Saturday, March 26, 2011

Upside down

It's amazing how parts of life that one can be so satisfied with can, in an instant, be shuffled and swapped at a whim with those that were so empty previously...

Friday, March 11, 2011

New York

I have just finished a wonderful novel that I wanted to share with you.

It is called New York by Edward Rutherfurd and it's a must-read for any fan of historical fiction/Pillars of the Earth or of the city itself.

New York is a place I've visited twice in my life and each time it has embraced me in its atmosphere of imagination, dreams, freedom and adventure. This book contains all these elements and gave me a greater sense of how this all came about - from Dutch settlers, to English rule, through the Civil War, mass immigration, mass construction, stock market crashes and the 9/11 tragedy. Throughout all these events are woven the tales of a string of families; their fortunes and failures in the great city and how they intertwine with some of the greatest people in world history. 

It's a long book, but don't let that put you off if what I've written sounds like your cup of tea.

It's actually the fourth book I've read from this author, the others being Sarum, London and Russka - all follow a similar format and all are an incredible way to enlighten yourself on various places and times and their roles in human history. If any of you have read the great novel Pillars of the Earth and enjoyed it then these books are 100% for you as well.

Please enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rock and roll returns...

I've just uncovered my favourite band discovery in a long time - and it's not folk, synth-pop, dance or dubstep.

It's heavy, angsty rock and roll. It's Dead Confederate.

If you are even slight fan of bands like The Veils, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Silverchair then go and get their album, Wrecking Ball, right this moment. Don't even read the rest or listen to a sample - I'm so sold on these guys it's stupid. And I think you will be too.

Pretty much all the songs on this album are great - the highlight being The Rat. Vocalist Hardy Morris is just incredible. Have a listen here:

I haven't bought the rest of their catalogue just yet - but that will be happening in the coming hours I assure you.

This, people, is a sign that great rock bands are returning and that people want it. It makes me excited as hell.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The power of music...

Yesterday my band received an incredible email relating to the disaster of an earthquake that has hit the Canterbury region in New Zealand.

It is not often one is completely blown away and humbled by the honest words of another - but yesterday I was.  

You may not remember me, I was the person that asked to get a photo with you and the guys at Wellington Airport last Monday afternoon.  You were traveling to the next Winery tour venue and I was off to Christchurch for a national health sector chief officers meeting.
I was embarrassed that I only had one (my favorite Midnight Youth) song on my iPhone so I purchased your CD as I walked to my boarding gate.  That night I downloaded it to my iPhone at my Hotel in the CBD.  You may wound why I am telling you all this...
The following Tuesday was an experience I will not soon forget - if ever.  I got out of the CBD unhurt and was able to help where I could during the first few hours of the Quake.  I eventually walked to Hadly Park (the emergency center for those displaced by the Quake).  It was a bomb site and the ground was unstable.  The people there (1,000~) ranged from 'numb' to 'upset' to 'not knowing what to do next'.  I was near a group of international visitors who were praying and others started to join in.  At that time all we could do was wait.  The phones were down and I decided to play my new CD in my iPhone (I wish the speakers were a little larger).  The praying stopped, people starting listening and the depressed mood picked up.  I turned the (your) music off thinking that people may not want to here it.  "Turn it back on" was shouted out. 
We herd five songs before my battery ran out.  I can't express how comforting it was for people to hear some inspiring New Zealand music, at a time where it seemed the world had fallen around us.  I reflected back to our brief discussion about saving lives, which I poorly tried to play down and make an ill timed joke about it.
Some of us (in the health sector) have the opportunity to touch the lives of individual people and families.  What you do touches the harts, minds and sprits of thousands.  Be great, write great music, play great music, inspire the lives of people greatly.  Your music was a bright light in a dark day.  I was lucky to be flying out the next day, I cannot imaging how the people of Christchurch will cope over the coming months.
I'll send a photo with your CD from our surgical unit.

As a musician and songwriter, I express a part of myself that isn't overly evident in my regular daily life - it is quite a mystery to me how it happens and all I know is that I feel satisfied and excited when that process is in motion. But once it leaves my mouth, the stage or a studio, it is out of my control as to how it affects the world around me and it's particularly hard to rationalise that thought - it's moments like these that give me a greater sense of the power that music has and the amazing gift I've been given and am doing my best to use.

They say I'm on top of my game...

The more sights I see,

The more places I go,

The more people I meet,

The more alone I feel.