Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview With Peter Unger, Artist, Singer & Songwriter

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1- Hello Peter, can you please tell us a bit about you?
I am a Pastor and PT college instructor in Allentown, PA. Writing and performing songs in worship has been a very important part of my ministry.

2- What are your focus areas and why?
In recent years the focus of my songwriting has broadened. I have become increasingly concerned about how the culture is afflicting the lives of many spiritual seekers in unhealthy ways.
As someone who has both Christian and Jewish ancestry, and who teaches Comparative Religion my concern is for more than just one narrow Christian tradition. A doctorate degree in Psychology
of Religion further informed this broader concern.

3- What made you want to start singing in the first place?
I taught myself to play the guitar and started writing songs around the age of twelve. My family had just moved from the suburbs of a midwestern city to a backwater provincial town in northeast Vermont. Having lost all my friends and then having trouble making new ones put me a in a tailspin emotionally.
This no doubt influenced my songwriting. The themes of my songs then, however adolescently, had a certain searching for meaning, and reflective aspect. These themes, in a more evolved spiritual vein,
are still evident in the songs I write.

4- How music changed your life?
While I don’t see myself as a professional songwriter, and performer, my music has been one of the most continually vital parts of my ministry. I see my music as a gift from God. By this I don’t mean the songs are that great, but that I have always found that playing and listening to music has provided me with a powerful spiritually healing balm. It has been my hope, that to some extent, my songs might do that for others.

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5- Where do you think your work and music are making an impact?
I load up my songs on sites like You Tube, Spotify, Reverbnation,
and others, mostly for free, and can only hope they are spiritually, helpful and healing to others. The rest is in God’s hands.

6- Tell us about your new viral single, and what was the inspiration behind that work?
While my newest song “Lord Guide Me Home” seems to be doing pretty well, I am not sure I would say it’s gone viral. I wrote the song after a semester of having to commute to the college where I teach.
I was encountering disproportionate numbers of aggressive, thoughtless motorists. Their number has only seemed to increase over the years. The inspiration behind it may seems trivial, but to me it’s indicative of a much larger trend in our culture toward uncaring, self centered uncivility. I am sure this specific trend is tied somewhat to overpopulated areas, but I am not convinced this totally accounts for what I see as one symptom of a culture losing its spiritual moorings.

7- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I will leave that up to the God. But I hope music will be a continuing and important part of my future.

8- What can you tell young artists who are pursuing their dreams?
Find something constructive you feel passionate about and write about that.

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Taking a vacation. I have been working two jobs for a long time, and my second greatest avocational love, after music, is travel.

10- The last word or final thoughts?

I would just caution anyone, whatever their spiritual search or tradition, to retain some humility, mystery, and awe as critical parts of their faith journey. If there is a God, and I believe there is, that greater reality is infinitely greater than us, and can never be contained by any one narrow religious sectarian group, doctrine, or institution.
The danger, without these essential spiritual elements is that one’s religion is what in the end will be worshipped and not the God that religion can only point toward. An even greater danger is the breakdown of any dialogue between faiths that such an idolatry causes.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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