CHICAGO, IL (February 18, 2012) – Louder than Words, the first release of demo recordings, live tracks, and studio sessions by Evangelical Covenant Church songwriters, is now available for free download.
The project is designed to provide more worship music coming out of a Covenant context for the local church. Mp3s and PDFs of lyrics and chords are available or are soon to become available on the Covenant website for all of the songs.
Lead sheets, which contain melody lines and chords, also are being developed for every song and will be available soon, says Geoff Twigg, worship arts project coordinator.
“The Covenant has a long tradition of songwriting that has constantly illustrated our history and celebrated our doctrine,” says Twigg. “We felt it was important to maintain the tradition of music that expresses the joyful, devotional and Gospel-centered nature of the church we love.”
The idea was born among worship leaders during the 2012 Midwinter Conference and developed over the past year. “Songs were sent to a collective Covenant mailbox and then those of us leading the initiative discussed the songs and chose some that are well-written and suitable for congregational worship.”
Most of the submissions are demo recordings done by the songwriter or their church worship teams. “Many commercial recordings these days make the songs sound great for broadcast, but it can be difficult to see how they are useful in church, so the idea for this first set was to help people in finding songs that would translate easily into the local church context,” Twigg says.
Twigg took on the role of executive producer, and a number of colleagues chimed in on the musical and doctrinal content. “As a group of songwriters, we have agreed to encourage one another to high standards,” Twigg says.
Andrew Thompson, pastor of Columbia Grove Covenant Church in East Wenatchee, Washington, has worked with Twigg to guide the initiative. Matt Lundgren, worship leader and executive pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, has been a constant encouragement in seeing the project come to fruition.
Twigg said the newest songwriters to emerge are Paul Austin, worship pastor at First Covenant Church in Salina, Kansas, and Joe Poppino, a North Park Theological Seminary student who was featured in a “Word of Witness” video during this year’s Midwinter Conference. Music he wrote accompanied the video.
Joe and Geoff had recently recorded two songs in the ToneZone (JPUSA) studio in Chicago, and they were delighted to have Joe’s own music featured on the soundtrack of that video.