22. Oy Vey Maria
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I’ve always felt there’s “gold in them thar hills” of classical music (great tunes that are out of copyright), and I’ve always wanted to do ‘Moonlight Sonata’ with a ripping lead guitar but I just don’t have the playing chops! However Bach’s ‘Ave Maria’ (similar to Schubert’s, but much easier to play) is far more ‘song-worthy’ for my folk style.
Keeping in mind that I’m a rabid anti-theist who was raised in a rabid Catholic household, I initially imagined it as a person railing against ‘God’ for the state of the world. Then I thought ... Jesus wouldn’t be happy about the state of the world he left behind ... Jesus’s mum was Mary ... people talk about problems with their mums ... he was a Jew ... hence a “Oy Vey Maria”!
The whole piece became Jesus, the Man, reviewing his Creation. I hope no offence can be found in the lyrics as I don’t want a pack of baying Fundamentalists brandishing pitchforks outside my door. My brother, a Jehovah’s Witness, sent me a looong email as to why my lyrics were inaccurate. Oy vey!!
The musical arrangement changed from 4/4 to 6/8 to make it move quicker by 25% and to reduce the gaps between the lyrics.
Although the recording/arrangement was completed relatively quickly, two things kept frustrating me for weeks. 1) the transition from the end of the singing to the first notes of the Ave Maria instrumental never worked to my satisfaction despite trying fades, cross-fades, held notes, etc. In the end it was simply delaying the start of the instrumental by a bar of silence to let the previous section decay naturally. 2) the Ave Maria 'lead' sound was problematic ... many orchestral instruments and synths were 'OK' but either didn't cut through all the time, or else the highest note towards the end 'shrieked' uncomfortably. It was persistence and luck finding the one that is used on the track.