Swimming in the Heart of the Sun – origins

In a few weeks my newest album will be released. It is called “Swimming in the Heart of the Sun”. The title is unusual, so I thought I should explain. Many years ago I used to visit a nearby Franciscan retreat centre (St. Michael’s Retreat Centre, sadly no longer run by the Franciscans). They had a little book store with a variety of publications that I liked to browse through when I was there. One time I came across a book called “Swimming in the Sun: Discovering the Lord’s Prayer With Francis of Assisi and Thomas Merton” by Albert Haase. The title intrigued me enough to purchase it and take it home to read. Albert Hasse’s treatment of the Lord’s Prayer was refreshing and unique. The title of the book comes from a Thomas Merton quote from his work “The Sign of Jonas”. The complete quote is “Saying the Pater Noster (Our Father) is like swimming in the heart of the sun.”

I read this book during my regular day long retreats at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer. It was during that time that I developed the idea of doing a recording project based on the Lord’s Prayer (or Pater Noster as Merton referred to it). My idea was to create an ambient meditative album, but using only natural (acoustic) instruments – in other words no synths and such. I shared my idea with Glenn Zimmer, the director of the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer and he thought the idea was worth pursuing. I set a date to record some piano tracks late at night at Christ Lutheran Church (where I serve as a pastor) and Glenn said he would keep the recording date in his prayers. In my next post I will describe the recording process.