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Martin Neil

Music on top of the Rocky Mountains!

By | Americas | No Comments

James Nesbit and a team of musicians had been invited by Dennis and Aldi Hockley of Shalom ministries to their home near Cranbrook B.C. Situated in the Rocky Mountain trench, a valley lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Purcell Mountains, this beautiful 320 acre estate is used as an amazing wedding venue and place of retreat. We had been invited to a gathering called “Releasing Treasures from the Land”, a retreat looking at encouraging the people and sounds in this area. In the last few years, we have been invited to a number of places to encourage the artists and help discuss similar themes regarding the ‘sound of the land’. This has been a wonderful season where people are starting to delve into the history of where they live, listen to the narrative of the people from the region and realise that they can express their own unique stories. There is not a place in the world where the fingerprints of The Great Creator have not left whisper’s of who He is and what He has done amongst the people. The artists have a role to play as scribes, chronicling these testimonies of God, reminding us of the amazing stories within the land.

One of the highlights was a wonderfully mad idea of taking a bunch of mischief musicians to the mountain tops in a helicopter!!! Freezing temperatures and strong winds added to the musicality as we joined creation in sound and voice. A truly memorable experience!


By | Americas | No Comments

So how did I find myself in a wonderful studio in Barbados you might ask? I was invited by Paul Milner, a producer/engineer from Canada I have worked with a number of times. Paul worked in Barbados for 3 years with Eddie Grant and jumped at the chance of being there again to help Dianne Hanko’s 7th recording project, a singer/songwriter from Canada recording her latest CD. We enjoyed a week of exploring a new sound using a hybrid kit and percussion.

I am always amazed at the unexpected connections on our journeys. The owner of Paradise studios, Scott has an incredible story of how there was a divine orchestration in his ability to bring his dream of a top class studio to the island. The desk and all the equipment (including some furniture designed by Timothy Oulton) has its own history as it was shipped all the way from Hugh Padgham’s  studio on a boat! Hugh is a prolific UK record producer and audio engineer who has won 4 Grammy Awards. Because of Scott’s journey of faith he was so encouraged to meet Paul and I and we spent many hours talking story and encouraging him in his wonderful dream for Barbados.

More Tahitian drumming

By | Oceania | No Comments

We are back on Kaua’i, getting ready for an event in San Diego with good friend Mark Riley. It’s been great to meet Leilani Rivera Low, a wonderful hula dancer and singer who will be joining us. And I always look forward to meeting up with Tepairu Manea to learn more about the world of Tahitian drumming. If you are in Kapa’a on Saturday listen out for some beats

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Help fund Anastina’s medical bills in Tanzania.

By | My Stories | No Comments

Donate here.

Since 2003 Rebekah and I (under our charity ‘Voices from the Nations’) have been partnering with the Gogo tribe in central Tanzania. Recording their music has enabled the village to fund water projects and build a medical dispensary. During this process our dear friend and translator, Pastor Seth Gidiony (from the Ha tribe) has been our contact, constant help on the ground and guide through cultural differences. His wife Anastina (who is a medical support nurse) has had a number of health issues over the years and has recently found out she has a tumour in the stomach, and needs an immediate operation. She is also experiencing severe mental and emotional distress. Read More

Men’s Fancy Dance

By | First Nations | No Comments

One of the most energetic and lively dances at the 60th Annual Eastern Shoshone Indian Days Powwow on the Wind River Reservation in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. If you get to a powwow this is a must-see experience. The men wear brilliantly coloured regalia including double bustles behind their backs and smaller bustles on their arms.

Jingle Dance

By | Americas | No Comments

The beautiful Jingle dance regalia is adorned with metal cones that cause a unique sound as they shake together. These are made from 365 snuff or chewing tobacco lids! The origins of the dance are from a dream that an Ojibwe man had, which instructed him in a style of dress and dance that would heal a young girl. I have also heard it called a Prayer dance. More powwow pictures.