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Martin Neil

Garlands Digital

The Garlands for Ashes story

By | Cambodia | No Comments

A CD & DVD package
from Cambodia

Garlands for Ashes tells the story of a community of children in Phnom Penh rescued from unimaginable situations, who are nurtured back to life, given a home, hope and an artistic voice. Recorded in Phnom Penh and the Mekong delta in Cambodia this package of CD and DVD will take you to the very heart of the Cambodian Christian Arts school so that you can experience in video and pictures, sounds, songs and dances, the Khmer people of Cambodia. This blog tells the unfolding story of our partnership with this amazing community. Read More

Preparing for an evening of drums

The Heartbeat of Music

By | Drums | No Comments

The drum is one of the oldest known musical instruments, being played in various forms by nearly every people group in the world, producing a huge variety of sounds fashioned in many shapes and sizes, the drum provides the foundation to most traditional and modern day music.

For over 4,000 years drums have been used in many diverse situations, e.g. in religious celebrations, for sending signals or messages, on the battlefield during the Civil War, to help African slaves overcome the boredom of hard monotonous work, storytelling in China, carnivals in Brazil, healing, dancing, and entertainment. Read More

Virtual Drum Jam

By | Drums | No Comments

Drummer John Hendrickson from Kansas City took a drum idea I had captured on video and played his own wonderful part to the original groove. During this season of ‘being home’ it is exciting to see the incredible creative ideas that the internet allows us.

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Asia

By | Asia | No Comments

History for some reason defined the continent of Asia as east of a line joining the Urals with the Caucasus and the Black Sea. The incredible thing about this amazing landmass, is its enormous diversity in land, climate and people. Its music stretches back for over 3000 years and can be quite a stretch for Western ears, not just in the sounds, but in the philosophy behind it. And what incredible sounds, from the percussion based classical music of Thailand, Tuvan throat singers in Mongolia, Indonesian pop bands, the poetry of the Arab world to Ravi Shankar’s sitar music that influenced so many in the 1960’s. Read More

The Singing Revolution

By | Asia | No Comments

The incredible story of a singing revolution. This is a brief trailer telling the story – “The Singing Revolution shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence. While violence and bloodshed was the unfortunate end result in other occupied nations of the USSR, the revolutionary songs of the Estonians anchored their struggle for freedom, which was ultimately accomplished without the loss of a single life.”

Orphan No More

By | Music that inspires | No Comments

Wanted to give a shout out to Orphan No More and the Bath Community of artists. Enjoyed a wonderful evening with them last week – here’s a track from their stable. A song by Susie Mills, produced by Joe Cazzulini.

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Sounds from the Voice box

By | Voice | No Comments

There are so many incredible sounding instruments that we have encountered on our travels, yet there is nothing quite like the human voice for it’s range, diversity and uniqueness. From Tuvan throat singing practised amongst nomadic Mongolian farmers to the South Indian art of vocal percussion called Konnakol, every culture, people group and religion uses their vocal chords to produce singing. In some communities, it is so much a part of life that everyone participates, ie. Central African pygmies where everyone is an incredible vocalist and is able to sing complex yodeling.