Unstoppable Garden lyric video and credits
03/03/23 08:00 AM Filed in: Music
Creating Calm and Wild in "Unstoppable Garden"
Whenever it is time to create a lyric video for a song, I am still a novice. I do recognize that creating a visual-emotional representation of an audio-emotional experience is an art form and I respect it deeply. Some of my favorite music videos are Björk's incredible ones, as they truly seem to be ripe expressions of her songs. I also love how she has always collaborated with great artists, not only with her music and fashion, but with her music videos too.
I have been collaborating with a video creator named Paul BZ on Fiverr for all of my lyric videos. Before my first video, I did research on Fiverr for a video creator whose style seemed to match what I was looking for with the song. I found Paul BZ and have been working with him ever since. The creative process with him has been pretty great, as it is clear that he wants to deliver excellently towards your vision for the lyric video. For a reasonable price, he will go through as many rounds with you needed to get it right.
The first draft stage consists of me describing in precise detail what I need for the song to be represented well. With "Unstoppable Garden," since I was inspired by the Netflix show Bridgerton, I wanted the backdrop to the lyrics to be of English country gardens, during the day and at night. I wanted to have elements of a curated and landscaped garden, kind of posh... but juxtaposed with a wild and free natural area. This is how I felt with this series, in that there is such a Regency-era lockdown on emotional expression, only to unleash an organic, uncultivated, natively lush experience of love. I had tried to convey this with the song through my vocals, and so I wanted the lyric video to attempt the same, and I think we did. So, Paul and I had 3-4 rounds of back-and-forth digital discussions, and we ended with this final product. I hope you enjoy it, and also enjoy real gardens that are clipped and ones that are overrun with life.
To contact Paul BZ, you can find him here on Fiverr's website.
Written by Kristine Moon and Kevin McNoldy
Produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Kevin McNoldy
All vocals performed by Kristine Moon
All instruments performed by Kevin McNoldy
©️ 2023 Kristine Moon / Cphonic Records. All rights reserved.
Unstoppable Garden production notes
02/28/23 08:00 AM Filed in: Music
My producer mentioned to me that folks would be interested in "production notes." I thought to myself, "What are those?" After chatting more about it during our weekly calls, I understood. It could be very interesting to people how we create our music, and I'd be happy to share our process.
First of all, my music training throughout my life has been more recreational rather than competitive or professional. The closest I practiced to professional-style training would have been my summer program studying classical voice at The North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC. It is now an incorporated university in the UNC system. I also studied classical voice at UNC-Chapel Hill as an undergraduate. My music theory knowledge needs so much practice and discipline. I look forward to learning more in my life. My music foundation mostly stems from composing by ear.
I have created music off and on my whole life. However, it began in adulthood and motherhood when another kind of muse started visiting me. So at the beginning of creating a song, I hear something. Either in my head or from external source, like a bit of another song in a café or sounds in a city. It can be 1 or 2 bars of a melody. I quickly record that melody in my phone. I have to be FAST because it will escape me if I don't! Then I can go 2 different ways: I can think of a theme I would like to write song lyrics about, or I come up with a line or 2 of lyrics that I'd like to develop. After I get some seeds of lyrics or themes, I then kind of shop in my recordings to see which melody would fit these words or topics. I continue to cobble together the whole song melodically...sometimes just the music and then add the lyrics at the end, or do these simultaneously.
After this step is finished, I record this song into my phone with a specific BPM (beats per minute) through a DAW app (digital audio workstation). I may layer in another harmonizing vocal. I send this to Kevin with a few things... I send him the vocals with a little description of the song, as well as 2-3 songs by artists I admire to show him what I'd like the accompanying music to sound like. I have an in-depth chat with him about these songs, concerning what parts or feelings of those songs that I'd like to emulate in my song and in which certain locations. The more clearly I can articulate what I am going for at the beginning, then the closer the song will be at the first-draft stage of the process.
After that first phase, we will have about 1-2 rounds of revisions before we fully realize the song. Throughout these revisions, I am basically tapping into how the songs are making me feel and how they sound...do the sounds meet my taste and artistic sensibilities? Do the dynamics of the song meet my needs for the message I want to convey? Are we experimenting with different sounds? Are we stretching ourselves into new artistic territories? When these questions are answered satisfactorily and effervescently, then we are finished.
I get song ideas from many things. From personal struggles like healing from past wounds, being inspired by art, or basking in the peace of nature, I write to help myself and others. With the song "Unstoppable Garden," it is funny - I became so entranced with the storyline of Season 2 of the British show Bridgerton on Netflix! I acknowledge that that can seem a bit too saccharine, but it's true! One big reason it carried me away was the fact that 2 dark-skinned South Asian women were at the center of a usually non-diverse medium, Regency-era British romances (like all of Jane Austen's films). They are fun and comforting (despite the non-diversity), and so when this show came out celebrating all colors and experiences of different cultures, I felt like that it was a good start for healthy representation on screen. This show filled me up, and so when my cup overflowed, this song came to me. I think I already had the the basic melody in my recordings, that I had recorded from an entirely separate moment of inspiration. I read some romantic poetry to massage my songwriting muscles and inspire my words. I took some of the images from the show into my mind...a garden at night, candle-lit everything, the juxtaposition of a totally repressed mode of conduct and wild, unstoppable passion...all the sappy things! These aided me in expressing in this song what I wanted...the persistent beauty of true love.
I am constantly learning. I want to continue to grow. Please share with me any sounds and artists you think we would like to hear (and any shows and films I should watch!). I am always wanting to add more colors to our palette. I think I will always feel new to this, but that is beautiful too.
02/13/23 07:00 PM Filed in: Music
I can be quite the hopeless romantic. As a teenager, I came close to being clinically obsessed with the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I know that it doesn't resonate with everyone and reality doesn't reflect such fatal arcs in young people's first love experiences. However, as a 14-year-old, it rang true with me, and has since imprinted in my mind-body-spirit an operating system if you will of how romantic love should be. My husband tempers my rhapsodic releases of rapturous passion I engulf him in with humor and unconditional love.
(I know that there is a current lawsuit alleging child abuse around the nude scenes of this film, and so I hope justice is reached.)
Through my music I can traverse this deep romantic galaxy I have within me, and I hope that you feel a bit of it in my latest song "Unstoppable Garden." Another romantic tale made me rather unwell with how obsessed I became with it, and that took the form of the episodic Netflix show "Bridgerton." Starring 2 dark-skinned South Asian women set in a Regency period English story... this hit my sweet spot as a Filipina-American Anglophile viewer (I can recite swaths of the aforementioned R&J, Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and more). So, this show sent me spinning, and this song helped me create what I was feeling. I hope you enjoy and perhaps it can add something to your Valentine's Day if that is a thing for you... or for whenever you'd like a little lilt in your eyes and voice towards your special person.
V.1: Unstoppable firefly
Unleashed from the night sky
Trembling ears of mine
Pre-chorus 1: Radical, delicate, trust
Chorus: Breathe my echinacea
Drink my honey
Garden clover, for you
On me, all over... yeah...
V.2: Always inviting
Your look, piercing
From the edge of the street
Pre-chorus 2: Forgiveness
In your dance
Sing Chorus 2x to Outro