Music Q+A: Rev. Peter Unger

Why did you want to get into music?

My parents were music lovers, and had a large record collection. They listened mainly to classical music, and choral music. As a young woman my mother had had several years of vocal training. She had an excellent Soprano singing voice. One Christmas when I was 12 or 13 my parents gave me a guitar. Listening to, and learning to play folk songs, and writing simple songs soon followed. Around this time our family had made a move from a metropolitan area to a very rural one. This was a particularly difficult transition for me, and music became a way of coping and giving coherency to the intense emotions I was feeling.

What was your first musical experience?

This is a bit embarrassing to share but at the age of 5 or 6 I would stand in front of my parent’s stereo and while classical music was playing I would, using a pen or pencil, pretend to be a conductor. My first memorable concert experience was attending Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review Concert in the 70’s in Burlington, VT.. My second most memorable concert experience was a Bruce Springsteen concert at Cornell, Univ. around 1980.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

Anyone whose is music is not overproduced, to commercially driven, and lacking in meaningful lyrics. The two I cite most often are Robin Marks, an Irish Christian artist, and Dougie Maclean, a Scottish musician. Still while I resonate deeply with the mystical tones, lilting melodies, and often poetic lyrics of many Celtic ballads, I listen to and enjoy a wide variety of music that is sensitive to the above concerns.

What was your first concert?

I believe the Bob Dylan concert was the first.

How does music make you feel powerful?

As a pastor my music affords me a way to reach people on a spiritual level that is free of much of the baggage and negative associations of organized religion. It makes me feel empowered that I can share something I care so much about and am invested deeply in.

What is your next release going to be?

While have had a few CD’s produced in the past. These days I share my music, and new songs,
mainly through the internet; promotional platforms, and Youtube. Most of my songs are written for worship and other Christian gatherings, and so are initially performed in these venues.

What is most important to you as an artist?

To offer up a positive, non-sectarian, spiritual message. Bad sensationalized news seems to predominate in the media these days. This combined with the cynicism, and relativism of our postmodern era has left many in a spiritual crisis characterized by a lack of any truth, purpose, or meaning in their lives. In a small way I try to combat this trend with my music. It is my hope that my songs will offer a positive, spiritually centering message, from an inclusive broad based Christian perspective.

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