Classically trained pianist and composer Prayer draws inspiration from the likes of Burial, Kuedo and Holy Other in his music; a chilling and melodic mutation of the sounds of UK club culture. He’s a member of previous Hyp mix contributors Grade 10 – the genre-breaking Leicester collective home to Forever, Classic Coke, Kollaps and others – and has released two essential EPs since 2014, Beneath and Knowing.
Prayer aims to challenge the stuffy and inaccessible reputation of classical music with his latest project, LOST. Featuring four tracks that range from sublime piano pieces to break-filled club cuts, the EP pushes classical instruments into expansive electronic territory.
As Prayer puts it himself:
“Lost was a project created out of my desire to present classical / electronic music that is unpolished around the edges. Each track touches on emotional extremes, all of them based on an idea that is then distorted / concealed in a way that brings a rough touch to all the pieces. It is this concealment in music that fascinates me – that you can compose an idea and then contrast the elegance of it with something less smooth.”
Ahead of release January 20, he’s listed some of the artists that have influenced LOST, from minimalist composer Michael Nyman to Tri Angle artist Holy Other, and more.
For those in London, Prayer will debut his live AV show at The Pickle Factory on January 25, in association with Radar Radio. You can order tickets here.
1. Michael Nyman ‘To the Edge of the Earth’
This was one of the first pieces of ‘classical music’ I heard that opened my eyes to what the genre can be. Dark and sinister, it is a far cry away from the light, stuffy associations I had of the genre whilst growing up.
2. Bernard Parmegiani ‘Strias’
Bernard Parmegiani really made me question what it is that constitutes music, and to examine the subtle nuances that can really bring a piece of music to life. In the ending section dramatic synth melodies are offset with mechanical drones. This balance of beauty and agitation fascinates me.
3. Gorecki: ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’
Incredibly moving piece of music for solo soprano and orchestra. This piece made me realise that harmony is much more interesting to me than any other element of music.
4. Talk Talk ‘ I believe in you’
The use of non traditional structure is what I like about this song. The organ idea at 2.44 appears to come out of nowhere, and although it is stunning, it is not overused. This made me realise that the unexpected, and subtlety can be very effective when writing music.
5. Holy Other ‘Feel Something’
I am always interested in electronic music which builds emotional extremes out of simple ideas. Holy other’s use of layering in this song builds to an impressive finish.
6. Max Richter – ‘On the Nature of Daylight’
The string quartet is one of my favourite mediums of presenting music. It always feels exposed and does not rely on gimmicks to get a message across. Max Richter’s use of dark chord progressions here creates a particularly bleak effect.
7. Michael Nyman ‘Look for an Enemy!’
Another one from Michael Nyman, but he has influenced me more than anyone else. ‘Look for an Enemy!’ exemplifies what I like about his music the most. It is frantic, constantly developing, and always unpredictable.