They were written by Estonian composer Toivo Tulev (b. 1958) who is happy to admit to a philosophical mindset open to influences both very ancient, such as the principals of Gregorian chants, and very modern, such as Led Zeppelin. It is a mindset not expecting to come across anything especially bright or cheerful, so the general mood that runs through his songs is an intense one.

The modernistic treatment he gives them means that Tulev ends up, not surprisingly, with something that sounds very different from the sacred music he is committed to. In his creative endeavours, it is almost as though Tulev is looking for some inner meaning to the words themselves, which ideally have some special bearing on the values that make up his nonconforming view of the world. Pretty tunes are no part of this. Instead, Tulev writes songs that are challenging to listen to. There is also something compelling about them.

They make you feel that, by making the effort to listen, even if you cannot understand the words, Tulev will have succeeded in making a connection with you and communicating some understanding in musical form of the principles that matter in his life.