Posted by: swanspirit | July 6, 2008

The canaries in the coal mines

Coal mining is a  gaseous dangerous endeavor , and long before modern technology could detect dangerous  and deadly  gases , coal miners used canaries in cages . Down they went the bright yellow songsters into the depths .Canaries are  sensitive to the presence of carbon monoxide ,and would stop singing , start swaying on their perches and even die ,when the levels of gas increased and the miners would hastily leave to save their own lives .   

 When the music industry  entered the long dark  tunnel of corporate approval , mining for talent only among the pop bubble gum and soft porn sell repetitve  themes and beats for  profit  music , the canaries who wrote music  and sang and played from their hearts and souls  but didnt fit the mold  swayed on their respective perches  and almost died .  Some did .

 Music is the  life breath  and soul,  of any  culture  and  of the world  . It precedes  social and cultural movements and changes in history , mends the wounds of the hurt , and lifts in  joy to rapture the hopes and dreams of  the people. it is the energy from  the ether that finds its spiritual and magical way  thru the spirits of the musicians to the hearts and souls of the people .  Controlling music for the public,  for profit for the private , places artificial contraints  on the spirit which  nurtures  our growth and development as a species , and harms  in  ways we cannot fully grasp . So when  the canaries swayed on their perches , it was time to leave  the coporate mine and the light at the end of the tunnel was the internet .

 I remember ancient internet bulletin boards at YE OLDE Mp3 DOTTE  COM , where people ranted on about how NO ONE was  EVER going to  download music from the internet and we were all crazy and  wasting our time and spinning our wheels . I was just a listener , but there were only  two or three of us so I was special and lots of early  then but great artists now wanted my  ears .

They could not stop making music, it was in their hearts and souls and spilling out of their throats like songs from canaries in the coal mines , and they made it beautifully and joyously , and I was thrilled and grateful and priveledged to listen .  Even the early  efforts  that still required re writing or re recording  were thrilling to hear .  Partaking in the creative process was and still is pure undiluted joy for me.

 And the Corpys became alarmed , angry and attempted more controls and restrictions and constrictions .  Of course they  did , life was  changing and they were not ready ,and were not able to cope . They still are trying  but to no  avail and they have had to adjust or fade away into history . But the INDEPENDENT MUSIC INDUSTRY IS ALIVE AND WELL and has left the mine and the cage and  is now  singing  quite happily in the wild internet . I even have my own radio station for indies !!!

 Celebrating  this triumph ;

Alison Wenham  writes in an article in the INDEPENDENT  ( and suffering no lack of serendipity ) which  says

Today is 4 July, and there is no more fitting a date to hijack for the purpose of celebrating our independent musical history than the American Declaration of Independence. After breaking from the British, the Americans enshrined a constitution so all-encompassing in its vision of law, governance and society, that it has provided stability to a diverse and massive geography and population for more than 200 years.  The 1776 Declaration of Independence remains one of the best-written documents on the characteristics and behaviour of tyranny – in the Americans’ case, of course, of the British King and the British Government.

It states: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive? it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

You can read the rest of this lovely  brilliant article here

 She goes on to attribute  the changes in the music industry to the will of the people and how freedon of expression is crucial to  happiness . The article is a brief but beautiful read .

  I dont think it is a stretch at all to compare what has happened  and is happening in the music industry to what is happening in the political world today . more people are paying attention , and we are achieving freedom of expression and communication via the internet .  we are leaving the long dark  coal mine of  coporate controlled politics and hype and spin of the media and relying on one another for the truth and freedom of expression  and grass roots movements. We are not buying the marketed candidate  and we are supporting one of our own , independently . I have lived those long years of waiting for things to happen to make it possible for indie musicians to  be able to have careers without having to be “signed” to make it .

 I look forward to   and am happily waiting   for the  peoples true  choice to  be elected. I have participated in helping to begin to bring about  that difference  , and I  look forward  to participating in this one . We are in need of a new democracy , and not just in music . But music being the canary in the coal mine , I see  it happily cage free  and singing and  am optimistic  and have promising aspirations for the future , and know there will be music there as well . 

That is  just one of the reasons I  fully and wholly  support Hillary Rodham Clinton  and why she is also one of  my personal heroines , right up there with  Amelia, Margaret Mead ,and Janis .