Having travelled to 49 of the 50 states in North America, I have realised the amazing diversity amongst its people. In fact the Americas (North and South) are home to over 1000 indigenous languages. And what amazing musical sounds and styles from the second line drumming of New Orleans, Inuit throat singing known as katajjaq from Quebec to Brazillian samba and Guyana calypso. What stands out artistically amongst the indigenous people of these lands is their visual arts – their pottery, paintings, jewellery, weavings, basketry, beadwork, carvings and sculptures.
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!