So, Jolie and I recorded a version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow during one of our evening recording sessions at my place. Originally, it was supposed to be a submission on Taxi.com. Unfortunately, the response was they wanted something a little bit more upbeat (think Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s ukulele version). Our version is slower in tempo and more ponderous. I guess in my mind I was referencing Eva Cassidy’s amazing version during the composition process. I felt I’d be happy coming even half as close to the atmosphere created by that seminal recording
We actually had a lot of fun recording the arrangement. It was one of those quick things you do in a half an hour where after taking a step back, you realize you were kind of lucky. Since the recording was a spur of the moment thing, Jolie kind of just sung along while I experimented with different piano lines. I took a different approach from some of my other arrangements by making the piano be more of a background component. Block chords, low registers, empty spacing. As Professor Simpson used to say, “a bed for the vocals to lie on.” I wanted to capture all the things I heard in the song: mysteriousness, solemnity, joy, wonder.
The final product is just piano and vocal. It’s simple and uncomplicated. But when I listen to it, I feel as if there’s soul to the music.
For those who would like the mp3, please visit iTunes: