Changing in Time
THE ARTIST - This song was written by Emily Smith and is dedicated to visual/graphic artist Jen DuBord that did the cover art for the album, though it could refer to any visual artist. It features the core members of the group with Mike DeQuattro playing the double Udu drum as well as other percussion instruments, Em singing and playing guitar and Ron Schmitt playing bass guitar and sampled flute. FIXED ON YOU - This song was written by Emily Smith and is a love song about an unconventional romance that finds the couple involved drawn together, then pulled apart, then ultimately back together again - "my eyes were fixed on you..." It features Em doing vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike on percussion, Ron on Malletkat synth (bass and lead) and includes a guest appearance by sound engineer for the album Joe Moody playing electric guitar. DON'T WANT TO BE A PERSON - This song was written by Emily Smith with an arrangement and rockin' groove in ¾ time that draws from The Allman Brothers Band. It's a song about disillusionment and the pain of facing the not-so-great parts of yourself but definitely doesn't mope - it thrashes along in high gear until a breakdown to half-time blues in the middle of the song. This song has Em doing vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike on percussion, Ron on bass synth and organ, and guest Brian Minisce on electric guitar. REFLECTION - This song was written by Emily Smith and is another song about looking at yourself honestly and finding the strength to improve the things you find lacking. It has a bit of a retro feel with a hint of 60's surf. It includes Em on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike on percussion, Ron on Malletkat synth (electric piano) and bass guitar, and album sound engineer Joe Moody on electric guitar. STAY AWAKE - This song was written by Emily Smith and is, as the album jacket says, "dedicated to those living with the memory of Cody Munson" who died of an overdose of sleeping pills in Fall of 2009. Personnel on this song include Em on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike playing tabla drums and other percussion, Ron on piano, and guest Cathy Clasper-Torch on violin, viola and cello. COMPLEXION - This song was written by Emily and Ron and has a Middle Eastern feel to it. This is because the song is in the Phrygian mode (a musical scale that is rarely used in the West but is common in Arabic music) and also because of the instruments used: Mike is playing dumbek, Turkish cymbals and other percussion, and Ron is playing Malletkat synth simulating the sound of the Duduk, a double reed used for dance and snake charming. Also included are Em on vocals and guitar and guest Randy May playing fretless bass guitar. The song has a moody, eerie feel that none-the-less has a powerful groove. It is about the frustrations of a cold and unresponsive lover but is anything but cold. VENUS - This song was written by Mike DeQuattro and celebrates flying high on the adoration of a beautiful woman (his wife Rana for sure!). Joyous and fun, it alternates between funky pop and soaring swing with Em on vocals and guitar, Mike on percussion and piano, Ron on bass synth, and guest Cathy Clasper-Torch on violin. DOWN TO THE WIRE - This song was written by Emily Smith and is a classic country ballad in ¾ time talking about cheatin' and breakin' hearts. It includes Em on vocals and guitar, Mike on percussion, Ron on bass guitar, and a guest appearance by Chris Brooks playing pedal steel guitar. Nashville all the way! FIRE IN YOUR NAME - This song was written by Emily Smith and is a plea for someone to rise above the depression that is crippling them and burdening others. The song starts off fairly mellow and introspective but eventually builds to include an instrumental bridge with both synth and real strings, and a gospel-infused final chorus with Em letting her beautiful voice dance with guest Cathy Clasper-Torch's violin part. Also on the song is Em playing acoustic guitar, Ron on bass guitar and synth strings, and Mike on percussion. LULLABY - This song was written by Emily and Ron and it can be interpreted as a true lullaby for a child, but it is also about an experience Em had in her work as a cognitive therapist in which she stayed with a patient she had come to know well during his final hours. It features Em on vocals and guitar, Ron playing Malletkat with a nylon string guitar sample, and Mike playing tabla drums. HIGH FLYING BIRD - This is the only cover song on the album. It was written by Billy Edd Wheeler but was made famous by Richie Havens from his 1967 album Mixed Bag. Emily Smith & Synergy reinterpret this classic song with a Brazilian rhythm and an arrangement that has Em layering spooky vocal colorings over Mike's explosive drum fills. Em plays acoustic guitar, Ron plays bass guitar, Mike plays percussion and guest Jim Moses plays electric guitar. LEAVIN' TODAY -This was the first song that Emily ever wrote and she was ready to forget about it until the band pushed her to bring it out of mothballs, dust it off and try it with the full band. It's a fast and fun traveling-down-the-road song and features Em on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike on percussion, Ron on bass guitar and guest Marlie Wanseth on electric guitar. QUITE NICE - This is the first song that is a full collaboration between all the members of the core group: Em, Mike, and Ron. It starts out in 7/8 time, then goes to 6/8 time, and ends in 6/8 half-time. It has Em on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike on percussion and harmonica, and Ron on bass guitar. The song is about opening up your heart and mind to the power that lies all around you as well as within you and then going with it. There's no better way to end this labor of love.