Langley, BC-Meet Laura Hastings - an understated 20 year old Trinity Western University student who just happens to have composed "Reaching," the theme song for the Saskatchewan Summer Games.
Anything but ordinary, the third year music major was recently commissioned by the Saskatchewan Summer Games committee to write and record the theme song that will open and close the prairie province's summer games, and be used in television and radio ads. While Hastings has been composing music since seventh grade and has a debut album entitled Butterfly, she admits that this was an intimidating project, as most of her compositions have been more melancholy. But when the songstress and composer put her fingers to the keys one winter night, the song just flowed out.
When asked what her inspiration was Hastings says, "The theme for the summer games is ‘Reaching for your dreams' so I thought of reaching imagery, and also what the summer games means. The song starts out with the idea that in your infancy you are young and naïve and you are reaching, like ‘I can get it' - obviously you are little so you can dream whatever you want. The third verse talks about your whole life when you are reaching and then the chorus is how you are actually there and you are still reaching as you haven't finished the race yet."
After graduating high school in Lloydminster Alberta, Hastings found her way to TWU after visiting the campus. Impressed with its small size and world renowned music faculty, Hastings began her undergrad concentrating on voice. It was here that she also met her friends the Chan brothers, who would come in handy when Hastings had to record the piece. Brian and Caleb Chan, and their company Lion the Cub Productions, helped Hastings record, mix and produce the song. Amazingly, the bulk of the work was done in a TWU dorm room.
"Brian and Caleb are ‘musical extraordinaires.' They have perfect pitch and they are so good at everything that they do. So I played them the song and they asked ‘what I wanted them to do with it,'" says Hastings. The young musician then suggested instrumentation, harmony and supplemental melodies while the Chan brothers listened to Hastings' vision for the piece.
Hastings says, "They took the suggestions and then they arranged the song. They did all the drums. They did live guitars, live bass, live cello and live violin. They also did the piano for it too because Brian is really accurate when it comes to recording as he's a studio musician. I sang and Brian did some of the back-up vocals."
Sadly, neither Hastings nor her parents will be able to attend the games and hear the theme song, as they will be on an overseas mission trip to Nicaragua. While she may be thousands of miles away, she keeps her hometown very close to her heart. Hastings says, "The community has been so supportive of me, like when I perform concerts or when I released my CD. There has been so much support growing up in music festivals for me that composing this was a way to give back to the community that started me."
How much "reach" does she hope her song has?
"I just want people to like it," says the humble Hastings. "I hope that with more exposure it will be a good thing to put on a resume - the practice of recording it, getting it mastered, and all the different steps that it takes is just experience. And I hope that it leads to more endeavors like this because I really enjoyed the process of it."
More information on Laura Hastings can be found by visiting www.myspace.com/laurahastings
Information on the music program at TWU can be found at www.twu.ca
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2008-05-14