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Tom Getter Slack: Blog

Song Story #5 - I Remember Now

Posted on April 10, 2011

Every song has a story. The 9 songs on Looking Glass are no exception. This is the fifth installment of a blog series to talk about how each of them came about.

It's not as easy to talk about instrumentals from the songwriting point of view, but they are songs after all. Sometimes an instrumental seems like an unfinished song waiting for lyrics to be written, other times it just seems to stand on its own without the involvement of words. I Remember Now falls into the latter category.

I'll be honest - this song came out all in a rush after I watched a very inspired performance by Bruce Cockburn on Austin City Limits. He's always been one of my favorite artists, and after listening to him play that night, I just felt like doing some melodic finger-picking and this tune came out as a result.

I think it's fair to talk about how instrumentals develop during the course of recording them, because they can change quite a bit during this process. In fumbling around for a beat on the drum machine, just to get some kind of rythm going to play along with, I stumbled on a Samba beat. In retrospect, some kind of shuffling brush thing might have been more appropriate, but the sort of jazzy feel actually seemed to work, so it stuck. (It's not a drum machine on the recording - Jeff Buck played the drums.)  After layering in some backing electric chorus strumming and rolling bass, it sort of transformed into sounding more like Pat Metheny than Bruce Cockburn.

So why the title? It floated around for quite awhile without one, until I decided this would make a good intro song on Looking Glass. It always had a kind of sentimental feel about it, like remembering a good time in your life, and as an introduction to what amounted to a retrospective of my own musical past, the title 'I Remember Now' just seemed to fit.

One final note - there are a lot of pauses in this song, and in fact on every song on Looking Glass. I really have no idea why this happened, probably a just coincidence. Or maybe it's accidentally symbolic of the start/stop nature of my own musical pathway. At any rate, thank goodness for modern recording technology that allows for the gaps to be silent, instead of tape hiss!