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In an unprecedented partnership between EMI CMG, Provident Label Group, Word Entertainment, Zondervan, World Vision, Proper Management and CAA, comes a new project entitled (Music Inspired By) THE STORY releasing September 27.  Built on the foundation of Zondervan’s best-selling Bible, The Story, Randy Frazee’s book The Heart Of The Story and Max Lucado’s Book God’s Story Your Story, the new 2-CD set and DVD contains 18 new songs written by GMA Dove Award-Winners Nichole Nordeman and Bernie Herms based on principle biblical characters and stories telling God’s story from Creation to The Second Coming.  The complete artist-line up is nothing short of stellar featuring 24 artists altogether with Brown Bannister and Bernie Herms at the production helm. Serving as Executive Producer and visionary for the entire project is industry leader Norman Miller who developed similar productions such as The Young Messiah, Emmanuel, Child Of The Promise, and more. Miller comments, “When I was asked by Zondervan to put together a musical element to THE STORY project, I was very excited because I saw endless opportunities to create something very special.  Nichole Nordeman is my favorite lyricist of all time and having watched Bernie Herms’ amazing talents develop over the years, I knew he was the perfect writing partner for Nichole. I was thrilled when they both accepted my invitation to write THE STORY. We then put together a list of artists we wanted to sing on the project and were thrilled when they agreed to be part of THE STORY.”

Lyrically, Nordeman wrote the songs from a first-person perspective using timeless biblical stories providing a completely new context into how God’s story of love and redemption intersects with our story of brokenness and failures resulting in a new story of hope and rescue.  “I think for me one of the goals was to be able to listen to these songs and feel more connected to these people that walked before us and learned lessons that we’re still learning,” explains Nordeman.  “There’s such a tendency to turn them into superheroes and have these big, takeaway, moral-of-the-story moments.  For me it was all about the humanity. These were broken people who were desperate and needed God.  They were just like us.  I really believe that, and I think sometimes forget.”

Musically, the album is quite diverse in style and song structure covering pop, epic and cinematic moments complete with London Strings, stunning ballads, hip-hop and even bluesy-rock.  Herm’s well-crafted songs take us on a journey of introspection, celebration and after writing 18 varying songs Herms confesses he wasn’t prepared for how all-consuming the project would become.  “I think that there are unique moments that we’re afforded in life when you’re being offered something amazing. I felt like I couldn’t pass it up even though it would be such a mammoth task,” explains Herms.  Adding to the uniqueness of the project, Herms and Nordeman wrote their songs collaborating via email, text, phone, never writing in the same location.  “Most of the time, 90 percent of co-writing is being in the same room and playing off each other’s momentum but by the time Nichole sent me lyrics they were already pieces of literature,” adds Herms.

To kick off the project, Nordeman, Herms, Miller, Frazee and Lucado all met in San Antonio to vision-cast and cull down the numerous stories into what would be the final 18 songs for the project.  Upon hearing the songs  Lucado said, “This is not an album, it is an event.  Moving, powerful, unlike anything I’ve ever heard.  Prepare yourself to be swept in the gulf-stream of God’s story.”  Frazee was equally excited upon hearing the songs as they were developing.  “There is a movement afoot to return people back to God’s Word, called THE STORY.  The masterful writing of Nichole, the overwhelming composition and arranging by Bernie, and the stellar cast of artists performing the songs are the divine dream team. If folks are only half as moved as I have been listening to these songs, we will have a true revival on our hands” comments Frazee.

In addition to writing all of the lyrics, Nordeman joined Amy Grant in the studio to tell Ruth and Naomi’s story in the song “I’m With You,” the project’s first radio single. Other noteworthy pairings include Matthew West and Leigh Nash on “Good” (Adam & Eve), Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall and Megan Garrett covering “Who But You” (Abraham & Sarah), Michael W. Smith and Darlene Zschech tackling “The Great Day,” Dan Haseltine and Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt as the disciples with the track “Empty” and Newsboys’ Michael Tait, Group1Crew’s Blanca Callahan, and Lecrae telling the story of Joshua with “Bring Us Home.” Bart Millard, Chris Tomlin, Mandisa, Steven Curtis Chapman, Francesca Battistelli, Brandon Heath, Peter Furler, Todd Smith, Mac Powell, Natalie Grant and Jeremy Camp round out the compilation’s overflowing talent pool.

Alongside the music, the companion DVD will have all 18 songs set to new cinematic video footage shot all over Europe and Africa as well as stunning and innovative approaches from artisans all over the world.  Each video is a work of art in itself and is specifically edited to visually communicate the story of each song and character on the album.

Additionally, “The Story Tour” will commence in December with Max Lucado and Randy Frazee along with a stellar musical cast including Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Selah, Anthem Lights and will visit 13 major markets.  “The Story Tour” will be a fully produced multi-media experience with the artists performing the album in its entirety and will include stunning visuals to accompany every song projected on a massive screen encompassing the entire stage.  World Vision will be a tour sponsor but also is a major partner in the production of THE STORY CD.  “The Story of Jesus offers life in all its fullness to all who hear it.  This one-of-a-kind project also reminds us that there are thousands of children around the world who long for this fullness.  With this project, we have the opportunity to change their life story,” comments Jenny Lockwald (World Vision).

# # #
CD & DVD Track Listing
OLD TESTAMENT – CD Disc 1
  1. I Am – Overture
  2. Good  (ADAM & EVE) – Matthew West/Leigh Nash (Sixpence None The Richer)
  3. Who But You (ABRAHAM & SARAH) – Mark Hall & Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns)
  4. Bend (JOSEPH) – Brandon Heath
  5. It Must Be You (MOSES) Bart Millard (MercyMe)
  6. Bring Us Home (JOSHUA) – Michael Tait (Newsboys), Blanca Callahan (Group1Crew), & Lecrae
  7. I’m With You (RUTH & NAOMI) – Nichole Nordeman & Amy Grant
  8. Your Heart (DAVID) – Chris Tomlin
  9. No Compromise (DANIEL) – Peter Furler
  10. Born For This (ESTHER) – Mandisa
  11. Broken Praise (JOB) – Todd Smith (Selah)
NEW TESTAMENT – CD Disc 2
  1. Be Born In Me (MARY) – Francesca Battistelli
  2. When Love Sees You (JESUS) – Mac Powell (Third Day)
  3. How Love Wins (THIEF) – Steven Curtis Chapman
  4. Alive (MARY MAGDALENE) – Natalie Grant
  5. Empty (DISCIPLES) – Dan Haseltine (Jars Of Clay) & Matt Hammitt (Sanctus Real)
  6. Move In Me (APOSTLE PAUL) – Jeremy Camp
  7. The Great Day (SECOND COMING) – Michael W. Smith & Darlene Zschech
“The Story Tour” Dates:
* all dates subject to change
December 1 – Wichita, KS
December 2 – Dallas, TX
December 3 – Tulsa, OK
December 7 – Orlando, FL
December 8 – Atlanta, GA
December 9 – Winston-Salem, NC
December 10 – Va Beach, VA
December 11 – Woodbridge, VA (Washington DC area)
December 15 – Grand Rapids, MI
December 16 – Chicago, IL
December 17 – Minneapolis, MN
December 18 – Kansas City, MO

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