Welcome to Spokenhope
Spoken Hope has a simple objective: To remind people of who God is, by offering people a chance to turn their attention back to God.
Update 01-10-2011 -- Periods of Pondering
Update 08-05-2009 -- 3rd Video Now on Youtube
Update 08-01-2009 -- Videos Now on Youtube
Update 07-14-2009 -- Spoken Hope goes to CBA
The Christian Booksellers Association met in Denver CO, this week. JhousePublishing presented Spoken Hope's latest album: Desperate for Grace at the conference.
Update 06-20-2009 -- Desperate For Grace is Released
A new album has been released titled: Desperate for Grace. You can check it out on Indie Heaven.
Update 12-19-2008 -- IndieHeaven FanFaves
Update 12-12-2008 -- Community
Spoken Hope, No Time To Worry, Electonic Worship Format, Volume 1, English - is now up on IndieHeaven.com. All the songs are uploaded, so you can now hear some previews. Enjoy.
Update 12-05-2008 -- Community
Its been a long time since the last update. Sometimes things move slower than you wish. At last, though the Spoken Hope: Electronic Worship Format, Volume 1, English, has now been sent off to publishing, and copyright.
Update 04-14-2008 -- Community
I am looking to put together or get started some group of electronic musicians and/or djs. I have been looking all over, and I have not found a scene in the Dallas / Fort Worth area just yet. I would like to start one, and work together with existing projects like: https://www.tastyfresh.com/ and https://www.clubworship.org/index.php along with https://www.mosaic.org, https://www.freshministry.org, https://spiritually-minded.com and https://soundministry.ca/. I would also like to involve: www.24-7prayer.com/cm/resources/28, https://www.fireonthealtar.com/ and https://www.sermonindex.net/. If anyone wants to help start a group locally, please contact me, and get in touch. I am in Keller Texas, but I can go between Fort Worth, Denton, Dallas, and anything thats not too far away.
How to stay positive -- There were many times when I thought, gee I should just give all this up. It takes a lot of time, power equipment, space, and money to keep it all running. I remember in 2004, we were living in a house, and i had all of my equipment and ups, and keyboards, all sitting on the floor, turned on and ready to record. I left them on for days at a time. Then one day my wife said, (and I know God talks right trough her) you can move your stuff into the front corner of the basement of the house. The space was about 3 times bigger than the litte room I had been in, and I jumped at the chance. Within about 1-2 months after I moved everything we had a flood in the basement. One of the hoses to the clothes washer snapped and broke. In that small room where all of my equipment was we had 2-5 inches of water. Luciky and by God's grace none of the water managed to get over to the side of the basement where all of my equipment had moved, in fact, nothing was even damaged in that room. I thought about that intensly for months, and reconed if God had wanted to destroy all of that equipment, it would have been done by now. Had all of the equipment stayed in that back room, most if not all of it would have been damaged or destroyed. What does that have to do with being positive? Just because God gives you something to do, does not always mean its going to happen quickly, or take off right away. Even now in 2008, 4 years later, I am still working on the same project, still working on the same tracks. Everytime I turn around something breaks, or a harddrive crashes. Its always something else. You know though, one thing I learned is that God is on schedule. That is because His timing is perfect. We know that because the Bible says He is soverign, and thats what that means. There is nothing that can offset God's master plans. He has a way, and His will will be done. Its going to happen. I remember one day I wanted to read the whole Bible. I said to my wife, I am going to read the whole thing. I was in panic mode, just trying to think about how to get it done. Then I thought about it and I said I have had all the Bibles that I own for at least 5 years. If I was really serious about this, I could have already read the whole thing during the last 5 years, maybe even a few times over. Thats when I started thinking, whast the rush. If I start now I am doing it, that should be good enough. So now do not get bent out of shape. I think thats the test of maturity. When things start sliding down, you get a grip, and you say, well if God's in control, and He is, then what am I worried about anyway. As long as I keep going and doing what I can I have nothing to be worried about. Sometimes those frustrations are also indicators to me, like maybe I need to stop what I am doing and do something else, like play with my kids, or go to sleep. I think the point is - there is never a reason to get mad at God. I think sometimes God's plan is like a roller coaster, you ride in the dark. The coaster is on tracks, so you are safe, you trust that its going to stay on the tracks, and you go up and down, but you are still safe. I think if faith tells you that you are going to be ok, then you can have comfort in anything that you are going through. Faith is really about that relationship between you and God, the more you trust God, the easier it is to believe that things will work out one day. Support from God might come after you get disciplined, but I would take the discipline, if I knew (by faith) it was going to be accompanied by support. And that is why its easier to have faith in God, because He does what He says. If He says that support will follow discipline, or reward will follow endurance, then it will be so. You have that promise, so faith can be taken with out worry or consolation. That can make anyones life more positive looking.
History -- When I was about 14 or 15, I really got into dance music. I would have been more involved, but I happen to be alergic to smoke. When I got a little older I stared writing more music, and always thought alot about what would be fun for me. I thought about sitting in church, listening to boring messages, not because they were boring, but because I had a hard time keeping my attention focused on what they were saying. Maybe it was too long, or too many points to follow, or you had to be there last week. I thought what would I like to have, if I could. Then I got this idea about what if there was a church that was a club. Or a club that was a church. Somewhere in there, I talked to other people, and they said they too did not like the drugs or the smoke, and wished they had someplace to go. Then I got this idea, about putting testimonies to music, or writing a custom music track for a testimony, because it would make it more interesting to listen to then just listening to talking. That was done in 1996. Thats really when Spokenhope started, that summer. Sometimes God's plans last longer than my patience. Yeah I bet that happens to you too. But here is the good news, if you keep at it, something will happen. I never know what God has around the next corner. Well trying to be more popular, I was getting into writing songs. After a while though, I just did not want to sing. I sort of go through phases, where I can not do things, that I was once able to do. Like playing guitar. I just could not pick one up and play any chords. Well when I felt my singing voice left me, I turned to instrumental music. You know what? Sometimes instrumental music has no focus. You listen to it and you like it, but you walk away feeling like you have not gained anything. I started out writing music, because I wanted to listen to music that was in my head, chord progressions, that people just were not using. When you are sad, sometimes you want to listen to minor chord progressions, it feels more gentle on your ears, and soul. So where do you go, when you stop singing, and then do not want to write any more instrumental music? Thats a tough question, and it sounds like a dead end. But a dead end to us humans is an open door to God. Now it so happened that I was listening to the Harvest cursade -- watching it over the webcast live as it was happening, and something came to mind. Lets jump back one sec. Even when I was starting out writing music, I would sometimes write these sermons. Usually something I wanted to remind myself of, or something that I wanted to establish as a concept which I believed in. I wrote a couple of these every so often, but never really focused on it too much. Well that Harvest crusade inspired me and I picked up my keyboards, and started composing, but this time I was going to write sermons, and put them over music. Now ok, this is not a new idea, there are websites, and commercial cds, where people have already done this. The first question you ask, why should I do it? Well simple, most of what I heard is that someone would take a copy of a sermon, and write some music, and play them at the same time. My idea was to pair very well music, with a sermon in mind. Instead of singing, I would just talk the words over the music. Since I was talking live, I could manuver the music to custom fit the message. I soon relaized though that talking live, was not the best idea, because you can things that you understand, that someone listeing might take the wrong way. Ok so now we turn a new corner. Some pastor once said, that when you go to church, the real goal, is not that you listen to some pastor preaching, what the real goal is that you hear the word of God. The Bible says that clearly. Romans 10:17 (NASB) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. -- So its not songs or preaching, its just hearing the word of God that really touches our hearts. Church has its place, you need fellowship, and you need encouragement, and thats where the preaching, and the fellowship start from. Now here I was, I have this ability to just put together new chord progressions every time I sit as a piano or keyboard, and yet my singing voice left me, and just writing instrumental music seems fruitless at the moment. Where do you go from there? Sounds like a long journey, over ten years of searching, and hunting. Sometimes you go to those surveys, to try and figure out what your gifts are. I think I went to at least 3 of them. I had a hard time, because I was able to do different things. Sometimes I was able to do them all equally well. Somewhere in about 2004/2005 I finally learned something, after I got fed up with the last gift analysis that I would ever take. Some people do not fit a mold. And surveys are not for everyone. Everyone is suited one way or the other, and you just can not force someone narow down themselves. Worse than that not only might you limit the person, you might limit God's work in that person. For years I kept worndering, what should I do? I was sold on that idea of gifts, and using that to glorify God, but at the same time, I could not identify it. I knew only a few facts, from tinkering around. It seemed when I picked up a keyboard I had limitless imagination, and limitless ability to compose music. But then I would turn around a pick up a camera, and start taking great shots, or pick up a pen and papper and start drawing. What do you make of that? There was one other thing I noticed though. When I was really heart to heart following God, I had this, I had it all the time, and when I would step away from God, and drift off, I would lose all of it. How do you explain all of that? It took me about 10 yeasr to figure it out, and I was sitting there in this church, filling out their survey - when it dawned on me. My gift was not music, it was not writing or photography, or drawing. None of that was really my gift. I had a gift which was not in that survey. It was not there, because that survey limited the scope of a gift to a single item. An item that could conviently fit into someone's plan for how you could fit into that church. Ok, so what was that gift? The gift was creativity, plain an simple. Its too big, to fit into a single item. God allowed me to apply creativity to just about anything, wether it was music, or art or photography or writing. It was like suddenly, I became very free, because now I knew that I had all of those tools at my disposal. Instead of wondering if I write music, will the lyrics follow. Now it was not an issue, the stream of creativity, when I am right there with God, is almost unending. I remeber one night, just standing in front of a keyboard, and 19 songs came out, one after another. 19 chord progressions, with parial lyrics, in about 3 hours time. I remeber some nights begging God to let me go to sleep, because I was so tired, I just wanted the inspiration, and creativity to end. I can remember going to bed 5 or more times one night, because I just needed to write something down. I know now I just call on God, and I get it, and when I am tired I just go to sleep, and let it continue tomorrow. Here is the last part. When you get such a big gift, you have to know, that much will be expected of you. Of course, the flip side, is when you have such a source, you know you will be able to do well. From the beginning, of when I put down music, it always started out as a way for me to speak to myself, for me to remind myself, or comfort myself. I needed that same kind of help now. I turned back to writing sermons, and messages but soon found, that I did not have the theological background to always do that. Then I came up with a plan. The idea is that I wanted to be able to listen to the Bible on my daily commute. I also wanted to write music. Therefore came the perfect match, unending ability to find and put down new chord progressions coupled with 1100+ chapters in the Bible. Thats 1100+ pieces of music to write, and 1100+ lyrics or words to match up. I loved it, and the project became know as SpokenHope. That name comes from the Good News being a source of Hope, the Gospel, and as it were being presented in a Spoken Format. Now it only took a few months before I realized that I was writing different types of songs, prayers over music, messages over music. I needed someway to organize the Content. Thats when my son said to me, he said I like all your music, but I really like the ones without words. Of course, as kids are, my daughter says to me, well I like all your music, but I like the ones with words more. Yeah right, go figure - kids! That small idea led me to the final concept of the EWF or the Electronic Worship Format. A way to organize both words with music, and just music into a single album. The format is based on a worship service, and is mostly performed with electronic music, hence the name Electronic Worship Format (EWF). Since I came up with the format, it could be the SHEWF or (Spoken Hope Electronic Worship Format). One step closer to a church and a club. I decided early on though, that the one thing I would do, is when every I take and speack the Bible over music I do it in this way. I read the chapter name, and the verses, the heading, and the version/translation of the Bible like NASB. I also speak the whole passage under the heading. I trust the Bible scholars who divided up the headings to be correct, so I follow those. I also believe in Bible study or reading, that is not taken out of context. Whenever you read the Bible, you should always make a point to read the first few prior verses, and a few verses past and passge you are reading, to make sure you interpret the Bible correctly. Be accurate, when I was about 10 years old, someone handed me a good news Bible, I was too young to understand it, and the translation was so aweful that I confused myself for several years. Please before you pick up a Bible and study it, get a good study gudie, and look at a comparrison between the translations. The NASB is the most accurate translation, its the most literal from the Greek and Hebrew. And please try to study with a group, its always better to study with a group and learn together. Allelulia, Amen.
For anyone wondering whats going on, this project started out being tracked on DA-88 digital tape, and were run run through a Soundcraft mixer, and then mixed down to 2track on reel-to-reel or straight to digital. So its either DAD or DDD. Of course mixing down on an analog board without some type of automation is kind of difficult. So in a pinch I bought protools with an m-audio interface. However protools did not have any tools that were useful out of the box, and without spending additionaly money, sounded worse than before it was saved into protools. Therefore to mix it better I had to do a submix on protools, and send that out to the Soundcraft board, and through some external processors, and then run it back into a computer to save the master. That was even more tedious. What was worse, is that at the time I was mixing on headphone and one of the eq's I was running trough was peaking internally, and I was not able to hear it. So most of those recordings are trashed, because they have clicks and pops that are embedded in the frequency, so a traditional click-and-pop filter does not work. I suggest never to work on windows computers for anything related to audio, and protools was a pain in a half working on windows, though I would prefer it to something like sonar.
Now I was finally able to obtain a mac, and I wish I have done that years ago. First I bought digital performer, and was very dissatified, because what I head on my soundcraft, and what I head in the mixdown on dp5 were two totally different things. I was so disgusted, I went out and got Logic Express from Apple. My gosh, I could not believe what I was able to do in a very short time. I recorded my first track on it, which was instrumental, and it was like a professional recording. I could not believe it, out of the box, it sounded excellent. I knew then I needed to turn everyting over to working with Logic. When I was able I got Logic Studio, and I can tell you, it has made a huge difference. Everything I run through it sounds top notch. Logic might not have all the eye candy that some of the other daws have, but it does have the tools that you need, and most of all, Apple provides an instruction manual that goes over how to use it properly.
Now recently I started taking my protools sessions, and converting them over to Logic, and I am blown away, what sounded like poor quality recordings in protools, sounds like a polished masterpiece in Logic. Its unbelieveable. Now for those tracks that were clicking and popping in the frequency, I was able to run them through SoundTrackPro, and guess what? It fixed most of the problems, now down to where they are barely noticable, even for my high-frequency hearing (one of those people who can hear analog tv sets humm). Anyway I have to thank Apple, for making macs, and for making Logic available to people like me. thanks.
Spokenhope is currently being re-worked, as you might know. All of the work was taken down, and is being sorted, changed, remixed, and redesigned into a new series of work. The new series follows a new format that I have created called the S.H.E.W.F. - or Spoken Hope Electronic Worship Format. It is designed to give some structure to the new albums that will be assembled. With over 11 years of music that has been created, and recorded, but never released. In this new series much of that music will be used in the upcoming albums, due out sometime this year. The current plan is to put out albums as Volumes 1 thru 12, under the artist SpokenHope. Here is the description of the S.H.E.W.F.
Sorry, at the moment, none of the music is available. Currently the music is being moved to Logic 8. All mastering, and mixing will be done in Logic 8. The albums will be redivided up, to better match the content, and to shorten the lenght a bit. As the albums become available, and after they have been registered with ASCAP and Copyrighted, and some hardcopies spun off with Disc Masters, then they will be available. Some of the songs will be on this site for free downloand, and the albums will be marketed through: iTunes, TuneCore, DigStation.com, shop.jhousepublishing.com, and possibly amazon.com. If you are interested in carrying it in your retail chain, feel free to contact us.
all comments and suggestions are welcomed, please email me sam at spokenhope dot com.