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Alive to God is a profoundly dramatic and intimate encounter with the life and literature of John Bradburne. This first ever collection of original recordings presents the voice of this remarkable writer in poetry, song and chant. It is an enthralling and deeply moving experience. (Prof. David Crystal).
John Bradburne was a twentieth-century mystic, a prodigious poet, and a martyr of charity. His life and death have been an example to many, particularly to Christians in Africa. He was born in the Lake District in England, and educated at Gresham School.
At the outbreak of World War II he joined the 9th Ghurka Regiment of the Indian Army. He served in Malaya and Burma, where he earned the respect and friendship of many. He was officer in charge of a mortar platoon when Tirtha Bahadur, the platoon sergeant, won the Military Medal for controlling the mortar fire during a particularly close bombardment. It was reported that John was equally courageous. The platoon was involved in the fearful disaster of Slim River on 8th January 1942, when he and another officer, Captain Hart, managed to escape in a small boat, reaching Sumatra after great hardship.
His time in the East and his war experiences inspired a love for the poor, and an intense wish to serve and understand God. Here it was that he learnt the love of meditation a profound form mental prayer, a practice he used continually for the rest of his life. A selection of poems, songs, and chants with music, nature sounds and African voice accompaniment John Bradburne breathed poetry. It came out of him like water from a tap and the tap was always on.
He would often complain that he was unable to write in prose, and always preferred verse even in his everyday letters to his family and friends. The climax of a remarkable poetic life, which began in his youth, was the decade from 1969, when he wrote some 6,000 poems sometimes a dozen or more in a day. The quantity of his work has no precedent and we have not yet discovered all of it, for much still remains hidden in letter-form in many an attic or drawer.
He is the most prolific poet the English language has ever seen. The poetry displays a single-minded enthusiasm and clarity of vision that is compelling in its intensity and endearing in its humanity. His best work contains lines of great beauty and profound spiritual insight.
|1||01:19||England – Adam lay ybounden||Traditional. English 15th-c singing JB, backing NH|
|2||01:54||England – Sidbury in the South||recitation JB|
|3||01:56||England –Green sleeves||recitation DC, recorder JB, backing NH|
|4||01:47||England – Memorare||St Bernard of Clairvaux|
|5||04:16||England – The Great G Minor Fugue||recitation JB, organ Albert Schweitzer|
|6||01:08||England – Of Wireless||recitation JB|
|7||01:06||England – Of Telephones||recitation JB|
|8||01:08||England – Of Television||recitation JB|
|9||01:01||Roaming – Of Roaming||recitation JB|
|10||01:28||Roaming – Station Master||recitation JB, extract from Tween Beira and Bombay are charmed the seas|
|11||01:36||Roaming – Indian Bazaar||recitation DC, sitar DB|
|12||01:08||Roaming – Of Venice||recitation JB|
|13||02:04||Roaming -Of Bethlehem||recitation JB, The London Jewish Male Choir|
|14||02:12||Roaming -Strange Vagabond To a Wandering Jew||recitation DC, backing MH|
|15||01:36||Roaming -Of Hurry||recitation JB|
|16||00:30||Roaming -A Defination of Time||recitation JB|
|17||01:02||Roaming -Of Education||recitation JB|
|18||01:15||Roaming –Of Inventions and Discoveries||recitation JB|
|19||01:12||Mary, Mother of God – Of Dreams||recitation JB|
|20||00:29||Mary, Mother of God – Grail Ageless||recitation JB|
|21||09:16||Mary, Mother of God – Vespers||Psalms, singing JB, backing MH|
|22||02:49||Mary, Mother of God – Ave Maria ‘The Spinning Sun’||Moya Hogarth|
|23||01:14||Zimbabwe – Of Greetings||recitation JB,Shona word for 'Lion'|
|24||01:01||Zimbabwe – Of the Bottle||recitation JB|
|25||03:51||Zimbabwe – Mutemwa||recitation JB, mbira TM nature sounds|
|26||00:58||Zimbabwe – I that I’ve always loved to be alone||recitation DC|
|27||01:16||Zimbabwe – Prime||recitation JB, nature sounds|
|28||03:29||Zimbabwe – By and By (Panoply)||JB recitation|
|29||01:20||Zimbabwe – Hail Saint Alexis||recitation DC|
|30||05:14||Zimbabwe – Twinspot Unspotted||recitation JB, nature sounds|
|31||00:54||Zimbabwe – Timu||recitation DC|
|32||02:04||Zimbabwe – Exemplar||recitation JB|
|33||01:41||Zimbabwe – In such a Night as this||recitation JB, guitar TM, vocal G K-B, nature sounds|
|34||01:50||Finale – Of Joy Incomprehensible||recitation JB,nature sounds|
|35||01:18||Finale – God be in my Head||Walford Davies singing JB, backing NH|
|36||01:02||Finale – To Saint Francis||recitation DC|
|37||02:20||Finale – Love||recitation JB, backing MH|
|38||01:05||Finale – Of Dissolution||recitation JB|
|39||01:03||Finale – Gloria – John’s Farewell||recitation JB, nature sounds|
|40||01:50||Finale – A Shona Tribute||Faith Chimanda,recitation TZ, mbira TM|