Music Is My Prayer

Photocredit Gian Andrea di Stefano. Left to Right: Mitsuru Kubo, Ben Lorentzen and Joe Young.

I first met Ben Lorentzen of Sonic Cult almost twenty years ago when we were both
working at Manhattan Center. I was a member of the Unification Church at the time
and Ben still is. When Ben and his brother, Stian came over from Norway playing soul-
transporting contemporary folk, I was sure they would soon be famous.

Last Thursday, I went to see Ben play with his new band, Sonic Cult at The Bitter End to
an audience of around forty people. Ben’s musical influences: Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Chris
Cornell and Bon Iver are evident in Sonic Cult’s rock/pop style.

The members of Sonic Cult found each other at Lovin’ Life Ministries, which is led
by Reverend Moon’s daughter, In Jin Moon. Lovin’ Life is “a music ministry that
invites "outsiders" and "insiders" to come play every Sunday”

“I want the band to be proof,” said Ben, “that an atheist, a Christian, a Muslim and a
couple of Unificationists can in fact work together.”

“In Jin Moon inspires me,” said Ben. “The other day I wrote a song called Be My
Messiah about how we are each other’s saviors, how we are our own saviors. I like her
self empowerment approach as opposed to 'I am your Messiah, all power is invested in

Ben finds inspiration for songs in the mundane as well as the fantastic.

“I passed this church the other day,” he said, “and it said on a poster: I know how to
protest war, but how to make peace? That became a song. Or the other night I was
overhearing this conversation and one woman said to the man sitting next to her: We
went to the movies last night, but the movie ended up watching us, cause we fell asleep.
Or I was watching a movie and one of the one-liners was: Life’s great moments are
fleeting and few, but you won't get to the next one unless you keep moving.”

Ben started writing music at age 11.

“That discovery, that I could in fact CREATE something blew me to pieces,” he
said. “This experience was life changing for me. I felt connected to something
otherworldly, something bigger than me.”

“In Jin Moon says music is like a prayer,” said Ben. “It's filled with love, despair,
thoughts, feelings, longings, reaffirmings. I really like that.”