A Manitoba composer has a project in-the-works to bring new hymns to local believers.
Pierre Desorcy says he is nearing completion on his first album, a faith-based collection of original hymns.
"Since I was a kid, I always wanted to write music that was faith-based and that could possibly be sung in churches so I decided it was time for me to start doing that," he says.
Desorcy began playing drums in his early teenage years but hasn't decided to conform to the stereotype that drummers can't read musical notes.
The drummer-turned-composer is working to write as much music as he can and wants.
"I always wanted to write music that could be sung in church."
Being a modern composer can mean "almost anything," according to Desorcy.
"You can arrange from classical music to the most popular music, but I think it's just best to get as much training as possible to be a composer. The most important thing is just to get as much knowledge as you can."
Desorcy recently transferred to the University of Manitoba jazz music program after studying composition at Providence University.
"I learned a lot about theory and arrangement and just music in general (at Providence)," Desorcy says.
Since transferring, Desorcy says he has made a full-circle return to the drums but is also spending a lot of time writing music and learning arrangement techniques.
It's been helpful for his studies and performances, including with his church worship band.
Desorcy grew up in La Broquerie attending Gospel Chapel and more recently has called Providence Reformed Church of Winnipeg his home church.
The composer sees perfect harmony between his faith and music.
"There's overlap everywhere ... Even the concepts in composition, the theory and how it works, is easily relatable to your life in general and even the scriptures," says Desorcy.
"Even now when I'm writing music I often go to the scriptures to help me write ... because there (are) endless amounts of inspiration in there."
For his most recent project, Desorcy says the music he is writing his hymn-based, with some intended for congregational use and others more performance-focused.
"I try to make a balance between music that is more singable and music that is more 'artistic,'" he explains.
Desorcy describes his music as "very based in the scriptures.
"I always wanted to write music that could be sung in church," he says. "I feel like I was writing a lot of music that couldn't really be played anywhere and wasn't really relatable or accessible to the vast majority of people."
Balancing financial needs and his studies with ongoing COVID-19 complications, Desorcy began work on his album in the summer and hopes to see it released sometime next year.
Desorcy's arrangements feature a small musician group that includes violin, piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar and voice."Of course just getting all the musicians and the arrangements and recording just takes a bit of time because it's more difficult to get together with people to rehearse ... just collaborating with other musicians is not so easy right now."
The process has been unusual and difficult, but Desorcy says his faith has kept him rooted in Christ throughout the uncertainty.
"It's just remembering that we just have to persevere, simply," he says with a smile. "The Bible tells us we have nothing to fear because we have Jesus and this life on earth is only temporary.
"We know that our faithfulness and the things that we do to make it through will be hopefully rewarded one day and it will all be worth it."