The texts

“Six Or Seven Spiritual Songs” is a collection of contemporary songs drawing on spiritual and philosophical texts from a wide set of histories.

From before the 6th century BCE, “Hymn Of The Estuaries” is a verse from the Mundaka Upanishad, the Vedic book that predates most Greek writing. “Everything Flows” (“Te Panta Rhei”) was a saying of the philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus from the following century. And “A Calm Awakening” is a translation of the Chinese sage Zhuangzi (Chang Tzu) from the 3rd BCE.

Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen

Both “The Wind” and “Gratitude” draw from the New Testament books written in the 1st Century of our common era. “Many Names” draws on the the Rig Veda and Analects of Confucius, the Hebraic She’ma, and the Islamic Shahadah.

“All Verdant Greening” is from the writings of Hildegard of Bingen, an 11th Century abbess, polymath and “Rhineland” mystic, whose work in eco-spirituality is especially pertinent to our times.

“All my relations” (“Mitakuye Oyasin”) is a prayer from the Lakota culture, which predates the colonial era in North America.

“Down Down Down” explores the Via Negativa of the “Creation Spirituality” tradition (pioneered by theologian Mathew Fox), and references the 20th Century discoveries of the unconscious by Freud and Jung. And lastly, “Storyspace” borrows from post-evangelical writer Brian McLaren, combining this with an image from the Book of Isaiah.

The music

Laud (Hymn Of The Estuaries)
Laud (Hymn Of The Estuaries)

Many of these pieces were originally written for 4-part choir as vocal songs and chants. This classical aesthetic was further developed by using string quartet as primary backing.

As the songwriter ethos came to bear, this was fused with a guitar-led folk and rock sensibility, as well as recording production values from contemporary digital music making.

Additionally, many world styles emerged, from African guitaring, other instruments from the string family like mandolin, laud (see left), zouk and charango, Celtic and American indigenous flutes, and world percussion such as tabla, clay drums and frame drum.

The spiritual diversity of the texts have been complemented by a broad sonic palette. Genres as far apart as chamber music and shamanic contemplative refrains, from cinematic sound design to nature soundscapes, and from trance to tango, its genre fluidity is matched by the wisdom traditions that inform it.