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It seemed like a crazy idea at the time – gathering twelve of the most skilled Christian songwriters for a week-long retreat in rural Scotland. They'd pay their own way, write together and give up all claim to any royalties earned from the songs. Crazy. Then it got a little more crazy; within a few weeks of the retreat the writers were back together once more at London's Abbey Road studios to record 14 songs in just three days, emerging with the spine and heart of an album. Even more crazy. And then things got interesting; would the publishers, labels managers and countless other industry personnel join in? Would the Christian scene unite to do something they'd never attempted before? Would they forgo income so that money could be raised to help fight poverty around the world? The answer was a 'yes'. A very loud one. And now, a few months later CompassionArt the album is set for release. Featuring 14 songs that stretch and inspire, joining the dots between faith, music and action, CompassionArt brings the heart of worship a little closer to meeting the needs of a world in pain. All proceeds generated from the CD, book and song royalties will support the work of 16 initial Charities over the lifetime of these songs. The four headline projects are Stop The Traffik, Watoto, Ray Of Hope and Hand Of Hope.The brainchild of Martin and Anna Smith, the songwriters including Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis-Chapman, Stuart Garrard, Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Matt Redman, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Darlene Zschech . Several other additional guest performers: Kirk Franklin, Amy Grant, Joel Houston, Christy Nockels, Leeland Mooring, tobyMac and CeCe Winans. Also included with the cd is a packed dvd – including a 50 minute documentary, trailers, videos and pdf downloads of song and chord charts for all of the tracks. As well as all this, the writers united to produce a book- The Art of Compassion; a twelve chapter unraveling of the trail of worship, hope and justice found in each of the writers' lives.Back to the album though; what does it all sound like? Hope, justice, peace, enlightenment and truth. Grooves and tunes and melodies that work under the skin and into the heart. Put it another way; these songs sound like the future.
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