Here's my arrangement of As the Deer on my ~1949 Estey Junior Reed Organ! Part of the intent of this video was to demo as many of its tone capabilities as possible. :)
I know it's a bit strange to release two separate arrangements of the same song back to back, but I really love how this one turned out for reed organ and I got to thinking that I'd prefer to keep all my RO content on the same channel. Part of the reason I wanted to record it when I did was because I'm working on a farm down in New Mexico and this organ is still located at my parents' house in Colorado. When I'm missing playing it, I can come back to this video and remind myself of how it sounds (and share that with you all in the process :D ).
Hit Read More for more information on this reed organ.
Draw Me Close to You is another one of those classic songs I've wanted to record for a while, but I'd been holding off doing it for some time because I wanted to find the right person to collaborate with. Well, I recently met Elisha thanks to the suggestion of a mutual friend and after some brief discussion, we settled on this one as the first song we'd cover together (more collabs coming in the future Lord-willing).
Arrangement Partially Inspired by Michael W. Smith
Everything's Alright - To the Moon
Ever since I played To The Moon by Freebird Games (the game that this song was written for), I've wanted to make a cover of Everything's Alright by Laura Shigihara. I have a thing for story games and this one is particularly touching and heartbreaking. The developer, Kan Gao, is a genius, and Laura's original song for it just knocks it completely out of the park. If you haven't already played To The Moon yourself, I highly recommend it.
The hammer-on technique used here in the intro and the transitions took a bit of time and effort to get right, but I think I finally nailed it. Originally, I only planned to make this arrangement for voice and guitar only, but after getting the idea to try adding a clarinet (which I eventually decided against), I simply couldn't help myself and ended up going all out with the orchestration. Writing / arranging for orchestral instruments is a skill I've previously had almost no experience with, so this project ended up being my first example of a rather successful attempt at it. Personally I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
As I'm writing this, there's less than half an hour left in 2020. And boy... what a year it's been. I sure do hope 2021 is actually an improvement, but that remains to be seen. Happy New Year everyone!
I know this song is kinda played to death around this time of year, but I wanted to record my own version anyway. xD Also, it may already be 2021 by the time most of you watch this, but everything in this video was recorded, produced, and published on New Years Eve 2020 (so it was still relevant 😉).
Hope you enjoyed this first video with my new baritone uke! I'm mildly obsessed with the sound, not gonna lie.
Wandering - Lauryn Marie
I know I literally just covered The Optimist with Jessie a few weeks ago, but recently I figured out how to play Wandering (another song by Lauryn Marie) and there was no way I was gonna put off recording it.
Wandering is (and has been since I first heard it) my all time favorite song she's written as it combines a new melody and new lyrics with the classic hymn called Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Once you finish watching my cover, I highly recommend you go check out the original which I've linked in the end screen.
I've wanted to cover White Christmas for a long time (it's so fun to sing!) but always felt weird singing it since I don't actually celebrate Christmas. Well, last night was the first night of Hanukkah (today is the first day!) and we got snow! As soon as I began to come up with some fun lyric changes, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to re-interpret the song in a more personally relevant way. :)
This video hit a lot of firsts for me:
It was the first time I've gone from idea to finished, posted product in less than 24 hours on this channel.
It was the first time I've actually filmed myself singing in snow.
It was the first time I've written / recorded an instrument solo for an arrangement.
And finally, it was the first time I've used a reed organ as part of a larger project instead of simply by itself!
All super fun milestones for me personally.
Every sound you hear in this video (with the exception of the jingle bells since I still haven't gotten my hands on a set of those yet) was recorded with its corresponding physical instrument - that includes my voice (obviously), ukulele, bass, cajon with brushes, and reed organ. I'm really excited that I'm getting to the point where music production of this caliber is possible without having to rely so heavily on samples or synthesized instruments.
Last Tuesday, the 17th of November, marks the 1 year anniversary of the day that my friend and I (a different friend - not Jessie) first found Lauryn Marie's channel and subscribed to it! Lauryn is still my favorite artist a year later and I thought it would be fitting to commemorate the occasion by covering another one of her songs! (I can't believe it's been a whole year! 😯) This song - The Optimist - is the sequel / sister song to The Fear, which I covered back in May of this year.
The Optimist means quite a bit to me right now because lately I've found myself in the same position that it was written from. The world has been so full of evil men, immorality, and corruption lately that I've found it difficult to know how to encourage friends - and frankly I've been feeling like the situation is little hopeless myself. But praise God that we know Who wins in the end and it ain't the enemy!
More info about the backstory below. :)
THis Isn't the End - Owl City
This Isn't the End by Owl City has been one of my favorite songs ever since I first heard it. It's a reminder that even when everything going on around us seems completely hopeless and out of our control, there's still hope.
I've wanted to record this song for a very long time, but I wanted to wait to do that until I felt could do it justice. Loads of time and effort later and here we are! In my opinion, this is one of the best, most hard hitting songs Adam Young has ever written. I hope you enjoy listening to my rendition of this beautifully heartbreaking song.
In Colorado, we got our first snow of the season on September 8th, 2020. Yes, you read that correctly, *September* 8th! I recorded this video last week. xD Hit "read more" below the video to hear the story of how this project came to be.
I originally came up with a previous version of this arrangement in December of 2016 and ever since I recorded a sample of it and shared it with my friend Michelle, she's been pushing for me to release a complete version publicly on YouTube. Well here it is almost 4 years later!
Recently, I decided to re-learn my arrangement of this song and not only that, but completely revamp it altogether. It's taken me quite a while to perfect and getting a good recording of it was rather difficult for some reason, but here we are nonetheless! I hope you enjoy it.
Along with being a YouTuber, Filmmaker, Photographer, and Geocacher, Joshua is also a musician. Every so often he tries to post a new song cover on his JRM Vlogs YouTube channel. This page collects them all into a neat little group. :)