After I met @vishnu, I went through the catalog and found it compelling, but it didn't fit the reference frame I was in with the Divine. That changed with I Am Mountain and Vapor in a big way--that's the first record that made me feel like there was music for people like me.
That continued (and intensified) with One Wild Life--which is basically a psychedelic trip transformed into music.
Sometimes, it's strange for me being friends with this wonderful man. He's so freaking talented that it intimidates me if I think about it too much.
Even though we're friends, I think he'd think it's weird how often I listen to the music he and Lisa have made together.
But, if I am honest, no music has been as influential or impactful in my life in the last few years than Gungor, and I will be sad to see the project come to its natural conclusion.
What's your #GungorStory?
@mike short version: I became a pre-release subscriber to the OWL trilogy mostly a whim. I don’t know what to call that but Divine. I had just been kicked out of a Christian cult, and my mom became terminally ill with months to live. Those albums, coming out one by one over the year saved most of what was left of me. They became a place to rest (as did the Liturgits which i’d been listening to for a bit) and a place to grieve and a place to have joy.
@madisonlmc Wow, that's incredible.
@mike I came to the Lost and Found evening y’all did in LA many moons ago, right before my mom died and I moved out of California back to my home state. My whole body shook for hours after I left. I had believed for so, so long to the core of my being that there was no place left for me, and then, there it was: a small place for me. You all (and this group of humans) have really become my family, which I hope isn’t weird and I’m sure many people relate to.
I purchased Beautiful Things for my sister the one Christmas and then I had started listening to them after that. It spoke to me at the time, but as I moved forward in my beliefs I Am Mountain was much more fascinating.
I'm going to give all the albums a listen now, see how they speak to me now.
@mike @vishnu I go all the way back to the Battle Cry Cd I had growing up. I can remember listening to Ancient Skies and specifically white man and it’s funny how even as fundamental as my thinking was then it began to echo and reverberate in a strange way. I think what #Gungor has done is bigger then we realize. There was a safety in listening to him as he was “one of us” Much of what I have learned I wouldn’t have received if it had not come from someone within my world.
@Archerra @mike @vishnu I know that for me #Gungor was a breath of fresh air amid the stifling phoniness of so much popular Christian music, including popular worship songs. Gungor also paved the way for me to other great artists who broke the mold and were considered renegades to the Evangelical movement.
It moved me deeply at the time, but I never got any further into their catalog or anything.
After deconstruction I had heard about the Liturgists before, and stumbled across Ask Science Mike, so I gave the Liturgists a listen, and was like OH, THIS GUY?
They carried me right through till the total loss of faith.
@mike While Gungor's music hasn't ever really been my personal aesthetic preference, I deeply appreciated the realness and depth of Gungor's songs, and as art I love it.
Now I'm in a space where the message no longer resonates with me anymore, so it's fallen out of my listening habits, but I'll always be thankful for Gungor's music.
@mike I was going through a really stressful time and feeling like I had to break some really important relationships. I stumbled across “Dry Bones” and it did something to me. I probably listened to it 500 times and it gave me hope to hold on. And that turned out to be the right choice.
I know it’s from their older stuff but it was really meaningful for me.
Also the first time I hear “You,” I cried.
That’s my #GungorStory.
@mike my #gungorstory began very late. I knew of them but had never encountered their work until the “One Wild Life” trilogy, which blew my mind and spoke to my soul and to my story, and stirred my creative juices. It just spoke to a deep truth. I was opened up to the divine in a wider, deeper way, I found words and a soundtrack for my story. I’m hugely grateful for Gungor, and they have been a huge part of my story. I will miss Gungor greatly.
@mike Gungor’s music from I Am Mountain and onward gave me words and imagery for my transformation of faith. They were my muse for my senior art exhibition and have shaped the way I want to tell my own story.
I also had the privilege of participating in a couple of the live listening parties we held on slack for the OWL album releases. Those nights were magical.
@mike my #GungorStory is similar. Loved the BT album because @vishnu can fucking shred (like on "Heaven"), but also because it had depth. Didn't follow too closely for a couple years, but then fell in love with OWL. When music is a big part of your life, but the Christian music you used to listen to becomes painful to hear, OWL was a life ring thrown into the ocean of deconstruction. I again had music I could dissolve into for a while, that put language to what I was feeling and going through.
@thephilbritton Yes! This! ❤️
@mike I was going through one of the toughest spiritual battles of my life when #OneWildLife came out. I listened to it just because I'm a fan, and even though I love their work I was not prepared for the emotional toll the album would have on me. I was in my car when I first heard "Hurricane," and I was weeping so hard I had to pull off and just let the emotion wash over me. It was one of those deep, cleansing cries that everyone needs from time to time. #GungorStory
@mike My #GungorStory is that I worked at Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen's) where Israel Houghton was on staff for many years. Gungor came to do a concert for the young adults and I attended with my mom. @vishnu played an upbeat song with synchronized cartoon video, which I did not understand at the time. Apparently, it was mocking conservative Christianity bc my mother made sure to turn around & give a snarky comment. Ha! After that, Beautiful Things was Lakewood's service intro song for 5 YEARS
@mike it’s only fitting to bring up this song, right? At a time in my life in which my faith as I knew it was coming to an end, when I was no longer sure how to connect to God & didn’t know if I even wanted to — this song was my connection to the Source, the Divine (way before I would have called It that). And it still is. Thank you, @vishnu and Lisa for everything you’ve given us. You kept me company during my deconstruction & I’m glad you’re still here while I reconstruct. #GungorStory
Beautiful Things started me on a road towards Oneness vs Man in the Sky theology. I started viewing "god" as more than a personified diety.
Vapor embraced me after I lost my daughter.
Mountain helped me regain my sense of the world after grief.
Gungor is not gone, it will be music I come back to over and over, as it always has medicine for my soul.
@mike My #gungorstory is kinda long. When I was 16 my youth group’s worship leader did a PowerPoint on worship though Christian history, and the last slide had the lyrics for Beautiful Things on it. It grabbed my attention because I could immediately see that it didn’t fit the structure I had been shown worship music was supposed to sound like. I got my hands on the record, and You Have Me changed my life. I became obsessed with Gungor’s catalogue listening to old studio sessions and how to vids
My Church had an Awana and for the next year or so I was very involved in both. (I spent 6/7 days a week at that church) I found the liturgists after I went to Awana camp and won the talent show by playing Beautiful Things and You Have Me, with the only other Gungor fan I’d met up until this point. He showed me the podcast and My faith started to change. At first I tried becoming a Rob Bell like mystic but hidden behind a Pentecostal fervor and lots of music. But it didn’t work.
I Am Mountain was a huge force in my life then. Knowing that the lost feeling I felt was ok, and also that I Am was still with me in my doubt.
Skip forward a little to the end of 2016, the worst part of my life so far. During a time when the Church removed me from leadership and my internship because of decisions my Family made. I felt more alone than ever. Gungor released the first part of the one wild life Trilogy with promise said of two more full albums before a year was up.
Gungor had no shows scheduled up in Portland, where I live and hadn’t for a long time. So I decided on a whim to buy a ticket to go see them in San Francisco. Every fan I talked to was wonderful, because of the distance I traveled everyone made sure I was at the very front. They started tweeting and used periscope to get you and all of Gungor to come out and sign my Uke. To me that was a huge moment meeting you guys, you stood outside by the line for a few minutes just to talk.
Then the concert was fantastic, I loved the little speeches in between songs. I felt so at home. The spiritually homeless finally sitting at the table. I know this might be the end of Gungor, but the #gungorstory for everyone isn’t over, it’s the same story and the music changed me in ways I can’t fully express. That just doesn’t go away. I trust @vishnu and know his music will continue to help my spiritual growth. There’s a fan base on the same journey alongside you.
@mike #GungorStory I'm a longtime #Liturgists listener but had only heard one Gungor song up until Q Conference in Chicago a few weeks ago. I listened to them in awe on the Saturday night as they did their set. Wow! Kicking myself for not checking them out sooner but better late than never. Listening to their story weaved through their music piqued my interest to pick up Lisa's book. Can't wait to get into it.
Around ten years ago, The Michael Gungor Band lead worship at Mars Hill in Grandville, MI. My wife loved the music, approached the lead singer after service and said they should make a CD. We were kindly directed to the service desk where we picked up a copy of "All I Need is Here." Someone is credited as playing the Triscuit box on that album, and I still wonder about that sometimes.
@mike When I felt like I didn't belong anywhere anymore, I would listen to OWL:Soul, especially "Us for Them" and "You," and dance around my living room. Gungor's music was one of the threads that helped me in finding my way through the labyrinth. So thank you, Michael and Lisa <3
@mike ...there are too many #GungorStory (stories) in my life for me to quickly call them all to mind, and I am starting to tear up just thinking about them, and I want to share them but... maybe when I'm ready...Gungor music is so artistically & emotionally real that sometimes I can't even handle it, yet it continues to inspire and motivate my creative work. Thanks for sharing your story. Your vulnerability never ceases to amaze me. It helps others feel less alone—&what could be more important?
@mike @vishnu I have been listening to The Liturgists for years, but up until several months ago just could not wrap my mind around so much of Vishnu’s way of seeing the world. But I loved the community and just thought maybe I didn’t get it or it wasn’t me. I actually skipped over the episodes re the One Wild Life albums entirely. /1
@mike @vishnu All this to say, don’t pay too much attention to the stats and the metrics for popularity of your albums or podcast episodes. You couldn’t rock my heart and soul with something that was watered down for the masses; with something that was watered down even for ME just one year ago! Your shit is potent bc it’s real and when people are ready, they will not only lose their minds over your talent, they will FIND them again! Amen! #gungorstory /4
@mike @vishnu Honestly I did not find Gungor until deconstruction, when I came across The Liturgists. One Wild Life was and is one of the most influential pieces of art in that season of life for me. I will be seeing Gungor live in Atlanta in a couple weeks for the 1st and last time- but I know that Vishnu and Lisa’s creativity will manifest itself in a new project without the baggage of the old, which brings some comfort. #GungorStory
@mike I, like many, found Gungor through their Beautiful Things song.
The funny part about that, though, is that I was told about the song first.
"Gungor" sounds like a metal band, and the person who recommended it was from Ireland, so I was expecting an Irish Metal song called "Beautiful Things."
My expectations were not met. :D
@mike Us For Them is an anthem that feels like a middle finger to the power structures present in the evangelical church. For me, the image of Christ, wielding mercy like a sword speaks to that longing to see laid to waste all those structures, and all that in me which helps to make some in and others out.
It didn’t go over very well with some of the pastors when I led the song for worship, but whatevs. #GungorStory
@mike I could cry their music has meant so much to me. My #gungorstory started with Beautiful Things as well and God is Love. At our wedding we played Beautiful Things as we washed each other’s feet instead of the traditional candle lighting. When Ghosts Upon the Earth came out I knew I would be forever in awe at the music and the intentionality with every cord and line written. They gave me words and a space for all I was going through and feeling.
@mike #gungorstory (continued) I hope that @Lisagungor and @vishnu know how much their work truly helped people. I was in such a dark place with panic attacks and feeling completely isolated and their music gave me life and words to communicate all that was inside of me. It helped me heal. I will be forever grateful.
@mike @vishnu #GungorStory A few years ago my wife and a couple friends heard Gungor was coming to Holland, Michigan for a free show at a church. We drove across the state from Flint, and arrived 20 minutes late. Once we walked in, we discovered that it was NOT a free show. Ticket sales had already closed, but they let us in anyway. After the set, we made sure to buy a ton of merch to make up for the free admission. 😅
This is an instance for folks who follow The Liturgists Podcast, The Alien Podcast, and other things The Liturgists create.