Not Your Mama’s Hymns

By Sarah Jebian & Laura Weiss

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Campaign ended on: January 14, 2018
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What is Unfolding?

Unfolding is an album of family-friendly UU hymns arranged for today’s contemporary music-lover.  What began as a request from the Director of RE at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (Fairfax, VA) to have recorded hymns available for her use in children’s chapel, unfolded into a multipurpose, campus-wide resource for worship beyond the walls of our church.  Now we want to offer this music to other UU congregations, RE programs, families, and those outside of the UU tradition who crave meaningful music as a part of their daily spiritual practice.  We hope to enable listeners to bring the values of their faith into the car, the home, and the world.  Now, more than ever, we need to bring the message of Unitarian Universalism out of the house of worship.  What better way than through the arts?!

These are NOT your mama’s hymns…

Our relevant and exciting arrangements of some of our most beloved UU hymns preserves the intention of the music while exploring the musical landscapes and needs of today.  Each hymn meets you where you are in your spiritual practice and appeals to all generations.  The music reveals beautiful soaring melodies of familiar hymns with unexpected new harmonies and a fresh, reinvented quality. As we approach each piece of music, we ask ourselves “What is the story we are telling?”; “What are we feeling when we hear this music”; “How does this support the spiritual life of our listener?”. We are excited by the results so far and we’re sure you’re going to love it too.

We hope to release Unfolding in the summer of 2018. We’ve already recorded 4 of 12 planned tracks. Our initial out of pocket expense to produce these first 4 songs was a little over $4,000. We need to raise at least $15,000 to finish production on the remaining 8 songs. Production costs include:

  • licensing fees to the composer/copyright holders ($1200 projected cost)
  • fees to the musicians playing on the record ($1500 projected cost)
  • studio costs – time in the recording studio, editing, mixing, mastering 8 remaining tracks ($10,000 projected cost)
  • album artwork/graphic design, CD duplication, publicity and marketing ($1800 projected cost)

Faithify is all-or-nothing. If we fail to meet our fundraising goal, we simply won’t be able to finish what we started. We may not even be able to release the 4 beautiful songs we’ve already completed. If you believe, as we do, that music builds bridges and is a critical part of our shared UU ministry, please consider supporting our work. Thank you so much!!

Comments (6)

  1. Sarah Jebian & Laura Weiss Post author

    A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated today. Laura and I are so grateful and excited to have your support! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Laura A Weiss

    Oh my gosh everyone! Let’s keep the momentum going! Sarah and I are so thrilled to have your support. Thank you for believing in us! Thank you thank you!!!!

  3. Ward Clark

    I looked for a song list here, on your website, and on Facebook.

    What else can we expect on the CD?

    1. Sarah Jebian

      Hi Ward!
      Thanks for the question. Laura and I decided not to publish a song list because we don’t want to get locked into a certain set of songs. We have a short list of hymns that we’re exploring and we’ll record the songs that really speak to us as we dive into our creative process.
      We’re both very committed to bringing these hymns to life through a deep exploration of the text and emotional tone of each piece of music. As we start to work with a song, we may find that it’s just not coming together so we might choose to put it aside in favor of a song that may or may not have been on the original list but is really speaking to our hearts in some way.
      I can tell you that all the songs remaining on our short list are very popular in our UU congregations. I’m as anxious as you are to find out which songs ultimately make the cut.
      I hope this gives you some insight into our process!
      Wishing you the best,

  4. Joe Monroe

    I’m so thrilled with what you’re doing. I sing in our UU church choir but the music is SO uninspiring and outdated, I was ready to leave the choir. We have a great musical director, but he picks lots of old music – mostly the old Negro spirituals from the hymnal. Nothing against those people and their plight at all, but we need some more modern music that MOVES people. I look forward to hearing more of your work, and in supporting it.

    1. Sarah Jebian

      Hi Joe – thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! We can’t wait to get this album in your hands!! Warmly, Sarah & Laura

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