"Awake" begins with the song of the sunrise, moves gently into songs to greet the morning, on into songs of hope, challenge, and faith, returning to a quieter place with chants, poetry and prayer to greet the evening. A year in the making, Fran is supported on this recording by a solid and wonderfully creative ensemble of players; Charles Milling, bass; Jeff Renza, drums; Bob Taylor, keyboards; Lance Seiler, percussion. Adding wonderful seasoning to this mix are the talents of Grammy winning bassist Eliot Wadopian, world renowned percussionist River Guerguerarian, rising young star Duncan Wickel, violin, and the incredibly beautiful voice of jazz vocalist Lindsey Blount, among others.
"Fran and his music have both woken me up to the startling reality of divine love through the years. Imagine my delight, then, upon hearing his new CD. I now open my eyes to "Awake" every morning--first the bells, then the singing--which bring me to consciousness in more ways than one. I don't know what to call it--heart, clarity, vision, soul--but there is so much of it in Fran's songs that I cannot hear his voice without receiving more of these gifts myself."
~ Barbara Brown Taylor
Fran says 'my hope for this recording is that it will be a helpful resource on a variety of levels; for personal meditation, as a source of music for worship, and as a companion for morning and evening devotions.
Drawing on his own writing, as well as the work of noted teacher/author John Philip Newell, and poet and teacher Judy Brown, Fran and friends also land solidly in the reworking a few very familiar hymn musical settings, but with new, vital and challenging lyrics by Pat Bennett of the Iona Community, and Dolores Dufner. An original musical setting by colleague Rob Sabino [Madonna, Simon & Garfunkle] for the beautiful and timely lyrics of Jeffrey Rowthorn's 'Creating God' and an uplifting take on Charles A. Tindley's 'The Storm is Passing Over' chart new territory for Fran.
The Very Rev. Brian Grantz, Dean, St. James Cathedral, South Bend, IN writes;
"What would worship be like if it were firmly rooted in the profound mysteries of God and truly affirming of creation, life and humaity? What would worship be like if it drew deeply from Christian tradition while also celebrating new expressions? It would be like this. 'Awake' is imbued with reverence and respect, playfulness and joy, a journey upon which the WORTH-ship of God is magnified, and the inherit worth of every human being is illuminated by the light of Christ."
Produced by Fran McKendree and Charles Milling
Mixed by Fran McKendree and Casey Wood
Mastered by Casey Wood
Recorded at Teerivane Studios, Hendersonville, NC, St. Joseph's Episcopal Church, Boyton Beach, FL and the Insanery, Nashville, TN.
© 2010 Teerivane Cottage Music, LLC