By David Werther.
Jonathan Rundman, Insomniaaccomplishments (Salt Lady, 2008)
Jonathan Rundman is a thirty-seven year old, sleep-deprived, stay-at-home dad. In the night watches, he attends to his music. His work on Insomniaaccomplishments spans a cappella (“December Chicago”); acoustic instrumental ("Kuortane"); pop (“I Thought You Were Mine”); and rock (“I'm Alive and I'm Sleep Deprived”). In addition, his topics are as wide-ranging as his music: the comforts of home (“Here At 2141”); disease (“Dialysis Car Pool”); disagreements (“Imperfection”); dejection (“I Thought You Were Mine”); and a kiss on a cold day (“Her Lip Balm”). Most of the songs are Jonathan Rundman's, though “Kourtane” is a 19th century folk tune, and he shares writing credits with Jeff Kreb on "New Eyes" and with Tim Rundman on "I'm Alive and I'm Sleep Deprived" and “I Saw Greenland.”
Some of Rundman's writing is explicitly theological. In "Little Bible" he enlists Martin Luther to make his case that the written word is no more the living word than a lamp light or radio music. In "Imperfection" he expresses exasperation over battles about the second birth, and the age of the earth, but rather than taking a superior position above the fray, acknowledges his own ignorance and looks for a connection with those with different beliefs and different choices in the voting booth. Two songs later, he finds it in a fellowship of suffering, "Dialysis Carpool." (You can hear it on his MySpace Page http://www.myspace.com/rundman. While you are there, don’t miss "Smart Girls," a selection from an earlier CD, Public Libray.)
The closeness that comes from taking someone to the hospital, the relief of reuniting with one's spouse at the end of the workday, and the exhaustion of caring for young children are nearly universal experiences. Yet Jonathan Rundman is almost alone in writing about them. By doing so, he underscores the goodness and significance of ordinary life and, borrowing one of his song title, he gives us "new eyes" to see our lives.