Prayers Too Deep For Words

There are times when words are not enough. Depth of experience, depth of emotion can override our capacity for language. We simply can put it into words.

Jan Garbarek and the Hillard Ensemble capture that perfectly. The cool soothing, deeply spiritual songs sung by the Ensemble are overlaid with Garbarek’s haunting, piercing, wailing soprano sax. The mix leaves me breathless and broken in one hand and hopeful and known on the other. There is no other music that expresses my deepest inner world as well or as truly.

Here is another example. Tom Waits sings in a broken wail at times filling that open, pleading brokenness in my own heart. Paired with the gospel harmony of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Waits’ vocal breaks through the polite and expected to a compelling performance. I have never been the same since I first heard it and look forward to it each year.

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