Review by Aaron Cloutier & Staff
The potent duo of composer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Hauge Mateo and spoken word artist Ben Bushill join forces again on the arresting “A Prayer For All Faiths.” A cacophony of sweeping, cinematic soundscapes mixed with reflective and affecting poetry creates an experience that is truly unique and equally satisfying.
Bushill showcases his trademark performance style as his gentle voice, and subtle tone navigates the words on the page as the soft strikes of Mateo’s piano begin being laid down underneath Bushill’s charismatic narration. Upon the first few minutes of playback, the one word that keeps coming to mind for me is “fellowship.” There is sincere chemistry about this collaboration, and it is well represented throughout the piece. Seeing as this is my second encounter with the duo, my ears are no stranger to the sweeping string sections and the aforementioned piano that Mateo utilizes so well. What came as a surprise was the inclusion of choir-like wordless vocal melodies inserted in between Bushill’s performance. These melodies provide an excellent musical detour in between each spoken word stanza and further enhance the soothing quality of the piece. The clever use of arrangement returns and the use of a bass guitar joins the fray about midway into the piece adding emotional heft and size to the mix. Cello is introduced in the later sections and adds another sonic element of sweeping emotion. You picture yourself being on a ship at sea come as you hear percussive sounds thundering off in the distance.
As he proclaims, the arrangement works exceptionally well with Bushill’s subject matter.
”Give me the courage to stand.
As if I am witness to all creation and know that all creation is looking back at me...
Grant me the presence to carry my heartbreak well and that the pain gives me tenderness and wisdom so that I may love more deeply.”
The overall theme to my ears is that of empathy and compassion. I challenge anyone not to get caught up in the moment after listening to this one. Well done, sirs!
About Jacob Hauge Mateo
Jacob Hauge Mateo is an experienced producer, singer-songwriter and pianist from Denmark. Recognized by his ethereal, peace-inducing, and multi-faceted style of music production, Jacob Hauge Mateo has garnered love and attention from dedicated listeners of spiritual, new age and classical music all over the world.
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