Saturday, August 23, 2014

a history of MH attempts at record labels 2009-2013 part 1: ReSound

We'll start by going back to 2009.
[dead link, don't bother, and don't try The WayBack Machine as robots.txt precludes finding what the content was]
Tim Smith came to Mars Hill Church in the summer of 1999, never having owned an electric guitar, been in a band, or written a song. Somehow, by God’s grace, he became the worship pastor there and has been able to hang on and give shape to a movement of well over 30 worship bands leading many campuses. Tim is the husband of Beth and the father of three daughters. He also leads Re:Sound, a missional network of music and artists here on the Resurgence.
The guys over at the Resurgence are about to launch their music label, Re:Sound. Their website, is going live June 11th, but from today until then, they are giving away an 8-song EP sampler. Sounds great so far.
The need for deeper theology among young people can be seen in the success of websites like, a ministry of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and headed up by Mark Driscoll, a growing favorite among Christians in their 20s and 30s. The Resurgence has already branched out into publishing with Re:Lit, and now, with Re:Sound, Mars Hill worship pastor Tim Smith is taking them into the arena of music production. The first full-length album to be released is Rain City Hymnal, which takes 12 old hymns and transitions the songs into the 21st century beautifully. Producers Brian Eichelberger and Joel Brown bring together 5 different bands (The Northern Conspiracy, Ex Nihilo, Team Strike Force, E-pop, and The BCG) and create an album that has a palpable cohesiveness amidst the diversity. The album is available for a limited time for free (by giving them email addresses) or for whatever price you choose to pay at After that, it will be available for purchase through more “traditional” avenues.

So there were a few albums out and things went along with Re:Sound for a year years.

See that notice "Big Changes Coming For ReSound"?  What was that?  Don't try following it from The WayBack Machine ...

You can't read that because of robots.txt.  However, Mars Hill being Mars Hill ...

there's something up on Facebook.  It was published April 1, 2010 ... not that long after Re:Sound was announced.

For those who won't be able to read the text from the image ...

all bold emphasis is in the original statement:
Re:Sound was first an independent label. Management issues accompanying a label were terrible, and we realized it was not the right path. A label has to exist for its financial bottom line and must choose projects accordingly. At the end of the day, Mars Hill is a church and the Resurgence is a network of missional leaders on Godʼs mission. The heart behind Re:Sound has always been to showcase music we believe in from Godʼs people on Godʼs mission. So Re:Sound will be a relational network of missional musicians offering a consistent stream of music on a suggested-donation basis. At times we may sell special albums, but the vast majority of Re:Sound music will be available by suggested donation.

From publisher to partner

Our mindset was that to use our resources to distribute music we would have to own the rights to songs and albums. While this may be the default mode of the law, it would obligate us to control and administrate the rights to all this music—turning us into a publishing company. This is also a huge distraction from our core mission. Therefore Re:Sound will not own any songs or recordings, which will leave music in the hands of its creators and allow us to partner with a wide range of artists both inside and outside of Mars Hill Church. We have an exciting release schedule ahead, and look forward to telling you about it soon.

From control to influence

In an industry obsessed with grasping control over all musical rights, we realize that influence is much more important. Our heart is to show a stream of music that might never make the radar of the music industry. We believe that music should be more distinct, not less, as it represents Godʼs people on his mission to a particular people in a specific time and place. Our hope is that as we show more mission-driven, diverse music it would encourage others to not consume the foreign culture of music that is being marketed to them. Instead we would sing new songs as well as old songs in new ways, all for the glory of God.

So while Re:Sound started as an independent label management issues accompanying the label were terrible and they realized it was not the right path.

So Re:Sound transitioned from publisher to partner.  The next officially announced effort toward a Mars Hill music label would have to wait until 2012.

No comments: