Andrew Thomas on Scat Singing

In May 2015, in the first week of our trip across the US, we had a chance to meet one extraordinary man. His name is Andrew Thomas and he is a jazz trumpet player. We met him through his brother Matthew, who Michal went to college with. Matt told us that Andrew is an interesting character, but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Andrew charmed us, lured us into his beautiful mind and let us have a glimpse of what he calls his beautiful frustration.

We previously posted an interview with Andrew, but recently we started looking through some files we gathered during our four months journey and came across this video.

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February ’16 – Snapshot of life in the Philippines

We recently came back from the Philippines where we were visiting families of the new kids that joined the ICM Choir. We had the chance to visit new communities and take a look at this beautiful country and beautiful people with fresh eyes.

It’s important to remember to stop from time to time, to look up from our mobile phones and take a look at the world around us. Here is a snapshot of life in the Philippines.

Hold Him Again

This is a song that had been “cooking” for a very long time. It’s one that I wanted to get right.

How do you deal with the death of a loved one? My father-in-law died extremely suddenly almost two years ago. I loved him dearly, but it was clear to me that there were those who loved him so much more than I did.

It caused deep unrest within my spirit. How does a wife deal with the passing of a husband? How would I ever deal with my husband’s passing away, if that tragedy ever fell upon me? Would I ever be able to love again? Would there be guilt? Would there be peace?

This song by no means sums up these emotions. How could they ever?

But this is my look at grief, hope and how it muddies the waters of love.

Louise

Is It O.K.?

An earthquake in Nepal kills thousands of people. A pregnant, homeless young woman sits on the streets of New York City begging for change. A child in the Philippines loses her mother, and suddenly becomes the breadwinner for her four siblings.

Is it OK?
No.
It’s not OK. We live in a world full of situations that are not OK. They are so not OK that they are overwhelming. There are so many issues in our world, both at home and abroad, that need our attention – sometimes it all seems to be too much. What could I possibly do?
There is no simple answer. And I can’t pretend to have found a nice, neat solution. But I can do what I am good at. I can use my voice, my melodies and my stories to bring hope, to bring awareness, and to bring change, at least in one area for now, and hopefully more in the future.
is it ok2I wrote the song “Is it OK” about a very different issue – it is about me struggling with my personal dreams… is it OK for me to pursue my goals, is it OK for me have these gifts and not use them to their full potential? The song is me wrestling with who I am and my responsibilities in life.
But, as people have listened, the song has taken on a new meaning. And that meaning is found within the lyric: “Is it OK to retain such a colossal amount of gold and hold it in your hand for so long without letting go?” 
We hold gold. And I don’t mean cash. I mean all of our resources; our wisdom, time, networks, finances, relationships, experiences, talents… And it is not OK for us to hold onto that gold and keep it to ourselves, when our neighbours are suffering.
We shot this music video in partnership with a charity in the Philippines  who work to lift those who live on less than $0.50 out pf poverty (www.caremin.com). We have been telling the story of poverty for many years… and last year, we were trying to come up with a new, creative way to highlight what poverty looks like. So we decided to do “poverty in slow motion”.

When you shoot in slow motion, suddenly everything looks just incredible. So cinematic. The simplest, the most mundane things all of a sudden look extremely beautiful – someone blinking, a drop of water. And so when we were getting shots in the communities in the Philippines, everything looked spectacular.
But the unfortunate truth is, it actually doesn’t matter how you decide to shoot. At the end of the day, poverty is dehumanising, it is ugly, it is haunting. When you cut to the wide shots, the real time shots, the “reality”, it is then that you realise just how desperate these situations are: the flies, the rubbish, the insufficient food, the unstable shelter.
By presenting this stark contrast, we hope to shed some light on the reality of poverty.
It is not OK.
Please share if you believe that the level of global poverty is not OK. Lets not hold onto our gold; let’s share it, invest it, give it away, and make a change.

Louise Wright