Prayer of St. Francis

Waiting for a new album to be made publicly available is like a 6-year-old waiting for Christmas morning. And just as a child might be given a gift on Christmas Eve or even earlier to satisfy the need to open at least one present, I always like posting one song in its entirety before the whole album is made available for purchase.

So my gift to you — “Prayer of St. Francis” from my new CD. It’s the only religious song on the album. I plan on doing an all-religious album in the next year or two, but I chose to put “Prayer of St. Francis” on this album because I wanted its message of peace and love to reach all audiences, not just those interested in liturgical music.

I’ve wanted to write a musical version of St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer for years, but every time I sat down to work on a melody, nothing sounded right. Things finally clicked for me late one night in Munich this past spring. I retreated into the bedroom after dinner to play the piano and try and write some new material for the album. I kept the lights off so that I was playing in a mostly dark room. I wasn’t planning on working on this text, but as I started to play the beginning chords, the song sort of just wrote itself from there. From beginning to end, the song took about 5 minutes to write. Sure, there was tweaking afterwards, but the core of the song — the original MP3 of which I still have (I always record my brainstorming sessions so I don’t forget the melodies later) — took only a few minutes to write. Like I said, it just sort of wrote itself, almost as if there was a higher power at work.

As for the recording, I chose to use a guitar instead of a piano. My good friend Chad Griesel recorded both a strummed part and a picked part from his basement in Wisconsin and sent them to me via ‘the Cloud.’ I then layered the two parts and added my voice. I was working on harmonies when I made the decision that this song would be infinitely more powerful with just a solo voice, giving the listener a better reason to truly hear the words.

I hope you find the prayer’s text as inspiring as I always have. And I hope you like my musical interpretation. Enjoy!

Audio of “Prayer of St. Francis”

Lyrics to “Prayer of St. Francis”

Make me an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon let me bring.
Where there is doubt, let me sow the awesome power of faith.
Where there’s despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me give light.
When life is sad, let me spread happiness and joy.

And grant that I may
Never so much seek to be consoled as console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love,
To be loved as to love,
As to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.
And it is in pardoning, we find our pardon.
And it is in dying that we are born,
Born to eternal life.
Amen.

Make me an instrument, an instrument of peace.

“Prayer of St. Francis” is a song off of Matt’s newest album, “It’s Time,” a collection of 11 original songs released in January, 2013. For more information on how to purchase, please visit www.mattwesselmusic.com.

Advertisements

Wherever You Go

As I count down the days until “It’s Time” is available for purchase, I thought it would be interesting to write blogs about one or two of the new tracks.

“Wherever You Go” is one of the truly new, never-before-heard songs which make up over half of the album’s 11 tracks. This particular song is about my relationship with my wife, Katie, built around our decision of whether or not to move to Munich, Germany. When I was weighing the pros and cons of going versus staying, I came to a realization that I was far less scared of a potential move because I knew I’d be doing it with Katie. I realized that I didn’t really care where I lived or what I did, as long as I was with my wife.

The concept of ‘wherever you go I will follow’ is hardly new. The Book of Ruth in the Old Testament says:

“Where you go, I will go. And where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and Your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

As you can imagine, this piece of scripture has been used for ages at weddings. It’s the perfect message for two individuals coming together as one; a perfect message of unity. And there are no shortage of songs with this text, songs that are titled – as you would likely guess – “Wherever You Go.”

But this song isn’t a religious or liturgical song. It has a mainstream, pop feel and was written to be more of a love song to transcend cultures, ages and religions. The lyrics have the “wherever you go” message, but with a personal spin that ties in our Germany decision (“And now we have a choice to make.” “We’ll have the time of our lives.”). But in the end, the song is a love letter from me to Katie saying, “As long as I am here on this earth, I will go wherever you go and be by your side.”

Audio Sample of “Wherever You Go”

Lyrics to “Wherever You Go”

From the day we started
My heart and mind, they always knew
That this world I live in would mean nothing without you.

And now we have a choice to make.
Which way to go, which path to take.
The one less traveled or the one we’re walking through?

Every indication says the time is right.
Every explanation: you and I.

As long as the sun still shines in bright blue skies
And dark nights turn to morning
As long as the stars tell time
I’ll go where you go
No matter the path we weave or the scars we leave
Or the fate that we are given
As long as my body breathes
I’ll go wherever you go.

Better days will find us.
Some days will hurt more than before.
But I’ll protect you when the rain begins to pour.

My life will never be the same.
The life I’ve started here will change.
But how amazing that my life will change with yours.

No more hesitation.
We’ll have the time of our lives.
Every indication says it’s time.

As long as the sun still shines in bright blue skies
And dark nights turn to morning
As long as the stars tell time
I’ll go where you go
No matter the path we weave or the scars we leave
Or the fate that we are given
As long as my body breathes
I’ll go wherever you go.

From this moment on I trust that we will always see the brighter side.
From this moment on I give to you all I have, what’s inside of me.
From this moment on I pray that God will walk with us, talk with us.
From this moment on where you live is my home.

No more hesitation.
We’ll have the time of our lives.
Every indication says it’s time.

As long as the sun still shines in bright blue skies
And dark nights turn to morning
As long as the stars tell time
I’ll go where you go
No matter the path we weave or the scars we leave
Or the fate that we are given
As long as my body breathes
I’ll go wherever you go.

(Visit my website for lyrics to all of my new songs.)

“Wherever You Go” is a song off of Matt’s newest album, “It’s Time,” a collection of 11 original songs released in January, 2013. For more information on how to purchase, please visit www.mattwesselmusic.com.

Almost time for “It’s Time”

I just uploaded all 11 tracks from the new album to a Nashville-based mastering studio that will help me put the finishing touches on each song. That step should take about a week and, once done, the album will make its way to iTunes!

So at this time I figured I could let everyone know what the name of the album will be. It’s called “It’s Time” and features a mix of familiar songs (as old as 2006) and several brand new ones written this year. In alphabetical order:

Doolin
Eileen’s Song
Eternity
If We Walk
It’s Time
Lorraine’s Song
My Love
Place of Mine
Prayer of St. Francis
This Could Be
Wherever You Go

I plan to share some audio samples this week, as well as the cover image. Stay tuned!

New album in the new year

Try as I might, I’m just not going to be able to get the new album out by the end of the year. (Although it will be very close.) At this point it looks like I’ll wrap up vocal recording this week and have final mixes by Christmas. But given the holiday rush, the studio that’s mastering the album won’t have it done until the first week of January. Once that’s done, it will only take a matter of days for it to appear on iTunes. So I’m hoping that everything will be pushed back just a couple of weeks.

When you spend so much time on a single project like this, the last thing you want to do is rush a component just to hit a meaningless release date. Still, I apologize for the delay. But it’s coming soon, I promise!

Getting close

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a new album since August. As of today, all that is left is to record one cello part and a few vocal parts. Once that’s wrapped up by the middle of next week, I’ll spent one final week of editing before sending the files to a mastering studio. I’m guessing that will take about a week. Once that’s done, the album will be ready to upload to iTunes!

I’ve always put a “December 2012” deadline on the album, but it might end up being the first or second week of January, with hard copies available closer to the end of that month. Either way — it’s very, very close. The songs are sounding really great and I can’t wait to share them all with you.

I’ll share some audio samples on the site once I have the final mixes in hand — before they’re available on iTunes!