A new EP from singer/songwriter Phil Laeger, featuring new music and new arrangements of "I Surrender" and "I'm In His Hands".
This album is about surrender.
And surrender is about trust. It is about trusting in the goodness of God and believing He has wonderful things in store for us. It's about the joy that comes from a completely surrendered life.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." With that wonderful promise comes the subtle temptation to misinterpret the verse to mean that God will always let us know exactly what His plan is. :) But when life is uncertain, a good balancing perspective is found in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I was laying awake one night, newly married, still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I wrestled with that question through the night and came out the other side with a prayer and a song:
I surrender my life to Your blood
I surrender my name for Your glory
I surrender my heart to Your will
I surrender my dreams to the plans You have for me
Thank You for showing me the emptiness of all I held onto
I surrender it all
I surrender my everything for you...
In a way, this is my own fleshing out of Philippians 3:7-10, in which the Apostle Paul says that he considers everything he once valued to be worthless compared to the joy of knowing Christ Jesus as his Lord.
Flash-forward to now...
It's hard to believe that was nearly 10 years ago. In April of this year I left my full-time job and started working as a self-employed artist - this EP is my first project since beginning self-employment (read, "Please help me make this faith-venture work!").
Recording-wise, I've learned a bit since going into the studio to record "I Surrender" the first time, and I really wanted to give this song (as well as "I'm In His Hands" and others) the treatment it deserves. And even though this is an EP, I've got some pretty cool things happening in the way of collaboration.
First up, my friend Damien Horne will be singing with me on a track called "Love's Reflection" (co-written with Jason Pope). Damien is blowing up huge at the moment as 1/3 of the Nashville-based trio The Farm, but more importantly than that, Damien has a heart of gold and loves the Lord.
Next up is a gospel choir from Sweden called Vasa Gospel. These guys are super-talented and have a great witness, touring the world and singing and sharing the good news of Jesus both inside and outside church walls. They are currently touring Australia and I am really stoked about the possibility of them singing on this EP!
Finally, we're contracting the fabulous Sydney Lyric Orchestra to provide a string section for the recording and give this EP a little bit of class! Man, I love strings - can't wait to get in the studio to hear them record.
There are several other surprises in store and also some familiar faces that will be helping out. Thanks so much for making this album possible! Can't wait to share the new songs with you...
The way Kickstarter works is that you choose a reward level from the side of this page for my project. You don't get charged anything unless and until my "campaign" is successful at the end of 30 days. If the campaign isn't successful (let's not think about that!) your card will not be charged. If the campaign IS successful (yes, please), your card will be charged the amount you chose. That's it! When the project is completed, you will be sent your reward, whether it's a digital or physical reward.
Hey, I live overseas, too. :) Yes, you absolutely can participate. Just make sure that if you choose a reward with a physical product, you add an additional amount for shipping. The price point for the rewards does not take into account international shipping charges, so I'll just trust you to make sure you add enough postage. Thank you!
There will be at least 7 songs on the recording, depending on how much money is raised (I need to pay the studio musicians, the producer, getting the CDs replicated, etc). Here is a preliminary track listing (asterisked songs are definites):
• Let Your Word Sink Deep
• What A Good God You Are
• Love's Reflection*
• Sweet Hallelujah
• Show Me I'm Wrong
• Have Your Way
• I Surrender*
• I'm In His Hands*
• You Are (Pure, Holy God)
Great question. $10,000 is actually a very lean budget compared to most studio recordings, which can reach upwards of 40 grand... and that is just with independent artists. It's not uncommon for label artists to have budgets that are multiple times that amount. We think we've set ourselves a good goal. If we exceed that goal, even better. Here are just a few of the things that are involved in the cost of the recording:
• Rental of a studio space to record
• Hiring an engineer and/or producer
• String section and other studio musicians
• Mastering (a vital process that happens after the album is recorded)
• Getting the CDs printed
• Shipping out all of the rewards once the project is completed
It's also helpful to remember that you really do get what you pay for and that we want this album to be well-produced. A good album allows its listeners to hear the songs for what they are without being distracted by bad production.
Also a great question. It's important that you know that none of the money will be going towards unnecessary things like hotel rooms, airfare, expensive meals or anything like that. All of the collaborations on the album will be recorded either remotely (meaning that I don't actually have to be in the room for it to be recorded) or while I am already in an area near where the other artist/group lives.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY YOU WANT "AS LITTLE OF PHIL LAEGER AS POSSIBLE ON THE ALBUM" — ISN'T THIS YOUR ALBUM?
Yes, there is probably a better way to have said that. What I mean is that amongst all of the creativity and planning and forethought that's going into making this recording, I want Christ to be seen and lifted high. The measure of the success of this album, in my opinion, will be whether those who listen feel God's presence, hear His voice and as a result trust His love.
THAT'S AN EXPENSIVE-LOOKING VIDEO YOU MADE — COULDN'T YOU HAVE JUST SAVED THAT MONEY AND SPENT IT ON THE RECORDING?
Thanks! I think the video looks great, too. :) Rather than pay for an expensive video to be made, Salvo Studios (Salvation Army in Melbourne) and I agreed to a work swap where I provide some services for them (mainly some composition and transcription) in exchange for a few hours in the studio to record the video for me.
No problems. Just ask here, or use the contact form on http://www.phillaeger.com/contact/.