The last time I sent out a blog post announcement about a new album release of mine, it was over two years ago. That album, Let Go, came fresh out of my sabbatical that previous summer. I treat every album as if it's my last for a few reasons: they cost a lot of money, take up a lot of time, and I never take for granted how long the musical muse decides they're going to stick around.
Today I'm happy to announce, if I'm counting right, the release of my sixth project! Made To Sing Together (you can listen & download below) is comprised of songs I've written and recorded over the years specifically for retreats and conferences I've led music for. While most of these have appeared on previous projects, the leadoff tune, "Stones Come Rollin' Down," was written for the Montreat Middle School Conference, taking place this very week. It also includes a number of youth from my church singing with me, which was a pretty cool experience, as I shared in this previous blog post.
Writing these conference theme songs is a whole different beast from typical songwriting ventures. It can be a bit of a challenge writing in a select pocket of theme and scripture; the never-ending search for that killer hook or words for the last stanza that have to be "singable" not just for you but for everyone else. In the end, though, when you're standing in front of 300 or 600 or 1000 folks, there eventually comes a point when you step away from the mic and they all keep singing; and that's when you know that the song has become as much theirs at it is yours. Which is a truly amazing and humbling thing.
I'm focusing on Bandcamp as the primary source of distribution for this project. Maybe someday I'll add iTunes/Amazon/Spotify, but I like Bandcamp for the ease of downloading and the fact that it embeds the artwork and lyrics directly into the mp3. Plus it'll allow me to add other songs in the future - and hopefully I'll be leading music for more retreats and conferences and will need to write more theme songs.
Maybe these tunes will take you back to a retreat or conference you attended that I had the pleasure of leading music for, or maybe they'll lead you to form new experiences and memories. Either way, I hope you'll enjoy them. After all, they were written for you.
Thanks for listening, thanks for downloading, thanks for sharing!