3strand is an unlikely bunch of people from all over the world who have been brought together out of a common love for God and a desire to bring glory to His name. The What a Wonder project has included people from the U.S., Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia and S. Africa, and I may be forgetting some. We can't introduce everyone here, but you can see intros to a few of the core members in the links to the right.
The name 3strand was chosen based on Eccl 4:12- "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." It's one of the Bible's many ways of telling us that God's people are interconnected so we function much better together than alone. 3strand is a good example of that. Each person involved is gifted and talented and can do some remarkable things on their own, but when you bring them all together, the whole is more than the sum of the parts and that brings glory to God's name.
The 3strand project got its start in Mike and Paul's apartment in Taipei somewhere around the year 1999. One day Paul asked Mike what he was doing on the computer and Mike showed him an arranging project he was working on. Paul said something like, "You can do that on a home computer!?! Could you do that with my songs?" Mike thought he probably could and the 2 started talking and planning.
A little bit of initial recording happened in that 3rd floor walk-up. Fortunately, I don't think any of it survived. There was also an attempt at recording a bilingual live worship event held at Elim bookstore in the spring of 2000. I think there is a copy of that lying around somewhere, and a few of the songs used in that project are now part of What a Wonder, fortunately, in a much more mature form. Paul, Mike W., Mike M., and Kiri were the core of that event, but shortly afterwards each of them left Taiwan, so things were put on hold...
...until the summer of 2001. Paul drove from Boston to hook up with the 2 Mikes in L.A. where Dan was gracious enough to let Paul crash on his floor and turn his bedroom into a makeshift studio. Dan was also gracious enough to contribute some great guitar licks and ideas to the project. Next, Paul and Mike W. drove up to Vancouver where they met Kiri, who had come from London to attend some intensive classes at Regent Seminary. PJ, Priscilla and the whole group at BOL Surrey were amazing hosts there and the youth contributed some amazing, energetic vocals. Unfortunately, only a little bit of that survived to this album on the track He's Alive.
The summer of 2001 saw a lot of progress on the project but as everyone went their separate ways, it went into hibernation. Then, miraculously, in the fall of 2005, God breathed life back into the project. In the interim there had been some new songs written and all of us had grown and experienced new things. God opened some unusual doors for a slightly reconfigured core team to meet in LA. The 2 Mikes, Dan, Paul, Robin and Bobby spent 2 days practicing in Betty's living room (thanks Betty) and then 2 days in Bernie Becker's studio with Jacob at the board. About half of What a Wonder came together in those 2 days!
「臭皮匠」們（3Strand）的這張專輯的故事，得從大約1999年的時候說起。那時候 Paul和Mike W.還同住在台北某處的一戶公寓裡。有一天，Paul看見Mike正在操作電腦，就問他：「你在做什麼？」於是衛麥可就把他正在進行的編曲秀給Paul 看。Paul看了說，「你可以就這樣在電腦上編曲？！那～你能不能也幫我的歌編曲呀？」Mike想了想，覺得應該可以。於是，這兩個傢伙就這麼開始聊，開始企畫起來。
這張專輯的原始錄音，有一小部分就是在那棟無電梯公寓的三樓裡進行的。「很幸運地」，這些錄音並沒有存留下來。2000年春天的時候，我們嘗試在台北以琳書房舉辦了一場雙語的敬拜晚會，並且作了現場錄音。這份錄音呢，ㄜ～我想，現在應該是還有一份完整的拷貝躺在某地的某個角落裡吧！而其中有幾首歌曲的錄音就被用在這張專輯裡，比方說，《何等奇妙》～所幸，這首歌曲現在終於有了必較成熟的樣貌。在以琳書房的那次敬拜晚會的核心同工包括了Paul、Mike W.、Mike M. 和 Kiri Lo，但是不多久之後，這幾個人卻都陸續離開了台灣。於是，事情就這樣被擱置了下來…
2001年夏天，Paul從波士頓開車到洛杉磯去找Mike和Mike，Dan很好心地接待Paul借宿在他家，還貢獻了他的臥室權充臨時錄音室。不僅如此，Dan還很大方地幫這張專輯飆了幾段吉他，並且提供了一些關於吉他伴奏的點子。接著，Paul又Mike W.一起開車北上到溫哥華去和Kiri會合。Kiri是從倫敦去到溫哥華參加維真神學院（Regent Seminary ）的一些短期密集課程。在那裡，我們受到PJ, Priscilla和Surrey靈糧堂全體的熱情款待，那裡的青年也貢獻出他們美妙又充滿活力的歌聲。但很可惜的是，那次在那裡的錄音只有一小部分還留存在《他活著!》這首歌之中。