Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I was sitting at the piano, frustrated. No angry. I wanted to write a song, any song really. It had been a while. I had 20 minutes before I had to pick up Sydney from school. I let my mind drift over to the issue of the day, the thing that seems to be invading my friends and family and words for a song began to form in my mind.
This year has been all about the big D, and you know I'm not talking about Dallas. Christians and non Christians, small group friends and high school friends- everyone around us seems to be getting divorced. My parents got divorced, divorce was as much a part of the 80s as Whitesnake and Count Chocula, it's nothing new. But then why does it still hurt?
I thought about one couple in particular, who were both strong believers, strong Christians, sometimes I felt like they knew their bibles better than anyone. But yet, here we were, talking about their separation, who filed what paper, who was moving where. Sitting at the piano I began to wonder about what uniquely they were going through, thinking: Am I still saved? Did I try hard enough? Does God still love me?
So that's when I got the first line: Sink full of dishes and she just can't think/ skin pale and tender where there used to be a ring
I took it to Matt and he helped me finish the lyrics and came up with an acoustic guitar part.
So... now you know- now go get it: Lost and Found
Posted by Cameron Dezen Hammon at 8:45 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
I had the distinct honor of being asked to write a few words this week for my friend Shara Worden's new record that is coming out under her band name My Brightest Diamond on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Shara was one of my first Christian friends and her fearless artistry has inspired me ever since those heady days in Brooklyn just before the turn of the 21st century.
When I first met Shara, and the other "Tribe-ees" (our church was called Tribe) what impacted me first was not their faith, or religious convictions- it was their art.
Shara was the best singer I had ever heard. She took a Prince ballad and turned it into a siren song, wailing in her sometimes delicate, sometimes growling opera trained voice- while picking out muscular harmonics on her electric guitar. Meeting her was life changing for me in so many ways. The least of which was in the way her quiet faith impacted me.
Sage was a poet and performance artist- a freight train of opinion, platinum hair and stage trained voice- with a beautiful wife of equal talent- Hella- and a load of famous friends.
Kenny- our pastor- was a drum and bass DJ- married to Sarah a friendly English woman who never met a stranger, made killer Indian food, and became the unofficial mayor of our Sunset Park, Brooklyn neighborhood.
There were others- on the fringe of our circle of friends was a musician named Sufjan Stevens. My roomate Carrie suggested on multiple occasions that I play a show with him, get to know him, "he has a record label" she said. I ignored her then years later I was on the treadmill at the gym and saw him on MTV.
This group of raggamuffin pilgrims was impressive to me because they did what they did well- with integrity, skill, and commitment. This is how, I've come to see, I should also live out my faith- with integrity, skill and commitment.
God making you, or me, an artist is not an accident. And I don't believe he requires that you (or I) invoke his name every time we make that art we were made to make. Just do it. Make your stuff. It doesn't have to be "Christian art". Be honest. Your faith will come through.
I haven't written much about Tribe and I'm not sure why. When I moved away to Texas it was so, so painful for me. That first year was awful, no one I met could live up to the pedestal I had put my NY friends on. A well deserved pedestal! I made some great friends in Houston, people I still love and adore, but it took me some time to realize that it was my turn to step up, mature, nurture and mentor others as I'd been nurtured and mentored.
It's been amazing to reconnect with Shara over the last few years. She has really soared and it's so exciting to watch. I can say "I knew her when!"
Here's a link to one of her new songs: Reaching Through to the Other Side
Posted by Cameron Dezen Hammon at 1:36 PM