Niao consists of vocalist, sampler, and synth composer George Glikerdas and percussionist Gordon Spencer Blaetz based in NJ and MA. Glikerdas holds a B.A. in music composition and performance from Bard College, NY. Niao's 2009 debut album titled Clenched Fist garnered substantial media attention for its simple yet powerful technique using minimalist, poly-rhythmic sensibilities while simultaneously producing uniquely "possessive, meditative, spiritual" elements.
Prayer features material that is equally powerful, yet more condensed than Clenched Fist. With Prayer, Glikerdas and Spencer-Blaetz created a tighter, more upbeat, groovier and trance-inducing sound than on Clenched Fist, while also maintaining its more meditative moments. Influenced by spiritual music traditions around the world, the sounds produced within Prayer are a transnational fusion and experimentation creating a sound that is refreshing, re-imagining traditional notions of sense of place and identity formation. Throughout Prayer the songs are based around a repetitive sample, sound or rhythm, within which the melodies are written. The minimalist quality is inherent to the meditative element that each song produces.