Carolyn Arends - bio cont.
- Wednesday, April 19, 2000
In 1998, Carolyn and her husband Mark became parents for the first time with the birth of their son, Benjamin. Carolyn calls motherhood a life-changing experience, and one that became the defining theme of her 1999 release, ==This Much I Understand==.
"I was a new mom, and I was definitely feeling more grown-up," Carolyn recalls. "The songs that came out on that one were more gentle and nurturing. It was a more contemplative, watershed kind of time in my life. A lot of it, either overtly or indirectly, is about the miracle of expecting a child and giving birthof bringing a new life into the world. His birth has made me reach several layers deeper in terms of what I believe, and my worldview and where I find hope and meaning. All of a sudden I began to feel like I was really doing something for posterity.
"I love the way he makes me see the world," she continues. "I've been going on for years about attending to every moment, but he is truly where the rubber meets the road. We'll get out of the car to go into restaurant and it'll take us five minutes to walk a few feet because everything is so fascinating to him: the ants crawling on the sidewalk the little bit of grass breaking through the concretegum wrappers. He's become my teacher these days."
The song list of ==Seize The Day & Other Stories== reads like a summary of the best music of the latter half of the '90s, including the title track (both the studio recording and a new live version), "The Power Of Love," "Reaching," "This Is The Stuff," "I Can Hear You," "New Year's Day," "Do What You Do," "This I Know" and "There You Are," as well as two new cuts, "What Love Looks Like" and "They'll Know We Are Christians."
"Musically, I've been looking for years for a combination of modern rhythms and drum loops-even with a slight hip-hop influence-to put against ultra-acoustic instrumentation," she adds. "I worked on this arrangement with my co-producer, Brad Crisler, who came up with the perfect drum loop. We put bazooki, acoustic guitar and strings with that groove, and I knew I'd found what I'd been looking for."
As her creative evolution continues to lead her into exciting new terrain, Carolyn still stands in awe of the response to the song that started it all, and the One who was its inspiration. "I had written 'Seize The Day' a couple of years before I recorded it," she remembers. "Originally it had eight or nine verses. You could eat an entire Caesar salad in the time that it took to sing it! So I trimmed it down to four verses. But it's still very much the song I first wrote. The way it has connected with so many people has transcended my wildest dreams.
"It's a song that conveys something that's really important to me. Those of us who do believe in the hope of an eternity with God should be the lights to our culture. We should be the ones showing the world what it really means to seize the day. When we do things that count to God, we really have seized the day for eternity."
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