Music Review: God Is The Friend Of Silence by Paul Zach

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Updated July 01, 2018
Paul Zach - God Is The Friend of Silence (Feat. Liz Vice) [Live Music Video]

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“I decided to do the EP after recording with The Porters Gate this past summer and wanted to challenge myself to record an album live with no edits or recording tricks,” says Zach. “It was so much fun in the studio recording these songs live along with an amazing string quartet.”

The resulting plaintive, prayerful songs of worship begin with the EP’s title track and first video from the EP that was inspired by the Mother Teresa quote: “We need to find God and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

“Prayer has always been difficult for me,” confesses Zach. “I usually feel the absence of God more than His presence. Writing this song was a reminder for me to continue in the discipline even though I find it to be difficult.”

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God is the Friend of Silence by Paul Zach
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A few months ago we reviewed "Work Songs" an album from The Porters Gate Worship Project, this project featured a number of different song writers and worship leaders coming together in collaboration to write and record songs. One of those involved was Paul Zach, after the writing and recording he was inspired to write and record a stripped back set of songs. This debut EP is the result of that inspiration, working with the producer and visionary of the "Work Songs" album, Isaac Wardell. He went into a studio with Liz Vice and a four piece string ensemble and the result is a stripped back and beautiful set of 5 tracks.

"God Is The Friend Of Silence" is a direct quote from Mother Teresa who looked at the natural world which grows in silence and declared that this is the way we will find God. It's about prayer and quiet meditation and those moments that we spend looking for the heart of God by keeping ourselves quiet and still, to be still and know that He is God. This first simple track brings it's instrumentation in very slowly with a plucked guitar, before other instruments add their occasional flourish, building into a beautifully orchestrated piece of music, never overwhelming or being too busy.

The second track on the album is about the idea of a life of comfort being very attractive, but here the singers ask God to "Restore Us Again", this isn't about comfort and ease, this is about chasing God. When we pursue the things of God more than our own comfort is when we can feel truly alive, because we are living our lives to their potential. The song reminds us that we can be comfortable but we aren't living;
" We lost all the meaning 
Drowned out the feeling 
Our hearts barely beating"
If the first track was inspired by Mother Teresa then the third song on this album "I Will Never Leave You Alone" has influence from Martin Luther-King. This track is about justice, particularly racial justice. Of course this applies to the civil rights movements of the past as well as the injustices around race and colour that still persist today, but also for those who suffer due to other oppression, fleeing from one country due to persecution to be met at the border with no hope and no entry. This is a song of comfort, and perhaps an inspiration that if this is how God feels about these people, then how should we, those who follow God's heart, feel about it and act or react?

The last two tracks are based on Psalms, as it says in their titles. "For God Alone (Psalm 62)" very much fits with the first track from the album, with us waiting on God, no matter how much people try and drag us down, we have our hope in Him. "East / West (Psalm 103)" is about knowing the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in our lives, His promise to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. This is more of a soft and gentle praise track.

In a world of over-produced music it's great to hear two voices just simply blending with one another, accompanied by some delicate instrumentation. This is delicate music that carries the heart-burden of connecting with God in a simple, gentle and meditative spirit, to quietly worship God as we seek after his heart. This is similar to what Noel and Tricia have done with their most recent EP, although they are pulling their tracks from an extensive back-catalogue with a fair-sized familiar audience. This EP feels gutsier, following the inspiration from the Porter's Gate, but also what God has called him to do.

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