We all know how awesome our worship band, Kaleidoscope, is. Now, the rest of our denomination will discover their amazing talents as well. The UUA put out a call for music submissions for an upcoming online service on March 21 called “Woven in a Single Garment of Destiny,” featuring a sermon by UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray. Kaleidoscope responded by submitting an original composition entitled “The Thread.”
Ruben Piirainen, Music Director, asked band member Joel Harris to explain the process of composing their original song. He said, “We’ve only ever done cover songs for our church performances, but to avoid licensing issues we decided to write our own original song for this event. The whole project came together pretty quickly, actually.”
When thinking about the service topic, Natalie Fleury had the first inspiration that led to the lines of the chorus. She shared those with the rest of the band during a Zoom meeting, during which Daniel Wiebe put himself on mute to work through a basic chord progression and melody while the rest of the band discussed where the verse lyrics might go—what kind of story they wanted to tell. Then Daniel unmuted and shared his initial musical ideas, which essentially became the final chorus of the song.
Over the next few days, Natalie and Joel added a few more lyrics for the verses, and Daniel worked on a chord arrangement and melody for the verses. Once the song was mostly arranged, Daniel made a demo recording of the song for the band members to practice with. When the band finally got together in person to rehearse they were able to refine parts such as the bridge and instrumental sections. After that initial rehearsal Natalie, Linda Meurer, and Deb Ruesch got together on their own to work out vocal harmonies, and the following week the band got together to record the song.
Daniel, who recently completed his Audio Engineering training at Milwaukee Area Technical College, walked the band through the process. The recording was done in real-time as seen in the video. Each individual, and in Joel’s case each drum, was captured on a separate track allowing for the magic of post-production and audio mixing. Daniel and Linda spent many hours refining the audio and video for the presentation.
The end result is an incredibly catchy song that will wow UUs across the country. The service will be released on March 21 and available for online viewing afterward. Kaleidoscope is UUCW’s worship band and their song “The Thread” features vocalists Natalie Fleury, Linda Meurer, and Deb Ruesch, guitarist Kurt Gaetano, bassist Daniel Wiebe, drummer Joel Harris, and Andy Vrakas on mandolin.