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So Great A Gift: Story Behind the Song

Posted by Samantha Hasselbusch on December 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

In the following entry, Samantha shares the story behind track 8 on her “This Perfect Love” album, “So Great A Gift”.

 

Track 8 on “This Perfect Love” is a Christmas hymn entitled “So Great A Gift”. It is a song that reflects upon the birth of Jesus and what that means for us today. I had been attempting to write a Christmas song for quite awhile but had a difficult time capturing the message I was attempting to convey. I not only wanted to, of course, reflect upon Jesus’ birth, but I also wanted to reflect upon Jesus Himself, so great a gift of love and grace, peace and ceaseless mercy. I am always struck by the fact that the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ, and that seems to be a common theme in many of the songs that I write. However, in “So Great A Gift”, it only made sense to reflect upon this truth in relation to the birth of Jesus and the new birth that those who believe have in Him as a Child of God. After crafting the lyrics and melody in December of 2009, I put the song away until nearly two years later when I revisited it and changed a few little things in the lyrics, and “So Great A Gift” came to be.

“So great a gift of grace came in such a lowly way,

As a baby in a manger for His bed;

So great a gift of love, God’s one and only Son,

Who put down His crown and bore a cross instead.”- lyric excerpted from “So Great A Gift (A Christmas Hymn)”

Songwriting

Posted by Samantha Hasselbusch on April 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

In the following entry, Samantha reflects upon the songwriting process and shares a bit about how and when she began writing traditional and contemporary praise and worship music.

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While it is obvious that, as a singer/songwriter/musician, I love making music and especially, creating original music! Writing songs has long been a passion of mine. I have always found it to be enjoyable, and one of the best things is when I get the incredible privilege of sharing the finished product with an audience for the first time. However, even though I always found songwriting enjoyable, it was never something I ever imagined myself doing to any great capacity. In early 2008, however, God began to put song, after song, after song in my heart, and now, approximately four years later, I have finally completed a CD project that is definitely a long time coming for me!

You may ask, “So what goes into songwriting anyway”? The answer… lots and lots of work—prayers, sweat, frustration, and long, long hours of recording and rerecording to get all of the instrumental and vocal tracks just right. Perhaps the greatest part is the joy—tremendous joy! When I finish a song, it more often than not comes out sounding how I heard it in my mind, and I am pleased and thank God for literally putting this ministry in my heart and in my hands as I type out new lyrics, play the parts into the computer, balance everything, and finally, present the finished song to others!

As for all the details of songwriting… allow me to walk you through how I typically approach this process. Much of it is based upon inspiration, so in art, that means that there may not always be a set in stone cut and dried process that everyone prescribes to when developing their particular artwork, whether it be a canvas painting, a short story or novel, or a new song. I have found that the process can change depending on the circumstances. For me, I never know when I’ll write another song. I always have ideas floating around in my head, however, I usually do not write a song on a given idea right away. Inspiration cannot be forced. It must come at the proper time. When God is your inspiration, you can rest assured that His timing will be perfect. As for my process, often times, I write the lyrics for a song first. Then, I will either frame a melody based upon those lyrics, or better yet, the melody and lyrics come at the same time. This has happened on multiple occasions. When this happens, I make a short and sometimes even a sloppy recording of a portion of the song to ensure that I do not forget the melody. Once this is done, the next step in the process for me is to put together the chord progression on the piano and determine what instruments on my electronic keyboard I wish to use in the song. Then, I begin the tedious and somewhat frustrating task of recording the instrumentation of the song into the computer. Once this is done and the parts are matched and balanced, (for volume and sound quality), the next step is to record the vocals. Once this is done, I can balance the vocals to the music, make sure the sound quality is as good as I can possibly get it, and then make an mp3 copy of the song to share with others.

There is a great deal of behind the scenes work that goes into a project like this, and though I have run into some snags along the way over these past few years, I am thankful to God for this incredible ministry and for His provision of all that I needed to be able to share these songs that He has given me. All the glory be to God in this ministry! Amen!


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