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Czardas - a sneak peak behind the scenes of our latest music video!

Shooting video in the rain.....or at least shooting between downpours! What fun. NOT! It was discouraging to get all the paperwork done, logistics worked out, and time spent to drive all the way to MO, only to be met with BAD weather! But, God worked out everything for the best and we came away with a video that has more weather features than we had originally planned on! His ways are always best, even though while you’re going through them, it can be easy to wonder. 

As you can see above, we did all sorts of things to keep the rain off the instruments as much as possible!

Umbrellas were our best friends.

The details: We arrived at the location only to have the skies pour and drizzle. Even though the rain lasted all day, we were able to shoot video now and then when the skies let up. The canopy we brought along at the  last minute was invaluable - we were able run under it when it poured and also do some closeups under it during the rain. I would be almost out from under the canopy on one side while the soloist would be as far away from me as possible while still remaining under the canopy. Crowded! Have you ever tried to get 8 people, 8 instruments (including a piano), a generator, umbrellas, and camera equipment all under 1 ten by ten foot canopy? It was tough to keep stuff dry! Beth (a very nice runner) brought us towels to use in drying off our instruments and even opened up her home in case we needed a place to warm up/dry off - thanks Beth!

Here, you can see the canopy when it was only filled with 4 people and part of the equipment - we weren't even shooting footage under it!


Because of all the rain, we weren't able to capture all the footage we were hoping for, so we were able to schedule a return to the park (on our way home from Texas) to finish the video. The only problem was it poured Monday morning when we were again scheduled to shoot video - thankfully, the rain dried up mid-morning, and were were able to grab a few shots before heading home!

I forgot to mention: the hill here was treacherous for filmmakers trying to get a smooth shot without stepping in holes and slipping a bit on rocks!

Take a listen here and see what you think! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8LsbYpw-2w 

In case you’re interested, here’s the backstory behind this unique burned out castle:
According to local folklore, Ha Ha Tonka is an Osage Indian word for laughing waters, alluding to the springs in the gorge far below the castle. This American mansion was built by Robert M. Snyder, a wealthy Kansas City businessman, on more than 5,000 acres. Construction began in 1905 only to be halted a year later with the untimely death of Snyder in one of the state's first automobile accidents. Snyder's sons finished building their father's dream, eventually leasing the property out for use as a hotel, until tragedy struck in 1942. The entire interior was consumed by fire when sparks from a chimney ignited the roof. Today only ruins remain of one man’s dream.

It must have been gorgeous before, but I love the feel it has now!

Check it out on YouTube!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8LsbYpw-2w 

Behind the Scenes of Our Latest Music Video

It's not out yet... But, here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

We are SUPER excited about the videos we've been working on this month! I can hardly believe we'll be shooting our 6th Johnson Strings movie in just a few days! It'll be our third movie to film this month! (Videos #4 and #5 are shot, sorted, and ready to send to my video editor, so stay tuned to see those in the upcoming weeks!)

Here's a little look behind the scenes of the last video we filmed.

During the time this scene was filmed, I was frozen! It was 33 degrees outside. Brrrrr.

Reflectors are VERY useful tools. Here, I was able to get the perfect lighting on Silas' face for his solo.

We had our fair share of clowning around. Laughter makes everything more fun!

Hats add so much character! Figuring out the clothing for each video is a good challenge - coordinating colors that go with our chosen theme and making sure they fit well with each individual's personality.

Ahhh... Here's our good 'ol English gent.

Did I forget to mention all our uninvited company? Picture this: thousands of no-see-ums and swarms of tiny white moths... Days later, my arms are STILL covered in itchy bug bites!!!

Below, we're celebrating the end of a day's hard work - getting up at 4:15 am makes for a long day!

What's YOUR vote? Who's jump picture do you like best?

Who'd you rather be?!!

Who'd you rather be?!!

How'd ya like that expression?

How'd ya like that expression?

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more juicy details!

The COOLEST music ever!

The cold is finally leaving us (maybe)! As spring is approaching, we are thinking about Easter and Christ's resurrection, so it is only proper that I post a few pictures from Christmas, the celebration of our Lord coming to earth. 

(Pretty good excuse to use pictures I never got around to using at Christmas, right?)

I'd have to say, it was really cold doing the unloading and packing up for this concert! But, the warmth of the people there more than made up for our shivering.


Take a look at this music! Isn't it just about the best music you've ever seen? 

What a church!  Nope. We didn't try to play the music. I wonder if anyone ever has recorded it...

What a church!

Nope. We didn't try to play the music. I wonder if anyone ever has recorded it...

Here's a close-up for your inspection.

Here's a close-up for your inspection.

CD project update:

Right now, the CD is being mixed by our engineer, and we are working on figuring out the order of the songs. I am designing the new CD cover, insert, back, and disc. The last of the song royalties are being payed, and we are excited about the approaching release!

 

Wishing you a wonderful day and a joyous spring season.

"And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said." Matthew 28:5-6a

He Is RISEN!

Our Second Adventure at Brookwood Recording Studio in Michigan

We are finally back home again! It was a longer trip this time because... well, I'll explain later.

After driving the 8+ hours, we arrived at our hotel, unloaded and... you guessed it! We practiced until 11 pm! The Best Western staff were kind enough to open up the dining hall so that we wouldn't disturb any other guests.

Yep. Practicing is what we've been doing round the clock lately.

Yep. Practicing is what we've been doing round the clock lately.

Next morning, we started recording our first song at Brookwood Recording Studio with David Lau. While listening to and coaching us after each take, he made the discovery that somehow, when we were re-arranging our arrangements in preparation for the CD, a couple bogus notes had crept in!!! Out came the White-Out and Abigail went to work.

IMG_6607byLaura for web.jpg

Oops.

The problem? Getting the stuff to come out properly!

The problem? Getting the stuff to come out properly!

After some laughs, we finally got enough white-out on the page and got on with the recording.

Next came lunch, then more recording and then going back to the previous session's takes and telling David which ones we wanted. He is SUPER fast (and good!) on those computers.

Then it was back to the hotel, supper, part of a movie, some truffles, and then listening for a long time to all the day's work in the studio.There were many decisions to make on what would go onto the CD. After all, it's on there forever! Kinda scary. And, we had to finish the CD by the end of the next day.

One quick portrait of the group + David Lau, our recording engineer before we hit the road.

One quick portrait of the group + David Lau, our recording engineer before we hit the road.

During the time when the rest of us were recording one song, the guys played Rook,  a really old, fun game.

During the time when the rest of us were recording one song, the guys played Rook,  a really old, fun game.

While we were doing a take, David would be sitting with the score and writing in what takes were best in which places and any mistakes he heard. Such a great help!   Thanks David!

While we were doing a take, David would be sitting with the score and writing in what takes were best in which places and any mistakes he heard. Such a great help! 

Thanks David!

Click on a photo to view it full screen and then use the arrows on the right and the left...

In the early evening we were finished, and started driving. Only instead of going home, we headed east, drove to the coast, and then started back, driving for almost 26 hours non-stop. Very exhausting.

Find out why in next week's edition of the Johnson Strings news!