I have so much to be thankful for. I'm sitting here as I see many writers do in many movies about writers that I have seen, typing and re-typing that first line again and again waiting for that sure direction: type, delete, type, delete...type, delete; and finally, the rhythm and the words just begin to flow. Then, you know you've got it.
I've been thinking a lot about my song, "Your Presence" and the very magnificent, powerful effect it is having on a lot of people. I was recently contacted and invited by the music director of the world's largest on-line music platform to create a profile and up-load my music to their site: ethnocloud.com. He said that he had had a chance to listen to my music and felt my music would be a great fit for their site, and that they, at ethnocloud "Love my music..." For this, I am extremely grateful. With the up-load I had to write a song description. For "Your Presence," this is what I wrote:
The song, "Your Presence" was inspired by a lovely, young lady friend of a few years ago. It is extremely passionate- resonating in desire, want, of a seemingly impossible love between two individuals set worlds apart in age: "Well sometimes it seems that we are worlds apart, in the vastness of this time, don't quite know where to start. Oh feel my yearning, hear my cry, just had to come and say hi. Oh just to be near you, no words spoken, enough to carry me through." It is a song too, of a deep spiritual connection and effect, which, any time that I have sung it live (as a duet with myself to the CD), women can express their gratitude and appreciation no further than the many tears they cry as they express to me afterward, "That is so beautiful...so very beautiful." For this I am so humbled and eternally grateful that my music can touch another human being to this magnitude: to the inner most being. Thank you!
This is what's been fluctuating in my spirit, for days now: the magnificence, magnitude, wonder, strength and beauty of "Your Presence" and how it is reaching the hearts of people. As many others do when I sit and listen, I too, marvel at this song. It's captivating; it's mesmerizing. It's gripping. I remember when I was first in pre-production and laying down the track, it was just me and my guitar. My producer said to me: "Just relax, and sing it as if you were singing it in your living room." I did. Just me, my emotion, the studio and my guitar. When I got home later that day and my producer sent me the link to the pre-production work, I kept listening to the song over and over again. First, it was hard to believe that it was actually me- singing and playing (this seemed like a dream so far out of reach, and something, because of my financial situation, that would never happen!), but greater than this, I kept hearing the sound of keyboards- the sound of a piano accompaniment. I played it over and over again and even played it for my buddy who was there in the studio with me. I told him, "Listen. You can hear the sound of a piano...but, you were there. There was no piano accompaniment." He listened and heard what I had heard. I emailed my producer and asked if he had added an accompaniment and he said no, the track was in its original state.
A few weeks later my producer called me and told me that he had finished the arrangement for "Your Presence." He called me in to have a listen and to add the vocals. We listened to the arrangement a few times to get the feeling and do a dry run with the vocals. Upon hearing the first few seconds I knew immediately that that was the sound I was hearing. I said excitedly and with great surprise to my producer, "That's it! That's the sound I've been hearing! That's the exact accompaniment!" He sat and smiled, then asked if I liked it. I said, "I love it! I absolutely love it! It's beautiful! Let's do it!" Then by the amazing, creative hand and professionalism of my producer, and great, great team work..."Your Presence" was born. And to think, it all started with just three chords that I knew on a guitar: G, A, and D- and an inspiration that birthed some of the most beautiful words that I've ever been privileged to write. Thank you! Thank you so very, very much!
Here's what one of my dearest friends wrote after viewing and listening to the video on youtube:
Godwin. I am so blessed by this song, this music, and this video. Your beautiful smile just brings tears to my eyes. Miss you- love you always- your friend, Elise.
Others wrote and many agreed: "Powerful!" This says it all. Again, I am so grateful.
My nephew and his girlfriend when they first heard my music, and this song in particular, the next day he said to me, "Uncle! We sat and listened to your CD when we got home last night and Amanda just cried. All she could say is, 'This is so beautiful'..."
I sang the song at an intimate gathering at a library event and the lady closest to me wept beautifully through the whole song. Afterward she smiled the most beautiful smile and said, "Thank you. Thank you so much...that is so beautiful."
Recently in my home community, Kincolith, on June 22nd, I had the distinct honor of being the main speaker at the "Community Graduation Celebration." There was about two hundred or more people present. I opened up speaking on goals, aspirations, hopes, dreams, and desires...then sang "Your Presence." It was powerful, it was passionate, and it was beautiful. I was singing in the place where it all began, with my mother and father...with my many sisters and brothers. I was singing in the place that is my home: I was singing in Kincolith, the place of my birth. The interesting thing, before this event, due to incredibly hot and unusual temperatures for our home area (even at this time of the year!), way up north immediately below the Alaska Panhandle- I had almost lost my voice. For days leading into this event I could barely speak, much less in volume without my voice constantly cracking and breaking. The event was a few days away and my voice grew incredibly worse. I did what I knew would be my only hope and I knew I could not possibly back out. I prayed. These are the days that I live for. The days of the seemingly impossible but with great potential for a miracle. The event came, I was called to the front, I whispered, "Okay Father, you're on...let's do it." With no absolute certainty as to how it would turn out or if my voice would return- I took the stage. I began to speak; I began to sing. My voice was one hundred percent...I sang, and I say this "ever so humbly and with extreme, extreme gratitude," I sang, as it were, the spirit of my mother singing through me- with the voice of an angel. I knew it; I felt it: I lived it; I breathed it...every second, every moment. As the lyrics were flowing from my being more beautiful than the mightiest river to one of the most beautiful arrangements that I have ever heard, in my heart through the entire performance, I was humbly thanking the Father- for His faithfulness. They felt it too. I could see it in their faces; I could see it in their eyes; and there was a lady who danced from the beginning to the end- joyfully, and excitedly.
Afterward this other lady came literally, running up to me and said, "Thank you Godwin! That was so beautiful! It made me cry. I cried all the way through, my mother had to hold me. I could really feel it. Thank you!" We hugged. I smiled at her and thanked her.
Many came up to me after this performance and one of the greatest was another one of my nephews, in absolute delight. He hugged, hugged, and hugged me; he could not let me go. He kept shaking my hand and said, "That was awesome uncle! You nailed it! You're a rock star! And that story, that was awesome!" I looked at him and smiled, then said, "Well, getting there...thank you." He could not contain his excitement, and the encouragement and appreciation that flowed from the many others was priceless. I can't help it, and I say this with a slight lump in my throat and with a heart full of gratitude, it's hard to believe that just a few years ago I wanted to die. Oh, how I wanted to die. There seemed to be no hope and that things would never change. I'm glad I didn't die. I'm glad to be alive: to be writing, to be singing, to be sharing, to be loving. I've learned though, as great and as wonderful as this all is, not everyone is going to accept the love I try to give- and the hand of friendship that I try to extend. I've learned too, that this is okay; and that I'm okay.
I'm so thankful for this musical journey and all that it has been so far.
Regardless of where this all goes, I'm so grateful- I'm so very thankful. And to everyone of you who speak to me continuously about "Your Presence," thank you! And I'm so very glad you love the song and it is my true privilege and honor to share it with you.
It is because of you I write; it is because of you I sing: Thank you!
Godwin H. Barton