Bits and Bobs – Fall 2016

Here are a number of new albums, articles, events, and liturgical ephemera you gotta check out soon!

Before we get to the onslaught of ridiculously good new albums:

[] COS yearly psalm contest has its deadline this week.  Get writing people!

[] Doxology and Theology Worship Conference – Nov 3-5, Louisville, KY (Sign up soon!)

[] Reformed Worship – September 2016 issue – has a ton of great articles and features a number of friends from the Liturgy Fellowship (Zac Hicks, Phil and Sarah Majorins)

[] The Worship Pastor – Zac Hicks
Zac’s long awaited opus for worship leaders comes out next month.  Pre-order your copy NOW at Amazon.

[] The Welcome Wagon – support their kickstarter for their new album.

[] Calvin Worship Symposium – Hope college worship will be leading again this year along with a host of great speakers – NT Wright, Mako Fujimura, etc.


This is a rich album of original worship songs based in the gospel of Luke – you’ve got a wonderful range of approaches to both text and tune and the whole album is situated within a local church body.  I’m also pretty biased – this album was produced by a lot of good friends and recorded at Hope College. You can read more about the album HERE.


Wendell is one of the finest lyric writers I know and has been working steadily at his church writing refrains for the psalms.  This album is a collection of the best expanded into full songs and has tons of great options for congregational singing. The album was produced by Isaac Wardell (Bifrost Arts) and uses the same team that supported Sandra’s Psalms album..so gold! You can find out more HERE.

Peter La Grand leads off this new effort from Mixed Multitude Music. The first album is a nice mix of new songs for worship largely rooted in the psalms.  Peter is a long time contributed to Ordinary Time Music and often blesses Cardiphonia compilations.


This is Sandra’s followup album to her critically acclaimed Psalms album that came out last year.  I haven’t had a chance to listen real deep but the sounds are good.

Retuned Hymnal

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Western Seminary, which lives a few hundred feet from my office at Hope College was nice enough to interview me recently about a new project we’ve been working on for the past year – the Retuned Hymnal.  You can watch the interview HERE as a part of their new video blog project LuxCast. 

The Retuned Hymnal will be a database driven site like CCLI’s songselect that will provide open-source access to the best grassroots worship music that we’ve run across in the past 15 years or so.  The site will be about 40% retuned hymns, 20% new liturgical/service music, 20% traditional hymns with new arr’s, and the rest original stuff.

We’ll be beta testing all this year and will release the site officially and commercially in summer 2017.  So far we’ve indexed over 800 songs with lyrics, chords, and leadsheets.

The site will provide some fun stuff like:

  • One stop shop for searching songs from the wider retuned hymn movement.
  • Author data, key and meter data, Scripture tags, theological tags, and liturgical tags for every song.
  • Links back to bandcamp and hymnary where available
  • The ability to stream every song directly from bandcamp (when applicable)
  • Ability to see every retune of a particular text on one page.
  • Streaming by category or theological theme (stream every ‘ascension’ song for example).
  • Analytics for subscribers like theological data on setlists.
  • Up to date whole site analytics on the most popular songs by week, month, etc.
  • and of course a whole lot more!!

NYC RUF Album Liner Notes – Tom Cannon

Here’s a great quote from Tom Cannon, RUF Pastor at NYU whose RUF group produced one of the earlier Retuned Hymn albums – this was released just after the first Indelible Grace album.

You can download a PDF of the liner notes HERE.

Tom Cannon, RUF Pastor NYC, (From “From Depths of Woe” CD, 2000)
“What is offered here are songs that convey the tradition and immediacy of the church and its music. Most of the songs are hymns and psalms that are part of a rich heritage – signposts that remind us that the Holy Spirit has been at work long before this generation; songs steeped in theological and poetic integrity. The music is newer, much of it composed in recent years by RUF students from around the country.
These are not submitted as the last, best or only word on music in the church, a functional arrogance that plagues much present-day Christian music culture. Rather, they are a way, ever feeble, to join the song that will go on forever.”
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High School Worship-Arts Camp at Hope College

I am involved with a team that through a generous Lilly grant is starting a new high school worship-arts camp at Hope College.  From Sunday Night through Friday June 12-17 we will gather to worship and explore the story of God and how to root our own stories within God’s story.  There will be a fantastic group of Hope faculty/staff and students leading this inaugural year.  At this point we still have a few spots left.  You can register here – http://www.hope.edu/offices/awakening

Most of the week we’ll be meeting in beautiful Dimnent chapel and in the brand new Jack Miller Center for the Musical Arts.

Highlights of the Week:

  • Worshipping in beautiful Dimnent Chapel
  • Lessons with world class faculty from Hope College and West Michigan. (Organ, Voice, Guitar, etc)
  • Opportunities to explore local churches
  • On-site visits to organizations pursuing peace and justice in the holland area
  • Beach worship
  • Hanging out with students involved with Hope College Worship

Faith and Vocation Songwriting Contest

Songwriting-ContestCardiphonia and Bifrost Arts Music invites congregational songwriters to submit a worship song about faith and vocation to our Faith and Vocation Songwriting Contest. The winner will receive a $750 award; the runner-up will receive a $250 award. There is no entry fee and the contest is open to all.

Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by September 1, 2016. The winning song will be featured on the 2017 Bifrost Arts Worship record, which will feature many prominent worship artists. While this contest is explicitly for inclusion in the next worship record from Bifrost Arts, submissions will also be sent to Cardiphonia for possible inclusion on a forthcoming Cardiphonia worship compilation with a similar theme.

More information and a helpful article on the theme of vocation and worship HERE.

Songs of Prayer EP – Hope College Worship

Throughout spring semester 2016 at Hope College Campus Ministries we’ve been focusing on prayer.  We preached through the Lord’s Prayer, and through the classic prayer acronym A.C.T.S. using Psalms 8, 51, 138, 27.  As well we wanted to explore songs that focused on the language of prayer – praying twice as Brian Wren describes it. Through two retreats – one with Andy Piercy at TSM and one at home with Nashville songwriter Christopher Williams, the students explored the language of prayer through the medium of song.  We ended up with five songs total – two totally original songs wrestling with personal prayer, and three retuned hymns with various degrees of deconstructions and additions.  We hope you enjoy!  A full PDF songbook is included with the album download.  Thanks to Joey Novak at Minimum Bible for the artwork.

 

Bono and Eugene Peterson on the Psalms

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Bono & Eugene Peterson (c) 2016 Fuller Studios

My friend David Taylor along with a host of other folks from Fuller’s new studio project released a video this week that captures the relationship between U2’s Bono and Eugene Peterson over the past 20 years.  The video culminates in a short discussion at the Peterson’s home in Flathead Lake, Montana where Bono sings a bit of Psalm 23 as he recollects his youth in Ireland.   Taylor also produced a page of resources for exploring the psalms that covers a wide range of topics (art, study, devotion, worship, music). Cardiphonia contributed a list of recent attempts to set the psalms to music for congregational worship.

Video

Resource Page

Here is a list of projects related to the psalms that Cardiphonia has sponsored over the past few years.

Songs for the Sojourns (Calvin Worship Grant exploring the Psalms of Ascents)

Hallel Psalms – modern folk arrangements of Psalms 113-118

Psalms 135-150Vol. 1 // Vol 2.  – 32 songs exploring these psalms from a variety of modern pop-folk styles.