10 Questions with ... Sarah MacIntosh
March 19, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Integrity Music
- Current (2012)
1) Tell us a little bit about your musical journey and how you connected with Integrity Music.
A few years ago my husband and I were working on Vicky Beeching's last album Eternity Invades. I was co-writing songs on the record with her, and my husband was co-writing and producing the album for her. It was during this time that Vicky's A&R guy at Integrity flew out to our studio in San Diego and our relationship with Integrity began.
Integrity knew about the band Chasing Furies that I was in on Sparrow Records and were interested in hearing what I was up to. It was an interesting meeting and relationship developing; I never thought there would be a place for me and the music I created in Christian music. The band had released a project to rave reviews but was a flop where album sales were concerned; we couldn't get the music into the hands of the people who would enjoy it. There was not much traction at radio and eventually we packed up and left Nashville with our tails between our legs, wondering what we had done wrong.
I couldn't get my brain around the thought that Christian music had to sound a certain way. I thought that what made it Christian music was the content, but that definitely wasn't the reality of the industry at that time. In talking with Integrity I knew that things had changed. Artists like John Mark McMillan and Daniel Bashta are able to get their music into the hands of the listeners who have been waiting for the different, more creative-sounding Christian music, using the newer outlets of Facebook, Twitter, Relevant magazine and other social word-of-mouth media that hadn't existed previously. So with an album already recorded, I linked arms with Integrity to once again head into the swirling waters of Christian music with Current.
2) And of your nomadic life with your family, how did that transpire?
There was a Sunday morning a while back that I was standing on stage encouraging the 1200+ congregation to lift their voices as if they were the only ones in the room when all of a sudden it dawned on me how large the "church" is. At that moment I imagined the thousands upon thousands of voices that were worshipping our Savior at that very time and throughout the day, around the world. People who didn't know about my church, people who barely know about my state or country, octogenarians, politicians, fathers, orphans, ex-drug addicts, abused, grandparents, children, tattooed or straight-laced bun-wearing mothers of 19 kids. The church is huge, and I wanted to get out there and get to know her and all her beautiful facets.
So my husband and daughter and I packed up all our belongings into a storage unit in San Diego and headed out onto the road, stopping in regions for maybe two weeks, a month or two, and sang, yes, but what's more is that we were able to spend the time having coffee or dinner or lunch with those people in the church that we crossed paths with along the way.
Usually we were unable to do this. Normally I would be flying into a city, driven to a venue, set up on stage where I would sing and then transported back to the airport and on to the next city before relationships could really be developed. This has changed in the last seven months of doing this, though, and now I know larger bits of the church in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, and Tennessee. I love it, and I'm loving getting to know this bride of Christ.
3) Is there a singular theme or message to your new album Current?
The last song on the album is titled "Joy Comes In" and was written after feeling the truth of Psalm 30:5 being seared onto my heart, "Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning." Life is like a current in the ocean, pushing and pulling, threatening to drown or lulling, warming or chilling, and it is in the midst of these moments that I have taken snapshots of my worship, displaying it in song on the chance that perhaps there are others out there caught in the same push and pull of life that I've been through and they are needing the words or songs that I have on this album to fit inside of their own chest.
4) Tell us about the story behind your single "We Should Run"?
I think that Christians frequently lead sad lives, placing all of their joy and hope on the moment of Christ's return and walking around in a state of "just putting up with life till it is over." Now I know that there will be unspeakable joy at the return of our Savior and we will be able to live in that joy for eternity, but I was reminded that our Savior has come already in the form of a baby. He grew, he performed miracles and he was crucified so that we, the guilty, could be set free from our sin shackles. So why, when we are free, wouldn't we begin the rejoicing now? This song is the encouragement to do just that. To find running, laughing, shouting and dancing because we can call out and find, right now, a Savior who is alive! Amen!!!
5) Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Ah, the impossible-to-answer question! I really don't have a favorite. Really. Today I am loving "Joy Comes In" but two days ago it was "The Damaged" and two days before that "Current" and two days before that "Hiding Place" and two days before that "We Should Run" etc., etc.
6) Do you have a favorite song that you love to lead in worship services?
I'm not sure if you are asking for one of my own or someone else's song that I love leading so I will just answer what I think you are asking. I LOVE singing "I Will Exalt You" by Brooke Fraser. It repeats: "I will exalt You" over and over with a wonderful ebb and flow to it, building, rescinding, and then building again, and can be shaped to fit almost any kind of worship setting. I love saying those lyrics to my Savior over and over until my entire being is shouting it.
7) Who inspires you personally, spiritually and/or professionally?
Personally, my daughter. She is 3 and is so very different than me. She is an extrovert and has the most astounding amount of joy that oozes off her and onto anyone that may be lucky enough to be caught in her path. She has the unbelievable ability to make people feel loved and special and happy, and that inspires me tremendously.
Spiritually, A. W. Tozer. I love his writing and his very straightforward line of thinking. He doesn't tip-toe around worrying about if sharing about his savior would make someone feel uncomfortable or not, because he knows so thoroughly the discomfort apart from Christ, and his desire is that people would help others find comfort through the rescue found in our Creator.
Professionally, there are too many people to say just one. I am inspired by each person in this Christian music industry who says, "I want people to know their Savior and I will do what it takes for them to come to know Him even if that means going against the flow of how things are done traditionally."
8) Fill in the blank: I can't start my day without:
Coffee. Ugh. I wish I had a much cooler answer than that but there it is. The truth.
9) What song do you wish you had written?
Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. It's absolutely gorgeous and moving.
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
I am constantly on the lookout for new music and I think that lately there has been an awesome surge of really good new stuff out there. These are a few albums that I currently can't get enough of:
- Active Child: You Are All I See
- Aaron Strumple: Birds
- All Sons And Daughters: Reason To Sing
- Gotye: Making Mirrors
- Thad Cockrell: To Be Loved