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Video Fun and Games

Apr 7, 2014

The last couple of projects I’ve worked on have dealt with the visual arts. Let me help you to understand the irony of this.

I drew an avocado once, for an art class in high school. It even somewhat resembled an avocado. I have been so proud of this achievement all my life that I often mention it with pride to my children, a couple of whom are visual artists who put my poor little avocado to shame.

“The Avocado” has become a bit of a legend in the DeFord household, complete with those clandestine sympathetic behind-my-back glances that so plainly say, “Poor mom!”

So, needless to say, when these last projects rolled around I didn’t do the visuals–just the music. 🙂

One project came about when I was asked to speak at a nearby Stake’s Women’s Conference in March. At the conference, they were going to display some really outstanding paintings by a member of the stake, Megan Rieker. (Check out some of her art here. Take a look at her “Women of Inspiration” gallery… gorgeous stuff! I particularly love this one.)

A couple of weeks before the conference, Meg and I had a chance to talk a bit, and found that … drum roll… I had been wishing for slides documenting a beautiful painting as it progressed, and that she had a beautiful painting that she had photographed in various stages from start to finish. Funny how these things work out.

The resulting project is this video featuring “The Hour Draws Nigh” by Megan Rieker, set to the song “The Painter’s Hand.”

(There’s also a version without vocals, and download information… check the song page. 🙂 )

The other project was an assignment from the LDS Church Music office, to arrange “I Am A Child of God” as background for a video to be shown during the 2014 General Women’s meeting.

It presented a few interesting challenges: it was an 11th-hour sort of project, and needed to be done quickly; it was still in the planning stages, so there was no specific length, no specific direction on voicings, no specifics at all, really!; and … well… spin it as I might, here was the real challenge… this beautiful children’s song has been arranged so many times by so many talented people that I was unsure whether or not I could come up with anything fresh.

As it turned out, the video itself was so sweet it didn’t matter much what I did.

David Zabriskie did the orchestration; the video footage features wonderful people from around the world. The sheet music is just piano and a melody line. For suggestions on how it might be used, see the “I Am a Child of God” song page.

So much better than avocados.

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