Christie DuPree

Christie DuPree

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Songwriting

A lot of people have been asking me lately what my songwriting methods are, and I forgot to answer that question in the Q&A video (a couple of posts back)
so I figured I'd do a blog post about it just for fun.

So basically I usually start out with a phrase of lyrics and a melody, and build off of that. And then I'll get a chord structure going. I tend to write the melody first because it's usually just what comes to me before anything else does. Often times I'm just going about my day thinking about stuff and then a certain phrase pops into my head and it is immediately accompanied by a melody, and that sort of becomes the anchor to the song and I'll build around it.



Like our song "Unhinged" from our record "Sway", part of the lyrics are "If I tried to measure my whole heart, babe, it's a bit uneven, it sways your way" - the thought of dividing up your heart into portions, and the majority of it being pulled toward someone else as opposed to keeping it for yourself was the anchor to that song, and those lyrics were the starting point that I built the song around.


Melody and lyrics are always the most important thing to me when it comes to music.
If I can grab onto a melody and connect with what you're saying, chances are I'll like the band. But even if the music is great, if the melody is neither here nor there, I have trouble getting into it.
It's not that I don't fully appreciate good song structures and chords, but I love things that I want to sing along to. But of course if you've got both, that is definitely ideal! haha



And then other times I just sit down with a guitar or something and just start goofing around until I get something I like.
Those songs are always the most fun. I definitely take what I do seriously, but not taking yourself TOO seriously is just as important. 

Do what you love, but have fun doing it.

I hope that answers it for those who were wondering, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Love,
Christie

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Steady Perseverance

“No one expects to attain to the height of learning, or arts, or power, or wealth, or military glory, without vigorous resolution, strenuous diligence, and steady perseverance. Yet we expect to be Christians without labour, study, or inquiry.” -William Wilberforce

I found this quote on the Deeply Rooted instagram account the other day, and it just really stuck with me. Over the last couple of years I've realized how for most of my life I've known so little about the book that is supposed to be our foundation as followers of Christ. I've grown up and been saturated in it my entire life, and spent time reading the word and dwelling on certain scriptures, but the truth is that so much of the Bible I just straight up didn't understand. And because of that, I spent a good many years literally sighing at the thought of having to pick up the bible and read it. I knew it held such truth and freedom and life giving words, but I could never actually unearth it because I wasn't fully, intentionally applying myself to understanding it. 

I was cracking it open out of obligation and even then would mostly just read Psalms and the gospels, because it was the easiest to understand outside of context. And because the rest of the bible just felt weighty and confusing and almost daunting. It honestly overwhelmed me to the point that I subconsciously let years slip by without making a habit of regularly reading God's word. The entire Old Testament confused me to no end and the thought of trying to decipher and piece all the names and stories and events together just seemed impossible. But last year sometime I was just like, okay. I've got to just read this stuff. Even if I don't understand it, I've got to just dig in because I know it's so important.

And if you're at all like me and felt like the bible was just an overwhelming feat that you'd never conquer, just know that you're not alone, and that actually it's NOT as overwhelmingly impossible to understand as it seems. I stumbled across some books on amazon that have been helping me to understand better and I wanted to share them with you, along with some other books I'm studying.

First is this tiny, simple little book that literally lays out each and every single book of the bible and gives a brief synopsis on what each book is about. Studying this tiny little guide has helped me SO MUCH when I'm reading the bible and helps to give an overview of what's happening so that you're not totally lost amidst all the crazy hard to pronounce names of people and places and what not.
It's like 2-3 bucks on amazon. Totally worth it.


I know it's absolutely silly and hilarious, but this book! Like, say what you want, but it's been cool to approach the bible from just a completely deconstructed and simple kind of way. It's been helpful to get a better understanding of God's word so that I can dig deeper and not feel like I'm just lost in ancient stories. 


And I've also been going through a bible study with some friends of mine, following this book 
and it's been completely life changing. Each chapter/study I've had to underline almost every paragraph because it's such practical, helpful information and wisdom in growing your walk with the Lord from every aspect. I highly highly recommend buying it and going through it with some friends, or even just on your own.


And this next book deserves it's own blog post, it's own entire blog dedicated to it, a symphony, a standing ovation, you name it. I can't even express to you how incredible this book is. I've had to read the beginning 3 chapters several times over just to let them sink in before moving on. It's about our calling as followers of Christ to be holy in all we do, and how as humans we tend to categorize sin into different sections from semi-acceptable to acceptable but the truth is that God sees all sin equally and hates it all. It talks about how we have a holy standing before God thanks to Jesus' work on the cross, but we also have an obligation to live out holiness in our lives and in all that we do. It's insanely challenging and inspiring.
 SO GOOD.
I just recently bought the study guide to go with it, both can be found on amazon here 



And I always keep a journal nearby, to write down prayers, thoughts, etc.


I'm only just brushing the surface but It's such an important thing and I really feel like I'm not the only one who has struggled with this, so I wanted to share with you all and hope to encourage you to dig into God's word and watch how it transforms your life. Being diligent and disciplined enough to take time out of our busy lives to spend reading the bible is difficult, I know. But nothing compares or adds up to the value of intimately knowing our creator and familiarizing ourselves with his word. 
So I just want to encourage you to start. Start anywhere, but the beginning is always a good place.


Love,
Christie


Thursday, May 21, 2015

B&W

I've been in this unique season of regaining focus, and inspiration, and watching things shift and change and seeing how change is good and always for the better.

Refocusing what I want to do with Merriment, what I want to do with my free time, how I should be spending it and cultivating the things I'm good and want to be better at. As opposed to letting time slip by seconds at a time while trolling instagram or thinking about eating cookies. (Which is futile, really. Chocolate chip cookies are life.)

I try to take time off from the digital world (social media) periodically and focus a lot on taking film photos and pouring myself into that for a bit. It's refreshing and a whole lot of fun. Photography is important to me and feeds my soul, but it definitely comes second to music.

I've also been writing a ton of music and it's so rewarding, but I'll share more of that whenever we're able to start work on a new record.

Here's some black and white medium format film shots from the last few rolls from my Yashica.

 One of my dearest and truest friends, Bliss.

 Playing at the park.

 Bliss taking wedding photos for my little brother and sister-in-law last year.

 Becky. From the month we spent on tour together, 
talking about boys and our worth and staying up late and 
talking about what God was doing in our lives. She's a treasure.

 Another of my most treasured friends. 
God has put some of the most special people in my life and 
given them the ability to speak life into me and 
has used them as tools to continually sharpen me
over the years, and I'm just forever grateful for it.

 Among my beautiful friends
are my beautiful sisters, 
who I could in no way live without.

 Friend Kate on the garden steps.

 Cousin Remington.

 So thankful to have such solid men in my family, 
and my cousin's are no less than some of the
 most solid and also hilarious dudes I know.

Remington, Karsyn, and Collin leaning over a bridge in Nashville, TN.
This picture means so much to me. 
It's old timey and slightly crooked and dreamlike feel, 
but most importantly the three people in it 
who are completely invaluable to me. 
Family is everything to me and I am so 
thankful that God has given me some of the 
best people to call brothers, sisters, and cousins.

Keep pursuing your dreams, people.
<3 p="">
-Christie

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Q+A

Hey guys!

Hope you're all enjoying this marvelous Tuesday.
Recently I posted on my instagram that I would be making a Q+A video about Merriment
and had people ask questions. 
I ended up getting way more questions than I thought and wasn't able to answer all of them because the video would have been a feature length film lol!
But a lot of the questions were similar so I just selected a handful and made a quick video.

Here it is!

Thanks for watching!
Love,
Christie

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