My Song of Lament

[This is not an “All This Time” or “Through the Window of St. Drogo” piece, per se, but I am using those categories because this, to me, is what music is really for. Expressing pain for which there can be no words.]

Twelve years ago, a group of deluded people were tricked by evil men into killing themselves to make a point. The point they sought to make was that the United States of America had spent many decades treating the rest of the world like our ill behaved children and it was about time we swallowed all that pride that made us think we could force the whole world to behave in our best interests all the time.

Sadly, we didn’t learn the lesson. We decided the best thing to do was to prove that we could make everyone behave in our best interests all the time.

We started two wars, killed a lot of people, ruined two countries and basically proved those deluded people and evil men to be correct.

Now we find ourselves on the brink of making an even bigger mistake.

The Syrian uprising two years ago was no “Arab Spring”. It was poor, rural people demanding that their government take care of them. But Western journalists working for a mainstream media deep in the pockets of our government decided to report it as a violent rebellion demanding an overthrow of the government. We reported that so often, eventually Saudi Arabia and Qatar realized it was perfectly safe to spend something like $3 billion to fund an actually violent civil war in Syria. Remember, these are monarchies with no constitutions. They don’t want to create Western style democracy in Syria or anywhere else. They simply want Wahabi control over the whole planet.

Make no mistake, our arrogance created this war. Because we think we know it all, and we think we know best. We opened the doors for this violence.

And now we’re on the brink of dropping bombs, not to choose a side, not to try to end the fighting, but to… make a moral point about sarin gas.

There isn’t enough space here to explain how absurd this is.

But I will say that Syria is one of the oldest Christian presences on the planet. Saint Paul was converted near Damascus. Antioch has been a Patriarchate of the church since the beginning. We were first called Christians there.

And if the USA doesn’t stop talking about bombs, and start talking about refugee crises, UN peace keeping actions and replace this nonsense about the manifesting of Western style democracy with outcry about Islamic sectarian violence destabilizing entire countries, it will not be long before the oldest Christian presence is the most recent Christian disappearance.

For all we have done wrong the past twelve years…

For all we seem about to do wrong…

For all we did wrong long before these recent times which prompted so much hatred…

For all these things, this is my song of lament.


Can’t Do This Alone

Yesterday I spent some hours playing a rousing game of “your song made me think of this song” with a friend who is likely to become a significant partner for collaboration on this project. We have very different musical taste and the connections we made were quite distinct. I think it bodes well for being useful sounding boards (ha ha) for one another during the arrangement and recording phases.

I also think I found where I want to record vocals. This same friend has a sun porch that is 90% glass walls, a stone floor, and a high ceiling. The room’s nearly 20 feet long, but less than 10 feet wide, and so it has a great sound that resonates easily. It will be fun to experiment with different mic positions in the space.

I’m looking forward as well, this coming week, to time in the studio with my good friend the iconographer Nick Papas who agrees with me that artists feed artists, regardless of the media or the intention. He has some painting he does aside from rendering icons (see how deftly I side-step the ‘write’ vs. ‘paint’ debate there?) and I have my soundscapes which I do aside from more structured songs and we’re going to see if these things complement one another.