a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Feelin’ It

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Connection. Is. Everything. As perfectly imperfect human beings, we crave experience and energy that comes from connection. And we get it through our experiences – either directly or indirectly – with other people. We also get it from connecting to a place inside ourselves. There’s a balance between the two – an edge we have to walk in order to fulfill our intellectual and emotional needs.

The difficult part about the inner world is that it often feels incomplete until I connect it to another person’s energy, one who can mirror my own thoughts and desires. Yoga teachers need students, and  want to connect with other yoga teachers. Musicians and artists need an audience – and they need other musicians and artists. Even our everyday experiences carry the desire to be shared. (If you doubt this, spend a little time on Facebook.)

Just like anything, walking the middle path can be tricky, as addictions apply to just about anything. But, I’m enjoying the ride and hoping that we can keep pushing ourselves to that idea of oneness and all that goes with that.

Here’s one music video, called, YES!– that got me thinking about all of this (along with a few other more personal experiences). It comes from Colourmusic, an OK-based indie rock band as part of the Oklahoma Creativity Project and directed by band member, Nick Turner. It’s really simple. It’s kind of sweet. It will describe everything I tried to to say above, but a lot better. You’ll be feelin’ it.

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance – and the beat goes on

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Music. Moonlight. People. Passion.

Music Festivals seem to have a life of their own these days, fed by a culture’s desire for both connection and escape – possibly in equal amounts. I arrived at the Silk Hope grounds (by bio-diesel shuttle) ready to leave it all behind, in order to find it all again.

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, once a bi-annual locally-inspired 4-day event on a rolling 72 country acres in NC, has grown into an internationally-fused tradition of music, community, and the arts. This year’s Spring festival included as many as 50 bands/performers on 4 stages from all over the country and the world. Well-organized and well-run, shows and events ran continuously and on-time, a huge amount of the waste generated was recycled or composted, and solar panels sparkled in the middle of it all.

A shining example of spontaneous and relatively sustainable entertainment and fun, there were impromptu (and sometimes all night) drum circles, poi and fire hooping, poetry jams, and other expressions of energy, including solitary morning yoga. This festival has increased in acclaim and diversity, all while maintaining it’s grassroots appeal and atmosphere, all with a big dose of sustainability.

Music. Moonlight, People. Passion. Pass it on.

Stop and Listen to The Music? – Not now, I’m busy…

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

In January of 2007, a young man in a baseball cap and sweatshirt was playing Bach pieces on his violin in the DC Metro Station. After 45 minutes had passed and about 2000 people had gone through, only about 6 people had paused to watch. A few dropped money, but didn’t stop. Several children tried to stop, but in every case, the parent hurried them along, depsite their heads being turned back watching.

This was actually an experiment, organized by the Washington Post, on “social perception, taste and people’s priorities”. The man was Joshua Bell, one of the best musician’s in the world, playing some of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin that was worth 3.5 million dollars.


The big and formal question goes something like this: Do we recognize talent, or perceive and appreciate beauty in an unexpected context? Obviously, in this case, not. This could be simply human nature and not indicative of our appreciation of beauty. Still, it makes you wonder….

Are many other questions we should and could ask ourselves regarding this event. You may be asking them right now….am I too busy, too self-absorbed, too distracted?

Very recently, on a w/e trip to Chicago, I stopped, watched, listened, danced and gave money – to a man with a beautiful singing voice and a boom box in the corridor from the airport to the L Line. It made me smile and stayed with me all day. Of course, it was a Saturday and I was not in a hurry….but, if I was, would I have stopped? I think so, but……?

Are we missing beauty and it’s effect on us in our hurried lives? Something to think about.

Stands for Soul and Sounds Like S*x

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

From Tao, Brattleboro, VT

We, in our lastest guise as Creato-Destructo, a newly formed media production company, focusing on music videos, put up a poster around town last week. It went like this:




Well, it took only a couple days to hear from a band in town and after a brief conversation, we were invited to attend their rehearsal yesterday. Not surprisingly, we were led up a narrow staircase to an attic space above a garage with one window. There, amidst boxes, sleds and an old treadmill, I watched four guys quietly maneuver themselves and their numerous instruments in the cramped space.

FLABBERGHASTER doesn’t talk much. And, as it turns out, they don’t have to. Somewhat unexpectedly, my body and soul was blown away by what came next. They played 4 extended numbers, and it was only at the finish that I realized that despite the fact that I was standing directly between two drum sets, I had not moved.

Flabberghaster’s myspace page claims they are simply, a “bunch of dudes from Brattleboro who love playing music”, which belies their calm demeanor yet defies their huge soul-shaking sound. As a Fusion/Jungle/Funk/Jazz/Rock band, their musicianship includes a myriad of instruments – guitar, keyboard, percussion, Didj, trumpet, bass and saxophone – and they create a sound that I immediately called, pure “sex”. (A description later confirmed on their myspace page.)

We’ll start shooting tomorrow. Stay tuned up.

THE TAO OF CHANGE [the way of a better world]

brought to you by The Change, a strategy and design agency with an agenda to change the world