This week, I don't have a lot of poetic words to offer... but maybe just a bit of realness. I am really sensing how Covid is taking its toll, and wish I could alleviate some loneliness. The best way I know how to do that is with music.
Earlier this week, some friendly listeners informed me that the song One Love was not in the sequence for my online streaming platforms... on my brand new album release!!! For a moment, I felt like my new album was a like a mid 2020 self-cut hair-do with the roots half grown-out.
This isn't my first rodeo, so I didn't get too worried, and ended up turning it into a contest of sorts. The first three people to catch the "glitch" won a Hymns From the Icons CD (one went to Quebec, one went to Alberta, and the last one went to the Netherlands!)
I have nearly fixed that problem, but, you will have to wait a bit more to stream the whole album, as it will be coming back online on any day now.
Like "negative space" in art, that which was missing gave shape to what I looked for. And I spent some time really listening again to this remarkable song by Bob Marley. One line really popped out for me, "is there a place for the hopeless sinner, who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?".
If you get a chance, watch the hour-long documentary Who Shot the Sheriff? on Netflix.
For people who want artists like me to not be at all political (that's another thing... have I ever gotten it in the past two weeks!), it is a strange consideration. Half the reason songwriters are attuned to music, is to try and sound the bell for justice, and to tell stories that might transform, and name truth. The other half of the reason is that somewhere in there, and equally as potent, is a thrumming call to unite all that has been put asunder. In this documentary, there is a scene where Bob Marley holds the hands of each political leader, the one from the right, and the one from the left, together, in a powerful stage performance that he risked his life to return to Jamaica for. It is a visual statement of naming what is wrong, and also wanting to heal divides all at the same time.
So... with that... I've put in the player below for you the chance to listen to my humble version of a song written (along with Curtis Mayfield) in a very difficult time, by one who was visited by the geniuses, the Muses, the Christ... who asks us to live in tender mercy on behalf of the God-who-became-pieces in order to manifest, and now our great challenge is to live in service of all these pieces coming together.
Remember: the physical store closes for advent/christmas
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.