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
18 thoughts on “From the Dust I Came”
Yes. I am so excited for this and just picked up my copy today on I-tunes! Thanks for putting this out. I not only think you can do both art and music, I think you have done both, very well.
Thank you so much, Robbie. You have certainly been very supportive of both.
Yah! Just downloaded a copy from iTunes, can’t wait to hear it in it’s entirety. So happy to see this, and so glad to hear you’ve kept in the kids, the animals, the wind and rain and all. This may sound strange, but listening to your music, with all of it’s “flaws” (not flaws, at all, IMO) gives me the sense that I’m listening to REAL music. The ‘juice’ hasn’t been overproduced out of the mix. 🙂 Really appreciate and love that. (big thanks also to Elizabeth Duffy for helping to bring this to fruition)
Thank you, Bev. It makes me very glad to know that you downloaded the record. It is certainly my hope that it is “real”, and I am grateful indeed for your witness to that effect. I will pass on your thanks to Elizabeth. She does deserve it.
I just downloaded the album and am so excited to give it a listen, my friend!
Thanks, Mikey. It’s been a long way since the old panasonic.
Ye old tyme panasonic!
And 20 years later, I finally buy a Jack Baumgartner album. Pray all is well with you Jack, and thanks for your influence on my relationship with Jesus and your leadership in worship of so many of us.
20 years later, indeed, and all is well with me, Scott. I am truly grateful for your words. Thank you.
Great, Jack. Well done. I think it’s great you did this. You are unique, and so is your family who loves you.
I drive one hour to work, one hour home, and listen to music I can try to harmonize to. I wil let you know what I come up with, lol!
Well done my friend. Love from New Jersey!
Hi Brenda! Thank you for your encouragement and love from New Jersey. I enjoy the thought of you singing along. As I recall from the times we have sung together, your harmonies will be good 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to write and supporting me.
As with the interview Jack I will be attending to this download in the near future also. Congratulations on what sounds like indeed a labour of love and of course all the skill and humanity you pour into this.
I’ve been away too long, buried in my own work and the new challenges the year has brought at its start. (Those must be for the telling in a private e-mail.) But this is just to say that I shall read Elizabeth’s interviews with you, and purchase the songs so that I can enjoy listening to you while working at the computer. When the world gets a little crazy, I often turn my thoughts to your quiet industry and craft, and the way you fit together the endeavours of husbandry and family life and creativity. It seems to me that for you they are all as one, and I am always inspired and comforted by your example.
Clive, it is good to hear from you. I have been buried in work too as of late, so I understand at least that much of your equation. Thank you for taking the time (a scarce and precious recourse) to read the interviews and listen to the music. I am delighted to know that some measure of comfort reaches you across the long horizon.
Awesome. You are amazing. I purchased the album on iTunes. Download if the songs currently in process. 🙂
Thank you, so much, Wakametamago, for your kindness and support. I hope that you enjoy the music.
Yes yes. I like very much “the silver trumpet”. and “the ghost dance”.
I love “Undone” too.