Forever spinning and burning, the sun persists on its path through nothingness, throwing heat through the void every morning to warm our world; taking its heat with it when it leaves our skies every evening. We’re left to endure the cold of night, the mystery and fear of darkness, and simply, the other empty, vast side of space. This shift in heat and light is sacred and even with our heaters, lightbulbs, buildings, and comforts, we can feel it, even if only peripherally. Dusk brings us an awareness of mortality, of life ebbing, of loneliness, of need.
For centuries, contemplatives have marked this time of day with prayer services called “vespers,” a celebration of sacred stillness and a recognition of our acute need for God’s proximity. In two sets of three songs, these Vespers III & IV, were written during this time of day, in this frame of mind, in the pursuit of God, in the working out of the day’s consolations and desolations, in the expression of love for the One who calls us out of our cycles and proclivity for isolation and darkness.
This is the second release in a series, the first being Vespers I & II, for which Christianity Today said, "Aaron Strumpel worships as if his life is hanging in the balance.” This second set gives no quarter to comfort or complacency. There is the urgency of the psalmist, the resolution of the pilgrim, and the desperate hunger for sustenance only God can give. It’s a call to keep eyes focused, hearts strong, and feet moving.
Written, performed, and recorded simply by Aaron Strumpel in his studio, Shovel Studios, this record is a lean and rich offering of prayer and supplication. It is a hoping for hope, a hoping for joy, a yearning to love, and a yearning to be loved.
May you, Fellow Pilgrim, find your hopes and dreams, sorrows and joys, whether whispered or shouted, unlocked in the listening. Godspeed on your journey!
released June 10, 2014
All songs written by Aaron Strumpel
Engineered by Aaron Strumpel at Shovel Studios in Lafayette, CO
Mixed and Mastered by Mike Binder at EPicenter Studios in Boulder, CO
all rights reserved