Many years ago I recorded a ‘demo’ album of songs with encouragement of musical friends and the help of Errol Francis (Starr). Looking back, I still am fond of a few of those tunes, and consider re-recording or re-releasing some on a future album. One song, in particular, catapulted me into song writing, and upon re-listening, find that I quite like the raw and honest performance. “Between the Stones” was inspired by a short story from a book shared with me by the woman that I love in so many ways and who still inspires me to better myself as she moves forward constantly striving to better herself. To Annie, may we continue to share and grow Between the Stones…
Who’s up for some collaborative, summer fun!? Now in the dog days of summer, I’m challenging everyone to snap and share photos of signs that they’ve taken from across Canada that read “Sweet Corn”. These photos will be used to create a video to support the instrumental, “Sweet Corn” from my latest album. PM or email me your photo and, if used in the video, I will include your name in the credits. 🌽
With the decreased influence of publisher and record label controlled books and music, combined with the ability for anyone to create, and exhibit to the masses via social media, do we face a cultural crisis?
We already see signs and symptoms of middle class apathy propagated and perpetuated by materials of instant accessibility and gratification. The availability of substandard product has grown out of a societal emphasis on the quantity of stuff, rather than on the quality of goods, in some sick effort to fill a void with this stuff – just look at Walmart or the Dollar Store.
Does this attempt to fill the emptiness of apathy, further generate a ‘void’ in cultural and social connection that can be felt in music and literature where our eyes and ears are overwhelmed by many voices lacking the nurturing and permanence to truly be great, leaving both the artist and the audience unfulfilled; underdeveloped; empty; disconnected?
Increased and instant exposure, made easy through the internet and social platforms, only amplifies all of this ‘unfiltered noise’ at a dizzying rate, creating a sort of digital vertigo.
Were we wrong to rock the boat of the large publisher and record labels? Probably not. But hasn’t the message been received? With the subjection of the masses to so much unfiltered noise, is it not too much for the listener to cut through that noise in order to be both consumer and critic, in order to nurture and foster the development of an artist?
Perhaps what is lacking is the presence and influence of those filters in order to allow for consumers to form deeper, long term connections with art again, in order to feel culturally rooted in a world lacking permanence and quality.
Sometimes life happens, and when it does, it knocks the wind out of our sails and diminishes what we believe to be important. However important it is to have such reminders, and to reflect and reevaluate before simply changing course, sometimes it is not that we are heading in the wrong direction, but rather, that we are racing to a destination without acknowledging (and enjoying) each step of the journey. This is what my song, “The Station” was written about – a reminder to myself to focus on the ride, and not the destination.
As we find ourselves busily preparing for the holiday season, take time to breath, reflect, focus on family and friends, and simply be.
Have a Christmas is happy as you want it to be.
What an awesome week it was!
Having recently received the shipment of my books, on Tuesday I zipped down for an interview on daytime York Region with Jacqueline Betterton where I also performed the song. Although I arrived 45 minutes late after mis-judging traffic on the southbound 400, they whisked me in to pre-record the song and all staff were incredibly friendly. Here is the link: daytime York Region interview
On Friday, at the end of the day, the shipment of my new album arrived at work. One thousand CDs packed in 5 boxes – about 175 lbs of music! Interestingly, the mass of this body of work is about equal to that of my own body….there are no coincidences! Now, to make a plan to start shedding some of that musical weight…
My book, Empress and the Prairie Girl, arrived yesterday amidst the craziness of work and life, and was a welcome load to carry. I’m so grateful for being able to turn my ideas into reality, and in this case, to have written a song for my daughter and turn it into a children’s book.
The book can be purchased here: http://www.icbookstore.ca/empressandtheprairiegirl
Check back soon and listen to the song from which the story came. A little teaser from the new album yet to be released.
The final mixes are done for the new album, Charging Toward the Sun, and the mastering process has begun with Joao Carvalho ( http://www.joaocarvalhomastering.com/ ) .
Check back for updates about this, and about the release of the family/children’s book Empress and the Prairie Girl, based on the ‘single’, Empress from the new album.