Beginning with a simple Zoom call at the onset of the 2020 pandemic, we began processing the emotional burden we felt in our world: the spread of Covid, political, racial, and social unrest, and the novel effects of lockdown. As we fumbled through our feelings and tried to remind ourselves of the true and beautiful and good, we began singing out our hope—honest and aspirational expressions of our profound aches. As one song turned into many, the Wood Drake Sessions was born.

We are Paul Ranheim and Kirk Sauers, friends from earlier days in Nashville, TN. Paul is a minister and songwriter in Colorado, with a particular heart for resourcing the church’s worship and cultivating her leaders. Kirk is a worship leader in Georgia, with a passion to shepherd the diverse and beautiful body of Christ through music.

We love the local church. Our aim, like so many before us, is simply to write music for the church to sing. When our songs meet the studio, we love including a plurality of voices beyond our own to feature both the tune and also the great variety of God’s people.

From the start, we have sought to compose songs filled with deep and ancient truths in a manner that invites our emotions to eagerly respond. When we read this poem by Wendell Berry, we feel just how we want these songs to exist. We hope our music welcomes you—amid the chaotic fears of the world—into the joyous peace of the Lord.

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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