In this part of his diaries about creating the Songs for Breck Project, Mark Harrington reveals the inspiration behind the song ‘What If’.
It was 3am on a rainy evening. I had just finished the writing for my SEN play ‘Play Virtual. Live Real’. The emotions from the story were running through my head, and I had to put pen to paper to get the words out. The result was the beginning of Lorin’s song, ‘What If’
There is no way that I can possibly express the way that Lorin and her family feel about the loss of Breck. What I wanted to create within the song were the questions that I think any of us would ask ourselves if we lost someone suddenly. What would we do or say if we could turn back the clock and try to change the past?
I have been fortunate enough to have personal conversations with Lorin about her loss, and heard her thoughts about what she wishes she could have done differently. I wanted to try and share some of these thoughts within the song. I also watched interviews and read articles about Lorin, and this all helped to contribute to the lyrics.
Initially I worked with my friend Kate Hawken to come up with the melody. In discussions, we wanted it to sound like a mix of Adele’s ‘Hello’ and the songs of Eva Cassidy. The music is simple and leaves the lyrics to speak for themselves.
When the team from QM Studio’s began their production of ‘What if’ they used a simple piano backing track. We then had to find the right person to convey the emotions we needed for the song.
Amy Putt, a voiceover artist and singer, came forward, and as soon as we heard her we knew we had a magic combination. I was in the studio for her recording and from the first take I had goose bumps. Amy takes us through sorrow, grief, pain and anger within the three minutes of the song. Her rendition made me quite emotional as I could hear the conversations I had had with Lorin and the pain she has gone through. On top of that it made me think about family members I have lost and wonder ‘What If’ I could change things in my own story.
I hope this song will help others learn from Breck’s story about the dangers and the emotions that are involved with online grooming.
In my next blog I will look at the second song, Breck’s Song: ‘This is My World’. The singles will hopefully be available on streaming sites soon. To find out more please email email@example.com. If you would like to see further projects, Mark is working on please follow on Instagram and Facebook @harrington_projects