The Reimagining of “How Great Thou Art”: A Conversation with Matt Maher and Matt Redman
In a compelling episode of “The Walk,” hosted by Joshua Swanson, Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader Magazine, contemporary worship music luminaries Matt Maher and Matt Redman delve into the profound legacy and innovative revival of the venerable hymn “How Great Thou Art” through their collaborative work, “How Great Thou Art (Until That Day).” This year marks the 75th anniversary of the hymn that has profoundly impacted worship across the globe, evidenced by over 1,600 recordings and billions of streams.
The History of “How Great Thou Art”
The episode provides a fascinating journey through the hymn’s history, its unwavering relevance, and the personal connections and creative processes of Maher and Redman. They share insights into their long-standing friendship, intertwined with their musical journeys, and the serendipitous moments that have marked their collaborative efforts over the years.
Maher introduces an intriguing perspective on art and music, suggesting that while art decorates our physical spaces, music uniquely adorns time itself, offering a timeless medium through which worship can transcend temporal boundaries. This concept beautifully encapsulates the enduring appeal of “How Great Thou Art,” a hymn that not only recounts the majesty of God’s creation but also resonates with the human spirit across generations.
A New Rendition
The new rendition, “How Great Thou Art (Until That Day),” emerges as a heartfelt response to the current global landscape, particularly the strife in Ukraine. It intricately weaves new lyrical and musical elements into the classic hymn, reflecting a deep yearning for divine intervention and hope amidst turmoil. Redman and Maher’s collaborative effort aims to honor the hymn’s rich legacy while addressing contemporary realities, embodying the hymn’s capacity to bridge historical and modern-day worship.
The project is underscored by a profound sense of community and purpose, extending beyond artistic expression to encompass humanitarian aid for Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The collective endeavor of Maher, Redman, and their partners exemplifies the power of worship music to not only uplift spirits but also mobilize support for those in need.
Transformative Power of Worship Music
In essence, this episode of “The Walk” encapsulates the transformative power of worship music, celebrating the fusion of tradition and innovation in “How Great Thou Art (Until That Day).” It serves as a testament to the hymn’s enduring legacy and the unifying force of music in worship, transcending time and circumstances to touch hearts and inspire hope.
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Read the transcript here
Who is Matt Redman?
Matt Redman stands as a beacon in the landscape of worship music, his talents having earned him a GRAMMY® Award. Over the past two decades, his contributions have significantly shaped the hymnal of the global Church. Redman’s spiritual odyssey has led him across continents—from the vibrant landscapes of South Africa to the serene settings of Japan, the rich cultures of India, the expansive horizons of Australia, and the historic ambiance of the Czech Republic.
His voice has filled some of the world’s most renowned venues, including the iconic Madison Square Garden, the vast expanse of Wembley Stadium, and the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, his creative endeavors have seen him recording in legendary studios such as Abbey Road in London and Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Among his most cherished compositions are “The Heart of Worship,” “Blessed Be Your Name,” and “Our God,” with “10,000 Reasons” achieving the distinction of winning two GRAMMYs. His recent collaborations include “Do It Again” and “Build My Life.”
Redman’s talents extend beyond music; he is an accomplished author and, in 2021, ventured into the world of podcasts with ‘Redman & Riddle,’ co-hosted alongside fellow worship artist Jeremy Riddle. A milestone in his career is the announcement of his fourteenth full-length album, heralded by the debut single “Son of Suffering,” set for release in mid-2023.
Originally hailing from England, Matt Redman has since made California his home, where he lives with his wife, Beth, and their five children.
Who is Matt Maher?
Since embarking on his journey with a major label in 2008, Matt Maher has firmly established himself as an influential figure within the realms of artistry and song composition. Esteemed as a nine-time GRAMMY® nominee and recipient of three GMA Dove Awards®, his contributions to worship music have resonated widely, leading to several radio hits. Among these, “Lord, I Need You” stands out, reaching the Top 5 on the CCLI chart, alongside other celebrated singles like “Because He Lives (Amen)” and “Alive & Breathing.” Maher’s creative prowess extends to hits such as “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen,” and “Your Grace Is Enough,” with six of his compositions achieving the No. 1 spot on radio charts.
His songwriting talents have enriched the repertoires of artists across the Christian music spectrum, including Crowder, Hillsong, Casting Crowns, and Chris Tomlin, contributing to multiple entries on the CCLI chart’s Top 500 list. Maher’s discography, boasting over 600,000 units sold, has been recognized with prestigious RIAA certifications, including a Platinum® for “Lord, I Need You.”
With ten studio albums under his belt, including the GRAMMY-nominated “Echoes” and his ventures into seasonal music with “The Advent of Christmas,” Maher’s artistic journey is both diverse and impactful. As an official Steinway Artist, he has led his own tours and graced significant Catholic and Evangelical gatherings, such as the World Youth Day events, with his presence. His participation in major tours and festivals, including those led by Chris Tomlin and Tobymac, further highlights his integral role in contemporary Christian music.
“How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)”
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