Music and Healing

Shalom Wishes for Christmas

For the past several weeks, the TS10 has maintained a common strain. They all spoke to the ambivalence many of us experience this time of year. I would hope that we all can at least heed the “tidings of great joy” to an extent. However, joy is only one of the myriad of emotions people feel during the Christmas season. I am certainly not immune from this Noel-driven ambivalence.

I love Christmas so much. This holiday season, in particular, has been sweet. I, along with my beautiful family, have watched plenty of movies, listened to a plethora of carols, and viewed my share of lights. And yet I have found myself feeling so many emotions, several of which are dramatically divergent from the joy the season is supposed to purvey.

I’ve been prone to despair on occasion… hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men. That reality, that truth from one of my favorite Christmas songs, has swirled in my thoughts in recent weeks. I’ve felt frustrated with myself at times, as well as with how little and poorly we love each other. I’ve been grieved as I’ve remembered relationships which once meant the world to me but have either faded away or were severed for one reason or another. The music featured in this month’s TS10s have captured some of these emotions, as well as the incumbent joy of the season.

However, for this moment in time, on this Christmas Eve, I choose to set aside all that ambivalence. Now, it’s time to meditate on the idea of everything being made right somehow. Peace. Shalom. As you engage with this playlist, I wish you shalom. Certainly, I wish you a Merry Christmas. But, more than anything, I wish you shalom.

God is not dead nor does he sleep

The wrong shall fail

The right prevail

With peace on earth, goodwill to men…

-Ed

 

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Sharing the Gift of Noisetrade

 

In 2006, my fandom of Derek Webb was at an all-time high. His album “Mockingbird” had rocked my world emotionally and spiritually. I was given the album as a gift and was hooked from the beginning. Sometime later, Webb literally gave the album away as a digital download. Over 80,000 downloads later, Webb was playing sold out shows and even saw a spike in sales of that very album.

On the heels of that experiment, Webb and a team of other folks launched a site called Noisetrade. The basic premise is that artists upload music and prospective listeners can download that music in exchange for their email addresses and zip codes (with the option to leave a “tip” for the artist). I was intrigued by the idea, but I found very few downloads I was really all that interested in at the beginning. That’s because the artists using Noisetrade were mostly independent artists, many with only a local following in their home areas.

A few years later, I decided to start giving some of these artists, that were unknown by me, a listen. Everything started to change for me at that point. One of the first albums I downloaded was Josh Garrels‘ “Love & War & The Sea in Between,” which remains one of my favorite albums to this day. In the coming months, I downloaded music from such great artists as The Civil Wars and Andrew Bird.

It was as if I had walked into a whole new world. My musical boundaries were being challenged all over the place, and I was discovering for myself some intensely talented musicians creating some intensely meaningful music. In the years since, I have experienced music from so many great artists because of Noisetrade, including:

Aoife O’Donovan Haley Bonar Matisyahu
The Autumn Film Heath McNease Matthew Perryman Jones
Beautiful Eulogy Humming House NEEDTOBREATHE
Brooke Waggoner Hurray for the Riff Raff PHOX
Butterfly Boucher Ingrid Michaelson Polica
Caroline Rose Jessica Lea Mayfield Propaganda
The Civil Wars Josh Garrels Rubblebucket
Cody ChesnuTT Judah & The Lion Sara Groves
Derek Webb Justin Townes Earle Sufjan Stevens
Dispatch Katie Herzig Trampled By Turtles
Duologue The Local Strangers The 77’s
Gungor Lord Huron

So, if you are unfamiliar with Noisetrade, I’d love to help you change that. First of all, here is the link to their site: www.noisetrade.com. Second, on the Noisetrade page (click here) is a sample of the kind of music you can download from that site. These are all songs that have been available (or are currently available) on their site. Enjoy this playlist and go download some music!! (And if you are so inclined, tip the artists generously!)

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