Words by: Natalie /

The 10 best songs for the midnight hour, according to Prayer

Recently returning to the fold after a brief hiatus, classically trained producer Prayer shared his sophomore EP 'Beneath' earlier this month. Drawing on his influences derived from the likes of Max Richter, Burial and Philip Glass, the release is a solid (and successful) continuation of Prayer’s efforts to bridge the gap between the classical and electronic music. Vast soundscapes meet impassioned vocals on Faith, Running is like aquatic R&B that resonates under the surface, Hope is choral D&B with dark echoes of Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for Inception, whilst closing track Never Be is an apocalyptic love song, cresendoing the EP in a dramatic finale. It's the perfect statement of Prayer's dilligent abilities to mold and rework genres into one another, of which words alone can't really do enough justice.

Beyond his solo exploits, Prayer is one of eight strong collective Grade 10 International, building the (mainly) Leicester based vinyl-only label alongside Classic Coke, ForeverForever, 8Ball, Loosewomen, Nokia Boys, Unslaved, and via his other project Kollaps. Equipped with an uncompromising vision for the future of electronic music, the band of producers are driven by a DIY quality, and retain total control over their output.

With his ardent desires for classical music, film scores and electronic music in mind, it seemed right to embark on an exploration of the midnight hour with Prayer and round up the sounds that give even more depth to the witching hour. A time for solitude, he reflects on the hour's consciousness below:

"The midnight hour is a time where introspection and pensiveness begins to take over. When alone, you can sense the world around you coming to a standstill and gradually you are only left with your thoughts. My playlist represents this darkness."

Listen to Prayer's selections within his list or kick back and get inspired via our seamless playlist. It's music to work in harmony to or maybe just gazing into space with an open mind, taking in the sounds of the night.

01. Igor Stravinsky The Rite Of Spring: II – The Sacrifice 

Prayer: "This was one of the first pieces of music I heard which made me realise that classical music can be dark and intense rather than just light and eloquent. The floating woodwind section at the start rising to powerful dynamics creates an unsettling effect."

02. Tim Hecker No Drums 

Prayer: "This piece brings to mind feelings of longing and displacement – the synths are restless, and like Hecker's other work, textures combine creating blurred ideas which weave in and out of each other."

03. Michael Nyman Deep Into The Forest 

Prayer: "Michael Nyman is one of my favourite composers. His work is less restrictive than what you would normally expect of minimalism, changing ideas and patterns more liberally. The sombre introduction of Deep Into the Forest is simple, yet moving."

04. Ludwig Van Beethoven String Quartet No. 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op 131 I. 

Prayer: "Another piece which challenged my perception of classical music. Beethoven is a classical music cliche and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard his fifth symphony (dun dun dun duh…) However there is a reason for his fame: Beethoven is responsible for turning accepted structures in the early 19th century completely on their head, quite similarly to how lots of producers try to break frameworks in electronic music. This quartet and his other late works accelerated music so much that his contemporaries and others for years to come felt inadequate. For example Schubert said 'After this, what is left for us to write?'."

05. Pierre Henry Le Voile D'orphée 

Prayer: "Acousmatic music provides an intensity like no other genre. It is about manipulating sound into intense textures, where the listener is challenged to focus on the music alone and not its source. Le Voile D'orphée is an eerie exploration of broken ideas with returning choral elements."

06. Ipman O 

Prayer: "The new Ipman album which this is taken from is great. Organs, vocals and textures combine to create a dark experience."

07. Bernard Herman Vertigo Theme 

Prayer: "I'm a big fan of Hitchcock and Bernard Herman's accompanying scores. Vertigo explores the idea of obsession and consequent madness, and in the main theme the wavering string patterns and brass outbursts help support these ideas."

08. Alvin Lucier I Am Sitting In A Room 

Prayer: "Studying music made me question what it is that constitutes music. In Alvin Lucier's piece, as explained in the text, he records himself speaking in a room and then continues to record the recording and so on. Eventually the harmonic frequencies of the room take over and his voice is reduced to a drone like sound."

09. Gustav Mahler Piano Quartet In A Minor 

Prayer: "I actually first heard this when I watched Shutter Island. Again exploring ideas of madness, this piece is constantly changing direction, longing for stability, and was an effective choice of music for the themes of the film."

10. Misao Senbongi & Shusaku Uchiyama Serenity (Resident Evil 4 Soundtrack) 

Prayer: "Great game with a great ambient soundtrack. Sinister vibes throughout."

Prayer's EP 'Beneath' is out now (buy).

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