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Saturday, September 25, 2004

It's done!

Sorry for the long delay in updating. It's hard to blog while doing vocals, and that's what I did in the days following my last posts. Here's a pic of Todd Bragg (from Caedmon's Call) adding some percussion to a track:

Todd Bragg plays some perc Posted by Hello

Recording vocals was hard work, but ultimately satisfying. Cason put me at ease and talked me down from my self-concious ledges during the process.

Soon after finishing up vocals, my wife and I left for a much-needed but poorly timed five-day vacation to the beach with my parents. Here's a picture that Alice took one evening:

A breathtaking view on the coast of North Carolina Posted by Hello

We got back to Nashville on September 1st, and the next morning I re-sang a vocal that we weren't happy with. That afternoon, I went under the laser (kind of like going "under the knife," but more space-age) and got a vision correction procedure called PRK. It's kind of like LASIK, except it doesn't take as much corneal tissue, and takes longer to heal. The following week was difficult, as I couldn't really read or do any work (yet another legitimate excuse for a late blog!), and was very uncomfortable as my eyes healed. My vision isn't quite where I'd like it to be yet (the doctor said it will take three months for it to completely stabilize), but I'm able to drive and read and such. I hope I don't have to go back for a "touch-up," but I may.

My aching eyes were put to the test as I finalized artwork for my CD, done by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Herron (who was responsible for the artwork for Indelible Grace, For All The Saints, and Your King Has Come). The packaging is going to a simple but very cool Digipak, made with rough fiberboard instead of the slick glossy stuff. Here it is:

The CD cover Posted by Hello

As the artwork was being finished, Cason finished up recording some background vocals on the songs. Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Andrew Osenga, Jeremy Casella, and Cason himself all contributed, and they all sound incredible. Once we got everything recorded, I took it over to Shane Wilson, a friend of mine who is one of the top mixing engineers in town (you may have heard records he's mixed for Rich Mullins, Taylor Sorensen, David Crowder Band, and more), and he did a great job as always. After mastering (Jim Demain, who also mastered Your King Has Come), it was off to the duplicators.

The title of the EP (in case you couldn't make it out from the pic), is Even When My Heart Is Breaking. It's from a line in "Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners," and really summarizes what I wanted to communicate with the project as a whole: that God is faithful to both break our hearts when they are hard, and comfort us when we suffer from the brokenheartedness that inevitably comes from living in this broken, fallen world. Here's the tracklisting:

1. Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners
2. Come Ye Sinners
3. 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
4. All I Owe
5. Be Thou My Vision

In case you've bookmarked this blog instead of going through the main page, you should know that I've finished the redesign of matthewsmith.us. You can get a free MP3 containing clips from all five songs on the Music page, and read an interview (on the too-obviously-stated Interview page) that I did that talks more about my story and the thoughts behind this EP.