Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Barry Hansen works on his CD at Lakeview Studio in Orem in January.

Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to test your dreams.

There Barry Hansen was, living as a graphic designer in the state of Washington, living a good life with his wife and eight children. Singing was a hobby, something that he did in church and for weddings and such.

But he always thought it would be fun to be more involved with music. He looked at his brother Greg, who has been heavily involved in the Utah music scene as a composer and record producer for the past 20 years. "I watched the cool stuff Greg did, the people he got to work with, the music he produced, and I thought it would be fun to work with him."

Three years ago Barry decided to see just how viable his dream was.

"My wife said to me, 'You've always wanted to do this, you'd better do it now.' "

Further fueling his desire was the fact that his father has always wanted to be a singer. "But he didn't think he could do it, so he became a dentist instead."

So in 2001, Barry and his family moved to Utah, trusting that he could find work as a free-lance graphics designer — which he has done — and that

he could make music — which has also happened.

At first, he was asked to sing on other people's albums, such as "Seminary's Greatest Hits" and Inspirational Music Showcase compilations. He and Greg wrote an anthem that was the keystone of a collection of missionary songs, called "Let Us Go Forth." He was asked to sing at the Pearl Awards ceremony.

This spring he recorded his first solo CD. "My Soul Hungered" includes songs by contemporary Christian artists, such as Steve Siler and Scott Krippayne, songs by local songwriters such as Kenneth Cope, Kurt Bestor, Julie de Azevedo and Michael McLean, as well as a song that he and Greg wrote.

That original song is an anthem called "Title of Liberty" and was commissioned by a nonprofit organization based in Idaho and started by his father-in-law. The group's mission is to "unite in remembering and defending God, family, faith, freedom and peace by raising The Title of Liberty standard in all of its forms." The group's philosophy and Barry's song is based on the experience of Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon.

While he enjoys singing, one thing became clear to Barry as he worked on his latest CD project: It's not about him, it's about the music. "I hope what touches people is not the great guitar licks but the sincerity of the message. I'm singing from my heart. I hope people can feel that."

The Hansen brothers' concept for the album began back in early morning seminary classes when they learned the story of the ancient prophet Enos who felt a hunger in his soul so deep that he prayed all day and all night. "It seems to us that we are all like Enos," they say in the liner notes. "We all want happiness, and at some point in our life we realize what it takes — what we have to do or give up — to experience it."

And so the songs on the CD focus on prayer, repentance, overcoming adversity and personal testimony.

Barry's glad he's pursuing his dream now — and not 20 years ago. "I have a better perspective on life. Experience teaches you a lot of things; you feel more deeply, you realize the things that really matter."

E-mail: carma@desnews.com