(Littlehampton, England) January 14, 2008 – What began as a vision for Delirious? frontman Martin Smith and his wife Anna over a year ago has finally came to fruition this past week. Some of the world’s greatest songwriters were brought together for the Compassionart songwriter’s retreat in an effort to create ongoing global relief for the poorest of the poor. Setting out to write 10-12 songs, these songwriters far surpassed that goal completing 22 new songs during the retreat held last week at the House of Cantle in Perthshire, Scotland. The songs are to be given to the world not just to sing, but also to raise money for the relief of suffering around the planet. One hundred percent of the proceeds derived from the songs will go directly to charity.
Working together toward a common goal involving no personal gain, internationally recognized songwriters attending the retreat included: Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Stu Garrard (Delirious?), Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Matt Redman, Martin Smith (Delirious?), Michael W. Smith and Darlene Zschech. While many of the writers were only professional acquaintances at the beginning of the week, by the end of the week they not only created what may come to be world changing songs, but also life-long friendships.
“I can’t even tell you how rewarding it was to hang out with people who really get you and what you’re about,” Paul Baloche says. “It’s a great way to start a new year, that’s for sure. That deep connection has made all the difference in collaborating together.”
“With an unabashed sense of anticipation about the future of these new worship songs, everyone from Steven Curtis Chapman to Darlene Zschech to Matt Redman is holed up in the studios at the House of Cantle, laying down track after track,” writes journalist Christa Banister on the last day of the gathering. “And even though the pace has been nearly non-stop, the excitement in the studio has yet to fade. These artists clearly love working together, and the challenge of accomplishing so much in such a short time seems to have invigorated them.”
“We’ve done it; we just need to record these songs now,” confirms Martin. “It’s been awesome. I’m proud, in awe, exhilarated and tired. Good days, great days.”
In addition to the songwriters, the publishers, managers, copyright institutes and agents involved have all waived their rights and are donating their efforts on this project to Compassionart, a charity based in Littlehampton, England that is dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the poorest of the poor. One half of the monies received over the songs’ lifetimes will go to the songwriters’ charity of choice, and the other 50% will go to a charitable project agreed upon by all the songwriters involved, which is still being discussed.
For more information on the Compassionart songwriter’s retreat, go to http://compassionart.co.uk/, www.delirious.co.uk/livingroom/blog.php.
January 11, 2008
Compassionart Songwriter's Retreat Blog #3
By Christa Banister
Perthshire, Scotland—After five days of around-the-clock collaboration, the Compassionart songwriters have officially put any new ideas on hold. After all, there’s more than 22 songs in their arsenal now, and time couldn’t be more of the essence.
With an unabashed sense of anticipation about the future of these new worship songs, everyone from Steven Curtis Chapman to Darlene Zschech to Matt Redman is holed up in the studios at the House of Cantle, laying down track after track. And even though the pace has been nearly non-stop, the excitement in the studio has yet to fade. These artists clearly love working together, and the challenge of accomplishing so much in such a short time seems to have invigorated them.
Well, that and the sense of community that’s permeated the week’s events. While most of those participating were professional acquaintances of his, Paul Baloche tears up talking about the deep friendships that have been forged.
“I can’t even tell you how rewarding it was to hang out people who really get you and what you’re about,” Baloche says. “It’s a great way to start a new year, that’s for sure. That deep connection has made all the difference in collaborating together.”
A time of spiritual enrichment each day was also integral to the success of the Compassionart event. After a time of worship led by Tim Hughes, Joyce Meyer spoke today during the morning devotional. With her trademark sense of humor and refreshing candor, she spoke about the ever-changing life of a believer and challenged the artists in the room to write more songs that specifically communicate God’s intense love for them.
After Meyer’s talk, a time of communion, led by Bishop Graham Cray, was easily one of the week’s highlights. It was here when everyone was reminded of the One who has called believers to reach out to the poorest of the poor—which is exactly why the artists behind the Compassionart effort got together in the first place.
Last night during dinner the Compassionart artists got a very special phone call from Chris Tomlin, who wasn’t able to make it to the festivities due to a short-term illness. Feeling much better now, Tomlin expressed his disappointment about not being there for the festivities but is “excited” to hear what they’ve come up with in the meantime.
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