Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Making a music video for me and my son


Stephanie Schneiderman, Jov Luke, Duddy Brown, JP Downer, Pilar French, Naomi Hooley, Joshua Malm, Elke Robitaille, Paula Sinclair, Heather Walsh and many others helped out

There haven’t been many times in my journalistic life where I have chosen to insert myself into a story.  In fact, there has been only one other time.

I hadn’t planned on doing it again, but here I am.  I’m writing because Tom D’Antoni. OMN’s founder and Editor-in-Chief, asked me to document this moment, and because I’ve heard from many of my friends this past year that they feel there is much about me and my life that they do not know.

I guess that makes sense.  I’m an intensely private person, though you wouldn’t necessarily think that with a quick glance at my Facebook page.  By appearances, I’m a social butterfly out at a concert or some type of music related gathering most nights each week.

I have three personas.  The business one that lives in the corporate world that has mastered a semblance of success in a male dominated industry (technology); the creative one whose soul is fed by being around musicians and artists (that publishes this magazine), and the nurturing one who loves to care for animals and others (as a single mom and go-to friend if you’re ever in need).

It’s the last one that means the most to me - being there for those that matter to me - most of all for my son Henry. And he is at the center of this particular story.

This summer, Henry and I celebrated a milestone - his high school graduation. We took a month to trek across France, Spain and England to soak in as much sun, culture, art and music as we could before he moved into his dorm at the University of Oregon.  

When I began thinking about what it meant that Henry had arrived at this point in his life, and that I had arrived here too, I wanted to give him more than just a senior trip, I wanted to give him something money couldn’t really buy - I wanted to encapsulate the 18 years he and I had grown together, with my complete love for him forever preserved in a snapshot so he would always know just how I feel about him at this moment.  But how would I do that?

Ana and Jov Luke

I was inspired by a video my friend Jov Luke (who performs as Novosti) created for his song “Broken Soldier”.  The video is a montage of family film footage from someone close to him that Jov beautifully crafted together. I was moved by both the video he made for this family and the song he wrote and performs that accompanies the video.  Seeing it, and how it made me feel, made me want to create my own time capsule of treasured moments with my son and attempt to put some of my feelings into lyric and melody.  Jov agreed to help me with the video, but I needed to come up with a song.  The dilemma, I am not a songwriter.

Lucky for me, I publish a music magazine and I know a few…  Inspiration struck again when was in the car listening to my iPod shuffle through my catalog when Stephanie Schneiderman’Songs from the Old Church album came on.  This remarkable collection strips down some of her best known songs to their acoustic bones, highlighting her gift as a songwriter, putting her lyrics front and center with stunning performances incorporating classical arrangements. I had worked with Stephanie as Executive Producer on her music video "Wide Open” a few years ago, and hearing the same song in its acoustic form on this album made me realize that she was the one I wanted to help me write a song for Henry.

So I asked.  And she said yes.

We met for tea and I told her about Henry.  Having become a mother herself in the past two years, I knew Stephanie would be able to relate to many of the things I had felt when Henry was younger, and hoped she would put some of her own heart into the song too.  

I told her how Henry had been a golden child - so gifted, kind and caring that everyone who met him adored him from the moment they met him.  He had been like a bottle of sunshine, this amazing little boy.  As he was evolving as a person, I shared that there was much he needed to grow through, but mostly I wanted him to know that I would be there for him no matter what. No matter what he chose to be or who he chose to love.  

Ana and Henry

I was also seeing many of Henry’s friends start to come into their own and discover their true selves and identities, so I had message for them too - love whoever makes you happy and is worthy of you.  

After about an hour, a pot of chamomile, lots of talk about how time flies from toddler to teenager, and listening to Ben Howard songs that I was hoping to emulate in style, Stephanie said she had what she needed to start writing.  The clock was ticking though, graduation was a mere 8 weeks away.  I wondered if I’d be able to pull off what I wanted by graduation.

A couple weeks later, while I was on a business trip, I got a text message with a voice memo from Stephanie singing the first version of what would become “Henry’s Song”.  It was beautiful, and it was perfect.

Wherever You Go (“Henry’s Song”)

You came to me you were golden on the inside

And every day I saw the rays of your light

Now you’re about to see 

Who you are and what you’ll be


Wherever you go

Whatever you find

Whatever you do 

My love will stay with you


Every seed must come undone to grow

To be what you can become

Trust what you know

Now you’re about to find

Your place in this world and your time


Wherever you go

Whatever you find

Whatever you do

My love will stay with you


Gave you the room to grow

To show you love that’s beautiful


Wherever you go

Whatever you find

Whatever you do

Whatever you dream

Whoever you love 

Whatever you choose

Whatever is true for you

My love will stay with you


My love stays with you

(Keep your heart open)

(Wherever you go)

I knew there were certain instrumental elements I wanted to hear, but I didn’t have the musical language to explain what I was seeking.  For example, in playing the rough cut for my musician friends like Duddy Brown, he was able to help me articulate that what I was wanting to hear was more arpeggio style guitar playing vs. strumming.  I also wanted to invite many friends to sing an “in the round” style chorus at the end to extend the song and to give it a “We Are the World” village/community singing to Henry feeling behind it.  

When I expressed my desire for incorporating violin and cello, the timing was getting tight, but Stephanie asked Greg Ewer and Justin Kagan from the Oregon Symphony and 45th Parallel to write and perform those parts. Their strings bring a deep emotion to the song that balance the light and sweetness of Tony Furtado’s ukulele playing and Stephanie’s guitar.  On their own, the strings would make me cry every time I heard them, but together with the other parts, they became the perfect balance of everything I wanted to convey - in large part because of everyone that had a hand in bringing this song to life.

I had recorded two songs in a studio prior to this, so I was aware how tedious a process getting the right take could be, but I was not familiar with all the lingo and learned a ton about the recording process (and what “mastering” was) and video making in general, as I had asked Jov to also film the making of this video in addition to creating the montage of Henry.

Recording took two full days. We did everything at Rob Stroup’s 8 Ball Studio and did have a ball.  Stephanie was a master at the production and scheduling, not a minute was wasted (until my friends showed up, Star Wars jokes ensued and the wine started to flow!)  And Rob has such a talent for instrumentation and ear for what works, he was able to cut through and get what we wanted in what felt like record time while also playing a whole host of instruments that included bass, glockenspiel, percussion, Wurly and guitar through a Leslie cabinet.

Watch the making of "Wherever You Go"

In case you are wondering, all of the musicians that performed on the song were compensated (with the exception of my chorus of friends that were paid in wine).  I am a strong believer in paying artists for their work, and know that all too often, they are the first that the community goes to when asking for support in donating their time and talents.  So if I really love an artist, I’ll go above and beyond to show them my support because their art means that much to me.  Stephanie is one of the most generous people with her time and talent that I know, and all us girls were all thrilled to be able to say WE were in the studio with Stephanie Schneiderman! 

In the end, maybe the gift was more for me than it was for Henry, I enjoyed the whole process so much.  Haley Johnsen sings backup vocals, and Stephanie even wrote a part in the chorus for me as a special message to Henry to “keep your heart open". I was very moved by the friends that came to be part of the chorus - Duddy Brown, JP Downer, Pilar French, Naomi Hooley (Moody Little Sister), Joshua Malm (Redwood Son), Elke Robitaille, Paula Sinclair, Heather Walsh - and those that couldn’t be there but offered to participate remotely like Amanda and Jenni Price of Acoustic Minds (AM) and Koncept.  We literally wrapped the recording session in time for my brother and I to leave and go to the Tigard High Graduation ceremony.  

As we were packing up, Jov said to me, “You know, Henry will have this moment with you - your visual, your voice on this - even after you’ve gone.  It might be sad for him to look back on and watch, but what a gift to have your mother’s voice and image there forever.”

For both Henry and I, music is like air; I don’t think we could exist without it.  I hope that every now and again, whenever he needs a reminder of how his mom feels about him, he will play this song and know.

Henry is studying Digital Art at the University of Oregon, is a photographer for OMN and has his own graphic design/photography/clothing company Explxrd Media on Facebook, and www.explxrd.com.


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