Prayer for the Wild Things

Paul Winter

Released 1994

Run Time: 68 minutes

Produced by: Paul Winter, Eugene Friesen, Russ Landau

©℗1994 Earth Music Productions, LLC

Paul Winter’s Grammy-winning album commissioned to accompany Bev Doolittle’s painting containing images of mammals from the Northern Rockies, Prayer for the Wild Things was conceived as an imaginary journey through a day and night in the Rocky Mountains. Recurring saxophone motifs link vignettes of animals depicted by symphonic instruments and the voices of the creatures themselves. Joining Paul Winter for this recording is the Earth Band, with the voices of twenty-seven mammals and birds, and Native American singing and drumming by Arlie Neskahi and the White Eagle Singers.

Paul Winter writes: “I envisioned an imaginary journey through a day and night in the Northern Rockies, based on a series of vignettes about the animals, with the saxophone recurring throughout as a kind of interlocutor. I selected instruments to represent seven of the animals we had seen or heard, and aspired to create pieces that celebrate the spirit of the respective creatures, reflecting something of my impressions from watching them move or hearing them vocalize. In choosing the themes, it was important that each of these solo melodies would interweave harmoniously with all the others. I wanted the finale to be a kind of retrospective overture, as a musical analogy to the painting, in which the animals would come alive and give voice together, and then, in the closing unison melody, blend into the mountain landscape again.”

“The invitation by The Greenwich Workshop to create a companion album to Bev Doolittle’s painting, Prayer for the Wild Things, was an honor for me, as I deeply respect Bev’s work, and I have had a long-time reverence for Native American traditions and for the wilderness realm of the Rocky Mountains.”

 Paul Winter


“Whether we are hearing nothing but Paul Winter’s soprano sax duetting with goose, raven or loon, or whether we are seranaded by various ensemble groupings of the top-flight Earth Band, Prayer is one of the finest musical tributes ever offered to the Americian wilderness – multi-faceted, entertaining, dynamic, profoundly reverential and brilliantly executed” (REAL TO REEL NEWS)


Paul Winter | soprano sax
Eugene Friesen | cello
Randy Wolfgang | English horn
Joe Urbinato | bassoon
John Clark | French horn
Mark Perchanok | heckelphone
Dennis Smylie | contrabass clarinet
Paul Halley | pipe organ
Glan Velez | percussion
Jamey Haddad | percussion
Gordon Gottlieb | percussion
Arlie Neskahi and the White Eagle Singers

27 birds and mammals of the Rocky Mountains:
Elk | Buffalo | Grizzly Bear | Loon | Mountain Lion | Bald Eagle | Osprey | Antelope | Canada Goose | Wolf | Raven | American Bittern | White-Tailed Deer | Coyote | Boreal Owl | Golden Eagle | Sandhill Crane | Hermit Thrush | Trumpeter Swan | Whooping Crane | Upland Sandpiper | Ruffled Grouse | Greater Prairie Chicken | Willow Ptarmigan | Belted Kingfisher | Swainson’s Thrush | Western Meadowlark

The wildlife voices that occur with the saxophone solos were recorded at Gates of the Mountains (Montana), Glacier National Park (Montana) and Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming).

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