The Sing! Conference is about creating a new song and a new hymnal for churches.
Ed: In addition to the family hymnal, you also dropped the North Coast Sessions at the last Sing! Conference. Is that focused on the Psalms? And if so, why is that?
Keith: Yes, that’s true. Really, a lot of the Sing! Conference is about creating a new song and a new hymnal for churches—that’s a big part of where we’re going with everything we’re doing. One of the things we’re doing is this first collection of hymns and songs that were inspired, in part, by the Psalms. The album was actually recorded right on the Northern coastlines of Ireland.
When was the last time you were in Ireland, Ed?
Ed: About three or four years ago. You were in Northern Ireland, Keith, but my ancestors are actually from the city of Drogheda in, well, Ireland.
Keith: Yes, Drogheda. You have to drive through Drogheda to go to Dublin. We once drove through Drogheda to go the Dublin Airport. But when we were up in the North Coast, I remember looking over Scotland, and would you believe this, but we actually started the whole North Coast Sessions album with an old Scottish sound tune. The tune is called, “Martyrdom Left the Miserable Scots Call Home Miserable Names to Their Songs.” Our piper, Patrick, was with us in a little harbor town called Port Braddon and as he was playing, he was looking straight across at Scotland.
This project marks our first attempt at a collection of songs. We took 80 days out of this year alone just to study the sounds and study the music. It’s just an incredible experience. Honestly, it’s been probably the most transformative writing experience of my career.
Ed: My oldest daughter (who is studying opera) prefers a church that’s much more traditional— she does not like what …
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