Watch Me Talk About QuakerSpeak

So I feel a little bashful about this… but my co-workers thought it was a good idea for me to talk to the camera for a little while.

The video project I’ve dedicated my 30’s to so far is wrapping up its 3rd year and nearing a million views on YouTube. To celebrate, the Friends Journal editors turned the cameras around and asked me some questions about the project.

Thanks to everybody who follows the project and has supported me throughout the years.

Quaker Epistle, Set to Music!

A few weeks ago a Friend in England Facebooked me to see if I’d put music to an epistle that she had a part in writing. The epistle is the Kabarak Call for Peace and Eco-Justice. Here’s my rendition.

The Kabarak Call for Peace and Eco-Justice

The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice was approved on 24 April 2012 at the Sixth World Conference Friends, held at Kabarak University near Nakuru, Kenya. It is the culmination of the FWCC World Consultation on Global Change which was held in 2010 and 2011. It is being circulated with the Conference Epistle.

In past times God’s Creation restored itself. Now humanity dominates, our growing population consuming more resources than nature can replace. We must change, we must become careful stewards of all life. Earthcare unites traditional Quaker testimonies: peace, equality, simplicity, love, integrity, and justice. Jesus said, “As you have done unto the least… you have done unto me”. We are called to work for the peaceable Kingdom of God on the whole earth, in right sharing with all peoples. However few our numbers, we are called to be the salt that flavours and preserves, to be a light in the darkness of greed and destruction.
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How to Play “Walk in the Light” (The George Fox Song)

There’s a Light that is shining in the Heart of a man
It’s the Light that was shining when the world began
There’s a Light that is shining in the Turk and the Jew
There’s a Light that is shining, friend, in me and in you.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been singing this song about George Fox, a man who is widely regarded as the founder of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

When I became a singer-songwriter and started sharing some of my music with Quakers, I started getting a lot of requests for it. Though I was never a “singalong” musician (I have my own song that I wrote about Fox), I loosened up and learned the chords. If you’re looking to learn how to play the George Fox Song, I’ll post the chords and lyrics just below this video.

+Click to show chords & lyrics

Why You Should Listen to Eyedea

In the year 2000, when I was first getting into underground hip hop, I came across this rapper from Minneapolis who blew my mind.

Edit 12.12: Eyedea was from St. Paul

Eyedea was a master of his craft.

Eyedea was a musical prodigy, beginning to tour at just 16 years old, and already starting to develop his signature style of fast paced delivery with mind-bending lyrics. He released his first work of genius at age 20.


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“Clothe Yourself in Righteousness” Video Song

When I released my new album, “Clothe Yourself in Righteousness”, last Fall, I promised to myself (and to you!) that I would edit all of the footage I had taken during the recording process and turn each song into a videosong.

I got through 8 of these videosongs, and then needed to take a step back and rethink the way I was approaching them. Video editing is an entirely new skill for me, though there are some aspects that are akin to audio.

When I released my new album, Clothe Yourself in Righteousness, last Fall, I promised to myself (and to you!) that I would edit all of the footage I had taken during the recording process and turn each song into a videosong.

I got through 8 of these videosongs, and then decided to take a step back and rethink the way I was approaching them. Video editing is an entirely new skill for me, though there are some aspects that are akin to audio.

Anyway, here I am returning for the last two videos! This is the new and improved Jon-the-filmmaker! Enjoy!

Quakerism 101 with Max Carter

When we were filming the scene in the hut for the music video, Tom Clement and I had some down time with Max Carter and, having asked him to prepare a brief lecture on the history of Quakerism for the video, decided to let him run once through the whole thing.

What’s amazing about what follows is that Max did this without flinching, as Tom and I were moving around the room trying to get everything ready for filming the music video.

As I looked back over the footage, I realized that there is simply no online resource as concise and comprehensive as the (less than) five minute talk Max had just given. I went to work with the visuals, and would say, humbly, that the result is as good as the music video (some might say better!)

Tom Fox Music Video

Friends,

As the tenth anniversary to 9/11 came and went, I found myself reflecting on the past ten years… especially our reaction to being attacked and the results of that reaction.

I found myself reflecting on my elder, Tom Fox, who joined the Christian Peacemaker teams to try to heal some of the damage we were doing in Iraq. And I found myself mulling over the song that I wrote about Tom’s subsequent abduction and death.

What resulted was very unexpected. I am working full tilt on a new album (due for release in 2 weeks… yikes!) and certainly did not have the spare time. But of course I had to listen, and be faithful to the call. Take a look:

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