Jonathan Lipps: Suite Apocalyptique

Jonathan Lipps March 2, 2007 Spotify Apple Music Amazon Bandcamp YouTube

I wrote this album while on sabbatical at Schloss Mittersill, a castle in the Austrian alps not far from Kitzbuhel. The castle used to be an intentional Christian community (in some ways not unlike a monastery) devoted to retreat and study. It's now a hotel! Anyway, this oddly titled album was inspired by NT Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God series, an important work on the origins of the Christian religion within its historical and cultural contexts. The album is thus accompanied by a tiny essay.

The process of writing and recording these theologically-oriented songs was magical, and unlike anything I've experienced before or since. Playing on an old piano in a grand castle hall, or singing vocal lines in a stone chapel in the castle wall, my breath frosting in the midwinter night---unparalleled! Sadly I just had a set of SM-57s and a cheap USB-powered digital audio unit, so I couldn't do full justice to the physical and spiritual context. But the songs themselves, despite being super stripped-down arrangements of piano and vocals, remain powerful artifacts of that sabbatical for me. Mixed/mastered by David Lipps. Cover design by Chris Nyffeler.