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Gatekeeper #3

Posted By: E Swartz

Gatekeeper #3 - 09/09/19 04:21 AM

"The Gatekeeper" song was a song that I collaborated and composed with Kim Kime a few years back. I originally produced a pop version, then later a more mellow piano/strings version. I really liked the piano track in the 2nd song version and recently had the idea of re-mixing and inserting the piano into the original pop version--which I wasn't really satisfied with anyway. I reduced the original version's driving acoustic guitar influence, deleted a few of the harmonies, and let the piano dominate the song's rhythm bed. The goal was to allow Kim's poignant lyrics to sit better into the mix and let the piano express a more early tender emotional vibe, and later a more building or crescendoing effect.

Comments are surely welcome, though I doubt we change any lyrics--as those were discussed and altered some in our original postings. If Kim comes around JPF, she may also chime in--I'll let her know I've re-mixed the song and posted it again. Its been awhile since I've posted any new songs--hopefully this late Fall/Winter when I should have some time to devote to music again--I miss it much--I travel extensively.

About the song "The Gatekeeper"........we all hold the key to our own hearts; we give it out more easily in youth, but after a few's more difficult to hand that key over.......but sometimes, you just have to jump in the fire again!

(I wanted a warm production and beefed up my master post fader maybe a little too hot.........turn down the volume slider a bit on Soundcloud before listening--it will keep the bass in check--will correct if mastered).


Piano - Erik Kaufman
Lead Guitar & acoustic guitar arpeggio picking - Colin Ward
Vocals/acoustic guitar/production - e.swartz

The Gatekeeper--k.kime/e.swartz

The Gatekeeper

Posted By: JAPOV

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/09/19 05:11 AM

Well, without having heard the other versions, I’d say this is a fantastic arrangement! I play a little piano but not like that, very nice! I would suggest checking the extreme low end Eq on your bass and Vox though, you’re booming just a bit on my system. Nice crescendo/key change and harmonies! Well Done! smile
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/09/19 10:35 AM

Thanks Japov,

Appreciate the listen, and kind/constructive comments-I do have the low eq rolled back on those tracks, but do have a pretty warm round bass track. I know Soundcloud does add some mid-low eq to the tracks as well. I wish they didn't, but my songs all have more bass on Soundcloud than being played directly from my computer eq'd mixes. I usually turn down the volume on Soundcloud a bit as well which helps. Who knows, maybe I should use Soundcloud for another listening reference when mixing........Getting a mix to sound good everywhere isn't easy, I use both flat Yamaha studio monitors and semi-open B-Dynamic DT 880 reference head phones designed for mixing--but maybe I do have too much bass in general throughout the mix--we'll see if there's a concensus here.


Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/09/19 04:08 PM

If anybody deserves a fair listen and review its gotta be Steady Eddie!

I think what you have here is a great reflective personal song here. Commercial viability may be out due to the same chord progression all the way through.

Your chorus is good as it lifts in melody and the doubled vocal there sounds good. Vocal is good and perfect for the mood.

I wasnt crazy about the key change, it aint "we are the world", its a very introspective song.... lol jmho

Nice job, I could see it being used in a film where somebody is thinking alone somewhere.
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/09/19 04:43 PM


Thank-you for the spin. I myself think the song has a bit old fashioned vibe, but felt it 'fit" Kim's heartfelt poignant lyrics. Perhaps the song's lyrics "may" be better being expressed by a gal singer--given the lyrics originating from a woman. Thanks for the props, but I disagree with you about the key change--as for me the key change is imperative to both, carry the song out passionately/& strongly--especially since there isn't a previous digressing bridge--I experimented there too, but felt this song needed to keep building/lifting. The key change is actually my favorite part of the song and gave Erik a great platform for his piano crescendo/outro. Just how I felt the music I suppose.

Thanks again, I appreciate your constructive review and opinion. (I have some new stuff to produce--hopefully I can get to fairly soon)!


Posted By: Calvin

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/10/19 09:33 AM

Hello Eddie,

Good teamwork !

Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/10/19 05:29 PM

Someone mentioned the same progression already, So the key change breaks that up a little.

Never heard the other versions, but this ones instrumentation was nice...
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/11/19 03:53 AM

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the comments and listen. The piano/strings version is further down on my music list. I did remove the original pop version from Soundcloud.

As far as chord progressions, I usually do not repeat them with most of my songs from verse to chorus, but with this one, the melody changes completely with those transitions--so I'm fine with that/ When verse melody and chorus melody are too similar, then it should be an issue. There have been many successful pop songs that use same or similar chord progressions from verse to chorus, but I would agree "is" important to insert a different melody with that strategy. My wife loves this song's melody, and I can assure you she doesn't know the chords are similar from verse to chorus! We composers notice these things more for sure, and again, I don't usually repeat chord progressions, but this one just felt right and sounded good to me in the production process. I also write many different types/vibes with music as well and enjoy some diversity in my artistic approach to music, just wish I had more time to devote to writing and producing.

Hope you have success with your commercial project! Thanks again,

Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/11/19 08:57 PM

Originally Posted by E Swartz
Hey Steve,

. There have been many successful pop songs that use same or similar chord progressions from verse to chorus, but I would agree "is" important to insert a different melody with that strategy. We composers notice these things more for sure, and again, I don't usually repeat chord progressions, but this one just felt right and sounded good to me in the production process.

3 Chords and a prayer...I would NEVER DO SUCH A THING....Check this tune out Verse and Chorus is the same Progression except for one second I go to an Am...HOLDIN' ON
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/11/19 09:30 PM

Eddie, there are many songs that have the same progression all the way through. Usually they have some kind of bridge in there though.

To me key changes are overused by composers. There should be an emotional need for them, even in the commercial world of music, very few songs have key changes.

Bridges or pre choruses are much more needed.

I see this song as more low key, than hit-esque... if thats a word.

I enjoyed the listen. Seems you enjoyed doing it.
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/12/19 12:49 AM

Steve, sounding good!


I agree. I really get crazy with bridges on many of my songs! Yeah it was fun working with different arrangements as I really liked this melody. In the original production process Kim & I battled a bit with a few lyrical tweaks that I felt needed for prosody. But Kim was great to work with, I've not done many collabs.

Posted By: Travis david

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/15/19 05:51 AM

Hi Ed
Great song and collab. Maybe we will do one together sometime, it's been talked about.
Posted By: 90 dB

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/15/19 05:26 PM

This is nicely done. Congrats to everyone involved.


Posted By: MFB III

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/16/19 11:45 AM

Superbly played with stellar vocals and the mood you set on fatherhood touches on my life so well. The whole concept of us being gatekeepers after the womb seals the the initial entrance to outstanding.
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/17/19 02:24 AM


Thanks so much--I know I'm a pain to get back on that SD project--I will once the weather turns and I'll have much more time for music.

Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/17/19 02:31 AM

Hey Bob,

Thanks for the listen and thumbs up comment.


Thanks for the spin........fatherhood? Kim wrote most of these lyrics, but I'm not sure I understand your lyric interpretation. It's good seeing you around the board again Matt!

Posted By: GocartMoz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/18/19 01:48 AM

Hey Eddie,

Sounding good. I really like the key change. It is for me, my favorite part of the song. In fact, I can hear a second key change and think it would work great. Thee key change really makes the song stand out. Also love the piano. In particular though, I am always impressed with the natural vibrato in your vocal Very Barry Gibb. That was meant as a huge compliment btw. Sounding great.

Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/19/19 11:27 PM

Hey Dave,

Thanks a million for your flattering comments--I'm glad you like the key change, and yeah, maybe we should have had a 2nd one......going up any higher might end my singing days..........or maybe I could hire the chipmunks to do the last verse?

Just heard your new song posted, you have a unique one there, and very cool vibe!

Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/20/19 01:29 AM

Really nice, Eddie. I really like the combination of acoustic picking and piano. I can never get that right but this one nails it. Gorgeous. smile

Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/20/19 11:33 PM

Hi Eddie,

Very pretty song, well performed by all.

I loved your late vocals when you were riffing a bit and loosening up. These are my favorite parts of Van Morrison's work, too.

I agree with Scott. "Gorgeous" indeed. smile

Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 09/23/19 02:03 AM

Hi Scott,

Having Erik's fine piano playing and Colin's arpeggio acoustic picking is a real bonus for the music, although I'm playing my acoustic guitar in the latter part of the song for build. Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks a million, and also for recognizing all. I enjoyed working with Kim's song that she approached me on producing as a collab, it twas fun!

Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/04/19 01:53 PM

Sorry to be nearly 30 days late, Ed:

Wow... don't change a thing on this great collaboration. (With lots of talented help, I might add!) I'd recommend you find a way to pitch it to producers, publishers, individual artists needing a great rock ballad... and reliable Music Libraries... like those John Lawrence Schick uses. I agree with Mike on the strong finish/build. Really nice work and the lyric sets everything up so well. I'm impressed.

Best of luck with it, ----West Mayberry Dave
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/05/19 10:16 AM

Thanks much Dave,

Kim has pitched the original version, I do think this last version is better. My music influences probably keep me from being "current" enough most likely with my vibe/sound I would surmise for pitching, but I have some fun! I should make some effort I suppose promoting some of my songs, but I still have trouble finding time to mow the grass given my work travel itinerary. Always appreciate hearing from you, thanks again!

Posted By: Gavin Sinclair

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/05/19 04:07 PM

Not sure how I missed this one. Enjoyed it very much. I echo what has been said above regarding the performances. I like both versions of the song, but yes, probably the latest version a little more. My only quibble would be that the line "Guarding the key to a jaded lonely heart's gate" seems like you are having to rush a little at the end to fit all the syllables in.

Good luck pitching it.
Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/05/19 08:03 PM

Thanks Gavin,

Its been a long time since I recorded the vocals, but do remember it as one of my more challenging songs for prosody and recorded many takes in certain areas. I loved Kim's lyrics, but sometimes "metaphoric" phrases are not always able to roll off as smoothly or feel naturally. I went back and listened to that phrase, as its been a few years since I recorded those vocals. I sang it to myself without pausing after "jaded," and the prosody just felt like too long of a line with the music to sing straight through. The pause does however require me to sing the syllables in "lonely hearts" faster to be able to hit "gate" on beat and have time to hold it. Your ear is certainly not wrong however, probably not perfect prosody there and there may be a better timing approach or lyric tweak. I did tweak some lyrics with Kim's blessing for prosody, but that one was too important of a metaphor. It sounds fine to me, but I've heard it so much that its all anticipated and sounds right to me--that's why its good to hear other's reactions, so thanks Gavin!

Posted By: glynda

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/10/19 04:06 AM

OMG....well what else would I expect from one of your great song's...but and Kim out did love The Gatekeeper...brillant...tks

Posted By: Deej56

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/10/19 04:20 AM

Hey, Eddie:

I’m a little late the party . . . This is a terrific tune—wonderfully put together; nice warm and sincere vocal. Really enjoyed the listen. Well done!

All the best,

Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/11/19 01:13 AM


Thank-you for chiming in, I appreciate it--hope you are doing better as well!

Deej, No problem being late to the party, this is a re-mix anyway from a few years back. Thanks so much however for coming to the party! Drinks and snacks are in the dining room........

Posted By: Kristi McKeever

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/20/19 07:37 PM

Eddie & Kim,

Very emotional song delivered with a heartfelt intensity. I like the title, it made me think even before I hit play. I remember Kim from many years ago on here. This was a memorable visual: “like tiny shards of glass.....scattered on the path...every step I took forward drew blood”. Very poignant story.

And I enjoyed how the vocals gently tell the story too.

Love that piano as it sprinkles notes throughout. And there’s a strong build in emotion that flourishes nicely. Well done!

Posted By: E Swartz

Re: Gatekeeper #3 - 10/22/19 01:48 AM

Hi Kristi,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. That was my fav line of "Kim's" as well! I'm glad the song invokes emotion for you--twas the plan!

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