Go to Becoming Liturgy under the Music tab and voila! The updated songbook is there. If you need bulletin inserts just e-mail me. Sing it up folks.
News for June 2010
Updated Songbook Up
held in the creative common
Or, to frame it in the positive: I love giving things away. I love the free section on Craig’s list. I love putting money in the offering, treating for coffee, getting paid for doing what I love. Outside of the Gospels few things in the Bible attract me more than reading about the early church (back when the connotation was a people – not an institution) selling everything and redistributing the wealth.
There’s a tension and a reality for artists to put a price on their creation. There’s a consumer mentality in this country that the better deal is slowly being seen as the better product. Well that’s baloney. If you Google my name you can find places to stream my music for free. (Um, not that I’ve ever Googled my name. Donde esta humility?) I think you can even download the album Folk Star for free off of one of these sites – you could at one time, at least.
It’s no longer stealing, it’s rolling back prices. It’s not uncommon for folks to go to the library, pick up a dozen CD’s, put them on itunes and return them. That’s not stealing, right? I mean, our taxes paid for that.
Here’s the deal, if you can’t afford to give me something for the art I make, just ask me for it.
Money has an unGodly amount of power. Ask our governor and the 3 teachers that were let go at my daughter’s school thanks to Pawlenty’s repeated abuse of power.
And the church has money too. Have you seen the Vatican? Have you seen Haiti? Do you wonder why people call Christians hypocrites?
Artists – in my definition – have a job to be the seers and seekers of truth. We gather and make known the beauty and pain of our common experiences. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s agitating, sometimes it comforts and sometimes it hurts.
At whatever level of competence I’m able to do this I’m extremely grateful for the churches, families, and non-profits that support me in this. And yes I mean that financially.
In organized religion the organization often redistributes the wealth on behalf of the people. There are positive things that happen. For example, the ELCA is able to take a portion of that pool and do big things like join the Lutheran Malaria Initiative. That’s huge, and makes me grateful for the hugeness of the organization.
But sometimes when the organization does the distributing we forget that it’s ‘our’ money that does that. We get to give. We get to free ourselves of the illusion that any of it was ours to begin with. We do that when we give it away without condition. We do that when we move into other (and in my book, more Christ-like) realms of stewardship like our time and our talent/vocation.
Maybe money is just a sign of our incredible lack of imagination in terms of loving our neighbor.
This is all on my mind as I prepare to tour on behalf of my Becoming Liturgy album this next year. It’s church folk music. Pete Seeger made albums in the hopes that people would not simply listen to them but be inspired to play the songs on their own instruments and write some too. I want the same for this album. I want people to sing at home and write Kyrie’s for their congregations. And I don’t want money to get in the way. And I want to continue making a living doing this. There is tension. So I’ve made some small decisions that serve me and my neighbor. The Becoming Liturgy CD is my art. And you love art and you want to support it. So you’ll buy it. Or you’re broke and ask me for a copy. Or you think the ten commandments were merely suggestions and you copy a friends copy and never have another decent nights sleep as long as you live. Or worse, you sleep great only to realize how comfortable you are stealing art. Sucks to be you.
But there’s also a songbook that goes with the CD. And that’s Creative Commons. (Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike 3.0) That means you can print it off and use it for free. You can put in your bulletin on Sunday morning and not pay a dime to CCLI or any publisher or even me. You can adapt it, add a verse, change a pronoun, or fix the melody line to sound like the album (I’m a folksinger, what can I say?).
Over the next week I’ll repost the songbook with this information in it. And eventually I’ll post the bulletin insert sized versions as well. Who knows? If I get crazy, maybe I’ll even post the finale files and you can open and re/co create to your heart’s content.
And if you want to thank me, go ahead and send me some money. Or better yet book me for a concert at your church and we’ll sing some songs. And we’ll sing freely.
It seems like the whole digital download thing might actually take off. Well good, because now my first ‘real’ CD, Folkstar, is available on i tunes along with Becoming Liturgy and Mysterious Kung Fu Ninja and The Pink Princess of Pretty Pretty Land. And of course you can get them at CDBABY as well. Consumers Rule.