Birdthrower Finds Peace Among Nature in 'Pray' Video: Watch - Rolling Stone
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Birdthrower Finds Peace Among Nature in ‘Pray’ Video

“We are in a precarious place,” artist says, “all we have is this fleeting and miraculous point of view”

Birdthrower — a.k.a. Robert O. Leaver — has shared a tranquil video for “Pray.” The track is off his self-titled LP, released last year via Ben Harper’s new label, Mad Bunny.

Directed by Larry Fessenden, the video features sequences of the night sky as stars illuminate trees and move in a hypnotic motion. “I’ve been thinking about the faith you have in me,” Leaver sings. “And all the faith we have in what we cannot see.”

“This all came together at the height of the pandemic in New York, and the spirit of this song felt like something I really wanted to share,” Leaver said of the video in a statement. “The images in the video come from my neighbor in the Catskills, Garth Battista, who has recently been taking still shots and time-lapse films of the sky, stars and trees. Mostly at night. Beautiful images that immediately speak for themselves. His images reveal something both intimate and vast. Something we are all living with. We are in a precarious place. All we have is this fleeting and miraculous point of view.”

“The song ‘Pray’ is about finding my way to peace,” he added. “I am not part of a church or an organized religion. I think over time I’ve created my own forms of prayer and my own idea of church and it all goes back to nature. I was thinking about this and trying to write a song and I asked myself, ‘How do you pray?’ I wrote down my answer and looked for some chords. I think we all pray, whether we realize it or not. Being quiet in nature, mostly alone — that’s how I pray. I pray for faith. I pray for mercy and courage. Sometimes in a state of prayer, I feel free of any sense of self and, for a few moments, I am just a nameless witness sitting up in a tree. But a tree isn’t required.”

Leaver is the first artist to be signed to Harper’s label, which he launched last April. Birdthrower was released last year; “Pray” follows the videos for “Dreaming” and “Let Me Drive.”

In This Article: Ben Harper, Birdthrower


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