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It's Time to Use Music for Good



TIME TO TAKE ACTION


I don't believe in "art for art's sake". Or rather, I know it's possible but I can't understand why one would want to divorce their art from the social impact it can have on others.


Now as musicians... what actions can we take, and for what cause?



Singing the spirituals


'Every time I feel the spirit moving in my heart, I will pray.'


That's a line from one of the many African-American spirituals I sing regularly. These songs give us the privilege of an insight into the lived experiences of enslaved individuals who were subjected to some of the most brutal forms of injustice, oppression, and suffering. Yet the unmistakable inner peace and hope in Christ in the words passed on over centuries amazes me. Despite all the pain that they've gone through, the loving hope of God's salvation shines brighter than ever.


Spirituals are complex, and have many layered meanings. It's true that not all enslaved who sang these songs, even with explicit lyrics about Jesus and other biblical topics, truly believed them or were even Christian. Still, we cannot deny that while many were not necessarily of the Christian faith, many were.



What to do with this insight?


A unifying characteristic of African American spirituals is their dual emphasis on both inner faith and outward action. We have much to learn from the wisdom of the spirituals. As we sing and appreciate them, perhaps we too will be refined inwardly with the power of the gospel and outwardly toward greater love and action for the poor and oppressed in our midst today.


I'm going to sing and perform lots more African-American spirituals. Not because of any ancestral roots to those who created the music (I have none), but because I've been immensely blessed by the strength and love of these enslaved individuals and I want to share it with you.


From there, I hope to offer tangible ways for listeners to take action to serve those who are facing injustice, oppression and violence.


Why? The reality is that slavery is far from eradicated. Modern slavery is prevalent all around the world today, and it is my hope that through the gifts in music that God has given me, perhaps He can use me to make an impact in the lives of our neighbours in need. All by His strength, of course.


Lots more details and music coming your way soon. Till then, take good care and stay safe.


~Neil

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