Note: This post was written in 2022 and backdated to appear on the date the song was recorded.
It’s happened to all of us. We’re in the middle of one of the most amazing experiences our lives have ever known. Everything is truly amazing and good and full of wonder. The secret that has eluded us for so long is finally clear and it all finally makes sense.
And then we wake up.
- Seraphim Ray Toler 4:34
Such was the event that led to this song. In fact, I think I wrote at least the skeleton of the lyrics before leaving for work, and almost certainly got most of the rest written over the course of the day. The lyrics aren’t so much inspired by the dream I had as a transcription of it. Apparently, my subconscious is far more poetic than the rest of me.
Given where my life was at this point, and the general tenor of everything I’d written in the previous 8 days, I’m fairly certain I came home from work, made an early dinner, and then started working on the music. It’s fairly ambitious for a weeknight track, but I definitely heard a lot going on in my head. It’s also highly likely that I was refining the melody in my head throughout the day as I worked on the lyrics. This “pre-work” mirrors how I often work on any creative endeavor – a lot of the real work is done behind-the-scenes in my brain, often way in the background of everything else, so that when I get to the actual project work, it goes more quickly than you might expect.
I was still in dance mode from the day before, and had an idea about using either a half-time or doubled beat during the chorus. That sort of showed up, as did the rest of what was in my head, resulting in another of my “almost” tracks – it’s almost there. The difference with this one is that I’m pretty sure everything is solid enough that if I were to try it again, I’d come up with a pretty decent song.
It’s a bit frustrating when these happen. I know I have a solid idea, but just don’t have the inspiration, time, talent, or whatever else it is that idea needs to blossom. I had trouble with getting the bass line right, especially with the weird octave thing it does, the arrangement was kind of boring, and I managed to pick a terrible word to sustain: seraphimmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Actually, I’m really surprised I didn’t figure out the solution to that last bit right then and there: sustain the vowel and close with the mmm instead of basically humming. It’s one of those things that is completely obvious, but in the heat of the moment is overpowered by other things. A classic, “what I should have said…” moment.
Additionally, as I look over this project it’s really stripped down. There’s the big verby pluck sound, the bass, a stringer synth, and the drums. That’s it. Lots of room to grow.
I’m definitely not ashamed of this one – it’s a decent song and I like the lyrics. It might not be a diamond in the rough, but it’s certainly a decent cubic zirconium and with a little more polish, will shine up just fine.
Did I wake you? Were you sleeping? I just had the nicest dream We were walking underwater And we were us… but it seemed that We were made of colors, made of night We were onyx shells, bursting with light We were Seraphim We were Seraphim Then you reached out and touched me gently All of time began to swirl And I knew then a peace within me All was right with the world, cause We were made of colors, made of night We were onyx shells, bursting with light We were Seraphim We were Seraphim As I walked among the heavens Absorbing every sun and moon Every answer was there before me The universe in perfect tune But then a discord, a barren desert Every ocean turned to dunes As the morning broke upon me I lost it all, I’m awake too soon We were made of colors, made of night We were onyx shells, bursting with light We were Seraphim We were Seraphim Made of colors, made of night We were onyx shells, bursting with light We were Seraphim We were Seraphim Copyright © 2016 Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.
- Drums: Stylus RMX
- Synths: K2600XS, Omnisphere, Trilian
- Effects: Valhalla VintageVerb, UberMod
- Mixing & Mastering: MOTU Parametric EQ, Masterworks Limiter