I am posting my new song Immortal Invisible with this post. It’s the first orchestral arrangement I’ve written in a while, since before I started finishing up my collegiate studies a few years ago.
This hymn was written by Walter Chalmers Smith who was known for writing poetry. Out of all of the volumes of poetry that Smith has written, this is the only piece that remains in common use. It is found in most modern hymnals and sung in many churches today.
The first verse goes:
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.
All of the verses of this great hymn help us to know more about who God is, that He is the creator and sustainer of life. You might notice that light is mentioned several times throughout the hymn. Smith’s use of light is not to say that there isn’t enough light to see God, but that the splendor of His light is so great that we cannot look upon Him.
The theme of the song comes from 1 Timothy 1:17 which says, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
I started out playing the melody in a minor key and just thought about how beautiful it sounded. I also love cinematic music, so I decided to make it sound like it was meant for cinema. The hymn is triumphant and joyful and the arrangement surely ends that way. I didn’t want to lose that joy and triumph so I made sure the final verse had that. That is why I am not calling this arrangement a direct arrangement of the hymn Immortal Invisible God Only Wise, but this composition is based on the melody of the hymn tune.
I use Logic Pro X for all my recordings. I originally played around with Cubase LE back in the early 2000s when I had a free copy. I bought my first Apple computer in 2006 and began using GarageBand for recordings. I loved being able to pull up an instrument patch, plug in my keyboard and go to town. Since then, I have upgraded to Garageband’s much more sophisticated older brother, Logic Pro X. Logic came with a lot of great software instruments, which the piano is a packaged sound recording of a Steinway Grand Piano. I changed the EQ on the piano a little to darken it up a little, and some reverb.
Some lower strings are introduced at the beginning, as well as the electronic click sounds and rhythmic synths. Higher strings are introduced in the second verse, along with french horns, and orchestral percussion. The orchestra sounds come from a software plugin company called EastWest. I am using their Symphonic Orchestra Gold Samples for all my orchestra recordings. I was able to obtain a copy several years ago and I have never looked back when it came to orchestral samples.
This is the first piece in a very long time that I have tried my hand at Mastering. The volume of the piece does not compare to professional recordings, but I think I’m getting in that direction.
Now, without further ado.. Immortal Invisible.