Beyond Awaits | The Contemporary Requiem

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New Age: Healing Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Vocal
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The Contemporary Requiem

by Beyond Awaits

Deep, moving, and lyrical, The Contemporary Requiem is a powerful journey through the grieving process. Classically influenced vocal, acoustic, and orchestral tracks take the listener on a masterfully crafted, Celtic infused journey. Love, loss, hope.
Genre: New Age: Healing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. To Pay Our Respects
3:14 $0.99
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2. Loss - Land With No Shadows
2:20 $0.99
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3. Interlude - Miserere
2:31 $0.99
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4. Grieving - Without You
5:13 $0.99
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5. Interlude - Through Us
1:54 $0.99
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6. Reflection - You Are Not Alone
7:19 $0.99
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7. Acceptance Pt 1 - Missing You
3:05 $0.99
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8. Acceptance Pt 2 - Here With Me
7:06 $0.99
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9. Goodbye - Goodbye to Yesterday
6:05 $0.99
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10. Rest - Blessed Respite
2:16 $0.99
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11. A Farewell To Sorrow
1:35 $0.99
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12. Serendipity - The Meaning of Life
3:16 $0.99
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13. Amazing Grace
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In the summer of 2005 David Takitaki and Mike Borgerding assembled at JUCE BOX Recordings in Muskegon, Michigan. They were there to record two a cappella songs that had been bouncing around in David’s head, songs he wished could be more than just ideas.

Mike generously offered his studio up for the task, and so with little other than David’s voice and rough tracks the two set forth to do some recording. Little did they know this would be the beginning of what we now know as The Contemporary Requiem.

Upon the realization that the two songs had a similar theme, they brainstormed the idea of putting together a conceptual musical project. Mike's father John had passed in January of 2005, followed only a few months later by David’s mother Kathleen. Their own experiences with grief, combined with the desire to craft a tribute to the memory of their parents, caused inspiration to bloom. They dreamed of recording an album that was a narrative of the emotions, struggles and stages an individual goes through in losing a loved one.

At their next meeting Mike produced compact disc from the archive of music he had recorded. On it was more than thirty minutes of emotionally charged piano music that he had written a mere 2 weeks before his father had passed away. They took from these recordings the groundwork for the songs that Mike would later write on the piano, and when combined with the spirit of the two a cappella pieces, these songs gave birth to the Contemporary Requiem. When the conceptual framework was laid out and the melodies were arranged accordingly, Mike was able to create the soul of what the Contemporary Requiem would become.

The music was written in sequence to the conceptual framework so the emotion and story would be reflected in key, meter and mode. Once the basics of the songs were constructed, David took them and began writing lyrics and melodies that could express the sort of emotions that he had felt while coping with the death of his mother. Meanwhile, Mike was orchestrating, arranging, and performing parts for nearly every instrument heard in the Contemporary Requiem, using his talent to infuse his own experience with loss into the music. They recorded David’s lead vocals first, followed by many of Mike’s lead and harmony parts. With these parts recorded, the stage was set for the project’s next participant: Karen Mike.

Karen’s vocals rounded out the sound beautifully, and with her contribution Mike was able to complete his vocal work as well, creating the subtle, complex harmonies prevalent throughout the Requiem. Afterwards, Mike finished the guitar solos, mandolin parts, and added a number of "special little touches". Always wanting to involve and encourage other local musicians, Mike invited bassist Matt DiRito (of rock sensation Pop Evil) to join the project. Matt was a former band-mate of Mike’s and added his talent to the project with a masterful performance on “Goodbye”.

Additional instrumentation was added when Mike discovered Karen’s talent as a Harpist. Her sorrowful, evocative performance at the end of “Grieving” exists as a tribute to both her skill and Mike’s infallible ear. With principal recording complete, David and Mike realized that their collaboration needed a name. They wanted something representative of both the Requiem and any future endeavors, and it was in thinking of both those things that they found their muse. A few years before her death David’s mother had written a touching poem about passing entitled “Beyond Awaits”. Realizing that the title would be perfect for their collaborations, David and Mike adopted Beyond Awaits as their moniker for the sense of possibility and potential it conveyed. Now a musical group, they still felt there was something more they needed to do. The project, a tribute to their loved ones, seemed incomplete.

Drawing on their diverse musical backgrounds, Mike and David envisioned allowing some of the people they cared about to become part of their project in a very personal way. “Amazing Grace”, a song with significant meaning to both families, became their way to make The Contemporary Requiem a communal effort. David, Mike and Karen created a reference track for other singers and set about assembling a choir.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon friends and family came together and sang in the JUCE BOX studio. Thanks to David’s charm and an evening of conversation over some whiskey, International Irish music legend Seamus Kennedy joined the choir as well. Seamus was a headliner at the Michigan Irish Music Festival in Muskegon during the same weekend they were recording, and when he learned that his new friend David would not be attending the festival because of the recording session, he graciously offered to add his voice to the project. Additional vocalists who couldn’t join them that Sunday were recorded over the next few weeks, and with everyone’s contribution the earthy, authentic sound of a community chorus took form. Professionalism and precision took a back seat to joy and celebration as everyone discovered that it is harder to sing when you can’t stop smiling.

With “Amazing Grace” completed, David and Mike considered continuing with Seamus’ Irish inspiration. Could a Dutchman and a Polynesian be Irish too? Of course they could! Enter Dave Stuart O'Neil. Using the very first piece of music David had ever written, Mike and Dave Stuart O’Neil created the stirring bagpipe melody that begins the Requiem. Thanks to Seamus, Dave Stuart O'Neil and Karen’s harp the boys had some Irish infusion to round out their project, yet an element was still missing. There was an emotion that hadn’t been fulfilled, a necessary theme that had not been covered.

During the entire project both David and Mike felt the stings of fate pulling at them. Events and ideas always seemed to align at the right moment to take their project to the next level, and David mentioned to Mike that those fortunate chances, that serendipity, was something in which he took great solace. Musing that those serendipitous moments – so filled with joy, creation, and love – were part of the true meaning of life, both men found themselves moved by their project and the road they had traveled together. Once again, Mike was immediately inspired.

During the choral recording session Seamus Kennedy, ever the glib entertainer, had made several quips that were picked up on the studio’s equipment. While waiting in between takes, Seamus had joked “What are we doing? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?” and gotten a laugh from those in attendance. A master of minutia, Mike remembered the quip and knew he had one extra excerpt of unused bagpipe music from a performance that Dave Stuart O’Neil had opted to re-record. Knowing that David was a confessed Irish music addict, Mike dreamed of a grand piece of music in a Celtic style.

Over the course of a weekend Mike combined thunderous drums, mandolins, classical guitar, and a host of other instruments to create something hypnotic in its vibrancy. Stopping only for restroom breaks and to feed his cat Mr. Bob, Mike incorporated instruments from all over the world to give the final Requiem track a universal sound and appeal. Steel drums from Jamaica, gongs from China, African percussion and Australian didgeridoo all combine in a glorious affirmation of living. The song was exactly what the project needed, the light of life after the long night of grieving. Finally sated, they named the song after the idea that inspired it: Serendipity.

Mike then had the task of putting it all together. He mixed, equalized, and finalized the tracks while proofing them for duplication. Once it was all done, Mike and David toasted over a Strongbow Dry Cider and set out to design the cosmetic aspects of the project.

This would have been an impossible task if it had not been for the direction and input of Arthur Dreese, a local graphic designer, illustrator, and member of the Beyond Awaits Choir. Mike and David decided on artwork that would convey the emotion of the project and arranged it into the needed templates for the CD. In went the artwork, the thanks, the lyrics, the liner notes, and the pictures of the two people whom they had reflected on throughout the entire project. Finally, the Contemporary Requiem was complete.

David and Mike then entered into the final phase of their project: giving something back. They have arranged to donate a significant portion of the profits from the sales of the Contemporary Requiem to charity in addition to making their music available as a counseling tool for those experiencing grief and loss.

More details are available at the Beyond Awaits website, www.beyondawaits.com

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