The Soundtrack for Your Psalm 119 Experience
If you read through the 176 verses in Psalm 119, what do you see?
I see 22 songs. No, that’s not quite right; I now hear 22 songs.
Over several years, I spent hours working with each eight-line section in Psalm 119 to see if I could develop a song that would help me memorize those verses.
I didn’t want a chant in which I simply put the words to music with no structure. The songs I heard had structure — a hook, a chorus, verses, and a bridge. Only with this “normal” song structure could I remember the words I wanted to hide in my heart.
In the 22 songs I saw hidden in the 176 verses, I wanted songs of different styles that represented the mood, the verbal tone, the emotions the words conveyed. Plus, I wanted songs that would be different enough from I could keep them separated in my mind.
All of us are trapped to a degree by the music we enjoy. I know that is the case with the 22 songs in the Psalm 119 Experience. As I wrote each song, I wrapped words around musical styles I enjoy and which I felt matched the words.
Since I had never planned on other people hearing these songs, I set the bar very low. I only had to enjoy the songs personally. Now that you are listening to them, I realize that you may not share my taste in music. That’s all right. I do hope, however, that the songs will serve their purpose and help you remember the words of Psalm 119 . . . even if they function like a jingle that you cannot get out of mind.
Tricking Your Brain Into Remembering
If you do decide to listen to these songs regularly, here’s what will happen. You’ll remember the words without special effort.
I can’t explain how it happens, but when our brains match words with music, things stick in a way that would not otherwise be possible. What I can tell you is that because of these 22 songs, I now “quote” Psalm 119 regularly and find my spiritual life enriched. Actually, I cannot quote Psalm 119, but I can speak and silently sing the words and enjoy them that way.
The People Behind the Music
I wish I could have captured the recording process for these songs on video. My friend, Greg Nelson, a world class song writer and producer, arranged for top Nashville studio session players — vocalists and instrumentalists to record the songs. To hear these talented men and women take my feeble efforts and bring them to new levels was a creative mountaintop I’ll never forget.
As you listen to the these songs, you’ll be hearing from these incredibly talented people:
Melodie Kirkpatrick – vocals
Kim Flemming – vocals
Vicky Hampton – vocals
Shane McConnell – vocals
Terry White – vocals
Kirk Kirkland – vocals
Dave Cleveland – guitars, banjo, mandolin
Craig Nelson – electric base, string bass
Jason Webb – piano, keyboard
Eric Darken – percussion
In addition to Greg Nelson’s work as the Executive Producer of the project, you’ll hear the expertise that Dennis Allen brought as well. Dennis and his wife, Nan, are wonderful writers, arrangers and producers and I was fortunate to have the benefit of their creative input. We recorded the songs in Steve Dady’s studio, Sunset Blvd., and watched him do engineering magic. It was not until I started working with audio files as part of a podcast that I understood the miracles that Steve Dady works in the studio every day. To top off the project, John Mayfield “mastered” the project in his studio and added elements and balance that I would not have imagined possible.
When it comes to these types of things, I’m a complete novice. Even with Greg Nelson calling in years of favors from people in the industry to get top level work done at “gifts to a friend” prices, the entire project cost thousands of dollars — far more than I estimated when we began.
I so thankful that my wife, Lynn Marie, supported this cazy idea and believed my dream that perhaps through sales of the devotional book and the songs on iTunes, we would one day break-even. If that happens or comes close, I’ll be delighted.
The Psalm 119 Experience Soundtrack
You can purchase The Psalm 119 Experience Music on iTunes and other online music retailers. When you download the album, you’ll get the 22 songs recorded here in Nashville as well as the 22 instrumental tracks that you can use once you have locked the lyrics in your head.
I hope you enjoy listening to the Psalm 119 Experience Music as much as I enjoyed creating it. Please let me know what you think.