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The Offering project is the culmination of a dream of our ambassador Murray Thom, that was planted nearly 17 years ago. It was created with his long-time creative partner Tim Harper.
Murray’s vision for Offering was ‘the artists of our time, presenting the music of all time’. Twelve of our finest recording artists were teamed with twelve of New Zealand’s finest visual artists.
The result was 12 hymns with 12 works of art.
Whakaaria Mai/How Great Thou Art performed by Teeks, Hollie Smith and the Auckland Gospel Choir was the first single to be released. Offering features well-loved New Zealand recording artists including household names like Stan Walker, Dave Dobbyn and Sol3 Mio.
All the artists have taken part at no charge so that the maximum amount can be raised for The Salvation Army.
The launch of Offering was exactly 10 years since Murray and Tim released The Great New Zealand Songbook.
Each song and artwork carry its own interpretation from the artists.
For example, the cover art Amazing Grace is by Dick Frizzell. In his interview, he said: “For me, this work feels autobiographical. I grew up in the 50’s so you’ll see all those references. That could be any street in New Zealand. The young boy, that’s me, listening to the music but also looking at the girl across the way. That must be Grace… it’s the beginning of a love story.”
Toyota ambassador Dave Dobbyn performed Amazing Grace with The Salvation Army Band. Dave says: “Singing with the Salvation Army Band was pretty special once I got through the difficulty of phrasing without a beat. It's a monumental hymn, so it was daunting and challenging in that setting.”
Murray said it was incredible how much weight these hymns carry and what they mean to the families of these artists.
“The very first artist on board was Ginny Blackmore. Tim and I met with Ginny in Santa Monica in 2012 and all Ginny could say is, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow is my song, don’t give it to anybody else.” Ginny had a very strong connection with this hymn and sang it at her Nana’s funeral.
In fact he said the influence of grandmothers ran strongly through the Offering album.
“I am humbled to have had the privilege of realising this vision. I truly believe that this is the project I was born to do and my personal hope is that we might send these hymns a little further down the road and into the next century where they will continue to lift people’s spirits, strengthen their hearts and comfort their souls.”