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Peter Link: “This Is All I Ask”

Your Inspirational Song of the Week

July 24 - July 30, 2018

This Is All I Ask

from

Remnants

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
Produced and Orchestrated by Peter Link

Listen to the Music!

This Is All I Ask, the last track on Peter Link’s new album Remnants, is a poignant appeal for freedom, in whatever form that may take in the mind of the listener. As Peter himself notes, the meaning of his own song changed even for him as his own perspective evolved through the years:

“My closing song on the album is a song I wrote in my early 30s. It didn’t need fixing. It’s simply one of the 10 best songs I ever wrote. It poured through me one day while working on a musical called “Hot Chocolate” which was a simple story of the Black or African American experience back in the 70s.

It was written as the prayer of a slave working in the cotton fields of Alabama and longing for a better life, but it became, over the years, my own prayer considering my own life and beyond. The song was given a triumphant performance later in another show that ran Off-Broadway in NYC in the 90s, a musical of mine called, “The River.” That performance stopped the show night after night and was majestically delivered by Lawrence Hamilton, who, before his passing, had a wonderful career as a leading man in musicals on Broadway for a couple of decades.

Sadly, The River was never recorded. Re-approaching the song now, especially considering Lawrence’s beautiful live performances, was a challenge that I almost shied away from, but it seemed only right to get down for posterity what I’ve always heard in the back of my mind.

As it turns out, I’m glad I did it.”

About the Artist

Peter Link is probably best known for his work as a composer/lyricist. His Ode To Joy album is a mostly instrumental and personal statement on the joys of life. He has also produced and orchestrated for many of the Watchfire artists: Julia Wade, Mindy Jostyn, Jenny Burton, Tom Tipton, Osceola Davis, and Bobby Stanton, to name a few.

Find Out More About The Artist and the Music!

Meet

The Artist

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The Album

Download
The Song
Read

The Lyrics

"It's a bone-chilling soul-searching arousal of humanity and its ability to survive and thrive. EVERYBODY should be listening!" —Laurie Lawson – Electronic Link Journey

"I'm still full of the joy … The songs … spoke to us to savor our souls and our planet. Thank you for allowing me to experience such work. Peter Link is a musical genius!" —Charles Turner, NYC

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7 thoughts on “Peter Link: “This Is All I Ask”

  1. Beautiful and poignant

  2. Wow! I’ve never heard this song before. It really touched my heart at this exact moment

  3. I was hoping, “This Is All I Ask”, would be the song of the week. I think this is a beautiful vocal.
    With the arrangement, the lyric and the vocal, Peter peels back all the layers to the heart of things, expressing the deepest longing and desire of humankind for their true emancipation and liberty into their spiritual freedom!

  4. It’s a beautiful song. I’d like to suggest that we allow voices to be real; the auto-tuning of this recording was distracting, and took away from the authentic way the singer was telling the story.

    1. “It’s a beautiful song. I’d like to suggest that we allow voices to be real; the auto-tuning of this recording was distracting and took away from the authentic way the singer was telling the story.” ~Rebecca Flaherty

      Thanks for taking the time to write in. Actually, this gives me the chance to address an approach to music that I’ve championed over a lifetime.

      First of all, you have the absolute right to like or dislike or even be “distracted” by what you hear when it comes to music. That fact is inarguable.

      The short answer to your comment would be “Thanks for liking the song and welcome to the 21st Century.”

      The long answer, unfortunately, may be a lot longer than expected, but if you open a kettle of fish, you’re often gonna smell up the kitchen.

      In the beginning of auto-tuning, perhaps 10 or so years ago, I was pretty much of the same mind as you, Ms Flaherty. I preached mightily against it, often going as far to say that auto tuning a vocal would steal the soul from a performance. However, in the ensuing years, as the digital manipulation of pitch became more and more sophisticated, I watched the technique advance to the point where in most all pop music, the use of the auto-tune effect became much more than just a pitch fixer, but actually an alteration of the actual sound of the voice. Today, as I listen to Pop radio, hardly a song goes by that does not use this amazing tool to create a “sound” as opposed to just being a “pitch fixer.”

      As a producer, the level of talent I work with in the studio, rarely requires pitch fixing. And when there is a note or two that comes up that strays from the true pitch of a song (after all we all are human), I simply bring the vocalist back in to the studio and have them re-record the line or phrase.

      Pitch fixing is certainly a quick way of perfecting a vocal or, for that matter, even a guitar solo. Normally, I prefer fixing things the human way and not the digital way. Since I own my own studio, when working on my own album I had the great advantage of fixing my mistakes by re-recording until I got it right throughout the making of the album.

      In the modern digital recording studio we have a whole raft of tools to work with – digital reverbs that can emulate any space in the world imaginable, digital delay that can add fascinating echo effects to the music, doubling and tripling techniques that can enhance a vocal and alter the sound of the performance in magical ways.

      On the song, “Anthem” on my recent album, I used a fairly new digital device from a company called Izotope specifically named “iZotope VocalSynth 2 Vocal Multi-Effects Plug-in” to create the sound of the record. In this particular song I recorded over fifty tracks of my own vocals, mixed them together and then took about 25 more copies of those tracks and ran them through the “iZotope VocalSynth 2 Vocal Multi-Effects Plug-in” and mixed them very delicately behind the “Human” vocals that I had recorded, then ran all that through several digital delays and finally into 3 different digital reverbs to get the sound that I heard in my imagination. On top of that I even had my masterer EQ out certain frequencies of those vocals that I considered too “noisy” to get even a smoother sound on the vocal effect.

      Perhaps you would call the sound of this recording “inauthentic.” I would not. In fact, I feel that the sound of the recording is most original and absolutely “authentic.” Authentic to what? Authentic to the sonic beauty of the orchestration in my imagination.

      In the early days of digital synthesis, synthesizer developers tried to emulate the sounds of the orchestra – trumpet, drums, bass, strings, etc. As synthesis became more and more sophisticated, certain sounds were, in fact, pretty good emulators of those time-honored instruments. Others weren’t. Fortunately, sampling came along and sample libraries, which are the actual note by note digital recordings of the instrument, became a true and amazing art form of sonic achievement. At that point the synthesizer companies realized that they couldn’t do it any better than the sampling libraries and so they went off in another direction of totally new soundscapes. In the last 20 years the western orchestrator’s palate of sounds that he/she can choose from have grown from around 70 time-honored orchestral instruments to now a palate of literally millions of possible sounds to work with. Let’s hear it for synthesis!

      What is music? It is sound manipulated to create emotion. I’ll use any sound imaginable to touch the heart, stir the brain, stimulate the ear. I will never be stuck to just the old fashioned western orchestra. I’m as old fashioned as the next guy honoring that tradition, but sonically creating new sound, new emotions, new music. And I’ll use any of the amazing tools that are at my fingertips to do so.

      You “suggest that we allow voices to be real.” As a composer, I’m not at all sure why that seems necessary. Perhaps we need to define “real” here. If you were to record an album in today’s world, your engineer would definitely add digital reverb to your voice and create the beauty of the hall around you. I could even put you in Carnegie Hall if you like. Would this make your recording unreal? I might EQ your voice and eliminate certain frequencies that were conflicting with a violin duet in a particular moment in a song. Would that be making the record unreal? I could go on and on with this bent.

      We’re talking about a modernity here that goes far beyond your imagination. Yes, I do suggest that you are somewhat stuck in the past, but that, of course, is your choice and your right. When it comes to perfect rhymes in a song, as a lyricist, I too am stuck in the past. I don’t like the “new” sound alike so-called rhymes of today’s pop music, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. And we’ve certainly gone on long enough here.

      But I warned you … :o)

      So, if you want to hang out in the 20th century, so be it. It was a great time, full of great music.

      If I did use the Auto-tune effect on This Is All I Ask, it was not to tune my voice. Rather it may have been to give my voice a desired “sound” in an appropriate moment or two. I honestly don’t remember at the moment what devices I used to get the effect that I imagined. But I do know this: When I finished the mix and then heard what my masterer added to the mix, I was satisfied with the outcome.

      At best, I consider your comments “naive.” Sorry, but I’ve fought against this kind of thinking my whole career and tend to lose patience with people who call synthesis “electronic” and sampling “synthesis” simply because they don’t know any better.

      But I say it again. You have every right to be distracted by that which you do not fully understand. Igor Stravinsky had the same kind of problems back when he first created Rite Of Spring.

  5. Beautifully haunting!!
    Looking forward to your next “Remnant”!
    btw… A belated “muchas gracias” for the invigorating, up-beat orchestration you produced for Wordlight’s solo “Alabado sea Dios”!! The entire album was a great way to showcase Latino rhythms, composers and artists!! And Julia’s vocals were superb!!
    😍Melanie Alcazar from Chile

    1. Thanks for writing in Melanie. I agree, Julia’s performances through the entire album are simply wonderful and Bobby Stanton and Chieli Minucci, other Watchfire Music artists, added gorgeous guitar tracks to an album that so many should hear.

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