Watch This Space: Review of Gungor’s New Book

It is with delight that I announce that I’ve been picked to be a recipient of one of 50 pre-release manuscripts of Michael Gungor’s forthcoming book “The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse”.

This means I get an advanced look at the material and will be publishing a pre-release review of the book. I will be scouring this piece of literature and enjoying, analyzing, and reflecting on what Michael has to say about the arts and all else contained in life (if indeed, there is). I’ll have a review completed for release by October 9 (the official book release date).

For those who are not familiar, Michael Gungor is the lead instrumentalist and vocalist of the musical collective Gungor, an innovative and motley crew of jazz-trained musicians and  friends. Gungor was nominated for a Grammy for their last album, Ghosts Upon The Earth, described as follows:

Produced by the group’s namesake, Michael Gungor, Ghosts Upon the Earth was primarily written by Michael and his wife Lisa who is also a featured vocalist in this musical collective. Recorded in numerous locations, including the Gungor’s home, the album also includes seventeen players, four additional vocalists, a six-person string ensemble and a boy’s choir. Inspiration for the album was orchestrated from Gungor’s weeklong meditation in Assisi where he was inspired by the Saint’s view of the world, as well as from the birth of their daughter last year. (Source: M News)

The book comes out of Michael’s wrestling match with the “Christian music” establishment as a person whose musical was first “too trite” and then “too different” to succeed in that genre category. Michael has a lot to say about faith and the arts and last year gave a Q&A prior to each tour concert.

I will not be releasing any details about the manuscript until I release the review. For more information, visit Gungor’s site.

For my prior posts on Gungor, click these:

Gungor – Ghosts Upon The Earth Tour – Langley

Ghosts Upon The Earth (Album)

Gungor – Beautiful Things Tour – Langley

Beautiful Things (Album) (Published in Options Magazine)

Ghosts Upon The Earth – Gungor

It is a show of confidence in their identity and the power of journey for Gungor to open doors to styles left untouched by the Christian establishment for decades. With the release of Ghosts Upon The Earth, which received more pre-orders than their distributor could expedite on schedule, Gungor delivers another phenomenal album replete with kingdom creativity.

Despite early albums the band was not completely satisfied with, their acclaim and the clarification of their identity since Beautiful Things seems to have removed any fear of rejection for experimenting. Michael Gungor (lead singer, guitarist) sees Beautiful Things as an album that everyone loved for its honesty but wanted to steer clear of producing a “Beautiful Things, Volume 2” style record. Instead, his desire is the album will find its audience, rather than simply cater to an existing market.

The opening track metaphorically paints a fitting soundscape to celebrate the original creative action that brought forth the universe, ambling along minimally before bursting forth with explosions of syncopated sound. The second track, “Brother Moon” seems flavoured by Jonsi’s (of Sigur Ros) 2010 album Go; perhaps a nod to a fellow experimenter and serendipitous musical visionary. Another highlight is, “You Are The Beauty”, which segues through styles from bluegrass to jazz, keeping listeners on the edge of their seat the whole time.

With this album, Gungor continue on a mission to embrace their heritage of diverse and eclectic influences and redeem it just like they articulated in Beautiful Things. Their increased use of natural metaphor, weaves parables like “when death dies, all things live” that explicate their “liturgical post-rock”.