Behind The Songs – A Still and Quiet Night

Christmas Single – A Still and Quiet Night

One of the biggest (and I think), most difficult places to show the love of Christ is to our spouse: in which we have many opportunities to practice grace, allowing iron to sharpen iron to mature and prepare us for future glory.

In marriage, many couples face an unintentional drift as they prepare for the Empty Nest. For many years the focus of the union has been on the children and as they prepare to leave, and once the children are out the door husbands and wives have to rediscover each other once more. There may have been preconceived ideas of what the latter years were going to look like and once we are there, we find it is nothing like we had dreamed out. We may question, who is this person I live with? And sadly, over 50% become divorced. They even have a term for this kind of divorce in these latter years: Gray Divorce.

But there are ways to be intentional to try and close the gap as you transition into the next phase of your marriage relationship and to inoculate it against the “D word”. It is an intentional turning into one another, finding things in common, appreciating new direction for one another, etc.  A Still and Quiet Night is not only a song of memories of the way things were when the children were little and growing up at home, but also an acknowledgement of the loss of our grown babies. Christmas seems to be the time, as it comes at the end of a calendar year, where we take more account of our lives. Where are we in life? What happened? Where did the years go? We miss our kids! Now it’s just us and we aren’t sure we like each other right now!

Questions like these, can take us on a journey at Christmas to learn how to create new memories of what love is about. Times change, children leave, traditions change, we are older, it’s quieter in the house, we are more gray, balding or wrinkled, finding ourselves more lonely…but love always remains if we invite it in.

What greater time than at Christmas to reflect on the love that God has for us by sending Himself to us in the form of a baby, Jesus the Christ, Emmanuel, reconciling us to Himself. Christ reminds us of what love is and He brings His peace into our hearts through His Holy Spirit, giving us the ministry of reconciliation. It is the interpretation of this love, lived out in real life that finds us rediscovering each other in a new light; and therefore, making new memories for our future.
 
Production Notes:

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My producer Eric Copeland (Creative Soul Records) and I worked on this song as a co-write this last Summer of July 2014, as I was touring across the country with my new album project, Where I Am. We met up at Word Entertainment in one of the writing rooms and I shared my ideas of the first verse with him. He started to town on a melody idea for the arrangement and came up with a beautiful interlude of Silent Night, Holy Night in the middle of the song.

Eric didn’t know it, but Silent Night was one of the very first songs that my brother and I learned to sing in German for our German grandparents. We recorded it on a little tape recorder for our Oma and Opa when we were very young (possibly around 6 and 4) and when they received the cassette tape, they were overjoyed to hear their American grandchildren singing in their native tongue. So that is a very special part in the song for me, that holds wonderful memories of my own childhood and heritage.

We started the lyrics on the 2nd verse trying to be mindful of what it might look like to revive a marriage by bringing a little romance back into it at Christmastime. We finished up the second verse long distance and then sent it off for production. I love the creativity that all the players brought to this project and one of my most favorite parts in the song, is a bass part in “not a creature stirs or makes another sound”.

A Still and Quiet Night

Jen Haugland & Eric Copeland ©2014 Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP) & From the Moment Music (BMI)

V1

All the moments that we sit around the tree

Hold our memories of everything that used to be

To see our little ones their eyes so opened wide

As they stared at all the pretty bulbs so bright

 

PC

Oh where did the years go, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

V2

As we find ourselves here sitting by the fire

And an ember sparks a warmth of new desire

While the snow falls silent outside on the ground

Not a creature stirs or makes another sound

 

PC2

So this is our moment, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

Instrumental Interlude – Silent Night, Holy Night

 

PC2

So this is our moment, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

*Honorable Mention, Cindy Wilt Colville Excellence in Songwriting Award – CMS NW 2014

 

Session Players (and, by the way, the guys behind Player A):

John Hammond (drums/percussion)

Gary Lunn (bass)

Mark Baldwin (guitar)

Eric Copeland (keys)

Ronnie Brookshire (Engineering & Mixing)

 

Frequency.FM Interview – A Still and Quiet Night

Last week I had an enjoyable Skype interview with Joe Brookhouse of Frequency.FM to talk about my new Christmas single, A Still and Quiet Night. I like to think of the meaning of Christmas as being an outpouring of God’s heart and love to us by sending us His Son, Jesus, God incarnate: to reconcile us to Himself and to one another by showing us what it means to love one another well, while we are here on this earth.

Here is the link to the podcast, article and additional links. Please share it with as many people as you can! You just never know when someone really needs to hear something that will really touch them. We also thought we were just a little funny in the interview…you might chuckle once or twice. Maybe. 😉

Frequency-Banner Frequency.FM Amp’d Interview – Jen Haugland

Honorable Mention

I was so blessed to receive an Honorable Mention for my new Christmas single “A Still and Quiet Night” for the Cindy Wilt Colville Excellence in Songwriting Award last night at the Christian Musician Summit NW! What made it even more special, was to see Bruce Colville, Cindy’s widower, who was there to present the main award. I went to Cindy’s first Songwriting Intensive Retreat in 2012 and she also mentored me as a songwriter for a few months in 2012/13. Seeing Bruce is like being a little bit closer to Cindy. She is greatly missed by so many of us. I am really looking forward to her legacy continuing through the Next Level Songs Retreat in March 2015.

To all of the musician industry and songwriting professionals at CMS NW who voted on the winners and gave me the Honorable Mention and to Bruce, I am deeply touched. It was profoundly personal to me, because of who Cindy was to me. Thank you!

Bruce Colville

Purchase A Still and Quiet Night

Where I Am Tour 2014 in Review – Part I

What makes a good tour?

There is no way that I could re-cap every detail from the tour, but I thought I would at least share some thoughts and pictures from my time out there on the road. To say the least…it was WONDERFUL! And God led me every step of the way, keeping me safe.

Home

I drove my Toyota Prius, loaded down with all my gear, merchandise and necessities for 5 weeks, out of the driveway from my home in the great Pacific NW of WA through ID, MT, WY, CO, KS, MO, TN, up to VA, (where I hit 4000 miles) back around through PA, IN, IL, IA, NE, CO, WY, MO, ID & WA again.  7,537.5 miles RT! Awesome gas mileage!

Wheatland, WY

I did a Creative Soul TourShare with fellow roster artist of Creative Soul Records,  Skylar Kaylyn. Skylar and I did a fun co-concertIMG_9401 where we shared stories and songs back and forth at her home church of Wheatland Bible in Wheatland, WY.  It was there that I was introduced to Choe Hays, a promoter from Cheyenne, who came to the concert to support Skylar and hear me as well. I was really blessed by meeting Choe. We talked afterwards and Choe said he would like to help promote me in the central states and  Wyoming and we kept in touch on the tour so we could line some events up at the end if I can back through Wyoming. Wheatland Bible Pastor Jason Iacovetto and his wife Anita were such gracious hosts to allow me to stay in their home while they were gone. Anita shared her coffee with me and I helped take care of their fur and feathered family members while they traveled to a wedding back in Pullman, WA (small world, as I graduated from Washington State University in Pullman many years ago and we knew some of the same people!).Image 3

After hitting the road from Wyoming, I found out that my songwriting coach, Songwriter Champion Cindy Wilt Colville, was in Hospice care with stage IV lung cancer and not expected to live much longer. It was a shock to learn of it. Very few people knew.  I had planned on being in Nashville for some co-writing with my producer the second week of July and I was hoping to share the new CD release with her and had invited her to my house concert in Mt. Juliet. She was very instrumental in a couple of the songs on the project: The In-Between and Intentionally. But it all made sense to me then, why I didn’t hear back from her.  My goal was to try and get to Nashville in time to see her once more and say goodbye.

Radio Opps

I made a few contacts for radio while I was on tour and sent CD’s off to Ron Corino, Bethel College Radio, KBCU 88.1 FM North Newton, KS; Arthur Payne of KBAT Christian Radio (online), Kansas City, MO; Creatures Cafe Radio Program (live and online), WWIP 89.1 The Word in Praise, Chesapeake & Virginia Beach, VA; and by the end of the tour Christian Originals Radio (online), Seattle, WA.

Broomfield, CO

IMG_6381Stayed a couple of nights with an old girlfriend, Kim, from Port Townsend High School (WA) where I moved my senior year of high school. We hit the Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens the first day. The next morning for breakfast, I reconnected with aIMG_9487n old friend, Phil, from Valparaiso (IN) where I grew up. We have known each other since 3rd grade. I found out my friend Phil has a major in marketing from both his undergrad and grad schools and wants to help an old friend out with her marketing and getting events booked. Yea! Thanks Phil! I gave him a bunch of marketing materials and hit the road for Springfield, MO.

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Metropolis, IL

Being a tourist: A weak moment with Superman. He and I discussed taking on the world together and saving it from all the bad guys…

Springfield, MO

IMG_9541Then I had the longest drive of my trip to Springfield, MO to stay with another girlfriend, Mindy, from my hometown here in Sequim, WA. She and her husband Steve and daughter Charissa are some pretty big fans of mine and Mindy is the president of my fan club (which right now still seems to be an honorary title as I haven’t give her any work yet, but it sounds good)!  Mindy is a believer and huge fan of my music. She has listened to my songs from the beginning when they first start out as ideas and then to the end when they are published. She and Steve approached the pastor of their church, Redeemer Lutheran, and asked if he would have me come play at their church. As a 5 year old, little Miss Charissa had both my EP Your Love Comes After me and CD Where I Am, completely memorized. So very precious!          IMG_9766

My tour extended over the 4th of July holiday where I had about a week of time with the Moser’s before the Redeemer Lutheran event, so I was able to enjoy the 4th with them and then Mindy helped with a booking at an Assisted Living Center. It was great being at a good ‘ole Midwest 4th of July. So much fun. We watched the parade and enjoyed the fireworks at the Trail of Tears Park. I was so thankful to be with such loving friends who hosted me, even AFTER just moving into their new home!

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Creekside at Elfindale Assisted Living, Springfield, MO

It was such a joy to play for the residents of Creekside Assisted Living! They were so warm and welcoming of me and one sweet older man wanted to make sure he could buy one of my CD’s. I tried to give it to him for free, but he insisted on giving me every dollar he had left in his pocket. He came up short and I told him I was running a special that day and sold him the CD for $5 off! 😉

RedeemerLutheranPrayerPraise071114
Redeemer Lutheran, Springfield, MO

After the 4th, I had a planning meeting with the pastor early in the week to prepare for Friday’s Prayer and Praise night.  I placed

another order of t-shirts that arrived just in time for the concert. Thankfully the t-shirts were made just outside of Springfield so I was able to pick them up in their shop right there in town.

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Another great friend from my old high school in Port Townsend, Shawn, lived just east of Springfield and was willing to help me with my Merch and help promote the concert in her community and church. She was the boss of my merch table! Thanks Shawn, you ROCK!
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Well, it is an understatement to say that the night of prayer and praise at Redeemer Lutheran was an incredible and powerful night to see the Holy Spirit at work.  There is such beauty of joining with a current ministry for the sake of the gospel and growth of God’s people. I love that it is not about me when I am up there in front ministering, but about meeting God where He is at, joining Him at His work. Treasures in heaven.

Mt. Juliet & Nashville, TN

IMG_9988On Monday July 14, I had a songwriting session in one of the writing rooms at Word Entertainment with my producer, Eric Copeland of Creative Soul Records.  We co-wrote a beautiful Christmas song that is currently being mixed right now by Ronnie Brookshire. I can’t wait for you to hear it! It’s a beautiful love song…and that’s all I am going to say about it for now…

On Tuesday night I had another Creative Soul TourShare event, a House Concert with Creative Soul Artist Zach Allen in Mt. Juliet. IMG_0080We did a live stream on U-Stream which worked out pretty well. We even had a couple of fans tune in! Zach’s family was so generous to let me stay in their home during this trip and I really enjoyed being a part of the family and listening to their daily devotions at the breakfast table. Tina is a fantastic cook and host! Zach even showed me how to change my strings on my guitar (yes, I am still learning).

While with Zach’s family, they introduced me to Melinda Chaney.  Zach was going to be playing at an outdoor concert in the park in Stevenson, AL, with Melinda, Friday, July 18. I was fortunate to get invited as well to play with them. So that was in the books.
Until later…Cindy Wilt Colville…Songwriter Champion

CindyJenDeerRunSIR2012Printed in the program for Cindy’s funeral: “I received Christ Jesus, June 12th, 4 days after and from my birthday. I will try to serve him the rest of my life. Romans 10:13 Cindy Lea Wilt” – handwritten on the inside flap of Cindy’s Bible, given to her by her mother and father on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966.

Cindy did just that. She has set quite an example for those of us who knew here and loved her. On Wednesday, July 16, many came together for the most beautiful funeral ceremony for Cindy Wilt Colville, mentor and Champion of Songwriters. About 12 out of 22 of us songwriters from Cindy’s 1st Songwriting Intensive Retreat 2012, were present and filled the whole 3rd row. It was nice to reconnect, but bittersweet as we reflected on Cindy. But because of Cindy, all of our lives have been changed, our songwriting skills have grown and we have made lasting friendships that continue to this day. We miss you Cindy.

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Friday, July 18 in the morning it started raining and by noon it was determined that the concert in Stevenson, AL was needing to be canceled. Not about to let a good opportunity go to waste, Melinda and I still decided to meet with each other as I headed out to GA and we met off an exit just before Chattanooga.  There inside a Wendy’s, we blessed one another with our stories and swapped CD’s. We are looking forward to future opportunities to get to play together.

Peachtree City, GA

Because of the extra days in Nashville with Cindy’s funeral, I was pressed for time and debated how the rest of the tour should go with my driving schedule. I still needed to connect with my family in GA plus try and meet a connection in VA. I decided to push it and do it all. I went to Peachtree City, GA to spend a day with my grandma. I gave my MeMe her own private house concert the next day, while my family went out with friends to a movie. I set up all the equipment in my aunt’s living room and played for her just like the old days when I was growing up. She used to always come to my recitals. It was such a special moment to see her tapping her feet and hands to the rhythms there in my aunt’s living room as I played the songs off the new album to her. A moment with her I will never forget. (Note to self: make sure the keys are turned way down before you first start playing them. My 92 year-old Grandma still has a great startle response).

(to be continued)…

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Behind the Songs: The In-Between

9 more days til the release of Where I Am!

Track 2. The In-Between

I started working on this song in the Fall of 2012 with Cindy Wilt-Colville. I had hired her to work with me on writer development and I really had a desire to dig deeper into myself and pull out the thoughts and experiences of my heart in the hidden places. In the beginning of this early writing career and in developing this music ministry, I was beginning to get a grasp of the unknowns (if that makes any sense), and started to realize that it really was okay to not know what tomorrow brings, but that I could be sure of the here and now, the in-between, where yesterday and tomorrow meet. This is where I am sure that grace has found me and where God speaks to me.

Cindy and I reflected on how people have to make hard decisions in life of which road to go down when life throws us curve balls with such things as a terminal diagnosis, loss of job, divorce, uncertain futures, etc. Sometimes it seems so hard to hear God’s voice and we doubt, and then fear that He must have abandoned us. But then we are reminded of His Word, of a truth that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is very near to us and He knows what we need before we even ask. And so, in faith, we call out to Him and trust that He is here, even when we can’t hear His voice. He loves us so very much. Jesus is our evidence!

Today is where I am, and I’m forever in His hands.

The unknowns are now an adventure for me, even if they are unpleasant. Mainly because I realize I am not in control of what a day brings. But I am in control of how I respond to it. I know that my days are the days that He has planned for me and they are numbered. It’s so much easier to follow Him when I stay with today.

And which of us by being anxious, can add a single hour to our lifespan? He will take care of every need that we have… It is better to keep our focus on Him with a treasure in the Heavens that doesn’t fail. Where a thief doesn’t approach or a moth destroys. For where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. (See Luke 12: 25-34)

I am learning to be comfortable with the “uncomfortableness” of the unknowns. Where yesterday and tomorrow meet is a good place to be!

The In-Between
©2013 Jen Haugland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)

V1
So many roads that I could take
There are choices I must make
Which way will they lead
I wish I could see the forest ‘for the trees
But life’s just not that way
One step every day

Ch
You will meet me in the in-between
Where I’m not sure of many things
But Your love and Your grace
And how they carry me to this place
You will meet me in the in-between
Where yesterday and tomorrow meet
Oh speak to me, speak to me, You speak to me
In the in-between

V2
When I cry out Your name, and I can’t hear
I still sense that You are near
And you know what I need
I’m always amazed that You’ll never leave
Your love, it has no end
A faithful friend

Ch

Bridge
My past is gone I can’t return
The future I have yet to learn
But today is where I am
And I’m forever in Your hands

Ch

Session PlayersImage

Steve Baldwin (guitar)

Mark Hill (bass)

Jeff Roach (keys)

Steve Brewster (drums)

Steve Dady (engineer)

Sunset Blvd Studios, Brentwood, TN

Cindy’s Songwriting Intensive Retreat Part III

(continued from Part II)

That night we stayed up late and we all gathered around the campfire. We worshiped our hearts out under the dark night sky to our Heavenly Father above and it was so beautiful. We thought surely God was glorified in His creation that night by us. After we worshiped we each shared a song we had written. It was incredible to hear all the talent that came from each songwriter. I learned a lot about the heart of each writer that night.

But nothing was more beautiful than our final morning together. Cindy gave us a gift of scripture to go and silently meditate on for 30 minutes. It is an understatement to say that the scripture each person received, ministered directly to his/her heart as if it were meant to be. God is so intentional! Afterwards we had a sweet time of worship in that upper room and then tears flowed as we shared what scripture we had received and what it meant to us in our lives at this time. Beautiful, beautiful hearts… and these are the hearts that will write the songs.

Thank you, Cindy, for a precious weekend of investing in us! We have started off your intensives with a new template… and as one of my new friends said this weekend, “until we meet again…”

 

Cindy’s Songwriting Intensive Retreat Part II

(continued from Part I)

Our longest day was Saturday. We talked about the Big Idea and saying 1 thing and 1 thing only in our songs. We experienced two more opportunities of songwriting in groups of 3 or 4 to focus and write within a select amount of time around a theme. Probably the most grueling (and possibly because it was our third time that weekend) was the afternoon/evening session with special guest and gifted songwriter Sam Mizell. Sam critiqued our first round of our songwriting and then sent us off to make our changes. An hour later we had to come back and present our re-writes.

Sam was generous to come around and give us feedback even in our working groups, which gave us a lot of real-time feedback to work with. Not all of

Sam Mizell

his comments were easy to hear, but we were also stretched beyond the status quo as he challenged us to go beyond and consider the obscure. He pointed out hooks and themes that took our songs to different levels than we thought before. Sam has written for numerous artists, has a Grammy nomination and many Dove awards. We figured he knew what he was talking about! 🙂 Cindy wanted us to understand the importance of our words and that every one of them should be chosen strategically. We only have 3-4 minutes to convey our thoughts in a song so we need to make our words few as more words have less meaning. (continued in Part III)

 

Cindy’s Songwriting Intensive Retreat 2012 Part I

I thought I would share about my weekend as I have finally recovered from it. There really aren’t a lot of words to describe it as it was beyond describable at times. But this last weekend 24 songwriters gathered from all over the country, including Canada, to attend a Cindy Wilt Colville Songwriting Intensive Retreat at Deer Run Retreat Center south of Nashville. Even though we all willingly went it was as if we were all happy little atoms gathering around, until we collided into each other in close quarters of the retreat center like atoms that bind together to make new molecules and then those molecules come together to form new elements… or for this purpose…new songs!

We were challenged in new ways as songwriters and in how to learn to work with other writers that had different perspectives, styles and skills of songwriting. Some were blessed enough to already have cuts by major recording artists, open for other artists in concert, perform in ministries, etc. Many were worship leaders in their own churches and others still seeking direction. But what we all had in common was our faith in Christ and to become better songwriters.

Here are a few highlights that made it so special:

Friday night we had dinner together, settled into our rooms and had our first lecture. Cindy’s theme for the conference focused around Psalm 45:1 “My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.” (ESV) We learned that the word of God really needs to be our wellspring in songwriting. We addressed creativity, what gives our song breath and being a songwriter in community. We were placed in our first small groups to songwrite from an idea or theme. For most of us it was a first time to come together in a group co-write. That night we went to bed wondering what the rest of the weekend would hold for us. It was our weekend for having “margin in our lives.” (continued under Part II)