I've found a groove that works well to productively produce music and I want to share my songwriting process. I recently released a new single, called Christmas Is Complete. Not only did I release a holiday single but I released 3 different versions of my song! My favorite version of all 3 is the remix featuring my husband, MC ZiLL.
Lyric video for my original holiday single
Notating A Music Score
All my ballads start in the same place. Sitting down at the piano writing my melody and chord progression as lyrics come naturally. For the beginning of my song construction I use a software program called Finale to notate a music score. Once the song is written down I can see the bigger picture for the next step.
Next I head into to my humble home recording studio where I enter a creative phase to produce the song. This is my chance to get carried away with the song and try many ideas. Nothing is permanent. The final version of my song comes into fruition like an ice sculptor, chipping away, cutting, and slicing until the song has morphed into one simultaneous entity. With a rush of energy and concentration, pre-production always is fast moving so I can let ideas naturally flow without slowing down. You won't be able to reach me during this phase of songwriting, as I'm always in airplane mode when I write.
This is a tedious but necessary part of building my songs. For this stage I use my simple recording set up to practice recording for the professional studio. Over a few days I intensely train and listen so I can build my leads, mids, highs, and all other vocal tracks. When I go into the professional recording studio my goal is to hit every take on the first take.
This is game day. Like a musical athlete, I'm fully focused and prepared to have the best performance this song may ever have. Being prepared for the session gives me the opportunity to be completely present with the music allowing myself to feel the song like it's the first time. It's always a great feeling to finish the recording session and send the music off to mixing and mastering. My job as a writer has been done... but not as an artist.
Behind the scenes footage recording our new song!
All good music is backed up by great visual artwork, from music videos to album covers. I enjoy designing the cover art for my albums and singles. Thanks to technology I can design visual art right from my phone. Also, I get a lot of help from my photographers!
The artwork for my original holiday single was created by yours truly!
Thanks to Ashley Lynn Photography for snapping this photo we used on the remix album cover. For many symbolic reasons, MC ZiLL had the idea to create a completed puzzle piece.
Thanks to Heather Bellini Photography for snapping this elegant photo that perfectly pairs well with the acoustic version of my single.
Finally I release my song after the music has been mixed and mastered, artwork done, copyrights, and publishing successfully handled. It's a process! I enjoy some parts of songwriting much more than others, but a song would never fully come into fruition without all the moving parts, from easy and hard, like all journeys in life.
Behind the scenes footage recording the acoustic version of Christmas Is Complete!
About Katie Ann
Composer of the album, Wedding Music, ASCAP member, Katie Ann, is a music producer and music artist who has successfully released many works of art through her publishing company, LK PRO. A certified member of Wedding Wire and Buffalo Bridal Association, Katie Ann is a singing pianist specializing performing weddings and other special events. As an accomplished musician she offers voice and piano lessons to aspiring children and adults.