Fr James Lyon
It was an evening of wonderful affirmation. After six months of intense collaboration between Marist priest and well-known singer/songwriter Chris Skinner and myself producing an album of ten songs, it was time to perform to an audience.
An almost a full house at Ss Peter and Paul Church in Lower Hutt on Friday 21 August showed great enthusiasm for our efforts. We were humbled by the response.
The partnership began when I sent Chris words I had written as a tribute to the many who left homeland and loved ones to build new lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Chris brought the words to life in music – With The Morning was born.
Four songs later, Chris felt we could progress to an album, and some of his own compositions, including a beautiful song for his parents, Mum And Dad, ensure the disc is rich with variety and creativity.
The album title, Angel of the Forest, is from the song celebrating the kotuku, white heron. This mystical and protected bird has only one nesting place in New Zealand. After visiting the site in Westland for the first time this year, my memory of this regal bird needed to be recorded. Because the kotuku is rarely seen, it is a blessing to view one. The song is my way of returning the blessing.
We now have CDs available and the words of all ten songs are on the website www.chrisskinner.org.nz
The Angel of the Forest CD, selling for $25 (plus postage), is available through the website or direct from Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Office, PO Box 1937 Wellington 6140.