MWIP (My Week In Pictures)

I worked 15 to 20 hour days this week. Sometimes that just happens. But I find there’s a supernatural level of grace in the midst of it, and everyone and everything that needs attention receives it. It also helps that I love everything I do, that there’s a synergistic commonality to every exploit, and I’m surrounded by amazing people. Grateful for the God of time feeling welcome in my schedule; couldn’t do it without him.

Here’s my week in pictures:


Released a new TV ad for New Life Media featuring my kids.


Jenny captured a great morning snuggle with Levi.


A wonderful New Life Board Meeting, which featured my father sharing on the 30th anniversary of his head-on, mid-air collision.


One if the top four parenting moments of my life.


Jenny captured “The Boys” moving the fire pit to a new section of the back yard.


On location at the new Clayton Hotel shooting a new TV ad for Bach&Co with New Life Media.


Another great, spontaneous moment with Levi.


Checking in on the amazing buildout of Sprig Studios at New Life.


Q&A session with Todd Agnew and Unspoken.


Stag left with Unspoken at New Life.


The joy of watching Eva spontaneously read her hand-transcribed Bible to her brothers.


My glam wife all dressed up to shoot a wedding, one of her many astounding talents.


Congratulations to Costa & Karen, two of our dear friends.


Vinyl’s Ongoing Legacy

Mobile Fidelity Shawn Britton
About ten years ago I reported to my father, veteran record producer and industry specialist Peter Hopper, that vinyl records were coming back, to which he famously replied, “Son, they never went anywhere.”

And boy am I glad they didn’t. Just today I was moving some of my collection here to my office, when my father forwarded me a piece by USA Today on a studio out of California that is still licensing and making “records” the “old fashioned way.”

If you already understand why vinyl sounds so much better than MP3s and CDs, you’ll appreciate this piece (and the quirky man behind it all); if you don’t, then you’re about to get an education.

I’m excited for the grand opening of Sprig Records later this year, and our use of a prized Studer Mk. IV, 24-track, 2″ tape machine, which I personally plan to record with in the hopes of turning those masters into vinyl records for my family, friends, and maybe even some fans.

So here’s to all the audiophiles out there. Get groovy, baby.


phill keaggy emerging ted sandquist courts of the king peter hopper
[Two of the records I moved to my office today, both with my father’s imprint on their production.]

Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 6

20120412-070722.jpgOne of the coolest little features about the new studio is something my father is particularly proud of: a set of Jefferson Stairs.

Invented by the late President Thomas Jefferson in order to conserve space, Sprig’s variation uses a central laminated beam with incremental steps on either side. The effect is a surprisingly natural climb into The Loft that overlooks the Control Room and Main Studio A.

Bob Brola and his son Mike have taken the lead on this and thrown their hearts into the project. While the final steps will be more elaborate and include galvanized piping throughout the architecture, yesterday’s mock-up had all of us climbing on it like boys on a jungle gym.

Boys will be boys.




Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 5


Finishing Schedule: Lighting, Flooring, Paint, Textures

Yesterday was a creative fire storm of wonderment as my design team converged on Sprig Records Studio with cameras, laptops, and iPads in hand.

Peter and Kristen dissected materials and color palettes, while Jason created a mobile office where he brought still images into 3D space for pre-viz of surfaces. A myriad of lighting concepts and materials were discussed, many of which were recycled. Another father-and-son team Bob and Rob Brola were there to make sure things stayed practical and within budget. And videographer and designer Joseph Channell was there to capture it all on camera.


A special thanks goes out to Jeff Arquette who’s sheet rocking expertise has been put to the test on this project. He’s treated every angle and curve with utmost care, details that would test the mettle of even the best sheet rockers.

From bamboo flooring to avante guard light sculptures to diagonal cedar siding, everyone came up with some pretty formidable and truly creative ideas that will add Sprig to the list of New York’s premier recording environments.

Now for searching sources, getting quotes, gathering materials, and inputting the timeline. Rock on.


[One of the pre-viz concept designs]

Dreaming with Dream Makers


Yesterday New Life had the privilege of hosting Pierre & Marlize du Plessis and Eric & Kim Rowland of The Father’s House in Rochester, NY. Pierre spoke for both Saturday sessions of our spring Momentum Leadership Advance, and he couldn’t have been more on point.

It’s one thing to listen to someone forecast what they think an upcoming experience is going to be like; it’s another thing to listen to someone who’s already walked it, and has a gift to articulate it back to you.

But what struck me more was the renewed importance of spending even brief moments with people who live to dream big – and aren’t afraid to work hard to see those same dreams become realities.

I’ve seen my share of one or the other: either people who are so negative not even an addition equation has a chance of summing to a positive integer, or dreamers who have no idea what a 90-hour work week feels like.

Or even a 15-hour work week.

After I looked at this photograph of us in Sprig Studio (snapped by none other than Marlize herself), I realized every person pictured around me is a monster dream maker. They’ve dreamed big in God and paid a price to work the dream to fruition.

When someone of that caliber that is around you, they are thrilled with who you are, what you’re attempting, and understand the cost involved. It provokes you to want to keep going. And keep dreaming.

Such a level of intense expectation and devotion is contagious.


And the value of your story, and your dreams – when married with unyielding devotion – will be just as significant.

You may only get brief moments to hang with dream makers like these – I know I do – but that’s all you need.

Savor it, then inspire someone else with encouragement.

I’m so proud to call all of these people my friends, heroes, and those who humble me with their various expertise in advancing the Kingdom in ways I can’t even fathom.

“…The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” • Matthew 11:12


Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 4


The studio is starting the painstaking and labor intensive process of getting “sealed up.” With all the traditional and spray foam insulation in place, and over 35,000-feet of audio, electrical, and digital wiring precisely laid, it’s time for the sheetrock and plywood to close her up.

I checked in on our the rock foreman yesterday. He was pretty exasperated but still had a smile on.

“It’s so complicated,” he said. “Everything takes longer in here.”

That’s because there are no two right angles in the whole space. Everything is off axis or curved, producing around 25% waste of all building materials, and creating one stink of a measuring-cutting nightmare for the finishing team.

Still, everyone that’s been involved has kept the studio’s main purpose in mind: serving artists for the world to hear. And knowing that the Gospel will go out from this place in song is pretty encouraging; we all feel honored to have a hand in it.

Right now we’re gathering finish materials and ordering lights. Definitely in sight of the finish now.

Thanks for your continued prayers and enthusiasm over Sprig Studio – it means so much to us, and even more to those that will hear. ch:




Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 3

Yesterday I had the honor of watching two of my heros collaborate.

Master audio engineer and producer Peter Hopper dreaming with master designer Jason Clement.

It was epic. Drawings everywhere, ideas spouting, visualization well underway. The studio is framed out, over 35,000′ of cabling laid, and ready for insulation and sheetrock. Now we’re working on the finishes list and lighting.

Team work is everything to me. Whereas before I preferred to work alone – taking credit, and penalties for myself – today I wouldn’t dream of doing something by myself. Co-laboring has become the only way I know, cherishing the inspiration and insight that others bring to the creative table.

Interesting that God views humanity with the same interest. Thus why he loves building with us, not around us.

Sprig Records is rising. ch:

Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 2

Today marked the end of an eventful week for New Life’s Sprig Records Studio. After nearly 3 months of quiet, do mostly to other construction projects taking rightful precedence over the studio buildout, the theatre housing the future recording facility was filled with saw dust and the sound of machinery as framing resumed to full speed.

My father returned twice to give the crew more detailed instructions, which allowed them to make great progress.

First the floors of the control room and drum lock needed to be built up, and wire chases constructed. The floors were filled with stone and insulation, then covered.

Next, frame-out of the drum lock continued, along with the control room, including the placement of the mammoth support beam that will hold the majority of control room’s immense vaulted ceiling (an engineering feat in itself).

And finally, construction of the beautiful curved reflection wall on the north side, peaking 14″ at the apex, spanning more than 30′ wide and 18′ tall. Masterfully done.

My hat tips to Chris Emery and his crew of gifted guys. Can’t wait for next week! ch: