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Music : The making of "The girl in the picture"
Posted by The Flying Snowman on 2004/4/15 1:09:00 (2160 reads)

From April 2002 till June 2003, a big bunch of songs were recorded at E-Rick's "Flying Snowman" home studio. One of the crucial steps was the recording of extra acoustic instruments (fiddle, tin whistle, flute, guitar, piano, djembé & african percussion, tabla and didjeridoo, played by Yanah and different guest musicians, like Dirk Naessens from Urban Trad), to reinforce the acoustic glance of the original compositions. The exotic instruments colour the songs with a Celtic or Indian atmosphere, exactly the kind of touch Yanah was looking for.

"Making music is like a journey through your emotions, an exploration into your deeper self. It's also a way of communication. I compare it with travelling and discovering new worlds. Recording this album combined two of my aspirations: express my emotions while travelling through different musical landscapes."

The complete album "The Girl In The Picture" consists of 14 pearls of melodic ethnical poprock. The album's title is based on the biography written by Denise Chong about the life of Kim Phuc, once the screaming naked 9-year-old girl in the world-famous picture taken by Nick Ut after a napalm bomb attack on a Buddhist pagoda in South Vietnam.

When confronted with the song, the lyrics and the infinite beauty of Yanah's voice, the now in Canada living Kim
Phuc was deeply touched. All profits of the song are donated to Kim's own organisation that supports child victims of war all over the world. Kim and Yanah met each other in Belgium on September 24th 2003. That day, Yanah handed over the official release of "The Girl In The Picture" to Kim Phuc.

Other songs, like the enigmatic, heart touching lullaby "Cunina" are the result of an inspired collaboration in the studio.

"E-Rick played the tune for me on his acoustic guitar. It sounded a bit Indian, and I suggested dedicating this song to the children in the world, because it could be a lullaby. Cunina is the name of the Roman goddess who protects the newborn babies, but it's also the name of a Belgian organisation helping poor children in countries like Brazil, the Philippines or India. Both E-Rick & I have financially adopted a child through Cunina even before we made that song, so this seemed like the next logical step to do. We asked an Indian table player on "Cunina". The song reminds me of Led Zeppelin or even The Beatles during their psychedelic years."

Recording, mixing and inviting the additional musicians to play their part took many months. For Yanah this was a highly inspiring period. Her songwriting went through a creative phase. In between the recording sessions, she came up with a lot of new and fresh material. These ideas got worked out into very dynamic and clearly more rock sounding tunes. At the end they overruled some of the elder compositions.

Some of these 'last minute' compositions, like "My Little Sister", "Back Against The Wall" and "If This Is What Love Is" turned out to be the most mature and best songs of the cd. Yanah also worked with a Dutch songwriter. Together they turned "Yes or No" into an irresistible popsong. Yanah opened the Flemish preselections for Eurosong 2004 with this song.

Thanks to Yanah, E-Rick took his chance to realise an old dream. Ever since Eagles-singer Don Henley had a huge
hit with "The Boys of Summer" in the summer of 1984, the song was one of E-Rick's all time favourites. He deconstructed the song, based on programmed drums and synthesizers, and came up with a fresh, organic and more ethno-acoustic version.

"We threw all the typical eighties electronic stuff out and recorded the song with acoustic piano, 12-string guitar, double bass, a string quartet and authentic African percussion. Special guest is Patrick Riguelle, both on backing vocals and lapsteel guitar. I'm quite proud of our cover."

Yanah's originals, like the remarkably arranged ode to friendship "That's Why (that's what friends are for)" and the melancholic tune "Where The Sad Winds Blow" (a ballad about loss and despair, brightened up by Yanah's voice and lyrics and a Celtic inspired sound arrangement) prove that this young lady is ready to reveal her art of singing & composing to the rest of the world.

"I like to share my music with other people. Playing live on stage is like communicating with the audience through my music. Because these songs are an emotional part of me, they are in some way, the expression of how I feel about things in life. I really look forward to get on stage with a band and throw the music out."

Listen to the album, look at the girl and realise that the real thing is even better than the girl you see in the picture!

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