To paraphrase Jakob Böhme, I am but a single string in the concert of God’s joy. I answer to the name Steve Pearce but I am NOT the well-known London session bassist and composer of that name. Consequently, I have adopted the rather formal style of Stephen J. Pearce to avoid copyright issues.
Although my musical family provided many options, the only instrument that could command my attention as a child was the guitar. I acquired my first one in 1962 and set about learning to play it in every conceivable style from Bach to Bossa Nova. Somewhere along that trajectory the transition from guitarist to musician took place and I acquired interests beyond the field of the plucked string. However, I am still primarily a guitarist and usually teach groups to chant with a guitar on my lap.
My interest in matters spiritual started in the seventies when I stumbled upon the Christian Contemplative Tradition. Later I sampled the paths of different Traditions thereby absorbing other influences, most notably from Sufism. The move from onlooker to participant took place after I met Fr. Carl Arico when he came to England in 1991. That was when I began a regular Centering Prayer practice and to immerse myself in the teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating.
The chants on this website result from the confluence of these two streams in my life. I hope you have as much fun singing them as I do writing them and I wish you every possible spiritual benefit.
Of course, nobody creates in isolation and nothing would have been brought to fruition without the communities around me. I have to thank all those musicians who, over the years, have generously shared their knowledge and skills with me; my wife, Jill, for her continuous support; the members of Contemplative Outreach worldwide who have nourished my prayer practice; that global army of enthusiasts who write software for fun then give the results away and without whom this website could not exist; and last, but by no means least, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, musician and mystic, who has encouraged me to present this work at her wisdom schools on Holy Isle.