Local musician JD Eicher creates soundtrack for novelist's new book


By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

Local musician JD Eicher has created a four-song soundtrack for best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ upcoming book “Two by Two,” which will be released Oct. 4. The songs will be a free download to all who buy the novel.

Eicher and his band mates are excited about the honor. “The whole group has been ecstatic,” he said. “It’s kind of a dream come true.”

The band had been working on the project since the spring, but it was not announced until Thursday.

The Canfield rocker’s music was selected over an undisclosed number of other entries for the way it matches Sparks’ prose in tone and emotion, and illustrates the new novel.

The decision to create a soundtrack was Sparks’ idea.

“Nicholas had an idea to do a soundtrack for his new novel, and he was looking for artists who might fit,” said Eicher. “Our record label submitted us, and we got chosen.”

The four songs on the soundtrack include three previously recorded songs that Sparks selected and one new song that Eicher wrote after talking with the author.

“Everyone [on Sparks’ end] felt really good about the overall mood and voice as far as it being a match,” said Eicher. “I agree. A lot of the emotions cross over really well.”

The songs “The Last Love Song” (from Eicher’s “Into Place” album of 2013) and “Love Is Gonna Find You” (from “Shifting,” 2012) were remastered for the soundtrack, and an alternate version of “Not Afraid” (from this year’s “The Middle Distance”) was recorded for the project.

The fourth song, “Two by Two,” was written by Eicher specifically for the soundtrack.

“I read several of his books in preparation for writing the song,” said Eicher. “It’s also based on conversations I had with Nicholas. I got an understanding of the new book from him, its major themes, before I sat down to write and record it.”

Sparks was very impressed with Eicher’s work.

“It’s been so stimulating creatively and rewarding at a personal level to collaborate with JD on the ‘Two By Two’ soundtrack project,” said Sparks in a news release. “I know my readers will flock to his music because he intuitively understands the characters and relationships at the heart of this story. He is a master of complex emotion.”

Sparks is one of the world’s top storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with more than 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including more than 75 million copies in the United States alone.

He is known for his romantic-drama novels. He has published 18 novels, with 11 being adapted into movies.

Perhaps his best-known story is “The Notebook” (1998), which was released as a film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in 2004.

The upcoming novel, “Two by Two,” is a tale of rediscovered love and the power of family. It focuses on one man’s effort to rebuild his life as the single parent of a 6-year-old daughter.

Eicher said the exposure of his music to so many new listeners will be the greatest benefit of the collaboration.

Those who purchase “Two by Two” will get instructions on how to download the soundtrack. Eicher – who will perform at the Summer Festival of the Arts at Youngstown State University at noon Saturday – said he is not sure when the new song will be available for the general public.

The “Two by Two” project is not the first time Eicher’s music was used in cross-promotional efforts.

Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs (“Level Out”) in the teaser for the airline’s movie “Departure Date,” and another song (“Aaron”) was used in a national television ad campaign for Olive Garden. His tracks also have been used in conjunction with the FYI Network, including a promo for the show “Married At First Sight” that was a tie-in with Carmax.

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