Friday, September 3, 2010


<a href="">Adam by mattlumpkin</a>
Here is a collection of 5 songs I wrote and recording in about a week as part of an assignment for a class on the first five books of the Bible (aka the Pentateuch).

I wanted to explore the humanity and emotional perspectives of the characters that first come into contact with the God of the Bible and are the first to meet him, in a manner of speaking.  Each song is written in the first person as though they are telling you part of their story.  The recordings are brittle and sketchy, but hopefully the stories on which they hang can bear the weight of repeated listening.

You can stream them in your browser right here (even on your iPhone) or you can click either of the links to download and share them (all of this thanks to the fantastic

Thanks to John Goldingay for encouraging me to think beyond Adam; to Melody Lumpkin for encouraging me to write a song; to Luke Wakefield, Jon Damiani and Matt Cleveland for your sympathetic ears and early, positive feedback.

Update (9/15/10):
I heard back from John Goldingay today.  He is the Pentateuch Professor for whom I prepared these for class credit, and quite frankly, one of the best teacher's I've had.  You can read what he had to say below. Needless to say, I'm pleased.
"These were great - A.  I was afraid they were just going to be using the stories as jumping off points for modern thoughts, but I liked the way you kept reflecting things that were there in the text and making links I hadn't thought of before - like Noah and the stench and the wine.  Well done.  And accessing it was very easy, so thanks."
So, in Levar Burton voice, "you don't have to take my word for it!" Check out the songs and tell me what you think, even if you don't give me an A.  


  1. "Noah and the stench and the wine!?!" Is it presumptuous of me to be a little proud. ;)

    (Considering Goldingay gave me a C- on my final project for his Writings class, I could use the second-hand encouragement.)

  2. Elijah, you deserve to take pride in this on so many levels! For one, your song-writing group, though my participation in it was shortlived, gave me further courage to write and sing. I had totally forgotten this piece you wrote but I can't deny that my take on Noah seems to have been shaped by this ongoing conversation about the darkness and strangeness of stories the church has a way of defusing and disney-fying.

    This is a prime example of the cultural process at its very best where you have a community of people thinking, writing and talking about things together and the cross-pollenation is productive. I refer you to your recent citation of Jim Jarmusch.

    And it's precisely stories of sharp, talented people like you missing the mark of Goldingay's expectations that had me on the edge of my seat waiting to hear back on these.


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