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The Prayer Cycle

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Album Review

The Prayer Cycle is a surprisingly spiritual and moving album masterminded by composer Jonathan Elias, featuring an all-star cast culled from the pop, rock, and world music arenas (including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Alanis Morissette, Perry Farrell, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Ofra Haza, Salif Keita, and more). The album is structured as a nine-movement suite, with each movement dedicated to a different spiritual quality. Elias' material elicits passionate, committed performances from the assembled artists, making it a deeply felt statement on bridging cross-cultural differences.

Customer Reviews

Judge music not by the notes?

Granted that, today we see countless catagories and genres of music. Endless ways to describe and definte someone ELSE's artistic creation - and yet all the while a slave to the need to experience the manifestation of a created artform. That being said, I believe this album is superior based not on the style of music, melody or even the beauty and harmony of the notes, but because of the message that Mr. Elias embedded within the music. It is the driving puropose for his creation, and therefore must be experienced that way in order to receive what wisdom we can partake. Unity, equality, forgiveness, faith, etc. All these qualities are scarce in not only vocabulary and definition, but more importantly human practice, which therefore, to me, makes this album essential.

A Treasure

I heard parts of this album on the radio and I said to myself, "I have to find out what this is." When I did find out, I promptly bought the album and I have been enjoying it ever since. It works on so many levels (intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical) and also employs so many different styles of music (middle-eastern, western classical, pop, new age) that it is unlike anything else I have ever heard, and yet I treasure it as one of my favourite recordings. I would love to see a live performance of it sometime. Don't hesitate, get this music!


First heard this when I was in fine art school. It was instant love for our whole class and it came with us almost always from studio to studio. I am still years later, as moved by the music as I was the very first time. It's endlessly beautiful and moving, and an absolute must have.


Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s

While he has come to be derided for his work in the pop-rock arena -- particularly his contributions to Yes' disastrous Union album -- Jonathan Elias has had a fairly lengthy career as an underscore composer for motion pictures and television, beginning with the music for Children of the Corn. Moving out of the movie business towards the mid-'90s, he went to work in the advertising business, gaining attention (and awards)...
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The Prayer Cycle, Jonathan Elias
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Customer Ratings