Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Soaking music seems to be a growing genre, if it can be called such, and Integrity have released a set of four CDs recorded by Britain's Julian and Melissa Wiggins. The Wiggins' biography begins with 1 Samuel 16:23, the verse that describes how David played his lyre whenever the evil spirit was upon Saul, so Saul was refreshed and the spirit left him, and in a similar way this husband and wife team state their desire to worship and see atmospheres change, people set free, healed, delivered and restored. This music is spontaneous and continuous: "We went into studio with no music, no chords, no lyrics - nothing. We just went in and worshipped the Lord with all our hearts, our instruments and our voices. Once we started - we struggled to stop. The recordings really reflect 'Holy of Holies' times for us." The aim of this recording is to focus the listener on the eternal nature of God and our security in eternity, with very Psalm-like themes suggested by the track titles such as "In Your Arms", "I Remember Your Goodness" and "Restoration". The instrumentation is piano, vocal and woodwinds with the occasional synth pads, and the arrangement is refreshingly uncluttered right from the outset of the wistful clarinet and piano intro to "Before You Now". Much of the music is instrumental, with Melissa's beautiful voice chiming in from time to time to give form to the thoughts being expressed. There's an unhurried space in the music that encourages stillness and facilitates opening up of oneself to God in love, worship and expectancy, providing for a very personal encounter with him. The highlight for me is the vocal-led "In Your Presence I've Found" and the reflective follow-on "Deep To Deep" which seem to make your soul ache with longing. Musically I was reminded at times of some of the work of David Fitzgerald and also Tom Howard. Having once been rather sceptical of the whole soaking concept, I would thoroughly encourage any Christian with a contemplative spirit to investigate the Wiggins ministry.
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