Catholic Mom Music Spotlight

Matthew Baute
Love Wins All

 

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Matthew Baute's Discography
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LH: Matthew, thank you so much for your time and for participating in this Spotlight on your new CD, "Love Wins All." Could you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Covington, Louisiana, which is just north of New Orleans. Music has always been a big part of my life, and it got a jump start when I joined the drum section of the marching band at St. Paul's High School in Covington. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun, too, as we marched in over 10 Mardi Gras parades each year. I started playing guitar around the same time, and shortly afterwards I was playing in the youth choir at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in nearby Mandeville, which was the parish in which I grew up. I traveled upriver to St. Louis to attend college, and I played in a band that had a bit of success on campus. That was my first experience with composing and recording original music, and even then my songs tended towards spiritual themes. My dreams of "making it big" were fortunately dashed, and I'm really glad that God didn't let me become the big rock star that I wanted so much to be-He certainly had other plans! I continue to live in St. Louis, and over the past few years I've been involved with the Lifeteen programs at different parishes here. I was the director of youth music ministry at The Immacolata last year, and now I play regularly at Mass and for the youth group at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. I feel very blessed to share the love of God through music, especially with teens, because they are so open and are searching for truth and meaning in their lives. Other random things about me: I'm a brand new uncle to a beautiful little girl named Marie Claire, I gave serious thought to becoming a monk, and I love being Catholic.

LH: Your biography indicates a lifelong association with the Catholic Church. What does your Catholic faith mean to you, and how has this impacted upon your music?

My relationship with God is central to who I am as a person. Without that relationship, there's really no me-I would be lost and floundering and chasing after something that was of my own making. I used to be a pretty self-centered and self-serving person. But fortunately through a variety of experiences and relationships, God gradually broke through, and I consciously decided to make a sincere commitment to try to live according to His plan for me. Even having done so, it hasn't been an easy road-occasional struggles with depression have helped me realize my need to continually depend on Him. I'm still learning and growing and becoming more and more the person that I'm supposed to be. But that's part of what's great about Catholicism-Jesus knew that we would need concrete, tangible things to help us find our way to Him, to help us in this life process-and so He gave us His Word and the sacraments. Through Scripture, reconciliation, and Communion we are nourished, healed, and strengthened for the journey of life. I feel that I've been given the "pearl of great price" in my Catholic faith because I believe that the fullness of revelation, and indeed the fullness of Christian expression, is found in Catholicism. If you take a minute and really think about it, our faith is so rich: it's filled with a variety of liturgical worship, monastic experience, contemplative wisdom, social justice, musical treasures, deep theology, and an unbroken apostolic link back to Jesus Christ. And so my Catholic faith is certainly the grounding for what I do musically. That's pretty evident in a song like "Yes, We Believe," which testifies to our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

LH: "Love Wins All" features twelve original compositions, each a work of art! Can you describe your creative process?

The creative process for me has evolved over the years. Previously I
would come up with a song primarily based on a good guitar part, and
then sing a lyric that fit the style and phrasing of the music. Over
the past few years I've come to realize the importance of the lyric,
especially with spiritual and liturgical music. With the twelve songs
on this CD, I worked hard to clarify the point that I was trying to get
across to the listener, making sure that I was conveying that message
concisely and effectively. Early in the process I asked several music
friends to listen to a demo and give me feedback, and their comments
and suggestions were invaluable. I still write primarily on the
guitar, but some of the most fun I had making this CD was working on
the keyboard parts for the different songs, experimenting with sounds
and textures to help fill out the sound. I also enjoyed tracking the
background vocals and hearing all the harmonies come to life. I worked
with some wonderful singers on this album, and as we had all sung
together at church, I really didn't have to give them much guidance.
They simply came in, sang beautiful lines, and the result is fabulous!

LH: I was especially drawn to two songs on the CD - "Love Wins All" and
"Mother's Prayer". What are the stories behind these songs?


I remember a Time magazine cover from the early '80s that had a picture
of the Pope meeting with the man who shot him with the caption "Why
forgive?" To me as a Christian the answer was so obvious, and I was
disheartened to see such a question even posed. But an act of great
mercy is a sign of contradiction to our secular culture. We're taught
to hold on to our grudges, to get even. Years later I recalled
Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago going through a media firestorm when he
was accused of sexual abuse. It was a few months before his accuser
recanted his story and admitted that he had made it all up. Again, I
was deeply moved by the Cardinal's response-he met with the young man,
counseled him, gave him Communion, and brought him back into the
Church. What an awesome sign of love! And of course the ultimate
example of forgiving love was shown by Jesus, loving even his very
persecutors from the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not
what they do." The song "Love Wins All" tells the story of these three
incredible acts of forgiving love. The world is changed when we follow
their example and let go of anger and resentment, and choose instead to
show love and mercy. Love like this can truly conquer any obstacle.
Whether or not the other person responds, we set them free. And by
doing so, we set ourselves free.

"Mother's Prayer" was inspired by a poem that Mother Teresa had
inscribed on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta. Her basic
message was, "Don't listen to what anybody else says: be true to
yourself. In the end, it's not between you and them anyway." I found
later that she had probably adapted this message from a poem written
years ago by Kent M. Keith. I added my own chorus, reinforcing the
idea that this is what every mother in her deepest heart prays for and
hopes for her children. In times of struggle or self-doubt, we can
recall such words and be greatly comforted and encouraged. My hope is
that the image of a "mother" praying these gentle words works on many
different levels. Our own mother prays these words for us. Blessed
Mother Teresa prayed them for us. Our spiritual and heavenly mother,
the Virgin Mary, constantly prays for us. May we come to know and feel
the consolations that these powerful prayers of our mothers bring.

LH: Who are some of your musical inspirations/role models and your
favorite Catholic musicians?


Two of my favorite Catholic artists right now are Matt Maher and
Danielle Rose. Matt's music has a lot of energy that teens can relate
to. I'm especially taken with Danielle's music, and I had the honor of
meeting her and singing with her at Eucharistic adoration at last year's
Crossroads Music Festival. Her songwriting and singing is so pure, so
honest, and the love of God radiates through her music. I grew up
singing church songs by Catholic composers like John Foley and Marty
Haugen, and it's still a joy to sing "One Bread, One Body" and
"Shepherd Me, O God." When I was about 13 or 14 my parents took me to
a tremendous concert at the Benedictine abbey of St. Joseph's in
Covington, LA. The music was composed by several of the monks and was
performed by the New Orleans Symphony and chorus. That music, compiled
on a CD still in print called "Holy Light," has been with me for some 20
years now, and has long nourished me. As far as secular music, I have a
pretty eclectic taste. I love the progressive rock band Yes, the clever
songs of David Wilcox, and classics by artists like Simon & Garfunkel
and Jim Croce. I'm also a big fan of Beethoven and the new age artist
Vangelis.

LH: What message do you hope to spread through your music?

There is a God. He loves YOU. You need Him.
You have a purpose in life. You are destined for good things. You are
never alone.
Forgive others. Live for others. There is no higher power in this
world than Love.

LH: How can our readers order your music? Are you working on any
future projects?


The easiest way for your readers to get the CD is to visit my web site
at http://www.matthewbaute.com where they can preview the songs and
read the lyrics. They'll find links on the site to retailers
(including Catholic Music Network) that carry the album.
As far as future projects are concerned, I've set several of the psalms
to music, and I'm thinking about recording a few of my best and doing a
psalm CD. At one point I was intent on setting all 150 to music,
starting with number one and going from there, but after two years I
was only on number four or five, so at that pace I figured I'd be a
REALLY old man by the time I finished. It became a lot easier when I
was leading the choir at The Immacolata last year because we needed a
psalm to sing at Mass each week-that got the creative juices flowing!

LH: Matthew, thanks again for your time. I'm a big fan and am looking
forward to helping spread the word about your gift of song! Are there
any additional thoughts or comments you'd like to share with our
readers?


Thanks Lisa for helping get the word out! I hope your readers get a
chance to hear "Love Wins All," and I hope they are touched by the
music. May the Holy Spirit truly come and work abundantly in our
lives. God is good!

Visit Matthew Baute's Web Site

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