The Story of “By Request”

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

In 2010 after playing harp for a total of four years, Sarah decided to take on a new challenge: recording a CD.   Her goal was to produce a professional CD that would sound as though she was sitting in the living room playing for enjoyment. She chose eighteen of her favorite songs which included folk songs, traditional harp songs, and comtemporary harp compositions. Sarah contacted the composers and arrangers of the songs she wanted to record and received permission to record the music. Four months of daily practice led up to recording time in July; Hattie Hedrick, Sarah’s harp instructor, helped with some of the musical dynamics and made sure Sarah’s counting and performance of the songs was accurate.

Sean Redding at the Recording Farm, a professional recording studio, just minutes from Sarah’s home, was eager to do the recording and the eighteen songs were recorded over a two day period; several other days were devoted to mixing and mastering. Each song was recorded at least three times; one took eighteen recordings before Sarah was satisfied. “The hardest things about recording were keeping the harp in precise tune and being aware of any extra noise. Every little noise gets picked up on the mics, even deep breaths,” Sarah recalled with a smile. Harp is a unique instrument to record since the wood holds onto the strings’ vibrations for a long time; this made it impossible to mechanically fix any mistake made during the recording process. Everything on the finished CD is exactly how Sarah played it in the studio.

Recording "By Request" 36 Strings of Joy

The CD title By Request was first suggested by Sarah’s mom. After mulling over other ideas, Sarah decided. “I really liked her suggestion. My friends and family had requested it. I had requested God to oversee the project and He had, in ways I could never have imagined. Philippians 4:6 became a really special Scripture verse during this time; it speaks of not worrying or being anxious and making our requests known to God.”

The first copy of the CD arrived from Kunaki CD Producers in September 2010 and it was released to the delight of acquaintances. Samples of music from By Request are available here. The CD is available for purchase and for details, please click here.

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