Dramatic, spare piano chords with bass and a subtle, heartbeat-like drum pattern bookended by ambient guitar loops … was the initial incarnation of this piece.
It was fine as is, but I felt it was aching for a Peter Gabriel-esque vocal during the middle section. I approached Tim McCready (of Timothy Bailey and the Humans) to see if he’d like to help me out. Tim added not just the emotional baritone I was seeking but a narrative that transformed the whole piece.
The ambient guitar loops and swells were suddenly overlapping “voices” calling out to someone in despair. The plaintive voice comes in but answers itself in the second half. The “voices” swell back into the mix as the person realizes their courage.
At least that’s what I hear. And when I heard it all together in the final mix, it moved me to tears. It’s a wonderful experience to be a part of something like this. Tim has an incredible voice and ability to find strength in vulnerability.
“Helicopter Highway” is available on Apple Music, Spotify and most other streaming platforms including YouTube: