UPDATE: The contest is closed. Winners are announced in the side blog. If you won, please email me your shipping address. Thanks for playing!
For the past three months, I have been raving about Sojourn Music’s latest release Over the Grave. It is BY FAR my favorite worship album of 2009.
Today I wanted to introduce you to one of the main men behind the project, Mike Cosper, the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the album and also to give away five copies.
Could you describe the “Over the Grave” album?
Over the Grave is our first attempt at reworking and reimagining the hymns of Isaac Watts. The idea was to dig into Watts’ work and tap into the incredibly rich resources he provides. We wanted to focus on concepts for which we’d struggled to find songs – death, judgment, resurrection, and substitutionary atonement. We also wanted to musically “paint the picture” of those texts in modern sounds, so it’s a dark, aggressive, and passionate record.
Why did you choose to do all songs by Isaac Watts?
We’ve been singing modern arrangements of hymns for a while. The stuff that the two graces have been putting out (Indelible Grace and Sovereign Grace) has been a tremendous help. We noticed as we entered that world that many of our favorites were Isaac Watts. So I began to read through his hymnals and read about his life. It’s an amazing story. Watts life began with his mother nursing him on a stool outside a prison, where his father was being chained up for refusing to deny Sola Scriptura and refusing to conform. He grew up to be a brilliant pastor who knew that what people sang shaped what they believed, and he went to great pains to teach deep doctrine in his songs. In the process, he became the father of the modern hymn, and frankly, the father of English contextualization.
The album is super creative. What kind of sound were you trying to get with the album? What were you trying to avoid?
First and foremost, we were trying to create sounds that helped people imagine and emotionally participate in the texts. We also wanted to try to branch away from the four-on-the-floor rock songs that typify modern worship. Neil (one of our musicians and the record’s producer) is an absolutely brilliant musician and had a vision for a sound that was almost cinematic. At the same time, we tried to do things that we could pull of in our services. On that front, for the most part, we succeeded. Most of the sounds are fairly seamless with what we try to do every week at Sojourn.
How do you hope the album encourages people?
I hope more than anything that people hear the texts and hear the bold proclamation of the cross throughout the record. I hope it simultaneously shines a light on our sin and the abundant provision of grace by our great God. Secondary to that, I hope that people just enjoy the music, and that it has staying power in their iPods and car stereos.
Okay, now here’s how you can win a copy of the CD.
- Share this post on Facebook or Twitter using the handy buttons below.
- Leave a comment saying, “I must have this CD or I will scream,” or something like that.
- I’ll choose five winners.