“Origin” is a response to the call to share the gospel with our entire lives. After personally experiencing how music transforms hearts, the FOCUS Collective gathered together for five days in the mountains of Colorado for a time of prayer and recording. This collaboration is the first project for "a beauty initiative within FOCUS" to explore how beauty can inspire people to know Jesus Christ, Who is the source of all beauty. Our hope is that “Origin” inspires people to create art that allows others to encounter Christ through the power of beauty, as the Church has done through Her rich tradition of promoting the arts.
Music in the Mountains
The FOCUS Collective is a unique group of musicians from across the country who provide music for events such as SEEK and SLS (Student Leadership Summit). In October 2015, they came together at a mountain lodge in Buena Vista, Colorado for a retreat involving prayer, Mass, fellowship and music recording.
After bringing in a car full of rented professional audio equipment, they turned that rustic lodge into a makeshift recording studio. Musicians drew upon their creativity and talent to bring these songs to life in a new way, with instruments such as cello, violin, keyboard, guitar, drums, bass, mandolin and banjo. Music producer Shawn Williams was flown in to head up the process, and Fr. Jay Buhman came in to lead the retreat.
The FOCUS Collective core team — Shaun Garrison, Jessy Kaufman, Leah Sedlacek and JohnMarc Skoch — along with a talented crew of musicians — Sonny Fortunato, Kenny Kohlhaas, Sarah Kroger, James Rosenbloom, Edwin Trahan and Tom Veitch — joined in for the album’s creation.
Music of the Soul
The songs on this album are often sung at FOCUS events: hymns for the Sacred Liturgy (“O God Beyond All Praising,” “Come Thou Fount,” “Let All Mortal Flesh,” “For the Beauty of the Earth”) and devotional songs for Eucharistic Adoration (“Sing My Love,” “Like An Avalanche”). The album also includes a new version of the old gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away.” In addition, there are four new songs composed by missionaries within FOCUS: Jessy Kaufman (“Be with Me”), JohnMarc Skoch (“Help My Unbelief”) and Shaun Garrison (“God Alone,” “Consuming Fire”).
Music on the Mission
Music, and art in general, gains a unique character when created in the context of a community. It turns into something different than any solitary individual could produce. Coming from a varied background of musical styles and influences, these musicians and recording artists have contributed their unique gifts to make “Origin” a very special recording project.
More than a musical product, “Origin” is a part of a bigger initiative within FOCUS to model and encourage creativity in all its forms. By embracing the God-given talents entrusted to us, we come more fully alive in Jesus Christ, and by His grace we are empowered to live a life full of joy, meaning, purpose and freedom. The Christian is thus enabled to offer a radiant and contagious witness in the world, showing from their lives, work and relationships that nothing compares to a life set on fire by the love of God.
This is the mission of FOCUS: to invest in people — especially college students — and equip them for lifelong Catholic mission. St. Paul wrote that “each [person] is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). Acknowledging God as the source and origin of life and all that is good, we seek to live out lives of worship through our various callings. We offer the gift of our lives in service of God’s glory and the proclamation of His good news, that all may experience life to the full (cf. Jn 10:10).
We are excited to share this special collection of songs with you!
Interested in making use of songs from Origin? Click here for our use policy.