Outside the box . . . right where I belong!  Indie.

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WEST HEATHERSONG BMI

Singer-Songwriter/Producer

HeatherSong.com

and finally . . .

WHY DEBUT CHRISTMAS TRADITIONALS?























Why does a prolific singer-songwriter of original material debut with primarily public domain Christmas traditionals?  To learn to negotiate the newly evolving digital music realm and its not yet understood means of commerce.    To embrace advantages of producing music familiar to me from the production standpoint, as well as to introduce familiar and beloved music to the new marketplace just in hopes of recognition, facilitated look-ups and potential receptivity.  In terms of exposure, HeatherSong does not perform live and there is no walloping distribution budget.  Public Domain songs are older and beyond Copyright ownership; as such, no royalty payments are required.  This saves money as well as accounting/reporting time for the harried indie.  Besides, do not count me among snobs as regards the magical sentimentality and spiritual flame of these beloved Christmas classics!  I did however seek to hopefully present an endearingly new creative spin to audiences of this burgeoning digital dream. I sensed that dabbling with the surfacing reality-based media approach might be just right.  A cd of family and friends!  What could be more honest, innocent and friendly?  Fun and bonding for participants too.

The name HeatherSong brands me with easier lookups via short memorable description.  The hardest part was convincing everyone it was ONE WORD.  It lets me label my new digital album covers with a name that more than suggests my url or website . . . when digital sales sites still reject any such graphic covers displaying obvious urls, phone numbers or direct contacts.  The riskier, more expensive physical cd approach was still mandatory at the time as, almost without exception, radio stations and placement-related businesses would accept nothing but.  Mailing (to exotic international locations) is expensive.  But I needed as much generous, free exposure as I could possibly muster.  I remain determined to at least pay for my own efforts much less realize a little profit.  That is the system in which I live and I must work within it.  With my humble attempts, I am the least among its experts and “manipulators”.  But the main “intention and motivation” is the welcome global circulation of music in the spirit of HeatherSong.
  I am fortunate to be alive when this is even possible, and just newly possible. 
Thanks so much for receiving our gift!










​People love HeatherSong’s YO, IT’S CHRISTMAS!  It celebrates ethnicity and diversity.  It celebrates family. 
​It’s funny and poignant.  Influences are from hiphop, rock, metal, jazz, reggae, funk, blues, gospel and electronic. Ethnic stylings include Latin, Oriental, Black American, Far East Indian and Mideastern.  Several guest artists are featured. Jim Bilinski’s alluring Tenor Saxophone  and Flute contribute greatly to the appeal of this CD. It’s also a possible donation to YOUR Fundraiser Cause – just contact me!
Lively character scenarios and sound effects abound. These classic Christmas songs include three (3) instrumentals. ​15 of 17 songs are derived from public domain, with 2 Covers: WINTER WONDERLAND and FELIZ NAVIDAD by permission.  Some traditional selections celebrate the birth of Jesus, but this CD is not marketed specifically as “Christian music”. Tunes are kid-friendly and characters represent all ages.  Endearing family members interact in wholesome but never boring reality scenarios that embrace life’s journey and include the serious balanced with plenty of humor and awe.  
HeatherSong has rewritten some of the lyric to update appeal, and offers two new verses to NEW LANG SYNE.

This holiday CD has played on scores of Radio and Television FM / Internet stations internationally.  The deliberate range of style appeals to fans of Alternative Rock, Electronic Pop Crossover, Children’s Music, Christian Music, World Fusion and more. HeatherSong has filled numerous CD requests for airplay/ licensing/ reviews from the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg, Japan, Brazil, Trinidad and more.  YouTube videographers use HeatherSongs! As a final touch, YO, IT'S CHRISTMAS! was mastered by the pro who mastered the hit song MANIAC in the successful film FLASHDANCE. These 17 digitally produced songs were treated to analog warming during the mastering process. UPC Barcode, shrink-wrapped, standard jewel case and featuring CD Text. Physical CDs sold only at CDBaby.com. See WAYS 2 BUY for numerous digital sources like iTunes and Amazon. Search "heathersong" (one word) as either Artist or possibly Label on Playlists, YouTube, digital distribution sites.


​​Total Holiday FUN 48:53!



The owner of the management company had shown me this property mid-renovation (and well overdue).  Sparse kitchen counters were to be replaced with granite!  With its size, amenities and uniqueness that way, I wanted to land this rental and make it mine DIY-style.  She agreed, with some compensation for my work, and I got quick access with lots to accomplish.  No stranger to certain levels of DIY, and with plenty of energy and enthusiasm for having found this gem so quickly, I plowed in.  Plow's the word.  I wanted to ready the place for the anticipated stay of Tom and his family. Management continued their contributions to the reno simultaneously. New carpet.  I requested and got permissions as I moved along.  I spent good time on this endeavor, with the payoff being some customization I would enjoy that also left this property several notches up at the time of my exit. Mostly paint, hard work, attention to detail and cleanup.  Happily satisfied and exhausted, I just made the deadline for Tom.

Susan and Lauren came down from Oregon to record and vacation.  They were also recorded while visiting Tom in Florida when he held a recording session as OFFSITE VOCALS DIRECTOR of our project.   Tom was the only one in his family who recorded for the Christmas cd at the studio.  He had a rare business trip out our way and made time for music too.  All other vocalists were local.  It was only later that Cathy came out to visit on her own and masterfully recorded YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE (see Songwriting Blog).  Early on in June 2004, the entire Florida family came out to explore California and visit friends and old haunts (Kurt's son Tom raised there).  They stayed at their cottage headquarters (coming and going adventure-wise) and enjoyed its quaint privacy and convenience.  I had plenty of room to accommodate them all comfortably since the studio equipment wasn't in yet.  The kids seemed to really enjoy it and asked me about my cottage long afterwards. Cathy made a friend next door.  It was fun.


















​​
Tom did an awesome job recording vocals (and Justin’s recorder) at his home without a formal setup, music or recording background.  He inherited my round pitch pipe via the mail so we could at least stay on the same page.  I gave him sometimes complex instructions for various “peanut gallery” side remarks to record.  Sometimes unison or for me to layer as such, some solo.  I was looking for the right expressions in scenarios and offered explicit script.  Sometimes spontaneous recordings were tried and worked too.  We had good creative structure and cooperation between us just with phone calls.  Ultimate results were sound bites Tom emailed to me!  He is very creative himself and I knew I could rely on him.  Since he’s kindred spirit that way, he shared the excitement and took it seriously while skillfully facilitating various moods required. He’s very dedicated to Community Theatre and has worn many prominent hats acting, producing, directing, singing, staging, marketing, organizing and more.  A real trouper.

​​I remain ecstatic over our collective results.  I’m thrilled with everyone’s contributions without reservation, and feel so fortunate to have accomplished this special recording.  Jim was a totally unexpected “gift”.  He managed my rental property and I reported a leak after a heavy rain (like it never rains in California?).  When he came over and saw the studio, he politely asked if I needed a saxophonist.  “Doesn’t everybody?”  I asked.  His performances brought so much to the project and I’m forever grateful for this quirky circumstance and his interest.  Not one to deal in sheet music, I methodically mailed him a recording of a fairly developed production so he could experiment creating his parts for a week or more.  We almost exclusively focused on only one song at a time to encourage quality and reduce stress.  When Jim came to record (after work), I let him fly freely with improvisations while making numerous recordings.  We would both critique results, delete when not mutually satisfied.  Line by recorded line and it flowed fast and creatively. Mutually fun and inspiring.  Then he left me to edit and use gems from this digital treasure trove selectively.  I also combined, relocated. Curiously, with this process I would often re-address my original production. Whole sections of music would re-evolve to acknowledge the wonderful passages Jim had created, arranged and performed.  It was a dynamic process. Sessions might be two hours or more, and there were many.  While fresh in my mind and regardless of how exhausted I was, I edited immediately upon Jim’s exit as I usually knew exactly what I wanted from the session.  I think we both enjoyed working this way, keeping the standard requirement that parties be mutually pleased with any final recordings.

We honored the same principles with NEW LANG SYNE (2 new verses by HeatherSong) recording Susan’s violin and Jim’s flute.  In fact, the same policies for vocalists as well.  Susan as a novice violinist wanted to honor her father complementing his vocal character part. Touching, and a fine job indeed!  Point is, I wanted us all to be relaxed, have fun, and not feel under time pressure to do our best.  That’s the whole point of having your own studio and not being under the time/expense “gun” of someone else’s.  Not that this approach was inexpensive, and once again I thank husband Kurt for that support.  He committed and participated, we succeeded and all had fun (with artist pay for all participants, by the way), and HeatherSong continues to share this Christmas celebration in new and unforeseen ways (like YouTube) internationally.  Thanks to each of you listeners for so graciously receiving this celebration.  I wanted to share some of its fond memories – one of my last big LA hurrahs after about 24 years there (35 for Kurt)!  We moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Washington in 2006.  It was time to say goodbye to my charming little cottage memory and move on to new ones!


























































The Cottage Studio

Birthplace of YO, IT'S CHRISTMAS!


​​I rented a small cottage in Glendale, California anticipating an ambitious production debut of a Christmas cd release of 17 songs.  A fully equipped small kitchen with full refrigerator and stove/oven.  Bathroom/shower, one room I used as a bedroom, and a somewhat larger one as the studio.  A/C unit, alley parking.  A garage on slab, converted in 1951.  Sufficient space and it had its charms.   I stayed overnight on occasion as the work was intense and sometimes my husband traveled on business.  Learning curves were numbered, and at times I definitely needed no interruption.  I worked alone.

​The physical cd is available only through CDBaby.

 Please see WAYS 2 BUY for more information, digital purchases.  

NEED A FUNDRAISER?  This sold well in local Fundraisers.  

Please contact me directly to discuss this possibility for YOUR worthy cause!

YO, IT'S CHRISTMAS!

2005 Debut Release

A joyful celebration with family and friends!



 Thanks to all participants.  We did great!