Craig Minowa of the orchestral indie rock collective Cloud Cult grew up with a reverence for the ritual of Easter morning, imparted to him by his mother’s ebullience for Holy Week. While at our studios at Loring Park, he recalled another Easter memory — finding God not in the four walls of a church, but in reclaiming awe in the woods of rural Minnesota:
“There’s so much to be said about a belief system and what kind of reality that sculpts for a person. I was raised in that Lutheran church. When I was 16 and I bought my first car, it was Easter Sunday, and I had worked the night before until close. And it would be absolutely out of order in my family to not go to church on Easter Sunday. But I had been up late working the night before. I was supposed to meet my family there. And I drove the car.
Instead of turning to go to church, I turned and went to the woods. It’s a big, public woods that was there in Owatonna. I sat out there, beautiful spring morning, everything coming to life, and had a religious experience that I hadn’t ever felt within those four walls of the church. And magic was reborn in me. It wasn’t any shutting doors, or setting anything apart. I mean, Jesus spent his time praying in the garden of Gethsemane, and there’s something to be said about stepping out into the wilderness and just letting those constructs of the mind disappear and reawakening to the fact that it is an incredibly complicated, mysterious, and beautiful universe.
I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t name it, can’t classify it. I can’t put it in a box, so right now I’m just going to lay back and be in awe. And maybe that’s something that we all need to practice a lot more, which is the child in us.”
The music you hear at the end of the clip above is from Cloud Cult’s Unplug album; the track is titled “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” Look for our episode with Craig Minowa and Cloud Cult’s live performance in our Loring Park studios on April 14th.