LuminousCITY, a collective of musicians, songwriters, and artists from Rolling Hills Community Church and Music City, announce the release of their eponymous debut recording. The modern sacred collection of new and re-imagined songs represents more than a year of dreaming, songwriting, and collaboration, set into motion by a successful Indiegogo campaign. An intimate meditation on prayer, space, and the Divine, LuminousCITY's street date release is slated for February 4, 2014.
"The arts are a sacred invitation to connect and commune with our Creator," reflects Chad Jarnagin, Worship Arts Pastor at Rolling Hills Community Church and LuminousCITY collaborator. "It is our mission to create art that draws people into intimacy with God, and we are humbled to have our faith family come around us and generously give to make this happen."
Set into motion through a successful Indiegogo campaign with more than 70 donors, LuminousCITY is a vision several years in the making. With its close proximity to Nashville, Rolling Hills in Franklin, Tenn. has long been home to a number of musicians, artists, and songwriters. As these worshipers have grown as a community, writing songs and making music, a vision emerged for a ministry focused at creative arts professionals--pastors, writers, painters, artists, musicians, songwriters, and dreamers. LuminousProject began in 2011 as a contemplative movement and space designed to encourage, inspire, and enlighten.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14
LuminousCITY builds on the vision of LuminousProject, shining the light of the Creator through a musical exploration of space, sound, and liturgy. Born in the Rolling Hills arts community and backed financially by friends and partners of the church, LuminousCITY is a true collective, comprised of vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Chad Jarnagin (Worship Arts Pastor at Rolling Hills, Among Thorns), singer/songwriter Lanae', vocalist/songwriter/guitarist David Curtis (Worship Arts Pastor South Nashville, Run Kid Run), drummer Andy Williams (Casting Crowns), guitarist Cody Bender (VOTA), vocalist Jennifer Akers, cellist Justin Saunders, and multi-instrumentalist and composer David Gross. This team represents a larger community of passionate and devoted worshipers who share the heart and vision of LuminousCITY.
"We set out to create a collection of songs that could not only be sung in worship but that drew people into moments of personal worship," adds Lanae'. "This was definitely a moving experience for us, and I believe that really comes through in the recording."
This cycle of songs takes its time establishing the right atmosphere. Beginning with an original instrumental by David Gross, a pulsing Rhodes and droning, Hammock-inspired guitars invite the listener to close their eyes, open their hands, and breathe deep. From this etherial space comes the full-band original "Your Love Moves," which shimmers to life with Lanae's breathy voice declaring her confident longing for a love that transforms.
"Kingdom Come" is next, another original performed by Jarnagin that contrasts tight tom grooves with lush instrumentation and layered vocals, calling listeners from a posture of reflection to participation.
The modern Twila Paris hymn "He Is Exalted" is re-imagined in an arrangement by David Curtis, again returning the listener to a time of sonic reflection before exploding into the anthemic crashing of drums and joyous interplay of vocals and guitars.
A prayer in song, "Psalm 23" presents an original take on the classic Scripture with Lanae' echoing the psalmist's declaration that "You are my shepherd." Continuing this posture of prayer comes the intimate, "The Silence." As Bender's guitars ebb to and from the foreground, Jennifer Akers voices an invitation from the Creator to shed our burdens, fears, and distractions and meet Him in the silence.
The instrumental "Interlude", written by Gross and Jarnagin, transitions the recording from prayerful reflection to collective liturgy and an original arrangement of "Doxology." A Sigur Ros-inspiring drone of synth, string, and distorted guitar lay the foundation for this timeless declaration of praise.
LuminousCITY closes the cycle of songs with a version of Bellarive's "Stand Tall (Heartbeat)" that is at once benediction and commission. It's a fitting end to this sonic cycle of reflection, prayer, and worship and a striking fulfillment of LuminousCITY's mission.
At once intimate and jubilant, LuminousCITY is a sonic invitation to intimacy with the Creator. You can join them by downloading LuminousCITY on iTunes on 2/4/14.