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.
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
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.