Saturday, December 07, 2013

Christmas Fayre

Performing at the Morecambe Parish Church Christmas Festival.

It was a half hour slot in which I sang all Christmas songs apart from James Taylor's Sweet Baby James and a song I wrote which has an advent theme so it still counts. I sang a song I wrote 2 days ago as well as one I wrote last year and one I wrote over 10 years ago. The audience was small but appreciative and the sound was great especially when I sang Away in a Manger to the American preferred tune.

A nice intro to my Christmas.

Friday, December 06, 2013

My songs

I previously had the spoonfulofdreams domain pointing to SongRamp where many of my songs reside before repointing it here where I have a link to my Youtube account. So you can hear my songs on SongRamp and see and hear them on YouTube, here's the link to my SongRamp page.

You can also find some of my songs on Spotify and iTunes. Simply search for 'The Beauty of Grace'.

I really must get some more songs recorded professionally. Alas that will have to wait but maybe just till next year.

Where I Am Now

Its been a long time since I've contributed to my blog. It must be time to get back into the habit. Much has happened since I last wrote, notably the Lancaster Music Festival. Yes, I helped organise it - built and maintained the website, designed the posters, banners and brochure and put the brochure together. Then I performed over the weekend and did my bit in being part of the team. It was an amazing experience and to cap it all we won an award.

I think I can pretty well hang 2013 on the Festival; it was incredibly significant and will always be a mile stone for me. Earlier this year I left the church I'd helped to lead after I could no longer reconcile myself with the direction in which it was heading. Sometimes its not a matter of staying in order to be a positive influence especially when its taking all your energy to remain sane. It almost feels like I've abandoned everything I used to believe yet I've remained true to the faith.

Some of those held up as mentors and leaders I now consider bigots, fraudsters and hypocrites (I must stress that I'm talking about public figures rather than those of my acquaintance). I find it hard to believe how right wing much of the Evangelical church is - how pro establishment and unbiblical.

I've found my own way through the gay rights debate rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon or shutting up shop. The Bible can hardly be used to support gay rights but neither does it explicitly condemn homosexuality per se. It says much more in condemnation of those who insist on demonising and persecuting others on the basis of gender orientation. While I would defend those who sincerely cannot reconcile homosexuality with a biblical faith I would still challenge them to consider how much of their understanding is either based on culture or indoctrination.

Back to me: after years of developing and honing a platform for creating websites I now have something very close to a finished product which I'm very pleased with, not least because of its simplicity and compactness and also because the development has become really intuitive and I'm finally being able to save time rather than adding time because half of it is spent in debugging what was supposed to make life easier.

My guitar playing has come on in leaps and bounds but, ironically, I've given my guitar back to its rightful owner (long story) and gone back to mandolin. I'm finding that very refreshing and have no problem turning my back on the guitar for a season. In another twist of irony I wrote a new song on the guitar (which I borrowed back) two days ago. My experience at the Festival told me that despite improving my guitar technique I'd also plateaued. There really is no point in improving a broken model when there is a more productive route and I believe the mandolin provides that for me.

My life seems to go in 13's and I believe this year to be very significant, not because of what I've achieved but because of the possibilities it has opened up. There are still some pretty big rocks but they're not looking quite so unmovable.