The Open Ground.........Leonard Scaper and Christiane Spruit

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Unclenny

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« on: May 23, 2020, 11:45:23 PM »
Hey folks!

My name is Steve but I have been writing and recording as Leonard Scaper since the early 70's. I was a young landscaper back then and I thought Len Scaper sounder like a cool stage name. It kind of stuck over the years. 8)

I am here because I like to listen to homegrown music.

I had thought to introduce myself with a new solo original but I have just finished a collab with a recording artist from Germany named Christiane Spruit and I think this song is important in this harsh time in which we are living.

You can check my own stuff out in the link in my sig.

This song started with a feeling that I have had that if we can only abide in the open and spacious ground of our minds we can better handle the intense way that our world seems to be closing in around us.  Chris took that concept and composed this beautiful piano track. The lyrics were inspired by that track.

I post my songs in the hope of getting better at both the writing and the production by reading how the songs land with folks like you......so please always tell me what you don't like as well as what you do.

 8)

The Open Ground
https://soundcloud.com/scaperandspruit/open-ground

CHORUS
We have made our lives here
We will not trade
What we have found
Will we be saved
On the open ground

V 1
This is our home
We have been tested here
But now things feel kind of strange
As foretold in the songs
This is where we belong
But now the times have changed

CHORUS

V 2
No one lives alone
And with danger so very near
How can we feel free
Seek the open ground
Let your thoughts run free
And you will see

CHORUS

CHORUS 2
We have played out lives here
We will not trade
What we have found
Will we be saved
On the open ground

"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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cowparsleyman

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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2020, 08:27:58 AM »
@Unclenny - welcome indeed, superb opening salvo... liked the arrangement..specifically
No drums
No lengthy intro before vox appear

2:41 I did think the bass could work a counter melody in the second half.

Nice work Steve, look forward to hearing from more.

MichaelA

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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2020, 11:50:08 AM »
Hi @Unclenny, so that's who you are! I do believe we have met somewhere before!  :D Nice to see you here on this particular forum where I've been enjoying sticking around for some time now. Thanks also for the listen on my song 'Squiggle', which I am allowing to sink now.

Well you've turned up with a real lovely opener here Steve. Classic piano accompaniment by Chris and minimally embellished by trademark Scaper baritone strings and deft acoustic guitar touches. Your two voices really sit well together, as I've heard before. A very touching hymn like song, with touches of gospel too.

Great stuff all round and I hope you get a good welcome here!  ;)

Jamie

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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2020, 12:01:45 PM »
@Unclenny
Hi, very good first post! The production is very clean and clear, the arrangement is unfussy and allows the vocals to set the scene. Lovely vocals. Almost hymn like as others have said.
Enjoyable!

Cheers
Jamie

Unclenny

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 12:49:47 PM »
@cowparsleyman .....thanks for that welcome and for the close listen. I know what you mean about that spot at 2:41. In pre-production we talked about leaving that spot for the song to....take a breath....but I can definitely hear a bass run there as well.

@MichaelA .......thanks for checking this one out and it is good to be here with you and so many other fine songwriters.

@Jamie .....thank you for listening and for your appreciation of the way this arrangement came together.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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MonnoDB

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 09:41:17 PM »
Hey Steve @Unclenny - great to see you here.. and a big welcome from me..

Beautiful song - you and Chris work very well together.. Gorgeous piano track..

I did think that you could bring Chris' vocal part in a little more particularly in the chorus to make it more duet and less Chris accompanying you - by having her sing all of the words I mean.. I just LOVE the "On the open ground" line - the phrasing and melody are divine..

Just gorgeous..

K

Unclenny

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 11:08:13 PM »
Hey Karen @MonnoDB ......it's good to be here,

Chris and I went back and forth about the placement of her vocals. At one point she was not sure if she should sing at all. My.....somewhat unique voice....is tough to sing with I think. Anyway, my first mixes had us as a duet but she convinced me to place her as the lead vocalist in a backing coral part instead. I'm good with that now.

Thanks for that critical listen. I am glad to see that folks here are not afraid to speak up with constructive criticism rather than just patting each other on the back.  ;)

 8)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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OleAnders

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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 01:28:43 PM »
I think you have med a very good job with this song. Production and arrangement very nice.  The chours (with backing vocals) and how the first verse enters is excellent.

If anything could be improved it is the first 22 seconds. I would make the starte even more gentle. The vocal should be even softer and the piano a little bit down in volume and not quite as hard on this part.

Unclenny

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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2020, 03:44:52 PM »
Hey @OleAnders .....those are fantastic ideas about the beginning of the song. I will pull the mix back up for a second look at that section. Thank you for listening and for your constructive critique.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Cawproductions

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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2020, 05:30:34 PM »
Hi Unclenny

This is a nice melodic bit of music, the two vocals sit really nice, the piano is a bit to attacky for me but thats a mixing thing, the song is very cool,

Like the bed of strings too, Great productions and mix this end.


moraamarolaloba

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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2020, 05:33:07 PM »
Hi @Unclenny
Hola Steve, it has been a  pleasure to listen to a so beautiful ballad.
Great sound, great lyrics, great voices (your's and Chris Spruit's)
and great piano that through its voice it unifies all the words...
I did not know that to live we had to die so many times
My Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAaK7mFK7fUpf1E99I1Qtow

pompeyjazz

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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 07:36:18 PM »
Welcome to the forum @Unclenny A lovely mellow vibe this is. Great up front vocals, playing, arrangement and production. Good to have you on board  :)

IronKnee

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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2020, 08:03:41 PM »
Good one all............a nice somber piece, with a spiritual element.
Great performances.....love it!
                                                         -Tom
"I know the truth, by my struggle against it"
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Unclenny

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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2020, 09:13:37 PM »
@moraamarolaloba @pompeyjazz @IronKnee ....thank you all for stopping by to check this one out. I appreciate the warm welcome and the support.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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