Compassionart songwriters, Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Andy Park, Martin Smith and Michael W. Smith continued to record songs last week that were written during a retreat in January. Meeting at Pentavarit Studio in Nashville, the studio hummed with activity as the songwriters were joined by guest vocalists tobyMac and Leeland Mooring (of the band Leeland), each putting down their signature vocals on tracks that were started at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. Friends like Charlie Peacock and Eddie DeGarmo dropped by to spend time with the songwriters, as well as listen to the progression of the Compassionart songs. Guiding the tracks at the production helm for this recording session was Matt Bronleewe (Natalie Imbruglia, “Evan Almighty” [Soundtrack], dc Talk, “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere) and Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Shane & Shane, Derek Webb), and engineering was Andy Hunt (Jars of Clay, Good Charlotte, Buddy Guy).
Nashville’s top daily paper, The Tennessean, broke the news Wednesday about the recording session and a meeting that Compassionart founder and Delirious? frontman Martin Smith was to have with record labels about jointly releasing the upcoming Compassionart album. Martin was quoted as saying, “This is a challenge for the industry, as I am talking to the labels now about how to put this album out together.” Following the meeting that included EMI CMG President and CEO Bill Hearn, Provident Music Group President and CEO Terry Hemmings and Integrity Media Chief Marketing Officer Daniel McGuffey, Martin was encouraged, saying, “There was a real spirit of wanting to work together.” The resulting Compassionart studio album is being planned for a late fall release.
Compassionart, a charity based in Littlehampton, England and dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the poorest of the poor, hosted a songwriter’s retreat in Scotland, UK. Working together toward a common goal involving no personal gain, the songwriters set out to write 10-12 songs and, by the end of the retreat, had completed 22 new songs. In addition to those recording this week, Compassionart songwriters include Stu Garrard (Delirious?), Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Darlene Zschech. Together the songwriters account for at least 42 million albums sold, 82 No. 1 songs, 10 GRAMMY Awards, 110 Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, two American Music Awards, and 98 current CCLI Top 500 songs sung by millions in churches around the world.
The first Compassionart song that will be released is “So Great,” recorded by Michael W. Smith, Christy Nockels and Israel Houghton and to be featured on the WOW Hits 1 release in April.
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. The songs are to be given through Compassionart to the world not just to sing, but also to raise money for the relief of suffering around the planet. 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.
For more information on Compassionart, go to http://compassionart.co.uk/.
PHOTO CAPTION: Compassionart founder/Delirious? frontman Martin Smith greets tobyMac at Pentavarit Studio in Nashville.