Definitely Yonder

"Definitely Yonder" from Scott & Sharon Frankfurt on Vimeo.

Here's an ecclectic 5/4 instrumental arrangement of "Who Is He In Yonder Stall" from Scott Frankfurt Studio and Friends, December 2012.  Featuring Greg Mathieson - B3, Piano and Wurlitzer, Abraham Laboriel - Electric and Ukelele Bass, Basil Fung - Electric Guitar, Tom Walsh - Drums and Percussion, Scott Frankfurt - Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Trilian, and Stylus RMX Virtual Instruments, Percussion.

Produced and arranged by Scott Frankfurt. Please share!

From the long list of Christmas carols sung, Benjamin Russell Hanby is best known for writing the popular carol “Up On the Housetop”. Notable covers include the likes of Gene Autry, The Jackson 5, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Reba McEntire and Pomplamoose - it's popularity runs second only to “Jingle Bells".

I found it interesting to learn that Hanby was a composer and teacher of music and desired to convey the significance of Christ's life and ministry, beginning with His birth. He conveyed this in the hymn “Who Is He in Yonder Stall?” written in 1857.

I've always loved the carol and for 2012 decided to create this instrumental for the pure joy of it. I knew I wanted to do it in 5/4 and the verses should be minor. Early in December, the arrangement materialized and I invited some outstanding musician friends who generously agreed to help.

It is freely shared with hope that it will lift your heart for a few minutes, and bring a sense of the joy & fellowship we had creating it. Enjoy!

Scott & Sharon Frankfurt

After outlining the groove in Stylus RMX, where Time Designer helped me with the 5/4 signature in a huge way, I carved some live percussion to give it some life - Floor Tom with hands, and the 16th note "shaker" that is actually a kalimba that I'm rubbing fingers against, and the "Clamp" which is shown in the video. Then I sat down at the keyboard and put in a reference melody with a bell, mainly so I could keep track of where I was! :-)

On to the audio decorating with some Omnisphere sounds; Strings, Pads, and a great patch called "Broken Containment" with some use of the Orb. On to Trilian synths, and more of my Omnisphere patches until I had a nice outline of the arrangement. That's when I had the thought that - if Abraham was willing to participate, the groove and the low end would be settled. Being the gracious man that he is, we had a blast carving Bass Ukelele that his son Abe gave him as a gift, and then Electric bass.

With that, I reached out to Greg - the B3 master and friend - and was blown away when he agreed to participate. I've been listening to Greg since I was a teenager - vinyl Larry Carlton Room 335 - so having Greg & Abe on this was a surreal dream. Greg played virtual Wurli first, then Piano, and finally the beast B3.

By this time the track was too big for my outline... and I reached out to dear friend Basil - who graciously worked from home and put down wah guitar and a solo that I love - maybe one of his best! I wish I had footage! Finally, with the track taking on so much heat - I had to think of who might be able to groove 5/4 drums and make this work on short notice... Tom Walsh - of course. He's a friend and terrific player.

I was amazed at how this holiday card project bloomed into the track you hear and see. With Sharon's encouragement and support, we even ventured into Final Cut Pro - this being my first time using the application. No sleep for an entire weekend, but I learned a lot.

If you read this far, thank you! Enjoy and please share!