Imogen Heap remix 18th Feb 2009
Imogen Heap remix

I think I saw Imogen Heap performing live in the Liverpool Krazy House back in the mid to late nineties. It would have been right at the start of her career, and she would have been supporting some semi-popular guitar band of the day, like Shed Seven, or Echobelly, or someone of that ilk. Or maybe I dreamt the whole thing. But anyway, my perhaps faulty memory paints the support act I saw that night as comprising a more traditional four or five piece band than the bleepy electronic Imogen Heap we know and love today.

Anyway, if perchance you've ever wanted to hear Imogen Heap fronting an indie guitar band, your wish is my command. This remix is of a song that she apparently wrote to be the closing music for a film project. The story goes that she had recorded the vocals and left the musical accompaniment to the film score producer to finish, but in the end the track was never used. Therefore, she graciously decided to upload the vocal tracks for others to build a song around.

Because of the song's origins, Imogen officially named it The Song That Never Was. Since there are likely to be several hundred versions floating around the net by the end of the month, that title is probably in need of an update. From the lyrics, something like It's Alright, would be appropriate, I suppose. Terribly bland, though. I'm generally ambivalent on song titles: on the one hand I quite like the lengthy, witty titles you get on songs by Panic At The Disco, for example; on the other hand, I also like the idea that if you hear a new song on the radio or on TV you might be able to guess what it was called and go find it on iTunes or by asking a record-store employee (remember those?). Of course, The Smiths were the masters at managing to combine both perfectly ("have you got the song that goes Girlfriend in a coma, something something something?"). But I digress.

The situation with this remix was rather unusual, in that there was no original track to refer to. We were given several vocal tracks - and incidentally it was a pleasure to be able to mute a few backing vocals for a change, as opposed to the usual remixing process of desperately wishing there were more harmonies, and contemplating having to sing some myself - but there were no instrumental tracks of any kind. I'd be intrigued to know what Imogen's original chords and arrangements were. Listening to her vocal harmonies I worked out what I thought the original chords must have been, and then changed a few bits to suit my own production. But it's funny how different creative minds work; to be honest, though I knew the remixes would undoubtedly all sound very different to each other, I figured that many of us would have settled on the same basic chord structure as the one that was most consonant behind the vocal parts. Listening to those hundreds of remixes that have so far been uploaded, though, I don't think there are two interpretations that are even remotely similar!

Anyhow, my remix is available for streaming or downloading below, and also on the Music downloads page. I hope you enjoy listening to it. And if you want to check out the other remixers' work, or download the parts and have a go at a remix yourself, visit The remixing takes place as part of the Twestival charity event, raising funds for clean water in developing countries, and all participants are asked to make a small donation to this worthy cause.

The Song That Never Was (James Merrifield remix)
 [ download mp3 ]

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