Freebird! What a song. This was a particularly fun one for me to re-arrange, and this was also a pretty spontaneous composition originally. We made it for Laura Shigihara's Secret Santa and the person for whom we were tasked with making a gift was Kan Gao, the creator of the game To The Moon! If I recall correctly, he was happy with the gift! The song was named Freebird after Kan's company, Freebird Games. It felt fitting, and the name evoked much of the inspiration of the song. It was quite an honour to be creating this for someone whose work has been very inspiring to me already. To The Moon was one of my favourite games, and the soundtrack was just beautiful.
The original version of Freebird
I remember at first, the name was 'Thera'. The lyrics came from this word and grew further to what they became, as you hear them in the music in their entirety. I was trying a certain type of meditation at the time, and one instruction that I had was to choose a word that is devoid, and then to focus on this word to help your mind become calmer. The word that came to my mind then was 'Thera' - it sounded nice, and gave me a sense of peace, but also wasn't attached to any existing concept or thought, for me. I suppose this is why the song became as meditative as it was, with piano, bells, and erhu. It transported me to a peaceful place in my own mind.
We kept quite true to the original with the new arrangement, but also added some unique touches and extra layers of harmonies. It sounds relaxing and meditative in a different way than the first version did, but in my opinion, this version sounds more complete and full. Perhaps the emptiness of the other version is more appealing, who knows? :D
I enjoy how rich this new arrangement became, and I feel that it really found its own place on Roots: The First Chapter.
Oh my, Freebird! Jordi approached me, back in 2014 (I think it was in December 2014 actually, like just a few days before deadline?) and he told me he was in Supershigi's forum where they hosted a Secret Santa and he drew the name of no one than Kan Gao, the person behind the lovely game "To The Moon" himself!
Cue me being surprised and delighted when he asked me to record some harmonies for Freebird. Btw, I didn't get the reference of the song's name until a few weeks ago when Jordi told me the story behind the name. I was honestly baffled that I didn't see it, lol.
Back to 2014! Jordi already had an instrumental ready and I recorded my harmonies and mixed them in along with Jordi's vocals and Jordi made the lovely video just a day before christmas and we uploaded it to our channel. I'm still in awe that we managed to work on this so quickly.
When we listened to it again deciding what to change for the Roots version we both found that the mix of this version was especially muddy (and honestly, it sounded like we sang in a bathroom... or underwater, lol) it simply wasn't up to our standards anymore. So Jordi sat down and made a completely new instrumental from scratch and I have to say I really love this one.
It sounds so light and airy and really graceful. Very fitting to the name. I had a blast recording for this one and it's one of my favourite songs from Roots. Which is funny because the old version of Freebird was one of my least favourite songs we did... not because I don't like the song (I love the old instrumental) but our vocals weren't our best work, in my opinion. I'm glad we got another chance with this song because there was so much potential.