Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The power of music...

Yesterday my band received an incredible email relating to the disaster of an earthquake that has hit the Canterbury region in New Zealand.

It is not often one is completely blown away and humbled by the honest words of another - but yesterday I was.  

You may not remember me, I was the person that asked to get a photo with you and the guys at Wellington Airport last Monday afternoon.  You were traveling to the next Winery tour venue and I was off to Christchurch for a national health sector chief officers meeting.
I was embarrassed that I only had one (my favorite Midnight Youth) song on my iPhone so I purchased your CD as I walked to my boarding gate.  That night I downloaded it to my iPhone at my Hotel in the CBD.  You may wound why I am telling you all this...
The following Tuesday was an experience I will not soon forget - if ever.  I got out of the CBD unhurt and was able to help where I could during the first few hours of the Quake.  I eventually walked to Hadly Park (the emergency center for those displaced by the Quake).  It was a bomb site and the ground was unstable.  The people there (1,000~) ranged from 'numb' to 'upset' to 'not knowing what to do next'.  I was near a group of international visitors who were praying and others started to join in.  At that time all we could do was wait.  The phones were down and I decided to play my new CD in my iPhone (I wish the speakers were a little larger).  The praying stopped, people starting listening and the depressed mood picked up.  I turned the (your) music off thinking that people may not want to here it.  "Turn it back on" was shouted out. 
We herd five songs before my battery ran out.  I can't express how comforting it was for people to hear some inspiring New Zealand music, at a time where it seemed the world had fallen around us.  I reflected back to our brief discussion about saving lives, which I poorly tried to play down and make an ill timed joke about it.
Some of us (in the health sector) have the opportunity to touch the lives of individual people and families.  What you do touches the harts, minds and sprits of thousands.  Be great, write great music, play great music, inspire the lives of people greatly.  Your music was a bright light in a dark day.  I was lucky to be flying out the next day, I cannot imaging how the people of Christchurch will cope over the coming months.
I'll send a photo with your CD from our surgical unit.

As a musician and songwriter, I express a part of myself that isn't overly evident in my regular daily life - it is quite a mystery to me how it happens and all I know is that I feel satisfied and excited when that process is in motion. But once it leaves my mouth, the stage or a studio, it is out of my control as to how it affects the world around me and it's particularly hard to rationalise that thought - it's moments like these that give me a greater sense of the power that music has and the amazing gift I've been given and am doing my best to use.


  1. Well said brother. What a cool letter to recieve.

    Chris B

  2. We all love your music. I cant wait too see you in Wellington.