I’m pleased to share the following interview with Ray Herrmann, composer and producer of Praying The Way of the Cross CD: Featuring Liam Neeson which was recently released by Little Lamb Music.
Q: Please briefly introduce yourself and your family.
My name is Ray Herrmann and for the last 25 years I’ve composed and arranged music for many talented artists around the world. I’m also a session player and instrumentalist who performs with many top musicians and singers around the world. I met my lovely wife, Theresa, through a mutual friend at church and we have a beautiful daughter named Maria.
Q: Please share an overview of this project for those who have not yet heard the CD.
“Praying The Way of the Cross” CD includes the original music, lyrics and meditations of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori and it’s the first time his music is heard in our country. The CD combines the unmistakable voice of Liam Neeson, one of the world’s finest actors who reads the introduction by St. Alphonsus and the 14 Stations of the Cross. The text is taken from the classic, “The Way of the Cross” according to the Method of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the great 18th century Italian saint and doctor of the Church. Catholics use this text around the world to retrace the footsteps of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The prayers are led by Father Byron Miller, C.Ss.R. and the music is performed and sung by some of the best internationally renowned musicians for Little Lamb Music.
Q: Could you share the origins of this project and how you came up with the idea?
As artists, my wife and I wanted to give back our talents God has given us. We jumped at the chance to work with the Redemptorist Fathers after they contacted us to partner with them. This project and all our projects at Little Lamb Music are focused on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so it just made sense to work with the Redemptorists, founded by St. Alphonsus, one of the greatest Marian saints of all time. Theresa definitely is filled with the Holy Spirit with so many great concepts and ideas that make all our projects original and creative. All our CDs take action on the listener’s part to become more holy by prayer.
Q: Liam Neeson is such a talented individual. How were you able to secure his participation in the project and how do his talents contribute to the final product?
It’s always a friend of a friend, isn’t it? It was Father Tom Picton who knew Liam’s spiritual adviser. And his adviser asked Liam if he would be interested in working on this project. It’s beyond talent that moved me to connect with the voice of Liam Neeson. Besides being a practicing Catholic and well-respected actor, Liam seems to be a man of faith and strong conviction which make the readings remarkable and stunning, as if St. Alphonsus is sitting right next to you.
What was it like to work with him? Liam is very friendly, and yet professional. It was a pleasure to work with him.
Q: I’m a fan of your work and aware of the breadth of your career! How does composing for such a sacred project as this one impact upon you and how has your Catholic faith impacted upon your work in the secular World?
There is no doubt that St. Alphonsus has changed my life by his meditations and music. It is stunning and divinely inspired. Not to mention my relationship with Mother Mary and Jesus has increased tremendously. We hear the same story from our fans.
It’s surprising how many practicing Catholics are in the entertainment industry, and for those who aren’t, there seems to be those with grace and those without grace. What I mean to say is that the Catholic Church has all the tools to gather a lot of grace! I share that with many folks, some laugh, some listen.
Q: How has the CD been received and what type of feedback are you getting from folks who are praying with it?
We have received numerous letters from people sharing with us their struggles and gratitude for our projects. They are mostly stunned because of a deep conviction of what it really means to be Catholic with the words, music and meditations by St. Alphonsus. There is no confusion about what it means to be Catholic.
Q: Do you have any future projects in the works?
Theresa’s working on some concepts at the moment, but we’re so busy with sales and media with this “Praying the Way of the Cross” CD that it’s just taking most of our time.
Q: Are there any additional thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
Let’s continue to pray for each other in the spirit of St. Alphonsus.
If you would like to listen to sample tracks of the project, visit the Liguori Publications website. The CD retails for $16.95 and is available for purchase online here.