In January of 2018 we set up a recording studio at a bed and breakfast in Nashville, Indiana called Twin Oaks Lodge and we began recording what would end up being The Beauty to Come. Unable to finish, these songs waited quietly until this past October when we picked it up again in hopes of being able to release it in time for this season of Advent.
I did not grow up celebrating Advent. So I have been a curious student over the past 20 years as I have ministered at churches that celebrate this season. I have found it difficult yet spiritually enriching to focus each year for a season on what it means to eagerly await for Jesus to return and to see how our hearts are united with those who were so long in waiting for their messiah to be born. My hope is that through these songs, the Christmas season can be reinterpreted, expanded and deepened in a fresh way for our hearts. That we would see the birth of Jesus and the return of Jesus as a connected cosmic event which has been set in motion and will not be thwarted until it is brought to full fruition in the new heavens and the new earth being inaugurated by the literal return and reign of Jesus Christ. May we be formed to sincerely proclaim from our deepest heart, “Come, Lord Jesus!”.
This record could not have been made without a whole community of support. First of all, thanks to my wife, Sally, for all of her strength, grace & wisdom; to Amos, Flannery & Levi for patience while both their parents focused on finishing this project; to the Meeks and Partain families for all of their prayers and encouragement; to the Nottinghams & Berends for use of Twin Oaks Lodge; to Wolfy & help with the all night recording session; Mina Keohane for use of her chaplain’s organ; Tom Peck & Josh Plemon for worship-leading support; Charles Anderson for giving extra space in ministry; Kipp Normand for amazing cover art at the last minute; Phil & Sarah Majorins for help with song arrangements & childcare; Kylie Sempsrott, Sarah Miller, Julie Berend & Addie Burton for help with childcare; to the East Side Thursday morning ladies’ Bible Study; to the Redeemer Pres Indy pastors, staff & community; to all of our friends who prayed for us as we worked to finish in time; and to our Father who holds us and tenderly leads us into more of himself.
These are the dear musicians who gave their time and creativity to these songs:
Brett Sempsrott: drums & percussion
Chris Weller: electric & upright bass
Wolfy Johnson: piano/rhodes/keys/chaplain’s organ
Sarah Majorins: piano
Luke Tuttle: piano
Kenny Meeks: electric guitar/12-string guitar
Ellen Christenberry: viola
Grace Park: cello
Sarah Partain: vocals
Nathan Partain: vocals & acoustic guitar
All words and music by Nathan Partain
(except lyrics to O Savior Rend the Heavens Wide, written by Friedrich Von Spee and translated by Martin L. Seltz and O Savior of Our Fallen Race, translated by Gilbert E. Doan)
String arrangements by Sarah Majorins
Recorded in January 2018 at Twin Oaks Lodge in Nashville, IN; October & November 2019 at Redeemer Pres Church, Indianapolis, IN
Produced by Nathan & Sarah Partain
Engineered by Alec Surridge, Nathan Partain
Mixed by Micah Tawlks
Mastered by Ken Love
Cover art by Kipp Normand