Song Story | Open
Open was a really fun song to work on, and a relatively quick process as far as songs can go. Also I got to write with my good friend Samuel Lane again. It started one night last year when I had an amazingly vivid dream. I saw a vision of heaven. It was absolutely mind blowing. In it I saw a walled city on a green hill that was so bright it was almost blinding. And the people inside were literally on fire, blazing with a passion that poured out of the middle of them, spilling out light in every direction.
But it was the sound was the first thing that caught me. It was worship, but not like anything I had heard before, it was almost scary to be honest, it was so loud, so beautifully shocking. I remember not being able to stand because of it. They were singing so loudly, directing their worship to the King, who was seated above the city. And even though I knew individually they were all singing words, the full sound of it was like a storm. Then, from where I was standing I was suddenly aware that this city and the whole hill was advancing towards me and opening outwards. I was stuck fast, I couldn't move. But I didn't want to. My heart was bursting with anticipation at being consumed into the city that had just one focus of singing this awe filled song!
I woke up and my heart was racing. It was very early in the morning and I desperately wanted to wake my wife up and tell her about it (but wisely thought maybe I should wait for a more reasonable hour). So I jumped out of bed and grabbed some paper and went into the living room trying my best to write down everything I'd seen and heard, and how I felt. And I grabbed my guitar and worshipped for a good long while. I don't think I've ever felt as caught up and free in worship as I did that night, which was quite ironic because I was having to play and sing so quietly because I didn't want to wake my wife.
The thing that stayed with me over the next few days as I thought on it was this feeling of urgency, a sense of something coming, God and His Kingdom moving closer. New things being opened.
After a couple of weeks, I'd started to form my thoughts and notes into a song of sorts, and I shared it with Sam and told him about the dream. Over the following couple of months we spent time writing and rewriting it, sending ideas back and forth, and slowly crafting and refining the song. A process that is always fun. I really enjoy writing with Sam. He recorded a rough demo and we emailed it over to Vineyard Records to see what they thought of it. Before we knew it Jimmy Cooke had put some crazy drums on it and was pushing for it to be the title track of their new studio album they were working on.
Then Mr David ‘Professor’ Plumb got his musical hands on it and added all sorts of beats, bleeps and celestial sweeps, turning it into the song that you hear now on the 'Open' album.
An interesting side note for you, Sam’s vocal track is the very same one that he recorded for the rough demo in our little church studio. That boy has got a seriously good set of pipes on him! We're really pleased with how it has come out. The lyrics have changed a lot from the original draft, but are true to that initial dream, and the main thing we really wanted to express is that sense of invitation into this amazing thing that is opening up. That Heaven's door is indeed open!