We have a unique opportunity now, to leverage this crisis to kick-start a Decade of Action – UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed
Live song share This evening 29th May -Friday / Corona daily relaxations/ Wake Up Your Artist Online/ Film for Seamus Heaney Centre #LeaveNoOneBehind/
Dear friends , in these times of lockdown at various stages-reaching out to say hello with a live show this evening, a series of relaxation reodings, pay what you can online retreats and some other projects and links.
This evening, 8-9 myself and buddy and house friend Josh Donaldson (who sings under the name of Yona ) will be doing a song share hour and taking donations for The Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. You may not know; as an asylum seeker in Britain you receive £36 a week (£5 a day) to cover your living costs. I was surprised and saddened with was so little when I started volunteering there.
The organisation wholeheartedly offers all they can to whoever turns up and thanks to everyone whose donations make it possible. The centre now run a food bank on a Wednesday during the pandemic
Here’s a picture of Josh (Bona) I’m playing with this evening
One of my lockdown projects has been to record daily relaxations – The series playlsted below is them , first a body scan, then a song; each is about 15/20 minutes. The relaxations go into the body in more details than I have explored before – describing bones muscles and organs – in total I imagine we will have about 65/70 of them by about 2 weeks time when I plan to wrap up the project 🙂
The relaxations also come with dedications to community activists, politicians, friends, and countries that have inspired me during this time with their efforts and heart to maintain peace and love and speak truth to power during this time.
The Wake Up Your Artist retreats run by myself and Larissa Mazbouh continues through this time online – if you felt to have a few days of creative retreat we do workshops looking at creativity with all it’s ups and downs and how find our Fflow and art activist engaging in social issues – we’d love to see you.
Come see our website for more :
lastly a film…
A month ago Josh, who I’m playing with tonight and I did this project together funded by The Seamus Heaney Poetry Society in Ireland. It features the Foodbank and me (a lot!) forgive that – the project was about individual artists, poetry and songlyrics around Covid – we hope it raises awareness and some funds.
This work of charities fill the gap left by, in my opinion, a system that could much kinder and much more supportive.
The film ends with a hash tag #leavenoonebehind another organisation raising awareness for the most vulnerable at this time
With love and wishing you are ok at this time – if you feel lonely and want a chat – I’d be glad to hear from you
and more relaxations here if you like another https://joeholtaway.com/rest-relaxations/
Hello everyone welcome to a page on my website – you are welcome good you visited.
We’d like your help 🙂
In the coming months we have 2 day retreats called WUYA DAY-O (Day -Online).
We had the idea to make a song to use in the promotion and we wondered if you would offer your creativity and sing with us?
Here’s what you do:
- listen to the tracks
- sing , dance whatever you feel !
- listen again and this time sing (Improvised) just using the word ‘WUYA DAY – O’ – sing it as many times you like in whatever way feels good!
- record your voice and send it to …firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will take the voices and mix them altogether to make a few fun songs
ideally you will listen to the songs on headphones and sing into another device (smart phone is perfect) – This keep your voice and the music seperate.
The songs below are instrumental tracks for the project.
Photograph from Quaker Children’s (online zoom group) Rainbows for change
“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
You feel it, don’t you?” ~ Rumi
Corona (relaxations), album on Spotify and Youtube, Preparations for Crossing borders festival with Hakuna (my friend Godfrey teaching me Swahili), Song Fest in Yorkshire, (interview with Emily Smith Middlesborough Asylum seeker choir) and Great Lakes Peace Trust show with Tom Robinson June (maybe)
At the time of writing I’m at home with a candle . I just tuned out from listening to Bernie Sanders doing a live rally with Neil Young – I enjoy listening to Bernie speak and I could carry on, but it’s getting late!
Out of my roof window I can look across miles of London, over toward the centre and the east. It’s been quiet, out on my bike over the weekend the streets were almost empty (I didn’t take these pictures but a friend did). And you know for all the people I’m feeling connected to them in a way somehow deeper than by anything I’ve experienced before – close it seems to how I feel about Climate Change, though this feels undeniable, no protest is needed to see the effects, it’s happening and the world is stopping.
3 small top down (Covent Garden, Chinatown, Southbank. Large one, Southbank
My thoughts on it are quite simple; I feel we’ve made it, so to speak. Pandemics, as climate change is, are in my view life responding, as a stressed body would. Where does the stress come from? We are inextricably linked to each other and the natural world, and of the species among countless, our dominance of the earth is clear- as Alanna Shaikh (see below) says, ‘Human choices are driving us into a position where we’ll see more outbreaks…we are pushing into the last wild spaces’. To look at it another way I am touched by the idea that this is an opportunity to reflect, to change.
With the upmost respect to all who have passed away and families.
Two links that shaped my views an article from the guardian on the links between climate change and Coronavirus and a Tedtalk from Global health expert Alanna Shaikh about human behaviour and the situation.
In response to unrest, concern and fear I decided to offer something I can do here; record some relaxations if you visit the Rest Relaxation menu you’ll find them.
My intention is to reach you where you are to calm you for 15 minutes at a time.
My album More The Love That’s Given is now on Spotify and Youtube. It’s been lovely to hear from folks all over the world , music is so accessible now, I knew this, though I’m finding it takes releasing something to really feel this.
The sharing pages are running and I’ll get back to them in the coming weeks – thanks so far to friends who have bravely shared on depression, gender identity, the environment and other themes.
thanks Foxx’s Frequencyfor the post.
When I started writing this post I was contemplating the Government’s recent decision to vote against protections for child refugees to be reunited with their families. The decision, one that has been very much in debate the UK parliament, reminded me of an underlying position of closedness that continues to affect the lives of the most vulnerable
For the foreseeable future Asylum seekers in the UK have a pause from reporting (a sometimes weekly expectation) while we are in the lockdown, some small relief for now. Around the world though, in camps especially it hits hardest (guardian article) and will this lead to tighter borders?
In the UK many NGOs continue to work with migrants arriving into the country and I’ve found in my little bit of volunteering, relationships that fill me with wonder ‘beyond borders’ –
here’s one – with Godfreys permission , here’s me trying to get my voice around some Swahili , Godfrey and I will be playing at the Crossing Borders festival in South London when we are have a new date later in the year (we hope)
and more about the centre…
Along similar lines I had the honour of being a part of SongFest in Yorkshire last month alongside the Middlesborough Asylum Seeker Choir, Scottish singer Yvonne Lyon and other performers and workshop leaders. My sincerest appreciation for it’s organiser Julia Haigh (and lovely welcoming family – including dear Naomi who those who read my album notes will know plays Cello on A Thousand Hands and We Go Sailing
Here is Emily Smith from MAP (Choir leader) and a song old spiritual Down To The River with Yvonne Lyon, thanks for asking me up Yvonne
To close, this may happen it may not we’ll see. Touched by an invitation from BBC6’s Tom Robinson to support at a benefit for the Great Lakes Peace Trust – June 12th St Austell Theatre – here’s Tom whole-heartedly rocking out in 1979
photograph from New Year retreat walk – credit Ha
Release of my first album More The Love That’s Given/ Foxx’s Frequency January Playlists/ Sharings through the year (this month depression) and Oak Tree Film/Contemplations on whiteness.
Many thanks to friends who came to mark the release of More The love That’s Given in December – it was a lovely evening with many friends and many instruments, many stories; it felt good.
The album (and acoustic version) is on now Spotify, a stream of the full album is also available here on Youtube thanks to Canadian music angel Mr Foxx’s Frequency 🙂 and the album has it’s own page here – with stories of the songs and…
an invitation to share…
Started last year I would like to continue to invite stories of the songs to collect together here. My wish is to do one a month through this year starting with ‘depression’ the theme of the album’s opening song Be Still.
If you feel you can share please send me a note through the contact page and we can see together how best to do it. It would appear here with your name or anonymously.
January playlists and a live video from aforementioned Foxx’s Frequency featuring a couple of songs from the album, Lay Down and There’s A Place alongside many other songwriters from around the world. Click through to find many songs I have been touched by in the last few weeks – and Oak Tree.
and lastly I’ll be returning to All Saints Community Church in January to begin recording new songs.
I have 4 which I plan to do first:
Listen To Women/Young Colours/This Skin and Oh Friends.
3 are written and one, This Skin, is being written. This is about whiteness, having white skin and the history tied into that and how that’s playing out in the world now – my reading into this subject has been the below books and podcasts – I wonder if others have also been reading and if so would like to share?
In many ways a concerning start to 2020; may you find peace and loving strength in your own ways as we begin the new year