Sometimes a Song Can Save Your Life…A Valentine’s Day Story

I receive songs from all over the world for mastering and mixing. Often it’s a fairly impersonal experience. I don’t get to know much about the song or the person who made it. I simply make it sound as good as possible, send back the finished master/mix and then move on.

Sometimes I have the privilege of getting to know the artist and gaining insight into their song or songs. I’ve had that experience quite deeply with T.C. Urquhart, a quirky South Florida-based singer songwriter who has an ear for catchy melodies and who pours his soul into everything he touches.


Near the end of 2015, he sent me a song called “Cupid’s Arrows.” He told me that he had been trying to finish it for more than two decades and wanted to see if I could somehow match the sound he was hearing in his mind’s ear, a sonic mix that no mixing or mastering engineer could ever seem to reach.

He called the quest to finish the song his “White Whale” and confided in me that he didn’t think he’d ever get there.

But after a couple of revisions we nailed it! His happiness and appreciation filled me with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. It’s those moments that make doing this so worthwhile.

The story could happily end there, but “Cupid’s Arrows” is no mundane, silly love song; it has a back story that I wanted to share because this song literally saved T.C.’s life. And since it connects to the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, I thought you might find the story as moving as I have.

Two decades ago, T.C. was a brokenhearted and broken man. He was ready to end his life.

We all know the feeling. Who hasn’t been there? We’ve all had our hearts broken. We’ve all put our souls on the line in hopes of experiencing transcendent romantic love. And we’ve all had our souls crushed. It feels like a part of you has died. It feels like you can’t breathe. You have no idea how you’ll be able to survive. You can’t imagine ever being happy again.

For artists, this feeling cuts to our essence, and it can be something from which we never recover.

T.C. was in that dark place. His unrequited love for a cute female guitar player had sent him into a spiral of self-loathing. He was ready to call it quits. He had his suicide planned and decided that he needed to leave a note behind.

He “grabbed a crayon and a wet nap” and scrawled, I don’t want to live this life ’cause this world is so unkind ~ and though I may try my best, I’ve still got cupid’s arrows in my chest again…”

The decision to write the note as slightly florid poetry was meant to be ironic, but then something odd happened: a melody popped into his head, and then an arrangement began to form.

He concluded that if he did indeed kill himself, nobody would hear “the beautiful symphonic-pop masterpiece” that was being drawn from the creative collective and was now coalescing in his mind.

So he made a “solemn promise to the universe” that he would produce Cupid’s Arrows before ending his life.

Thus began a 20 year odyssey to get the song right, to make it sound the way he heard it while contemplating his demise.

Now that we’ve gotten it right, I’m not concerned T.C. will follow through on his suicide pact with the Universe. He has since met the true love of his life, a beautiful redhead he calls “Penny Lane.” He is happy and generous and one of the sweetest, most authentic human beings I have ever met.

I’m happy to call him a friend.

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Last year, he created a video for Cupid’s Arrows and released it on Facebook. It has received more than 80,000 likes and even more views.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, he is re-releasing the video with the remastered version of the song and is also making it available on iTunes:


You can also listen to the remastered version of Cupid’s Arrows on the Magic Ears Soundcloud page: Cupid’s Arrows Remastered.

Since Cupid’s, I’ve worked on many of T.C.’s passionately romantic songs. He is putting together an album that does not yet have a release date. I’ll share it here when he sets one.

This experience has underscored one of the most important aspects of what Magic Ears offers: we see this as a collaboration, one that is strengthened by personalized attention and detailed communication.

This is why automated mastering services will never get it right and why establishing a strong rapport with someone who is working on your music is essential to making it sound great.

I look forward to working with you, great unknown (and known) songwriters of the world. Let’s make magic happen together!

Remember that the first song is mastered for FREE!

Click here for details: FIRST SONG FREE!

Happy Valentines Day!

3 thoughts to “Sometimes a Song Can Save Your Life…A Valentine’s Day Story”

  1. LMB0..!;^p I especially like the phrase “slightly florid poetry” in reference to the annulled suicide note… seemed pretty “genuine” at the time with crayons in hand, lol ~ thanx for the press, Ishmael… we’ll forward a few more songs from the archives for you to do that voodoo which you do so well ~ cheers, mate! 🙂

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