Saturday, November 8, 2008

11-4-2008 Election Day: Our music "I Am An American" created and included in film: Obama the Man and his Journey

We were asked by Maria Arita of Veridicus Films from Texas to create an epic piece of music for the film she was making about the campaign and election of Barack Obama. We created a piece called "I Am An American" that combined "Lift Every Voice And Sing" also known as the Black National Anthem and "America the Beautiful" and our own music into a huge arrangement that featured some 80 voices (two choirs, The Total Experience Gospel Choir and The Choir of Light) both from Seattle and the lovely lead vocals of our dear friend Holly Phillips. It featured custom written string and brass parts and was conducted and arranged by Jon Bergevin with Lyrics and music by Joe Bergevin. The entire session was shot by our dear friend Jay Alan of Avenue Films. This was a huge honor and a ton of work. I remember working on String parts at 4 AM in my underwear, before going to work, just to be sure and have everything ready as well as working many hours to pull together this mostly volunteer crew. This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Coincidently we recorded the video on November 4th, 2008. We actually heard the news during the recording session. A huge cheer went out when Joe (my brother) walked in and said "They just called it for Obama". We took a 45 minute break to watch the history making acceptance speech. Then started recording again. This was an amazing session, because Pastor Pat Wright had just flown in from Japan where her and the choir had been on tour. They were tired, but as usual gave it their best. I had been recording for three days leading up to the event. First with the rhythm section and lead vocals, the next day with the strings and the third day with the brass and the final was the vocals. I finished the initial mix at 6:30 AM after having been in the studio all night. I will never forget the phone call that I got from Maria Arita, the producer. She said "This is nothing short of Amazing Jon, we were blown away by this monumental piece of music, thank you, thank you, thank you, I was in tears".

You can view the video here of the music.
CNN Interview with the film creators and Blair Underwood
The listing on Amazon
The listing on Imdb.com
Here are some photos from the sessions.