Leading up to the release of the new music video When Love Meets Dust, I am recording a series of talks, to build up context for the art... for the expression. It will be "out there" for some, and I understand that, but what if the "out there" itself is a teaching?
This modality of embodying a teaching, of developing and playing characters, is deep in my capacity and desire as an artist. In fact, theatre has always been a great love, and more than that, finding mediums to convey truth beyond our cerebral and rigid bodily defences, is perhaps most important to me as an artist.
For those who have eyes to see, the video itself is a sermon, or a "visio divina".
In the next video, and in an essay, I will be talking a lot about the development of Mary Magdalene's character. A lot. A couple of hints for now... she is adorned for a reason. She is still embodied... for a reason. She is not blending into the scenery... for a reason. She is not looking through dualistic eyes like the rebel and the conformist... as though body shame and old man sweaters (jumpers) are the antithesis to the allurement of empire or the rebellion against it. She is not an antithesis. That is all I will say for now! More on this in the coming days!
To listen to the radio version of this, click below.
Every year, my dear partner/husband Ian and I sit down to draw up a creativity plan to map out how to wisely spend our time. We run a homestead. We have young children. And... it has been important to us to try and live inside of a sacred schedule that includes adapted, simple, daily chants, and ritual, so our children can be included.
Often it has come up for me, that the rule of thumb for releasing an album is to do so every 16 to 18 months. And what I've come to realize is, that model was designed by a billboard-style industry that kept the artists and listeners in need of a remarkable number of middle men. Every day, is a fuller realization of the sovereignty I have worked for as an artist, and it has itself, become a co-author in the work that is to come.
So, I will be embarking on a new, more relational model this year, by releasing an album, one song at a time, inside of the rhythm of this year's liturgical calendar. No need to reinvent the wheel... the sacred lineage of a rhythm of life is laid out for us. This model affords far more interaction and connection and community-building, and feels synonymous with my desire to be in direct interaction with those who listen to this music.
The photo above is a sneak peek at an upcoming song and video release, to mark the season of Lent. The song, When Love Meets Dust was written in 2018, when Ash Wednesday landed on Valentine's Day, and I sat in the apparent dissonance of that.
To learn more about this year, and especially the book/album announcement for next year, listen to my Sunday Song Radio show and you can also check it out in the PDF below.
In this episode, I explore how many of us formed by the evangelical movement, have experienced the trauma of being entrained to be enablers, particularly of people in positions of religious power. I address the internal wrestling I have gone through, of struggling to seeing the difference between holding a perception of one sacred universe, and being expected to offer "cheap grace" to people who abuse their positions of power.
In this week's radio show, I also explore the roots and rise of Evangelicalism and how many of us who see ourselves as "post evangelical" need to be examining our own reactions... because the evangelical movement itself rose out of reactivity.
Near the end of the episode I confess to the role I have played in the very present danger of political sectarianism that is on the doorstep of the entire Western world, and currently playing out in the United States.
Click the play button below to listen, and if you would like to leave me a voice message, go directly to:
Otherwise, feel free to type a comment here, as I always read them, and appreciate your insightful words.
Since I posted the Ring Out, Wild Bells video on December 28th, over 68,000 people have viewed it on facebook, and nearly 6,000 have viewed it on Youtube! A fun way to kick off the New Year, in service, in costume, and on purpose. I heard from many people about how it companioned them through ringing out 2020, and ringing in 2021.
For some time, I have planned to add to my Sunday Song and Rumination column (that I have written nearly every week for two and a half years), with a radio show, and now two episodes are up on my new podcast channel, as well as on Youtube.
In this episode, you will hear a Celtic folk duo from Ontario, named Scotia, playing a pipe and accordion version of my Ring Out, Wild Bells melody. On New Years Eve, other players in the village played this outside their homes and also rang the old church bells 245 times!!! What a beautiful story. And... to top it all off, they dressed up in Scottish steampunk. So fun.
Next week, I will be back into writing, and will begin the radio show by walking through my album Behold, I Make All Things New. If that album has meant something to you, I would love for you to send me a voice message on my podcast platform. Just click "message" and follow the promptings. I really would love to have more interaction with you and hearing voice is so different than reading typed words!
Listen to the podcast by clicking on the image below! Or you can listen with the video above.
Alana Levandoski is a song and chant writer, recording artist and music producer, in the Christian tradition, who lives with her family on a regenerative farm on the Canadian prairies.