The two men at the helm of The Project are Michael Glen Bell and Duane W.H. Arnold.
Guitarist Michael Glen Bell has been quoted as saying, "If it isn't creative, I'm not interested." By the time he was in his mid-twenties, he had shared the stage with musicians as diverse as Larry Norman, John Michael Talbot, Paul Clark and the Jessy Dixon Singers. Martyrs Prayers, their 2012 release, is proof beyond doubt that he creates interest as well as anyone out there!
Duane W.H. Arnold has been working around music for decades. The Ft. Wayne, Indiana native is a highly educated man who has earned seven degrees and diplomas, including a PhD in church history. He has served academia as a Senior Research Assistant, a tutor, a lecturer and a fellow. As a religious leader, he has been a pastor and a priest in the Anglican Communion, serving churches and educational institutions from the American Midwest to New York City to Northern England. As a writer, he has penned nine books and countless articles fro scholarly journals. His volume, Prayers of the Martyrs, has been translated into nine languages.
Martyrs Prayers is about love - love for the Church, love for music and love for friends. As a musical and spiritual milestone, the ablum represents an event that has drawn together some of the biggest names in the music world in order to honor those in history who have given their very lives for their faith, their freedoms, their communities and their friends.
The artists on the the project, Phil Keaggy, Glenn Kaiser, Randy Stonehill, Wayne Berry, Margaret Becker, Jennifer Knapp, Thom Daugherty and Kemper Crabb, come from a wide variety of backgrounds -- from Roman Catholics and Evangelicals to Methodists and Anglicans, with varied political affiliations thrown in. Yet, rather than focus on what makes them different, they have come together, in their friendship and in their desire to honor the martyrs.
Martyrs Prayers, the album, is only a part of the package. The CD brings with it a treasure trove of information in liner notes, biographies and resource materials. It is a call to know the past and transform the present; to find purpose in life from the question asked of us all: "WHAT WOULD YOU DIE FOR?"
Not a release that can be easily classified into a neat little box, Martyrs Prayers refuses to be labeled. It is rock, it is alternative, it is classic ... it is music delivered by some of the most passionate people in the industry who want to make you think outside of the box, going deeper into your soul and farther into your relationship with God than you ever have before.