The Soap Box Blog

Who says musicians can't preach? Notes regarding things that matter to us.

"How many times are we going to sing this song?!"

I wrote an honest-to-goodness email rant this morning in response to a good friend, John Oldham. John, a very prolific hymn writer and a definite free spirit, was lamenting to his email list about the use of shorter songs, or "7/11" songs as he calls them, "using seven words and repeating them 11 times!"

John shares a notion about shorter songs which I think is fairly widespread, so I thought my response to him would be helpful for others to hear as well. [Full disclosure: if you are a regular visitor to this website, you know I write and give away many shorter songs, so I obviously consider them of value.] Here's the meat of my reply (after the break): 


Rooted and Grounded in Love - Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a challenge! It has become a great marketing opportunity, another reason to spend money while we miss the original purpose of the occasion.

And so in honour of Mother's Day and the ongoing fight to end sexism, we invite you to take a moment on May 9 and offer thanks, for the strong gift of women throughout the world, and for our mother earth, the nurturer of all that lives and breathes.

And to help celebrate the day, please enjoy a free gift from us to you, an mp3 of my bass flute meditation, Rooted and Grounded in Love, from our album of flute instrumentals, Let Everything That Breathes. The full album, on CD or as an mp3 download, can be found on my MelodicArts sales page.


Televisions in Restaurants

Glad to know we're not the only people who hate televisions in restaurants!

The Story of Stuff

This might sound strange coming from someone who depends on selling people CDs of his music for part of his living, but have you seen The Story of Stuff?


A great video critique of our main obsession in contemporary Western society: consumerism. We're as guilty as everyone else of wanting the newest gadgets, etc., but we recognize the compulsion and want to make a difference. This is why we started to move a few years ago to delivering our music online as downloadable mp3 and pdf files, and we'll continue to move in that direction to minimize the amount of stuff we're producing ourselves!

Climate Debt

We watched Naomi Klein's lecture on climate debt in Toronto last night over a live internet feed, the inaugural David Lewis Lecture sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Many thanks as always to www.rabble.ca for streaming the event, and for their support of this kind of activism! There are a couple of clips from the lecture available on Youtube.

Naomi speaks eloquently on the notion of climate debt, a concept developed by majority-world nations, and she also reminded us of a campaign building against some of the biggest supporters of the Alberta Tar Sands developments, in particular RBC, the largest financial backer of the project, and PetroCanada/Suncor, one of the largest oil companies involved. If you've been watching coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, you will also know these companies are deeply involved in sponsorship of the games! The Rainforest Action Network, in partnership with the First Nations communities downstream from the tar sands, is promoting the campaign against RBC. Please visit their site and get involved!

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