"Will has an innate sense of bringing a song to fruition in the most beautiful way he can," says Hickman, who records frequently with Strings Attached. "It can be from a country song to rock song to a lullabye. It's not just one genre. The first tune Will ever arranged for me was an a capella lullabye I wrote for my daughter called 'It's Alright.' All l had really was the song in my mind and then I sang it into a tape recorder at Will's house. When I came back, he'd done this beautiful string arrangement to my melody, with a depth and lushness that brought me to tears."

Taylor knew the idea of mixing popular music with classical forms wasn't new. Leonard Bernstein had done it. Aaron Copland had done it. He knew, too, that mixing popular music with jazz forms wasn't new. Sting's solo career was built around the idea. In Austin, jazz guitarist Mitch Watkins has always been comfortable mixing his textured compositional sensitivity with the pop visions of Joe Ely or Abra Moore. Most of all, Taylor knew that music in churches wasn't anything novel. The idea is as old as medieval Europe.

The magic was in bringing it all together, in a single vision. Why not, thought Will Taylor? Why not wed the worlds of music, in the name of creativity, in a Strings Attached concert series? "The only thing that surprises me," he says today, "is why someone else didn't think of it first."

When a vocalist signs on to play a Strings Attached show, Taylor first asks the artist to pick some favorite songs. They don't have to be the most recognizable, or the easiest to play. The idea is not to stage a greatest hits production at church. Rather, the challenge is to select songs that lend themselves to different moods in the context of strings.



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