Benjamin Bligen with Moving Hall Star Singers - Reborn Again [1967]

Human beings make for amazing instruments. Here, Benjamin Bligen (3rd from left in the picture) leads his fellow Moving Hall Star Singers through a burning gospel chant. The small group from Johns Island, South Carolina (just south of Charleston) use their voices to raise a mountain out of pained devotion, with their handclaps providing an organic percussion that gains beauty from its natural imperfections.

It's the easiest thing in the world for people to get stuck in themselves, and perhaps that's what makes full-bodied worship so entrancing; we know how much we have to let go of to reach that freedom and magic of transcendence.

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