Compassionart International Songwriter's Retreat Begins
Last modified: 10 Jan 2008
Label: Sparrow Records
Date: 10 Jan 2008
COMPASSIONART INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITER'S RETREAT BEGAN THIS WEEK IN SCOTLAND, UK
Multiple GRAMMY, Dove Award Winning Artists in Attendance
Delirious? Blog Site Offers Inside View of Retreat, Associated Press Lauds Effort
Compassionart is hosting internationally recognized songwriters at a retreat that began Monday in Perthshire, Scotland. The songwriters' unprecedented goal is to collectively write 10-12 songs that will be given to the world not just to sing, but to raise money for the relief of suffering for the poorest of the poor around the planet.
As the songwriters gathered for the first time at dinner on Monday, Michael W. Smith spoke about Isaiah 58 and his hope for something supernatural to take place during the retreat. After a time of devotion the following morning, Matt Redman led the songwriters in a time of worship and then they divided into three writing teams, with teams changing each day of the retreat.
Songwriters participating are 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.
"We gathered around the piano and played each other ideas, and we've ended up with eight songs that all sound like they have potential," writes Martin in a blog at www.delirious.co.uk/livingroom
during the second day of the retreat. "I can't quite believe this is happening; we are doing something together that none of us could achieve individually. It's family and we are learning to dream together."
Author and journalist Christa Banister, sitting in on the retreat and contributing to the blog site as well, writes, "As the week continues, it'll be exciting to see what stays and what goes. But whatever happens, one thing's for sure: Community isn't just a cute concept for the artists of Compassionart. It's something preached that they're willing to practice. And the results just may be the new songs you'll be singing in church in the not-so-distant future."
In an Associated Press wire story that hit such well-known media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, MSN, Canadian Press and hundreds of other publications across the U.S. and internationally, John Gerome writes, "Musicians thinking they can change the world? Nothing new there. But a group of big names from the Christian recording industry are putting that idea to the test with an unusual plan to collectively write 10 to 12 songs and basically donate them to charity. Any money the tunes generate -- and with people such as Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin involved, it's a safe bet there will be a good bit -- will help the poor for as long as the songs are around." (Though he originally planned to attend, Chris Tomlin is unable to participate in the retreat due to a short-term illness.)
Remarkably, the songwriters, 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 hundred percent of the proceeds derived from the songs written at the Compassionart retreat will go directly to charity. One half of the monies 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.
"All the royalties these songs will ever earn will go to the charity Compassionart, and that will invest in loads of projects around the world that will give the poorest of the poor some hope," says Martin.