An Interview With Elizabeth Duffy

detail of Go On, John the Baptist, oil on panel, 2008

detail of Go On, John the Baptist, oil on panel, 2008

Elizabeth Duffy has been posting parts of an interview she began with me last spring and summer.  To date, this interview consistutes the clearest and really, only articulation of the beliefs and values behind my work.  I hope that you will take the time to read it.  The interview will ultimately be posted in it entirety on this site, but for now, here is part 1, part llpart lll, and the final bit part lV.  Please take the time to read some of Elizabeth’s writing as well.  She is authentic, humorous, and insightful.  Her wit and self-effacing style reveal a woman on a significant journey with valuable things to say.

From the Dust I Came

CRY THE BLOOD

I began as dust, heavy with the sweat of God’s fingers as He formed my flesh;  a heap of particles still ringing from the sound of His voice.  His breathe came as a holy wind, compelling me to breath, myself.

“i am erth.”

In my senior year of high school, the man who had been my art teacher since fourth grade, gave me some advice.  I was struggling with the conflicting dreams of pursuing the hope of becoming a musician or studying to become a visual artist.  His counsel was simple and wise:  “you can’t do both.”  At that point of decision, it seemed that since I was largely a self taught musician, I could conceivably continue to be so.  Instinctively I knew that there was so much that I needed to be taught and learn and so much time I needed to devote to the disciplines of drawing and painting.  So, I chose art without regret.  The music, however, has never left.  I have outgrown (mostly) the delusions about being a famous musician.  It has become an intensely personal discipline.  It is a language through which I speak to my God and through which He speaks to me.  It is a language I bless my children with.  It is a language I use to share my heart with those that are close to me.   Times have changed and technology that did not exist or was just emerging when I was young has made it possible for me to share what I have largely kept to myself, my family and my close friends.  It was not an easy decision to share publicly what has been so private.  But this, I have done.

The name of the album is Cry The Blood.  The blood is Jesus’ and the cry is mine, though there are many quiet voices beside me.  I chose to recorded under the pseudonym, i am erth.  (The “a” is missing on purpose, a decision which spell check is relentless in punishing me for.)  The land is a passion of mine and a place of meeting and learning as I live as a son under God’s sky.  I am close to the erth, and it is never far from me.

For the curious:  I wrote the songs, sang all the parts and plucked every string, blew every note, squeezed every box, recorded, mixed and stabbed out every digital pulse.  It is far from perfect.  I blame myself for the flaws, you can decide if there is beauty in them. You can hear my kids, and my animals, the wind and the rain, creaks and clicks and bonks, and probably a freight train.  I’ll thank my friends who encourage me and hold me up in the testing. There is one among those who deserves more credit than any, but I know he prefers anonymity. If you want to thank him, eat a steak or go fly fishing in Montana.

Through the ideas and labor of many, this album will (if not already) ultimately be available for downloaded from major online music retailers. Below is a link to iTunes, where it is already available.

You may be interested in what Elizabeth Duffy has on her blog. Elizabeth is my friend, but she began as a stranger asking me questions.  She has been instrumental in pushing me to make the music available and has written a very encouraging review of as well.  In addition, Elizabeth has included a portion of her interview with me as a means of introduction.  It has been a rare opportunity for me to express what I believe and why I do what I do.  I couldn’t have voiced it without her asking and without the creative, sensitive and trustworthy nature of who she is.  Thank you, Elizabeth.

In a final bit of disclosure, I began an instagram feed early last fall.  While I still remain ambivalent towards much of the usage, I have come to value it as unique for sharing imagery and stories on a different platform and immediacy, it is kind of a microcosm of the posts I make here.  My user name is @baumwerkj if you are interested.

I continually thank you for your support here over the years. It has been 8 years since I began this blog. Your quiet interest has given me encouragement to continue working. All glory and honor will be and ever remain His.

Jack Baumgartner,  Rose Hill, Kansas Jan-19-2015

Sangcræft

guitar1

Sangcræft is old english for the art of “singing” music, including on a musical instrument.  I am using it here to announce a permanent page for music at this website.  You can find it labeled “music” under the work heading on the menu at the top of the page, or use this link.

My Name Is Ash guitar and voice.  guitar2

Provision

provision01

I have been printing an edition of Flying Fish, a copper-plate engraving about the miracle of provision experienced by Thor Heyerdahl and his crew in the Pacific Ocean on their balsa log raft, the Kon Tiki.  This print is for sale at the Baumwerk Etsy store.

provision04 provision06 provision03 provision07 provision09

…a Walking Man drawing for my friend Steven.

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Place

“Rootrill” I hope that you will forgive me for posting an eleven minute song in the twenty first century.  Mostly, I hope that you enjoy it.

Place13

arc contain glow

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seen through scene

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bois d arc meteorite

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slanting even evening light

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ancient bone star dust

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deere ghost sheep goat add straw and mix well

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cross turn

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years unfurl in the eternal present

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young hands dextrous

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core sample of stored solar energy

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made vacant for gold

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quince roots herbs leg

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reamed tapered tapped turned twisted sunk fitted formed around

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concentrate earth line essence

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absorb the sun and use it for life

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pull transfer motion

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dividing even unto cambium and xylem

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layers and layers

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learn purpose practicing discipline

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stop motion

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frozen movement osage root as it once reached

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three forms of light

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hand in hand you who once swayed

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ancient releasing story

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the turning of light upon the solar bank countless voices scratch and turn

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golden hands once full wait for wisdom

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new moon forest window

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tall down cut stack turn stack down

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erth-maker here we bend here we grow

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establish converge into order dust scratcher

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welcome the new bird and fare thee well

November’s Lambs

November Lambs30 November Lambs20 November Lambs28 November Lambs17 November Lambs27 November Lambs23 November Lambs24 November Lambs19 November Lambs14 November Lambs29 November Lambs18

Root Soup Supper Server

carved ladle in black walnut
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