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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

Music for THOSE moments

We all have those "moments" when our emotional needs lack definition, our spiritual needs thirst for a healing drink and our bodies yearn for that which defies description. For me, those "moments" are nurtured, caressed and even healed buy this music. When I yearn for an escape from "now" and want to reconnect with something more than the sum of me, THE PRAYER CYCLE allows me a chance to get beyond "me" and reconnect with that part of me that has been forced into the backround. I can't describe what this music says to my heart, my soul and to me, but I can tell you it does, and every time I rediscover this music, I have trouble remembering why I ever let it get lost.


This is truly one of my favorite albums. I have bought six copies and given it to friends. The vocals and choral work are stunning- an international collection of artists. I'm not a very spiritual person but I find this so moving. I recommend buying the album as a whole, not single songs, because it should be listened to in its entirety.

The most breathtaking album you’ve never heard of.

It’s not easy to classify this album. Elias has a fairly small body of work consisting mostly of ad-jingles and little-known soundtracks. But this album sounds like the culminating opus at the end of a long career. It is challenging and spiritual. It really can’t escape its “New Age” categorization, but it has far more in common with Peter Gabriel than with Yanni. The weaving of choral passages in Latin, Hebrew, French, Swahili and several other languages counterpoints gorgeously with solo work by Alanis Morissette, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and others. The desprately haunting melodies take on the power of an eccumentical and cross-cutural prayer for peace. In our dangerous times, full of growing division and violence, Prayer Cycle resonates with a spritual significance that lifts it high above typicall New Age music. It is a shame this album is not better known. Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead with John Tesh album, you will still find The Prayer Cycle a heartwrenchingly hopeful and deeply moving experience.


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)...
Full Bio
The Prayer Cycle, Jonathan Elias
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Customer Ratings