I Saw Your Face

Transfer Point — I Saw Your Face | download mp3

words and music by Transfer Point

I saw your face
Reflected in a window on a crowded street
And I knew that you were the one that was meant for me
And I was meant for you
And I turned and looked for you
But you had gone
You had walked on

And I was all alone again
Alone without a friend
But I could see your face
The vision of you wouldn’t leave my head
When will I see you again?
In a city full of people, I know there’s one for me
And I found you

Will you hold my hand as we wander through this concrete jungle?
We’ll never make it through alone
And when you stay with me we can keep on going every time we stumble
Baby, we’re gonna make it home

Again I saw your face
I was late to catch the train
And I looked inside the window, and you were there
And the crowd was in my way
And then you smiled at me
And I ran to catch the train, but the door had closed
And you rolled away from me

With your hand in mine we can make it through whatever comes our way
We don’t have to be alone
And when you stay with me we can break on through whatever happens today
Baby, we’re gonna make it home

Through this concrete jungle
Over stones and rubble
Whatever happens today
Whatever comes our way

Tom Sanderson: music composition and arrangement, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, recording

Alan Sanderson: lyrics and vocal arrangement, vocals, guitars, recording, mixing, mastering, cover art

Produced by Transfer Point

Tom’s Notes

Around a year ago (Oct ’21), my brother Brian and his family came to California and was able to make a rough sequence on my FA-06. A few weeks later he flew back to hike Mt. San Jacinto with me (the Skyline trail) and also started another sequence that I later helped to shape. Both tracks are still in progress but these two outings inspired me to come up with the backbone of what became this song. Particularly, Brian’s fondness for Fender Rhodes (electric piano) in an adult contemporary style found its way onto this track.

Both Brian and my high-school friend Chris May have used the pairing of electric piano and acoustic piano in a stereo split and I used that effect here also. I can’t pinpoint what professional artist(s) may have inspired this track, but Michael McDonald, Toto, Al Jarreau and Bob Scaggs come to mind. The chorus music was a conscious attempt at breaking the pattern – I wanted something a little more rock and roll to counter the verse music which is basically gospel riffs in a pop format (pop/soul vs adult contemporary).

After sequencing the pianos, I added a different lead keyboard patch on each verse to try to mix things up. After finishing the sequence with drums and a low synth bass, I added guitars and bass on the Tascam machine. As my creative output seems to come in waves these days, when this wave crested I had a pretty good backing track with no lyrics and no melody.

I think at one point I thought to share the project with Brian, however he has been a very busy guy lately. The track sat for a few months. I shared the tracks with Alan a few months ago and I am sure glad I did. One of the most impressive additions that Alan contributed very early in the project was one of the best melodies he has composed, in my opinion. Soon he had put together some lyrics.

Alan added some wonderful lead vocals that he spent a great deal of time shaping. His amazing backing vocal arrangement might actually outshine his lead vocals though. I think a big stumbling block might have been featuring the electric piano and piano so prominently (this was how I initially presented the track to Alan). When Alan added his acoustic guitar and turned down the structure keyboards, I thought the track started really coming together. Thoughtfully, Alan wove a guitar solo that fades into mine. I’m afraid I wasn’t much musical help late in the project apart from some suggestions and a re-take of a bass track – but this gave Alan the opportunity to help shape this song and make it his as well as mine.

And Alan’s cover art is also really neat

Alan’s Notes

Tom sent me his draft of this song as an instrumental in April, and I liked it from the very first listen. The sound remains fresh through the whole piece and the development of the layering was so interesting that I almost didn’t notice the structure of the song the first time through. My favorite part was the lead synth in the chorus, which reminded me of something Kit Watkins would do in his prog rock days.

Tom asked for some help with the song, and I honestly didn’t know at first what I could possibly do to improve it. After a few weeks I had an idea for a chorus, which Tom liked, but then I made no more progress until August. I found a vintage Fender 12×2 speaker cabinet at a thrift store that month, and my excitement about using it spurred me back into action. That is when I wrote the lyrics for the verses and bridge.

I had the good fortune to come across an old Carpenters album this summer, and they certainly influenced my arrangement for the backing vocals. Not sure that I can hold a candle to the masters (they were so good!), but we can all aspire.

The cover image for the song matches the mood and setting of the words: the ballad of a lonely man in a busy city finding love at first sight but still facing obstacles. It is ultimately a story of hope in the face of setbacks, though mingled with anxiety. A bit melodramatic, perhaps, but then so is life sometimes.

The speaker cabinet was put to good use in amping and re-amping the lead guitars and the snare drum, and I love the huge sound it makes. I have never played guitar through such a big setup before, and it is quite a thrilling experience. My wife kept telling me to turn the volume down, or to at least wear hearing protection. Maybe she’s right.

Many thanks to Tom for coming up with such a cool piece of music, for being willing to share its production with me, and for being patient yet persistent in encouraging me to keep working on it. It has been a hard year for me in many ways, and pushing this project over the finish line feels like a significant accomplishment.

Info and Stats

  • Production dates: Jan — Oct 2022
  • Equipment:
    • Interfaces: Tascam DSP24SD, Behringer Xenyx 1204USB
    • Synths: Roland FA-06
    • Guitars and Basses: Fender Stratocaster (Mexico), Fender Squier Stratocaster, Takamine G-330, Peavy Fury bass
    • Amplifiers and Speakers: Crate GX-30M, Fender 12×2 cabinet, Fender Bassman 60
    • Microphones: DIY condenser by Michael Willis, Shure SM-57
  • Software:
  • Total Tracks: 32
    • Synths and keys: 9
    • Guitars and basses: 7
    • Drums and percussion: 2
    • Vocal: 14

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