Perth’s ‘Piano Priest’ releases new album

03 May 2024

By Joshua Low

Fr Mark Baumgarten New Album Launch
The Little Ones, by Armadale Parish Priest Fr Mark Baumgarten, features a statue of the ‘Homeless Jesus’ by the Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, which is outside the Santo Spirito Hospital, Rome. Photo: Matt Lim.

Armadale Parish Priest Father Mark Baumgarten is back with a bang, releasing a new album of original songs this week Friday 3 May.

Titled The Little Ones, the album will be released across all streaming platforms, as well as being available for download and purchase.

Featuring impressive musicianship and lyrics of subtle profundity, the quality of these fourteen tracks represents a significant musical achievement.

Having returned to songwriting during the lockdown of 2020, Fr Mark subsequently received encouragement from Archbishop Costelloe to keep making music.

The Little Ones, he explained, is in many ways a continuation of his first album, Now and Not Yet, which was released in 2022.

Fr Mark, with parishioners, following his installation Mass in 2020. Photo: Michelle Tan.

“It had been several years since I’d written anything prior to the lockdown of 2020, but once the creative tap was opened on that first album, the songs just kept coming,” Fr Mark said.

“In fact, by the time I had twelve new songs in place I made the conscious effort to turn off the tap for a while so I could turn my attention to recording them, but two more songs subsequently came in the following weeks!

“I’m grateful for this of course, and one of these latter songs has become my favourite on the album.”

Several of the album’s songs touch on the themes of humility, acknowledgment of brokenness, and our continual need of God.

“There’s so much trashiness and ugliness in our culture. I’m certainly no Beethoven or Palestrina, but I suppose this album is a humble attempt at offering folks something a bit more edifying to listen to.

“While there are faith-related themes in many of the songs, I keep it reasonably subtle, so it’s possible that they might have some evangelical potential amongst those who are put off by more overt expressions of faith,” he said.

Fr Mark, during his installation Mass in December 2020. The Armadale Parish Priest has released his second album this week, Friday 3 May. Photo: Michelle Tan.

He added that some people assume that being a priest, his songs must either be liturgical music or ‘Praise and Worship’.

“They’re neither of those things. They’re just songs — that happen to have been written by a priest — and they cover a variety of genres, including blues, ballads, gospel, rock, and pop.

“I try to write the kind of thing that I like to listen to: well-crafted songs, with lyrics that go a bit deeper,” he said.

Described by Fr Mark as ‘an eight-minute epic’, Mother is his favourite track on the album, which began as an attempt to write a song about both his own mother and Mary the Mother of Jesus.

“I couldn’t make this work, so the song is solely about the Blessed Mother, but I did play it for my Mum before anyone else!” he said.

“I like that it essentially moves through the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, and there’s some cool stuff going on musically as well.”

Pleased with how the songs have come together for The Little Ones, the Piano Priest is looking forward to the album launch concert on 4 May.

“My previous album launch required social distancing and facemasks, and a subsequent concert was cancelled at the last minute because I got Covid.

“It will be good to finally put on a proper show with some tremendous musicians joining me on the night, and to finally share these songs that I’ve been working on for the last two years.” he concluded.

The album launch concert for The Little Ones will be held on Saturday 4th of May at the Armadale Parish Hall at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available at:

Listen to the album at: