The world seems to be changing and if it is true and we are moving into a different way of being, it is logical to assume that many novelties will begin to emerge into our fields of perception. We see different kinds of weather embracing the earth, different kinds of government crawling towards the light, different ways of thinking and, enticingly, different ways of feeling becoming more common. Perhaps even different kinds of loving may be seen to see with eyes willing to see. It seems safe to say that as part of this transformational process different kinds of artists may also emerge.
For what is art in an artificial world? What is it's role in the health and further development of human consciousness?
If the term bard is new to you, we can say a bard is a storyteller, composer, poet wrapped up in one. But preserved within a bard's stories and songs are ideas and histories which help maintain the identity and coherency of his culture. There is a craft even more distant and lost to us, that of the Celtic Fili, who mix magic and prophecy into their poetry and songs. They were closer to seers and poetic sorcerers, and associated closely with the power structures of their times. What the Blackbird has in common with Bards and Fili is believing in the magic within words to shape human experience, thought and society, and the tapping the power of joy in songs and the spoken word, and the ability of music to create community and preserve and deliver ideas into human minds.
The Blackbird is my collaboration with these and many other colorful ideas and the cumulation of a lifetime's inner alchemical process. The goal is to sow beauty, joy and connection with words, ideas and music, to offer modern minds fresh perspectives, revisit forgotten selves and celebrate being what we are, whatever that may end up being.
The Blackbird was born on Long Island, NY about forty four days before John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley moved over to the other side at the beginning of the Second American Civil War. It was a time of hopefulness and imagination when The People were alive and self assured and believed, throughout all of the struggle and conflict of the era, that they were working towards a prosperous and peaceful shared future for their country and the world. The creative spirit of the time was flourishing and the entire world reaped the benefits.
He spent his early years immersed in Beatles' music, and when he was properly seasoned, he reached out into the other wonderful music of the counter culture. The background of his childhood was a loving family, and a watercolored collage of the Moon landing, the Viet Nam War, Civil Rights Movement, the dark paranoia of Richard Nixon, the ominous drills hiding under desks in school and the demented policy of Mutual Assured Destruction which defined the Cold War, the enlightened fantasy of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, and Rod Sterling's Twilight Zone and the social masterpiece of Archie Bunker's Family.
In his young adulthood he began working in Theater and learned that literature could be alive. He was a founding member of the Modern Theater of Myth in New York, and he scored many classic ancient Greek and Shakespeare works, performing the scores live with the plays in New York and in international theater festivals in Scotland, Cyprus, and Greece. After a festival in Cyprus he traveled to Egypt and became interested in Egyptian mythology and history and the history transformations of religions. In the 1990's he began collecting music and performing protest songs and other songs that people had been killed for writing and singing. Joe Hill, Victor Jara, John Lennon. He found deep inspiration in such artists but found purely political songwriting was not for him a large enough experince, and did not convey Joy, probably the most important virtue of music. He has also come to believe that in a cruel and dull world a love song is also be a protest song, and a poem may be more subversive than a political manifesto.
His interests lie in the evolution of the human spirit, music, literature, political science, social science, futurism, speculative fiction, physics, oral history, the history of religions, mysticism, shamanism, imagination, and the function of art in society. It is his belief that mankind is at a crucial turning point in it's evolution, we must either come together as a thoughtful compassionate global society, or we will descend into the madness of desperate sub-humanism in a paranoid police state. He believes our evolution will be more and more consciously guided by one or the other of these forces, and he would like his voice to be an advocate of the thoughtful compassionate global society. He views his music as folk music for a new Global Village.
Photo of the Blackbird: Gela Megrelidze