For more information on Restoration Project, and to pre-order copies of "Firm Foundation," please visit our website: www.resproj.com.
Hi! I'm Jay. I'm a member of Restoration Project. We're a songwriting and recording collective dedicated to writing new hymns and restoring old, taking old hymn texts and poems and writing new music and melodies for them.
With your help, we can create our next, very special album series together! Remember: Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding platform (we need to reach our goal).
The "Firm Foundation" series will be a two-album collection of Sunday School hymns with new arrangements and lyrics. Our fresh approach to these songs will give them greater theological depth and clarity and a modern musical feel. Great care is also being taken to preserve most of the original melodies.
My own interest in children's Sunday School songs began as an adult, while teaching pre-schoolers on Sunday mornings at College Church in Wheaton, IL. Having not grown up in a Protestant church, I was blown away as I learned of the deep song catalog geared toward teaching children simple, Biblical truths. As an adult, I was learning a new song each week alongside my pre-schoolers!
That was a few years ago. I now have three children of my own. And this is really what got the ball rolling on the "Firm Foundation" recordings.
As much as I love singing these "kids hymns," I also have to admit - and you probably will, too - that they're pretty shallow, theologically. For example, in "This Little Light of Mine", the lyrics fail to explain what the "light" is or why we can't - and shouldn't want to - "hide it under a bushel". We want to help bring some Biblical context to these songs.
This is exciting, unexplored territory for hymn-writers.
These Recordings are for Everyone
If you've grown up in the Church, we want to bless you by reintroducing you to some Church childhood favorites, exploring the rich theology behind the originals with new, additional lyrics. And, we want to do it in a musically vibrant, inspiring way that you'll love.
And if you didn't grow up singing these songs - just like me - we want to teach them to you and help you discover the deep theological context of these Sunday School classics.
If you're a kid, we hope these songs help you come to know all that Jesus has accomplished for you. May he shine ever brighter in your heart as you grow in your love and adoration of him, our savior. By God's grace, may your life brightly shine the light of the Gospel in our world.
More About Album #1
For the series' first album, we've already selected the songs and begun writing lyrics and recording tracks at my studio, The Dragon Room. Here's the song list:
- Jesus Loves Me
- God is so Good
- He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
- My God is so Big
- This Little Light of Mine
In these five songs alone, we plan to feature four, different lead vocalists. So far, over twenty people from over six different churches have been involved in this album's production! Here's the short list so far:
Aaron Boynton, Oliver Bujdei, Ivan Ishkov, Daniel Hautamaki, David Jordan, Heidi Malcolm, Brian Malcolm, Jay Mathes, Curtis McParland, Megan Mkrtschjan, Michael Mkrtschjan, Danielle Muhlena, Ryan "Munchie" Mutchler, Tiffany Prignano, Heidi Rogers, Chris Rud, Eric Schad, Ben Schmanke, Ryan Sikorski, Gary Stanton, Carolyn Stipp, Chris Walke, and Jason Young.
Here are just a few of the churches some of us attend: Hope Fellowship (Lombard, IL), Pathway Community (Elmhurst, IL), Redeemer Fellowship (Saint Charles, IL), The Vine (Madison, WI), and Willow Chicago (Chicago, IL).
Album #2, Coming Summer 2014
In addition to the few songs we are already considering, including: "Hallelu, Hallelu," "I've Got the Joy," and "Father Abraham", at least one of the songs on the second album will be picked by you, our backers.
After our campaign is over, we'll ask all of our backers to cast their votes for the song they'd like to see included on this record. We will have a list of songs for you to choose from, plus a write-in section.
As soon as the votes are in, we'll tally them up and announce the winning song! This winter, we'll get to work recording it, along with the other songs for the album.
If all goes according to plan, we'll release this second one in late Summer 2014.
More About Restoration Project...
Restoration Project's commitment to deep theology in corporate worship music, combined with great melodies and harmonies, have compelled them to write new hymns and to update melodies, tweak harmonizations, and add lyrics to dozens of old hymns, bringing greater depth, clarity, and richness to each song.
The all-volunteer songwriting and recording collective regularly leads hymn-sing events in homes and churches regionally, where they love introducing others to new and old church songs.
Download Rewards. About a week before the official release, backers will get to download either Mastered for iTunes files, hi-fi WAV files, or MP3's. Each album download will include an accompanying digital booklet (PDF).
Shipping/Delivery Dates. Album #1 and T-shirts are expected to ship in November 2013. Album #2 and series books are expected to ship Summer 2014. That means if you pledge at one of our higher tiers, you'll receive two packages from us. (How exciting!)
Ordering Additional CD's. If you're a pastor and want to order additional copies of any of our albums for your congregants, kindly please ask your co-elders to submit additional, individual pledges in order to reach your needed quantity. Alternatively, you can add $8 per CD or $20 per full-catalog download card to any pledge at or above $200. (This goes for any other nice guy, too, who wants to give away a bunch of copies to friends, family or neighbors.)
Video Production Credit
I'd like to give a very special shout-out to my co-laborer, Ben Schmanke, who has generously donated his time and filmmaking skills to create our Kickstarter video. Please support his work at: benschmanke.com.
Risks and challenges
Each album will cost around $5,000 to make. The majority of the money allocated to each album will be used to pay for mixing and mastering. If you know a lot about recording, then you know that this really isn't a lot of money for two records.
Two of our biggest challenges will be finding a mix engineer and a mastering engineer who will work within our budget - and our timeline. We have already begun to reach out to engineers all over the country, including Mitch Dane at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN, and Dave Wilton at Saint Ida's in Lafayette, CO.
Keeping to a time table can also prove to be difficult with recording projects - especially ones like this. We want to make sure you get the best recordings possible, and that takes time. It's hard working around the schedules of all the musicians involved; and most of us have families, church commitments, and second jobs. But we are committed to our work together, and we will press on! (even if it takes a little longer than expected).
We also have to find manufacturers for all of our rewards: T-shirts, series books and jackets, CD's, and more. It's very important to us that we find environmentally responsible organizations to work with. In addition, we want our rewards to be of really high quality. These extra requirements might mean that we can't just use the company with the best prices. (If you have anyone you can recommend, please let us know!)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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