May 4, 2011, 15:08

The face-melting guitar work on this track was recorded years ago by Peter Stroud. Peter has since gone on to perform with the likes of Don Henley, Sheryl Crow and is currently touring with Sarah McLaughlin. Other than the female vocals at the end, those are the only two live musicians on the track:

This track was originally created as a soundtrack to a Coca-Cola meeting opener video. As I recall the budget was around $3,500.00.

There was a little bit business drama surrounding this project because it was one of two major Coca-Cola videos being produced that week by the same client . The other video being produced was to be permanently included in the famous tourist attraction World Of Coke. My client wisely chose to not have the same musician work on both projects, but I felt a bit stung at not being chosen for the World of Coke gig.

To make matters worse, the editing company who was working on my video had some rendering issues with their computers and couldn’t show me any finished picture whatsoever before my session. I was simply told, “Create something big, dramatic, exciting.”

Meanwhile, across town, my colleague who was chosen for the World of Coke gig was being told “We need something understated…dignified.”

According the client, who has actually become one of my life role models and an all-around-amazing guy, he said my music was all wrong for my video and the other guy’s music wound up being a bit too understated. The ideal fix? Swap the two soundtracks. In the end, there wasn’t time to do that and, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, we “went to war with what we had.” It still makes for a good story.

In all fairness to my client, discussions with Coca Cola about any type of creative direction can often be a one-way conversation.

The track I produced was engineered by Pete Hauenstein at Precision Studio in Atlanta. Pete has now moved on become a corporate attorney in New York City. The female vocals at the end were performed by Marcella Richardson who I hired after hearing her sing Jann Arden’s “Insensitive” at a night club. The long note she holds at the end which becomes the tonal center for the next key change is a little music arrangement trick I picked up from Celine Dion’s remake of “All By Myself”.


Mike Bielenberg is a professional musician and co-founder of, a production music marketplace where media producers and business owners can license high-quality, affordable music from a online community of musicians.

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