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In The Garden (w/Jim Bouchard)

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This is a new version of the first song with lyrics I ever wrote. I posted it circa May of 2005 and got great feedback that helped me do a better mix a few months later. Though a lot of people have said they like that version quite a bit, I've never been happy with it and have often thought of going back and 'fixing' it with a real musician.

Along those lines, last year I asked Mr. Perceptualvortex to do dance mix of the song, and I was really happy with the way that turned out, even though it didn't technically count as a version that was true to the vibe of the original. It was a hell of a lot of fun, though.

It was still in the back of my head to do it one day and, when a magical piece of music turned up in my inbox, sent by Jim, I jumped at the chance to do this version of the song. I love his vocals on the chorus and I think his music and production are wonderful.

Also, don't miss the smoking guitar solo. :-)
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Sowing and growing,
hemmed in by roses and lilies,
Sarah cleared the land in high school,
barbed wire, cedar rails and knotweed.

I'll check for footprints.
Is there anyone missing?
Under the layers of topsoil,
pretty red roses with crabapple heads.

Out in the greenhouse,
a willing gardener finds her.
Sarah takes down seeds and trowels,
birdseed, raspberries, poisoned weeds.

I'll check for footprints.
Is there anyone missing?
Under the layers of topsoil,
pretty red roses with crabapple heads.

End of the season,
the leaves are taking a dive.
Someone's shoes found in the ground,
heaps of bug shells, shards of egg,
cover the wasted beds.

I'll check for footprints.
Is there anyone missing?
Under the layers of topsoil,
pretty red roses with crabapple heads.
Song Stats
Hits: 6082
Comments: 51
Fans: 46
Plays: 506
Downloads: 239
Votes: 17
Uploaded: Jul 01, 2007 - 10:03:51 PM
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2007 - 09:12:10 PM Last Played: Jul 31, 2019 - 10:47:09 PM
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Lisa's vocal mic is a Rode Nt-1a. She covets Jim's set-up.

Jim's vocal mic is a Rode NT1000 into an ART Tube PAC mic preamp, into a Tascam US122 to the eMac. Guitar is a G&L Legacy through a Boss DD-20 GigaDelay (with a reverse delay), going through a Peavey Delta Blues amp, mic'ed by a Shure SM-57.
The strings are pencil-tooled and twisted Jam Pack 4 loops, the bass sound is Apple's muted rock bass software instrument. I used my Kurzweil KME-61 to play some of the keyboard parts. The Synth sound is Orca, drum loops are a Sonic Boombox Tribal Kit and various stock GB loops. iZotope Spectron smearing on the backing vocal lines. Peak to master the mix, using Ozone 3 in Peak to tweak the master. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
jiguma said 4489 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
.. more clearly defined sounds going on here for sure. I discovered recently (after nearly 12 months of trying to get the loudest sound I could out of Logic) that loud is not necessarily best. Jim can take considerable credit for me reaching this conclusion. I actually mastered my whole CD as loud as I could, and have spent the last two weeks adjusting so I could get similar detail to what you have here.

I think you've definitely improved on the original post in this version, but it still comes across as having lots of "grunt" in the volume department. At the same time the subtleties of the instrumentation (and birdsong) come through as well.

Lisa, this is an amazingly good vocal effort from you, and fits perfectly with Jim's laid back approach.

I'm very, very impressed with this. Pro-level sound and performance with excellent production - well done Jim.

You had to get to this point sooner or later!
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ledebutant said 4489 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Thanks so much Neil. Your feedback was instrumental (groan) in the decision to take another listen to the last mix and do some fiddling, so Jim and I really appreciate it.
Morning Light said 4489 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
amazing vocals and sounds....very earthy!!!
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ledebutant said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
Thanks, Nightbird. I'm very glad you enjoyed it. ;-)
Vic Holman said 4489 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Now this is...
reeeally nice. I'll by honest on the original post I could only get about 1/4 of the way into it before jumping the fence. A vast improvement in sound that kept me attentive throughout.
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lavalamp said 4489 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Can't tell you
Can't tell you how much I enjoyed this one. Great sound! To be a little honest, I didn't really like the male backing vocals, think you should've done it all. Must say you really sound a lot like Dido. I'm friends with an engineer(name dropping), who work with her and he suggested writing something in her style. Will post this week.
Production was very good.
Just cuz I care, I think this one is more like a track 11 or 12 on a CD. It's very laid back and mellow, but not a main track.
I just think you want some contructive feedback and not just "that's really good" stuff.
Terrific lyrics, too. Can't believe it was your first effort.
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
Jim Bouchard said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Thank you!
To everyone that comments on this. I really appreciate your patience in seeing this song posted again so soon. It could be considered a minor tweak to take down the loudness and clear up the mix, but once I started listening to it, all I could hear was the distortion and saturation in the first version. This one has a lot more detail in it. You might have to turn it up a bit, but I'd rather you turn it up than turn it off! :)
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
ceilidh said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
the BIGGEST rating i have ever given to anyone! it is sung so fantastic by both of you, GREAT lyrics and truly lovely melody. wonderful, very professional piece in every element of it.
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Parichayaka said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Overflowing with sweet, charming creative energy! Interestingly it reminded my of an Italian artist called "Elisa" (check out the ending of "Creature" you might enjoy that, in fact the whole Asile's World album in iTunes...). So many details to compliment, the interesting beat blending so well with the rest of the ambient sounds and instruments and obviously the wonderful vocals. I'll just keep saying that your voice is getting better with every post indefinitely:) The mix is excellent and sounds balanced and organic with all elements adding their own quality to the song. The guitar stands out of course, and the piano is just right. Lovely artwork as well.
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I. Spike said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Damn Phil!
Such a cool song....
I don't think you can ever satisfy everyone with a mix, we all have our personal concepts. Suggestions can be helpful or annoying... In fact, here's one coming right now...
I think the snare is too loud. I blame this all on Phil Collins, who in the 80's changed the way we all mix drums. The snare, like a shaker or tambourine, can cut through steel.
That said, it doesn't change how lovely the song is.
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echoroom said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
No, really.
I think I'm getting better at mixing, and then you post this.


Just great guys, the space and seperation is wonderful, everything given its moment, both sets of vox so pure, like duelling angels. The last version was good, this is a revelation.

I'm sooo green (garden pun, geddit??).

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Peter Bauckham said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Fab song
much improved. It's so tempting to go for as loud as possible but ultimately everything gets rather squashed in the process even if clipping is avoided. Anyway - this is such a great track (still hearing Peter Gabriel) and I'm really glad you re-mixed it - well worth it.

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Pie said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
No flies on this
I like it :-)

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composerclark said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Apprehensive, since I've already got EJH's posse after me...
I commented on the previous version indirectly--I left a comment for your 2-year-old version late last week, and while there was clearly lots to recommend it, my feeling was that I prefered the 2-year-old version because the arrangement seemed a lot simpler, making it easier for me to connect with the song.

Well, this "new and improved" mix definitely sounds improved to me; a lot cleaner, less overwhelming, allowing me to connect with the music, so Jim deserves praise for this, which I am sure took lots of very detailed work.

Having said that, I will say (with apprehension, because I don't want you to think I don't like this!) I agree with Lavalamp that I am not sure the male backing vocals enhance the song; for me they kind of get in the way. Probably for this reason, I still prefer the simplicity and more direct approach of the July '05 version, but I think this remix has lots and lots of wonderful things to recommend it.
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Jim Bouchard said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
originally we weren't sure if Lisa was going to sing at all on this. I really just started working on it thinking I might do it all myself since I was so far away from the original version, and really just sent Lisa the music to get her okay to proceed. She was so supportive of this direction for the music and asked if she could sing it as a duet. I made an attempt at singing the whole song, but could only succeed on getting the choruses. I thought alternating the verses and the choruses with different voices would echo the implication in the lyrics that there is some sort of search party, and the triple tracking of my vocal was something that really grew on me. Reminding me of Eno's "Before and After Science" a bit. But I wonder how it would sound with just Lisa's voice... Maybe we could try that but I think it's probably time to move on...
I'm glad you like the detail in this mix!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Nice Mix
I agree with Before and After Science comment...I would encourage further exploration in that direction (well I would wouldn't I?) but I also understand the need to move on to pastures new...

dajama said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Very cool
BEautiful production. The mix is great and and everything sounds nicely matched with everything else. Nothing overwhelms or disappears. Great vocal performance. This is a terrific song. Love the percussion and instrumentation in general. Vocal performance is great. I like the male vocal - adds something. Maybe I would have had you both sing it. But that's just me. Very cool. Nice work. Peace.
Check out my latest song called Across the Wire (MJRF)
timothy devine said 4488 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
I really like his
The mix is very clever. Peter Gabriel-ish.
What a great work of art, here!
Top to bottom, playing, singing, mixing and mastering!
I have to save this one for sure...
creative lyric great collab
hi score

Check out my latest song called Inside of You
said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Muuuuuuch better!
Stunning vocals by Lisa...Excellent soundscape. This sounds incredibly pro Jim, like it's right off a commercially made and produced CD. Abundant kudos!

Be well!

Vagabond: http://www.macjams.com/song/33206
Moviz said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
I really
like this version as well as the very first one (which I downloaded as soon as I heard it) and which had a 'Folky' feel. This version I also like and this evokes a kind of mystery/dream-like feel for me. Great singing, sounds and mixing, Just superb, M
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guitapick said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
This is wonderful...
...such a wonderful vibe. Well produced. Great performances. Love it. Downloaded and ready to roll...

Thanks to both of you...
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Cocteau Twins vs. Peter Gabriel
Digging it.

ledebutant said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Now that's a cage match I'd sign up to watch!
rjamadeus said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
amazing !!
nothing less than breathtaking !! did you use the same birds that paul used in blackbird ??
Check out my latest song called can't get the blues
ledebutant said 4487 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Not that I know of, but that's my favorite song!
rjamadeus said 4487 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
cover collab ??
wanna do a collab on blackbird, i got the guitar and you have the voice..and the bird noises !
Check out my latest song called can't get the blues
said 4486 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
Thanks for this wonderful song. It's getting better all the time. Sorry couldn't help the beatlesism.Taylor
dolby said 4486 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
....I like this a lot! You have a really great voice - definitely something quite 'earthy/dreamy' about it. Excellent stuff - will spend a bit of time listening to your other tracks.

ATB Phil
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Ed Hannifin said 4486 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
I can't compare the two in my mind, but this seems to be much improved...

I still love the charm of the original.

That being said, the Lisa vocal here is perfect. Nice pausing and getting in and around the beat... Phrasing is terrific....

Jim's backing vocals are augmenting without being distracting, which is the trick...

Jim's dab hand at the atmospherics is continuing to get subtler... it still ends up being an atmospheric mix, while being subtler and smoother... It rewards deep listening, but it doesn't push a lot of side details in your face...or ears...or something....

Very smooth mastering job...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
ledebutant said 4484 days ago (July 6th, 2007)
Thanks for noticing the reggae flavor, Ed. That's one of my favorite parts of the song and, truly, part of what made the song so much fun for me to sing. It forced me to phrase things differently and this was a really good experience for me, because it showed me that I might not be as limited a singer as I sometimes think. Jim's bassline was basically like a guard rail of how to sing it.
Cameron said 4486 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
imaginative mix
I didn't hear the previous version but this one is captivating, with a good variety of sounds, panning, editing and pacing.

Your vocals are excellent and float on top of the words in an ethereal way.

I particularly like the punctuated piano chords, very subtle but adds a lot.

There's a lot going on here but you pull it all together effectively. Good balance now!
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Scott Carmichael said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
very hip mixture
of hip-hop ish groove.. with almost free floating almost jaz piano... all under your Shawn Colvin vocal performance... she's my fav... and your relaxed casual conversational way with this ads such a compelling charm...but I'm biased cause your one of my fav's

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michael2 said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
this is great, i love the almost reggae feeling when it starts, and the piano part that comes in after the chorus. But of course your voice just tugs at my heart strings. great job guys.
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SmokeyVW said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
i loved the previous version - i love this version.

but to be a dance track it needs to be faster.

i tried speeding it up 20% - and to my ears it sounds even better. your original seems to be about 80 BPM - so 20% faster would be around 96 BPM or so... some people would say go even faster, but i fear the mood would get lost much beyond 100 BPM...

just a thought!


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Jim Bouchard said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
When ledebutant wrote this it was a lot faster, but this one wasn't meant to be. I was going for something other than a dance track. Perpetual vortex's remix of ledebs original is the ultimate dance version of this song. It could work faster, but that wasn't my concept for the song. Thanks for your opinion, though!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
ledebutant said 4485 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
Thanks, Bill. I think maybe I confused the issue with my reference to PV's dance mix of the song. This version isn't meant to be something for boogying. Thanks for the specific input and for taking this into GB and speeding it up to check it out. That goes above and beyond.
SmokeyVW said 4483 days ago (July 7th, 2007)
I thought it was meant as a dance track.

Speeding it up actually does work, but the character is changed.

My apologies...
Check out my latest song called Farther
Leon said 4482 days ago (July 8th, 2007)
Lisa, one of your best, and probably my favorite of all your and Jim's songs. Love the harmonies and the jungle/African beat. I've been gone a while and always pleased to come back and find some gems here every now and then.

I played this a few times on my iTunes and came to the conclusion that I really loved it!
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blaky smith said 4477 days ago (July 13th, 2007)
I come back after several listenings of this tune just to say bravo, it's a very good tune...
in french, "debutant" means amateur, novice, beginner, inexperienced...
Paradox, you are just the opposite, talented and very pro. Bravo !

Check out my latest song called Un jour de d├ęcembre
Estella said 4411 days ago (September 17th, 2007)
I love this. Right up my style. It's poetry as far as I'm concerned.

Jim, I love everything you do musically. I'm sure of that.

Lisa, lovely heartfelt singing, as always!
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ledebutant said 4286 days ago (January 20th, 2008)
Thank you, sweet lady.
Sir Bass said 4314 days ago (December 23rd, 2007)
Very Pro,I have an affinity for soft female vocals.
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Tribrix said 4261 days ago (February 14th, 2008)
couldn't wait to hear the vocals
Not sure why, but once the track started I was dying for Lisa's vocals to come in. Thankfully, when they did, I wasn't disappointed in the lest. Your delivery has a nice raw beauty that's very satisfying. The song is enjoyable and the production is just right, sparse, good backing vocals, perfect amount of other activity. Wonderful work guys, a real joy to hear.
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magnatone said 4260 days ago (February 15th, 2008)
This is extremely cool
I'm just now listening to your music - (only been here a week!) - what a gifted voice you have. Can't wait to hear the rest of your offerings Thanks
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E-Frame Wrecker said 4258 days ago (February 17th, 2008)
Star in the making
I remember listening to both of the previous versions and being impressed. This one is nice also. You sound like a pro and it seems like your material brings out the best in your collaborators.
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said 4254 days ago (February 22nd, 2008)
Good vocals... And a great melody.... You two are good.... I really like the bass playing... And the backing vocals, sounds like angels... amazing...

dirigent said 4253 days ago (February 22nd, 2008)
Fantastic vocal performance, great arrangement. This is borne by an outstanding musical sense and tastefulness. A beautiful song that leaves me back mouth open. Simply great! An instant favorite :-)
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sschedra said 4232 days ago (March 14th, 2008)
I gotta know, how did you get the birds to sing backup vocal in tune? This one has all the elements and everything is in its space. Very nice production and good performances all around.

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Heightened said 4226 days ago (March 21st, 2008)
Very nice indeed.
WHo wouldn't want this on their ipod???
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said 4189 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
This is a very fine song Lisa. Great quality, great vocals (by both) and wonderful piano line. Really gorgeous!

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
Martin_Leroy said 3585 days ago (December 21st, 2009)
You have a lovely voice. This is a very interesting piece. I like Jim's vocals too. very interesting.
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Name: Lisa
Location: Under the Airplanes WA
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I've been writing songs since 2005, which I tried initially because GarageBand made it possible for me to play with music for the first time since college, and I found very quickly that I really loved songwriting and in my time here at Macjams, I've ... [see more]

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