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Martin’s Blog

The Power of Song

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A wonderful documentary on the life of Pete Seeger – a troubadour who revitalised folk music in America, gave voice to the Vietnam war, used song to clean up the Hudson river and whose overriding passion was to bring people together to sing.

Martin’s Musical Mystery Tour 18

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Martin’s musical mystery tour – The highlands, lochs and glens of Scotland have been a fertile ground for many musicians. Every time I step into this land I am aware of the incredible legacy and the unique sound that comes from this nation. The musical story of any people is always evolving and I am very thankful to Hazel Hewitt for pointing me in the direction for this blog of some inspiring new tunes.

Zomba prison

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An incredible story about music created by inmates and their guards in Zomba prison, Malawi. Writing music that helps tell their story, bringing hope, inside a place that has been called the “waiting room of hell”.

Mushrooms!

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It’s that time of the year here in Czech – some call it a national sport – mushroom picking! We have a couple of days off in the highlands and the forests are full of people with their hopeful baskets, apparently 70% of people go mushrooming at least once a year. A skill past down from generation to generation, but those of less experience beware – we saw some, only to find out that they were highly poisonous – think I’ll stick to fish and chips! 13957651_1309290532422038_1185764978_n DSC03839

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Speaking in Tongues

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This morning I was stopped in my tracks by this powerful piece of art in Chichester Cathedral from Paul Benney called ‘Speaking in Tongues.’ He has ‘”depicted the apostles as people who are known to him – friends and contemporaries. ……………… from different ethnicities and religious backgrounds together, as they collectively experience a profound spiritual awakening.” Read More

Music4Change

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iExplore (1)Great to hang out with David and Leslie Gereghty from Recreational Music Center. They have pioneered an incredible non-profit school that encourages music learning and performance in the San Diego area. They have also started an initiative called Music4Change which, in their words, “brings quality music programming, free of charge, to individuals and groups who might not otherwise have the opportunity to play an instrument or experience live music performances.” Please support this amazing couple and if you are in the area check them out @ Liberty Station.

Music4Change™ is committed to empowering the community through music education, cultural enrichment, and social service.

Uganda story

By | Africa, My Stories | No Comments

Friends Marcus and Ellen (Sweden) told me this story about when they were travelling on a local bus in Uganda with a pastor. They got off and gave 500 to the pastor for the journey – the bus driver suggested that the pastor could have charged 1000 and kept the money because they are mzungus (white people) and they don’t know the price. The pastor says that if you charge the correct fare to the mzungus then you will be blessed. The driver is not convinced and drives off but a few stops later the whole bus empties and another group of people fill the bus – another stop later the same thing happens – this means the bus driver gets a lot more money than he expects – he is amazed saying this has never happened before – and he asks who were these mzungus that have caused this blessing to happen – the pastor replies that they are men and woman of God. He is overheard later telling other bus drivers of his meeting with the people of God and the blessing that he encountered!

Martin’s Musical Mystery Tour 16

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Martin’s Musical Mystery Tour 16 – I am back in Sweden, this time on the East coast and for this blog I take a look at the unique Sami expression called joiking. Check out tracks from Sweden, Finland and Norway that all use this vocal technique.

Sofia Jannok is a Swedish, Sami artist, singer, songwriter, TV host of the radio and reindeer herders from Gällivare in northern Lapland. This song – Snölejoninna- was released on Sami National Day, 2015. Read More