When we think of music in the Catholic Church, we usually think of very traditional music – but a group of young Brisbane songwriters is breathing fresh air into the Catholic worship space.
The group has been mentored by Emma Fradd, who has been writing and releasing music for over a decade, with her music having taken her around the globe. The release has been supported by the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s ministry arm, Evangelisation Brisbane and produced by both Fradd and Evangelisation Brisbane’s director, Peter Pellicaan.
Emma told 96five that there was a focus on providing young Catholic songwriters a vehicle to have their music heard by the wider church.
“Our hope is to promote and encourage songwriters in the Church. We always need fresh music and fresh ideas and my hope is that this project will inspire others to contribute.
“I don’t want young people to feel shut out (of the worship space) – it does sound a bit cliched but it does happen and I want to see young songwriters stepping up.”
With the focus on inclusion and participation from youth within the Church, it was only natural that the reimagining of the Psalms took on a contemporary feel and sound.
“We didn’t want to just do contemporary for the sake of being contemporary; we wanted to do this well and make it beautiful.
“As well we wanted to approach each song individually and ask – what does the song need? Some songs have strings while others have extra percussion.”
And there are hopes that the album will inspire Catholic churches to rethink how they use music as part of their worship.
“It’s our hope that all music within the Church can be beautiful; when someone walks into a church, imagine if the first thing they said was that the music helped them to pray and took them on a journey beyond themselves.”
Encounter Catholic Music will be launching ‘The Psalms Project’ at 6:30pm this Saturday at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fortitude Valley. It’s a free outdoor event but you will need to register here.