June to August

You & I we live as one, you & I, you & I, you & I we live as one Liberian Peace Prayer

Relaxations, Betsy Rose Evening. Buddhafield Festival. Hassocksfield/Stop Rwanda Campaign. Jackdaw Campaign. Power in Man demo, TRUYA and M&M (read on to see they mean!) and Thanks: This Skin in Narc magazine, Oh Friends on BBC Introducing and Listen To Women on Mr Foxx’s Frequency

Hello, writing late in August just in from a festival, Buddhafield mentioned below, a retreat (stood in the circle photo) and a family holiday (around the fire). All good in so many ways and there’s a truth that there’s real concern as well inspiration in me. I wonder how you are? The concern comes mostly from the heat; I feel I’m feeling it more than I have before, maybe you feel the same? Knowing I’m noticing as many others are too gives me a sense of the collective and the awareness much could be done from those making decisions – I mention more about this below with the Jackdaw campaign below. An involvement with another campaign group No to Hassocksfield and Stop Rwanda connected to the current treatment of people seeking asylum here in the UK is also mentioned below. There’s a shared concern there for those I know in the system. While this doesn’t affect me like them my hope is that anyone reading can learn a bit about the Rwanda plans as I am currently, through my association to this campaign. I introduce my friend, long term musical activist 🙂 Betsy Rose, play you a new song Power In Man, invite you 2 upcoming events, tomorrow (Monday 21st) with my buddy Susanne Olbrich and in a couple of weeks with another buddy Larissa Mazbouh on the Trust Your Artist retreat in Germany. And lastly 2 thanks; to BBC Introducing for playing out Oh Friends and Narc Magazine for choosing This Skin as Demo of the month.

First, I’d like to relax you a little! August relaxation here: find a quiet place for 20 minutes – what do you say?! – includes the song Let It Breathe by Rob Ricardo I learned in Plum Village. I hope you like the picture, hammock summer gift to myself.

Betsy Rose has been singing for peace, love and social justice long before I was born. I met her through the Plum Village tradition (Thich Nhat Hanh) a beloved elder who supported Thich Nhat Hanh’s work in the states, along with other artists turning his teaching on peace into songs. I’ve learned so much from Betsy; her way of engaging is strong, peaceful and perennial 🙂 Regularly, Betsy get friends together online to sing songs with them, read them poems and articles and invite guests on certain themes. This month looking at the overturn of Roe vs Wade by The Supreme Court of the United States (ScotUS), I was invited by Betsy to sing Listen to Women. A try honour. Watch below for the event – and subscribe to Betsy’s channel for more.

July saw Buddhafield back to full to capacity in Devon, thanks to the efforts of all. I had the joy and happiness of offering a couple of workshops, on Patriarchy and Whiteness, singing some songs and doing a sharing with Melissa James, pictured below. As the description says in the Instagram post, Melissa runs Stronger on Sundays a music filled space to talk about race. Between us Melissa and I spoke about Lost White Culture – interested in you thoughts. Thanks Melissa and best wishes supporting the wonderful Emelie Sande next month 🙂

2 current campaigns I wanted to share about that I have some involvement in – Hassocksfield/Stop Rwanda and Jackdaw. Both projects are current Government initiatives that I want bring my heartbreak to, for those who will and already are being affected. I’ve been involved with people in the Asylum system for sometime in London – brave people who had endured journeys to be here. The Rwanda plan, as some of you may know, aims to move remove those coming to the UK to seek asylum and deport them to Rwanda, a plan that has been challenged by the European Court of Human Rights. One of the Detention centres at the centre of the plan is Derwentside also known as Hassocksfield. I’ve visited the site near Durham a couple of times to join the passionate community raising awareness about the women being detained there. I believe the use of these centres to lock away vulnerable people like this is a greatly concerning move away from compassion. I attended the last protest there as a legal observer and witnessed a number of women being removed for flights to Africa, while some activists present were arrested for obstructing the road, the delay to the flight enabled lawyers working for them to make legal cases against the flights and and indeed some of them had their tickets cancelled.

I believe in compassionate policy and making the conversation around it open to a wide selection of people including people seeing asylum – whose stories are seldom told. I read also figures about more predicted arivals will raise with ongoing conflict and climate – The people will be there.

Secondly my other campaign involvement is Stop Jackdaw for a fossil free future. There must be a transition away from the burning non-renawables, I believe it will take time and it take campaigns like this to ask important questions that are not being asked by the government. Jackdaw is a new oil and gas field exploration in the north Sea off of Scotland. Greenpeace amongst others have raised concern following the Government’s lack of testing around its impact. They take the plan to Court in the coming months.

I’ve got material from each campaign, if you’d like receive some more flyers, and stickers I would glad to send to you, Any help with postage appreciated, otherwise it is no trouble, be glad to be in touch with you.

I got a new song, I’d love to share with you called Power In Man, looking at the world of Warfare and violence. I’d be really interested in your thoughts about it so please let me know – I have a few demos for my next album also which I’d like some thoughts on too.

2 events next, taking place in the coming weeks. Music and Mindfulness (online) and Trust Your Artist (Germany).

If you are interested tomorrow evening, Susanne Olbrich and I continue our group to look at what we can discover about the human experience as we bring together music, mindfulness and environmentalism. The sessions, for anyone interested in the 3 subjects, contain exercises both in meditation and creative sound expression around Earth connection– so no need to consider yourself a musician here – more a music lover. As always a portion of the revenue goes to Choose Earth a charity raising the voices of indigenous peoples of the Amazon as they strive to protect their way of life.

TRUYA (Trust Your Artist) is the next retreat from Larissa Mazbouh and myself at the Plum Village Centre in Germany. A week of painting, poetry singing, dancing and movement, story telling and more as we go on a creative journey together. This is like the WUYA (Wake Up Your Artist) retreat we do in Spring but for all ages – we are proud to say our oldest participant was we think 87 🙂

Lastly almost my thanks to Narc Magazine , BBC Introducing and Mr Foxx’s Frequency for giving some love to my latest ep; making This Skin, demo of the month, playing Oh Friends on air and play listing Listen To Women on Youtube – recommend any songwriters to look them all up for promoting new music in their generous way.

And I leave you with a song from family fireside 🙂 Love to hear from you if you have anything you’d like to share

Releases

All releases free (donation if you wish/have the means), I’d be honoured to send them to you – click the pictures and follow the links to be in touch…

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