Prayers Of St. Brendan - The Journey Home

by Jeff Johnson with Janet Chvatal & Brian Dunning

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about

The Celtic navigator's great journey inspires this recording featuring material reworked and remixed from "Navigatio" combined with brand new material.

Introduction by Stephen Lawhead –

The great saints of the early Celtic church - Patrick, Columba, Samson, Aidan, And Brendan - were great travelers as well. In an age when most men rarely journeyed more than a few miles from hearth and home, they roamed the world ' often with little more than the cloaks on their backs, and the sandals on their feet.

For the Celtic saints, each outward journey was also a journey inward. They wandered as pilgrims for the good of their souls, and each new discovery was seen as a discovery of the hidden territory of their own inner hearts. But, as much as they liked to travel, they loved returning even more. It was been said the Celts often left home just so they could enjoy the home-coming. Indeed, a man like St. Brendan would have relished one of the Celtic world's rare and special pleasures; to see one's homeland again, and know if for the first time.

Featuring –
Jeff Johnson: Keys & voice
Janet Chvatal: Voice
Brian Dunning: Flute & whistles
Tim Ellis: Electric & acoustic guitars
Gregg Williams: Drums
Phil Baker: Bass
Roger Hadley: Percussion
Adele O'Dwyer: Cello
Drum loops: John Lehmkuhl
Jami Sieber: Electric cello

Much has been written about "The Voyage of St. Brendan (Navigatio Sancti Abbatis)". The story of the intrepid Navigator's fantastic voyage with a handful of monks to the Land of Promise is one of the great tales in the Celtic literary cannon.

Like we often do with stories about people from the past, I initially viewed Brendan from afar. Much like one viewing a passing ship from the shoreline with a pair of binoculars, I saw Brendan but I did not know him. But here, in this music, I have attempted to sit with him inside his boat upon the great open sea – Oceanus.

While drifting along the world's edge, the Brendan that I met wrestles with many of the same things with which I struggle. His eyes seek and long for something good, beautiful and true yet seldom does he get more than a glimpse of these. His mind dreams and hopes but his heart more often fears and despairs. He often finds himself alone - not because he does not have friends - but because he pursues the path of faith which ultimately one must follow on their own. He wonders if he has enough faith to continue down the path which he follows ...

He does not. Yet, always he prays and the King of Love's good grace sustains him. This is what makes Brendan a true saint and, for me, is the inspiration for this music. – Jeff Johnson


Music Review –

This CD has haunted me relentlessly from the first moments I heard the pennywhistle bleats and atmospheric keyboard swells of the aptly titled album opener, Oceanus. Indeed Prayers of St. Brendan (The Journey Home) - veteran musician Jeff Johnson's first full-length release on Hearts of Space - is mighty wide and deep stuff .
– CCM Magazine

credits

released October 15, 1998

Produced, engineered & mixed by Jeff Johnson at The Ark / Tigard, Oregon.

Additional recording at:
Poppyhill Studio / Blessington, Ireland
Location recording on Skellig Michael, Ireland by Ark Mobile.

℗ 1997/1998 Ark Records, Inc. / ArkMusic
© 1997/1998 Sola Scriptura Songs (BMI)
(see individual track listings for more information)
Administered by musicservices.org)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mastered by Stephen Hill & Bob Olhsson
at Hearts of Space / Sausalito, California

Cover design by Jeanne Bradshaw with Stephen Hill
Carving design of early Medieval art by Alan Hall, Valentia Island, Kerry, Ireland. Used with permission.

Thanks to the musicians featured on this recording, Stephen & Leyla, Al E., Mark R. & Cal, David & Kathy, Alice & the Retro Rockets, Kim & Becky, Jeff & Liz, Jackie, Court, Wes & Co, Kirk, Susie & Hailey.

This music is dedicated to my Mom & Dad.

"Prayers Of St. Brendan" is also available on iTunes and Amazon.

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Jeff Johnson

ArkMusic recording artist, composer, producer, and Selah worship leader has released numerous solo recordings along with collaborations with Irish flutist, Brian Dunning inspired by Stephen Lawhead's novels and guitarist, Phil Keaggy. View Jeff's complete discography here: www.selahservice.com/2015/05/jeff-johnsons-arkmusic-discography/ ... more

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Track Name: I Call To You
I Call To You
By Jeff Johnson

When my eyes cannot see,
And my heart cannot feel,
When my soul longs for mercy,
I call to you.

Take my eyes,
Take my heart,
Take my soul –
Make them whole.

I am lost,
If you won’t hear my prayer.

Grant me faith,
Grant me faith.

When my eyes cannot see,
And my heart cannot feel,
When my soul longs for mercy,
I call to you.
Track Name: Shall I? (The Journey Home)
Shall I? (The Journey Home)
By Jeff Johnson
– Words based on a text from "The Pilgrim" featured in "A Golden Treasury Of Irish Poetry (AD 600 - 1200).

Shall I, King of the mysteries,
Point my face to the sea,
And turn my back on my native land,
With your hand keeping me?
Track Name: Brendan's Prayer
Brendan's Prayer
By Jeff Johnson

All my life I took this path,
But along I walked alone.

What can I say to be here now?
What did I think, what did I know?

When I am gone don't follow me,
Unless you seek this loneliness.

What can I say to be here now?
What did I think, what did I know?

"The King of Love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness never fails me,
Upon his shoulders gently laid,
My heart will soon be home."*

*Words from an ancient Irish hymn, "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is."
Track Name: The Isle Of Birds
The Isle Of Birds
By Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning
Previously titled "Skellig" on the "Navigatio" release.
Track Name: O Redemptor
O Redemptor
By Jeff Johnson & Janet Chvatal
– Derived from a sixth century trisagion (Kiev), author unknown.

O Redemptor,
sume carmen temet concinentium.
Rex perennis patriae,
(Album implens virginis,)
Una spes mortalium,
O Redemptor, audi voces,
sume carmen temet concinentium.

O Redeemer,
Receive the hymn of those who sing to thee in harmony.
O king of the eternal fatherland,
(Who didst fill the Virgin's womb,)
The one hope of mortal men,
O Redeemer, listen to the voices –
receive the hymn of those who sing to thee in harmony.

Audi voces – Listen to the voices.
Track Name: The Fiery Mountain (Part 1) – Sheol
The Fiery Mountain (Part 1) – Sheol
By Jeff Johnson

Follow me down,
I know where to go.
Just follow me down,
I know where to go.

And pray for me,
Please pray for me,
As I make my way towards Sheol.

Pray for me,
Please pray for me,
As I make my way towards Sheol.

Follow me down,
I know where to go.
Just follow me down,
I know where to go.
Track Name: The Fiery Mountain (Part 2) – Nothing Immortal
The Fiery Mountain (Part 2) – Nothing Immortal
By Jeff Johnson & Janet Chvatal
– Words excerpted from an epic poem by Juvencus (c. 330)

Immortale nihil mundi
compage tenetur
Quo cunctum torrens rapiat flamma
ultima mundum.

Non orbis, non regna, non mare, non tellus ...
Nam statuit genitor rerum irrevocabile tempus –
Immortale.

Nothing immortal is contained in the whole fabric of this universe –
Not the globe, nor kingdoms, nor sea, nor land.

For the creator of all things,
Has appointed an unchangeable moment,
When a last searing conflagration shall annihilate the whole world.
Track Name: Navigatio
Navigatio
By Jeff Johnson

I have earned my sin,
Nearly spent my soul,
I have lost my way,
Until now.

On the world's edge,
I have found a door,
On the world's edge,
I can see again.

So let my ship sail like Brendan's,
Let it carry me home.
May the Three guide my passage,
Towards the Island of Light.

So let my ship sail like Brendan's,
Let it carry me home.
And may the Three guide my passage,
Towards the Island of Hope.

I have earned my sin,
Nearly spent my soul,
I have lost my way,
Until now.

On the world's edge,
I have found a door,
On the world's edge,
I can see again.