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Sweet Hour of Prayer

This hymn has always brought back good memories for me. My grandparents attended a large Baptist church that had a penchant for singing what I would call "classic" hymns. "Sweet Hour of Prayer" was one that I took too because it had a very memorable tune as well as being written in a sing-songy 3/4 time signature (like a waltz). A couple of years ago, I had been asked to arrange some hymns for use in worship, and I wrote a chorus for this version. I sung it several times with positive feedback, so it was a natural choice for the FBR project.

Moreover, I felt that a song focusing on prayer would be more than appropriate for inclusion in a work directed at the modern church in America. Our wealthy and blessed nation has so little room for God in part because we have so little felt needs. Even our homeless citizens and prisoners enjoy a much better quality of life than their counterparts in much of the rest of the world. With this in mind, I don't think we can say enough about prayer.

The particular arrangement that made its way onto the album has an unapologetic and obvious slant towards the work of Sigur Ros. Having been a fan of them for several years now, I very much appreciate their ability to go from extreme minimalist intimacy to a thick, layered, booming sound. I felt that the album needed some moments of solitude and contemplation, so I chose an SR-ish flavor.

For those who care, the organ part for this track was recorded in one take, for which I was both thankful and elated. Garret put down such a flawless performance that "Sweet Hour of Prayer" ended up being one of the most efficient recording sessions during the project. This tune is also unique because it features a french horn player and trumpet player from the Village 7 orchestra.


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