation here. We'd love to know more about your journey in music. How do you write and record your music? Where does your family band play? What have been your challenges, solutions and rewards with Catholic music? - Richard
Providence Health & Services sounds like a very good organization. I visited their website. I can see how your lyrics were inspired by their mission statement: "As people of Providence, we reveal God's love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, through our compassionate service." Thank you for reminding us of the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, and I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was...
Author: asiansa09
My inspiration to write this song lyric is through the services of Providence of God.
Some Catholic songwriters have achieved publishing deals with GIA, OCP and WLP. I would hope that there is always room for newcomers. A very good songwriter and musician. Paul F. Page, has been largely ignored by the leading Catholic music publishers. See Paul's bio here: Paul's "solution" has been to give away his music for free. I am inclined to do the same. I will endeavor to create here a professional service that will help...
Yor EP lineup looks good. Please publish as free offerings. Thanks for letting me share your good introspection with others. And best of luck with your hip-hop studio!
Author: asiansa09
I have never submitted songs for publication, however, do you think that the only way for people to accept songs for publication is when the song are become popular.  Do you have any experience submitting songs for publication before?  How does it work?
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hi Richard,                     I arranged the songs in this order that we did: 1. Raw Faith 2. Blessings 3. Time Watch  4. What's Left Is Beauty 5. Blessing - Remix (your favourite one). I think that is a good enough EP and I listened to them in that order and I think it works out a nice little project. Would you mind if I shared them with the church (for free distribution) and credit your name as the voice? Also if you would like to...
Good to know a bit about your music experience. Really good to know about your studio and album plans. May that all happen in a way that gives glory to God. – Richard
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Hi Richard,                     When I was younger I used to play the drum a bit but I wasn't very good. Then I rapped for a few years for fun but didnt realy record anything that I was completly happy with. However I am planning to write and rap/record a full Catholic hip hop studio album.
Alex, have you recorded your voice narrating, rapping or singing? Do you play an instrument?
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Sounds like an interesting idea doing a folk pop song with some of my lines. Looking forward to hearing it. 
Not sure about the number of tracks. Maybe 5. I am thinking about taking your best phrases and doing a Folk-Pop song with traditional structure and styling.  You are the one telling your story. Be careful of too much repetition of certain phrases. Each song should tell a specific story about your journey. I could offer suggestions for tightening up lyrics and such, but then it wouldn't be so much you. I am normally quite formulaic, following songwriting prescriptions such as even line...
I'm carving a bit of new territory here and that's all good. Thanks for the latitude to experiment. I like Blessings (with the music bed) best so far. Sure, an EP.
Author: Alex John (not verified)
Very nice work Richard. You are really bringing my lyrics to life! How many tracks do you think we should do in total for this project?
I added my audio file to your original post, Alex. Hope it's OK.
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