I tried a new form of collaborating recently. I had an idea for a song (just a concept, no lyrics or music) and I gave the idea to my Korean friend, Wonhee for her to write some lyrics in Korean based on the concept. Rather than me writing in English and her translating, I wanted the lyrics to originate in Korean. Many times, when a lyric is translated from one language into another it loses it’s beauty, power, and feeling.
So, Wonhee wrote a lyric in Korean. Now, I don’t speak Korean hardly at all (though I am singing in it more and more often). So, I had some other Korean speakers look at the lyric and they said they liked it. Then Wonhee made a recording of her reading the lyric so I could hear pronunciation, and the cadence. I then wrote a melody to match the cadence of the lyric in Korean. The melody I wrote ended up sounding different from anything I have ever written before, I think because of the influence of the Korean language. All of this was done long-distance.
Then, I got together with Wonhee and a few other encouraging and helpful friends, and we tweaked things until they sounded good to all of us. What resulted was this song. I just sang it for the first time this past weekend and got some good video to share. This live version does not include the first verse (as the Korean pronunciation was too difficult for me to pull off at this point!) or the bridge. I wrote a spontaneous bridge in English instead because I was using the song to respond to a sermon I had just preached about the art of letting go.
See what you think! I would love to know your thoughts about both the process and the product.