Wise advise from a leaf 

Recently I was invited to share my Voice Ecology work as part of an inclusive dance festival in Krzyżowa. It was the 6th edition of this festival and it is a wonderful event for young people of all different abilities from different countries to meet and explore their creativity together. It's important to mention that there were also many young participants who were refugees as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

One of the exercises I often invite people to explore in the workshop (inspired by the work of Joanna Macy) is to complete open sentences with a tree. The first is to say out loud and then finish "Something I'm grateful for in my life right now is ...", and the second is "Something that breaks my heart in my life right now is...".

One girl from Belarus, who was doing this exercise a little way off from me started crying quite strongly. I had a strong realization of just how her experiences were something completely beyond my understanding.

As she was doing this exercise, I was also doing it, with a leaf that was growing in the grass next to me. I asked if the leaf could give me some advice and what came to me was: 


"The rock doesn't need to understand the water in order that it can help the river's flow".

I think that is some of the best advice I've ever had, and I'm happy to share it with you.

IPCC and Voice Ecology 

The most recent IPCC report released over the summer, clearly gives a sobering if not grim picture of our futures. Even with dramatic de-carbonisation of our societies, we will have a significant rising of temperature in our climate and will need to be prepared for adaptation

The world's climate that has been stable for the last 10'000 years has now changed, we don't feel it completely yet, and now the question is not 'can we stop global warming', but 'how much can we limit the effects that our now already locked in'. 

Many scientists and public leaders describe this time as the 'decisive decade'. What we do or don't do now, will have consequences that will continue far beyond our own individual lives. 

What the hell has self-expression got to do with any of this?

There are many ways in which climate change will effect us, and many ways in which we can respond. voice ecology is in part a place for us to explore our voice, to discover and connect with our enormous innate power of self-expression, but there is one more aspect to the work. Voice ecology seeks to respond to what has been called in the Deep Ecology movement, "environmental consciousness". To experientially connect self expression with the self-awareness that we are in every way deeply interconnected with the environment and all of it's miraculous processes. Including our voice. 

It is my hope that through our work we come to realise the creative power of our voices and to become a voice not only for ourselves but also for our nature and environment, and to realise that they are intimately one and the same thing.

Wisdom and Creativity: part 1 

I don’t consider myself a wise person, actually quite the opposite much of the time! But, I do think that wisdom comes through me from time to time. This is what happens when we create and open to that mysterious flow, where music / songs / poetry / art etc, comes from. It comes through me, but at the same time it’s something that’s not mine, and I don’t have a comfortable ownership of it. More like a parent, we don’t own our children, but at the same time we own our children, at least for a while…when they need us, we are the responsible ones, but when we’re not needed we need to be out of the way.

Read more

You ran off with the Circus ?!?! 

Yes. It’s true 

I was cycling in London when I had the phone call. An that time I was cycling a lot in London, on average spending about 2 hours a day on my bike. Rushing between rehearsals and giving guitar lessons mostly. It was winter. and I remember that it was very cold and I didn’t have gloves. It was so cold that I was cycling and alternating with one hand in my pocket and the other on the steering, but after awhile even that was too much and the cold was too painful, and I had the idea to take off my socks and put them on my hands to use as gloves, which I did, and it worked, happy discovery. That’s when I had the phone call. 

FAITH: Sam, how are you? 

Read more

Why would anyone want to be a songwriter? 

So You’re a songwriter. Tell me about it, what’s it all about for you, what’s your attraction to songwriting? 

Well it’s a good question, it’s not something I think about too much. I started off because my dad is a guitar player and songwriter, and as a kid I wanted to be like him… and for sure he helped me to found my own way with it. I was OK at playing other peoples songs, but i found it easy and more fun to make up my own. It’s a very intimate thing to write songs, and to be in a creative process with something. Each song has a story from where it comes from, I think we’re all growing through out life, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, and probably other ways as well. Art gives us that space of spiritual development. Through songs we can communicate with that part of ourself which is connected with dreams and what is not quite conscious. Often I write a song, and it’s not till later on that I come to really understand what it was about. It’s like a sign for what’s going on next in life. 

Read more

Recording Yat-Kha!!! 

After planning and fund-raising, and tours and many emails, finally I got Yat Kha into the studio! The tour bus was late, the band were sick, we had 4 hours booked at JM Records in Wroclaw (great studio, I recommend it), and in the end only Sholban Mongush had the power to come and record and we only had 90mins!!!

Read more