Your Way of Singing, the new album of songs by well-known British singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones in collaboration with Wycliffe Bible Translators, is out today!

Inspired by Gareth’s experiences attending a music workshop run by Wycliffe for the Gamo people in Ethiopia earlier this year, the new CD fuses field recordings of the Gamo musicians with original songs he wrote reflecting on the workshop sessions and his travels in the region.

The result is a unique and stunning mixture of passionate praise and intimate reflection, melding the voices, sounds and rhythms of south-west Ethiopia with the folk music traditions of the UK.

Gareth comments: ‘I hope that this music will give listeners a chance to walk in the shoes of the Gamo people for a little while, and appreciate the aesthetic of their beautiful country, the wonder and the joy with which they approach life, and the richness of their culture and traditions.’

Although the Gamo people have had a New Testament in their language since 2011, one of the difficulties that Wycliffe has come up against has been getting them to engage with the Scriptures in their language. Such issues can be because a people’s first language is sidelined or looked down on; sometimes it is because the society is an oral-based one. Both are true of Gamo. So a music workshop such as this aims to help songwriters produce songs that enable their people to use their language more in their churches and their communities.

Gareth comments: ‘Being involved in the workshop, I’ve learnt how important it is for people to look at all kinds of ways to communicate the gospel message in their language. Music is such a powerful thing and can bypass a lot of barriers. The Gamo musicians have a lot of talent and they’re writing these songs to help people engage with God’s word whose only way of hearing it might be through songs and other orally-based methods.’

An accompanying video, in which Gareth talks about his time in Ethiopia, will be released shortly.

There are two ways that those who want the album can get it:

The CD can be ordered for free. However, those ordering the CD will be offered the opportunity to make a contribution to help meet the cost of producing the album (there is no obligation, but a suggested amount is £11.99, which includes £1.99 postage and packing).

Wycliffe continues to work with the Gamo in Scripture engagement and literacy programmes through its Truly Fruitful project.

You can find out more about Gareth on his website.

Notes to Editors

1. If you would like to receive a physical copy or digital downloads of the album to review, please contact 0300 303 1111 or communications@wycliffe.org.uk. We can also provide pdfs of the digisleeve and booklet on request.

2. For further information, call Jeremy Weightman on the Wycliffe Communications Team on 0300 303 1111.

3. Wycliffe Bible Translators seeks to enable all peoples to engage with the Bible in a language that speaks to them best. It does this through a range of activities, including Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use initiatives. Currently, Wycliffe has 363 people from the UK and Ireland serving 486 million people who speak 368 languages in 71 countries. Of the 7,000 languages spoken worldwide today, only about 700 have the Bible. Around 1.5 billion people (one in every five people) do not have the Bible in their language. As a result, translation of the Bible into people’s languages is one of the critical needs in world mission, to enable the growth of evangelism and discipleship ministries.

4. Images. You can download the following images to accompany the press release, by clicking on the ‘Image’ link:

Image 1 – The CD cover

Image 2 – The CD cover and booklet

Image 3 – Gareth plays the krar (a Gamo instrument similar to a guitar)

Image 4 – Gareth claps along as the Gamo practise their songs during the workshop

Image 5 – Gareth plays with a Gamo woman as she sings and drums

Image 6 – Gareth joins in a worship time in a Gamo village (note the distinctive red, yellow and black Gamo clothing)

Image 7 – Gareth participates in a worship time in a Gamo village