Among the unsung heroes in Inspiro Arts Alliance are the trained recording musicians God has sent the alliance to help capture the sounds of ethnic worship, often in obscure places where new songs have recently been birthed. When doing field recordings in non-western areas and facing unpredictable situations, these well-trained engineers learn various unexpected new techniques on the field.
These new skills range from handling on-and-off electricity issues to working with frightened musicians standing before microphones for the first time to even creating makeshift studios in freezing mountain areas or sweltering tropics.
Hal Wright is one of the first and one of the most skilled recording engineers in the Inspiro Arts Alliance network, formerly known as Heart Sounds International. Over a career spanning 35 years in Christian music, Hal has produced 300 full-length recording projects, earned eight gold records and one platinum record. His specialty is arranging, with nearly 200 choral arrangements in print. Over several years, he connected with two ladies who specialized in children’s music. A twenty-year connection with the two sisters kept Hal busy composing, arranging, recording and producing children’s music to his heart’s content.
A Missions Musical
While working at a megachurch in Ohio, USA, Frank Fortunato met Hal. He asked Hal to record a project for Operation Mobilization, entitled ‘His Kingdom is Coming,’ a missions musical of sorts. Although needing to work with Fortunato’s limited budget, tracks were recorded in Nashville with the best players in Christian music at the time. Watching Hal in action with this project became one of Fortunato’s memories of a lifetime. On some of the songs Frank had written or arranged, he suggested adding strings. Just hours before going into the studio, Hal asked Frank to call our Nashville friends and track down a mixer. While retrieving the mixer, Hal wired together three or four devices, using digital and audio cables, known back in the nineties as ‘midi modules.’ Frank then watched Hal quickly scribble chord charts, instantly creating authentic, lush string arrangements on the fly to add to the recording. An unforgettable moment of musicianship skills!
Around 2002, as OM’s Heart Sounds International ministry was emerging, Frank contacted Hal to record a children’s project in the Caucasus region. This project began a string of projects that would include Malawi, Bulgaria and various Asian trips. Hal’s trips to Bulgaria included installing a studio in the home of a missionary and training local Christians to continue the work. His trips to East Asia included mentoring a young music student in recording and mixing techniques, who now produces quality music in the country’s southwest region.
Enhancing Choral Materials
During much of Hal’s music career, he served in local churches. As a choral director, it became apparent to Hal that much of the music he purchased was of poor quality, had misprints, lacked rehearsal tracks, and so forth. As a result, Hal started greatchurchmusic.com, a publishing company that provides choral directors with tracks and charts at a reasonable price. The website allows musicians to hear and view the music and instantly download their selections, including printing all the copies they need for their choir. The site will eventually feature a large selection of free music for choirs and instrumentalists.
The Inspiro Arts Alliance is pleased to be associated with Hal Wright, a godly, skilled, missions-oriented musician. May heaven raise up an army of likeminded musicians to roam the planet, capturing the sounds of global worship