Grassroots Music Distribution and Enter The Worship Circle releaseEnter the Worship Circle: Third Circle, the third installment of the highly successful Enter The Worship Circle series, which has sold more than 100,000 copies. Following the momentum of the first two projects, Enter the Worship Circle, possibly the best-selling indie worship album ever, and Enter The Worship Circle: Second Circle, Third Circle released November 4 and has already become the current best-selling album for Grassroots Music.
Enter The Worship Circle released in 1999, featuring the songwriting and performing talents of Ben & Robin Pasley of 100 Portraits, and Don & Lori Chaffer and Christina Graves of Waterdeep. Since that time the songs have been re-recorded and published by hundreds of other artists. Third Day recorded “You Are So Good To Me,” which rocketed to #1 on the CHR charts in May of 2003. The song “I Will Not Forget You” has also been heard by literally hundreds-of-thousands as a featured song on recent projects by John Tesh, Salvador, and Paul Baloche, among others. The song was also featured on WOW Worship 2000as one of the best worship songs of the year. Kingsway Music in Europe released the album in the summer of 2002 sending it to #1 on the European worship album charts in less than three months. Worship Leadermagazine has also featured several songs from Enter The Worship Circle and Second Circle.
“The message of Enter the Worship Circle continues to speak to me,” says Kirby Trapolino, Grassroots Music Distribution president. “It takes on a lot of meaning to me personally because of the relationships I've made throughout the years with the artists involved in the projects. They're just normal people expressing honest and beautiful thoughts to their Creator, and are not trying to stick that inside of any preconceived formula of what worship should look like or sound like. It's been a true honor for me to be a part of their lives and a part of this entire experience.”
Featuring Ben & Robin Pasley, Barry & Michelle Patterson, and Kate Hurley, and recorded on location in the Colorado Mountains in a somewhat non-traditional fashion, this new community of artists has created an honest collection of worship songs for the Enter The Worship Circle series. The songs on Third Circle were not poured-over in the tirelessly rehearsed manner typical of many studio recordings. Instead, the unrehearsed artists were spontaneously assembled and recorded, capturing the sound of raw, unpolished conversation with God.
Like its predecessors, Third Circle continues to rely on sounds from around the world. Percussive instruments from South America, the Andes, the Mediterranean, the Far East, Africa, and the Western traditions are fused together to form a unique tribal sound.
Ben Pasley explains, “The creative team that produces Enter the Worship Circle albums is committed to developing worship expressions that reveal the life of faith for a contemporary world -- a world where hunger for spirituality still drives the soul, but access to spiritual community is often prohibited. Third Circle is an invitation to many. To the person on a spiritual journey it says, “Come over and listen to our struggles with God, maybe you will find a friend.” To the Christian in America it may say, “No more secret language and hidden spiritual life! Turn the lights on and love God in the daylight.”
In protest against the closed-door religious sessions of Western Culture, Third Circle attempts to reinvent worship by dialoguing with God, through music, out in the open, without a coded language or private venue. It is an open invitation to anyone who has ever wanted to interact with God.
“The earliest known professional, well organized worship events for the Judeo-Christian faith are found in the book of Chronicles where the Hebrew King, David, organized choirs and instrumentalists to write and perform music at the temple in Jerusalem,” says Pasley. “Jerusalem was a central trade, commerce and tourism route for the known world and the temple in Jerusalem was its greatest attraction. Third Circle draws from this historical fact as King David’s team of worship leaders and the Hebrew faithful did not worship in private, and, so, neither should we. In fact, the Court of the Women, where the mass choirs and music was primarily performed, was a central court with no doors or even a roof to separate it from the common area of the temple platform. Dancers and instrumentalists would parade with worship songs up into the Temple platform and into the central courts for all the world to see and hear.”
Casting a new, revolutionary vision for corporate worship, Pasley challenges the modern church to change its ways and invent a more inclusive kind of worship.
“Third Circle borrows heavily from the Psalms,” adds Pasley. “These Psalms, which were written to be performed in the Jerusalem Temple, were also written with this in mind: the world is listening. When Psalm 88 laments, ‘Darkness is my closest friend,’ and when King David confesses his adulterous, murderous affair in Psalm 51, the world is listening. And what are they hearing? They are hearing people of faith having honest conversation with God. The songs that comprise the Third Circle are simply the expressions of life, of love, of hurt, of question, and of hope... that the person of faith has permission to release into the ears of God.”
Responding to the challenge to deliver the message of Christ to today’s emerging college-age and 20-something culture who are finding their own spiritual identity, Third Circle implements compelling modern language, eclectic musicianship, and meaningful spiritual dialogue allowing this emerging generation to adopt the musical style of worship found in the Enter The Worship Circle series as their own.
“Enter The Worship Circle belongs to the people,” says Ben Pasley. “The religious, irreligious, seekers, avoiders, traditionalists, post-modernists, the liturgical, and the irreverent, Enter The Worship Circle is for anyone who has ever had an urge to have a conversation with God.”