The Making of SOHP’s newest CD, “Rays of Hope” – Part III

Part III has always seemed to be the hardest, most tedious part of the production process for any of SOHP’s CDs. 1) Finding a title, 2) creating a cover picture, 3) deciding on the order of pieces, and 4) creating the inside bio information takes time – lots of time and energy.

Steps 1 & 2 –Finding a title and creating a cover picture: Most of SOHP’s CDs have been “______ of hope” titles. In the past, the title for the CD came before the cover picture. However, for this CD, finding a cover photo first helped with zeroing in on a title.
Since this CD was all piano music, I searched the internet for “piano” themed pictures. Shutterstock had several very nice piano subject photos. I emailed several of my favorites to the board members and asked them for their input. One photo stood out among the rest. It was a black and white photo with a hand perched ever so slightly above the piano keys ready to play. A soft ray of light shone from above the right side of the picture. The title “Rays of Hope” came from this simple yet striking photo.

Step 3 — Deciding on the order of pieces: We recorded 17 pieces. The number of possible combinations and order of these 17 was rather intimidating! I listened to the pieces over and over again and came up with 4 combinations I liked. I then gave a CD to my husband and to each of the board members asking for their opinions on the order.
In the end, I used the slow to fast and back to slow bell shape idea to create an order. I eliminated two pieces that didn’t quite fit with the flow and/or nature of the others and ended with “The Boat Song”, my husband’s suggestion. As he put it, “This song sends you forth on your way.”
This process of finding “just the right order” took weeks to accomplish.

Step 4 – Creating the information for the inside cover: I simply took SOHP’s mission and background info from SOHP’s website and previous CD inside covers. Mark and Megan provided their bios as soon as I asked for them, and my bio was on file. Part III was done!