Irish composers and artists Keith & Kristyn Getty are on a mission to revive the art of hymnody for a new generation.
“We believe in creating modern hymns for two reasons,” Keith explains. “First, they can teach us our faith in a fuller way through what they sing, and secondly, we want to attempt to create a more ‘timeless' art form—music that people of every generation can sing now, and perhaps at best, can last throughout their lifetimes—art that transcends time and generation.”
“In the Church, the purpose of singing is to express the community we have as the Body of Christ.” Kristyn adds. “To try and search for the melodic ideas and song structure that might bring more people in, that's what we're trying to investigate. Is there a way to bring everyone together musically?”
The simple folk melody and storytelling lyrical style of the Keith Getty and Stuart Townend-penned “In Christ Alone” has given rise to its universal appeal, the Gettys believe. “People will sing theology forever if the song takes them on a journey, and with ‘In Christ Alone,' I wanted to write a song that would tell the whole story of the life of Christ, almost like a modern creed.”
The song is also the fitting focal point and title-cut of Keith & Kristyn's stateside debut. Produced by Keith, along with John Andrew Schreiner (Fernando Ortega, City On A Hill), In Christ Alone features the Gettys' renditions of 11 of their most well known hymns. From “The Power of the Cross,” another epic anthem in the United Kingdom, to the meditative prayer of illumination, “Speak, Oh Lord,” to the concert favorite, “Don't Let Me Lose My Wonder,” the album is designed to offer an overview of the life of Christ via Keith & Kristyn's pen and presentation.
“When we write, we should be thinking all the time of the person who puts the CD on as they head off to work on a Monday morning,” Kristyn adds. “After listening to a song like ‘Hear the Call of the Kingdom,' how wonderful to walk into work thinking, ‘the King has called me to live for Him with the person who sits at the desk beside me.' That excites us—people taking the words into work.”
As Keith & Kristyn Getty stand at the helm of an emerging group of new hymn writers today, it seems the Church need not fear the death of the medium in this modern age. “A pastoral friend of mine challenged me with this thought: ‘What will new generations remember when they are older if they only sing songs for two years at a time?' He exposed the need for us to write modern hymns which are enduring, full of the unchanging riches of God and accessible to as many generations as possible."
“Our hope is not in ourselves, it's in Christ,” Kristyn says of their purpose. “We want music for the Church to be able to lift us beyond our circumstances and become a plumb line for bringing all of our life experiences to the Truth.”