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Europe lives in fear these days. In 2004, 5 and 6 I wrote 3 songs in french about the clash of religions, fear of foreigners etc. In these songs I use words that I thought might be on the edge - but music friends in belgium, originating from a moslem family, invited us to record these songs there. They listened attentively and they laughed - to my surprise and relief - we can joke about these things, even tho they're some of the saddest songs I ever wrote - these people have a gift of being able to laugh when we weep. They made a fab recording in Runn Records studio in Liège, a little EP titled C’est Ça - That's The Way It Is. English translations in lyrics here on ReverbNation. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ Making jokes about the prophet tho, or Jesus or Buddha, are things that simply do not occur to me. It just won't enter my mind. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ Europe is lying under heavy fire - we refuse to be dictated in any way in what to think or believe - when we go to moslem countries we are supposed to know the law - same thing here. Get used to this? never: Turn on the TV here, daily there are sounds that will make our hair stand on end. Really, the reactions in magazines like Charlie Hebdo are moderate and funny compared to the terrible threats we have been listening to for many years - every day - and to take these cartoons and say they are inciting violence is not fair. The humour being displayed fits the underground war that has been a part of our daily lives, it is coming to the surface now - cartoons do not incite violence - they're a reaction. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ In my songs I tried to break a lance for my moslem friends- thank Heaven they understood and accepted it but it has cost me many friendships, even on Facebook, of people who said I was living dangerously. Now we all are. Very well then, if this, loving my friends, is living dangerously I refuse to be afraid. In that aspect I am Charlie - I won't be afraid any more. If there's a God He knows - He knows my broken faithless heart. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ So I conclude: no, freedom of press is not inciting violence, unless it speaks of striking down unbelievers and godless people and we have heard this every day for many years - we let that happen but now we'll take that very seriously, we'll take a stand to all extremism - now daily journalists and even cartoonists in moslem countries (!) are dying for the right to bring us the news and to speak openly of what's going on. We might all take a long look in the mirror - and learn to laugh at ourselves.♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ Last but not least: I want no freedom of religion. I want a disclaimer! A disclaimer that guarantees that I will be free at all times of what any one believes. Imagine that. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ Je suis Européen moi - and being a european I feel a deep sting, a pain, at the death of Charlie and his friends. This assault was a bad mistake, of the same sort the Taliban made when they killed more than a 100 children in Pakistan. Now Charlie has become immortal - he will be there, bigger than life now, for a long long time to come. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ Tout est pardonné - mais jamais oublié - tant pis - je vous aime toujours - de tout mon coeur écrasé. ♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥ God have mercy. Koningsbosch The Netherlands, saturday january 17th 2015 Yours truly, Harry V
Steve Lovelady part 2:
B.t.way, Linda is here on reverbnatio, go listen to her great music and awesome writing.
Famous? What would be the odds for the 2 of us talking? Where 2 are gathered in My Name there I am. Thank you and bless you for your extended hand, I am proud to shake it and call you my Friend. It's an honor to be invited to do one of your songs, I really want to do that. I'll write you asap, pick out a song and explain a little plan.
I have excellent help these days, Gaston Matthijsse, a sound engineer who lives close by in Belgium, wants to make recordings of a quality I can only dream of with my modest home studio. He is in classical music, in that world he has the same experience we have, there is a system of companies and people who protect themselves from independent unsigned artists. Gaston is unique. He persevered and is now recording some of the finest orchestras in the world, they write about him in professional magazines, they can no longer walk around him. When he posts a recording on soundcloud 10.000's listen to it. He recorded the german song Handy Junky on my list, he also influenced the arrangement, with his knowledge of classical music he changed that song so that it's still me and yet so much more. We'll start in january and one of the first things I will propose is one of your songs. That would be great, a true cross pollination of talents initiated on Reverbnation.
I love Reverbnation, it changed my life completely, from a lonely soul after the departure of my sweet wife Annet in 2004 I feel daily I am no longer alone. We are truly blessed. Last but not least: WE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD. What we are doing will pave the way for kids in slums, favelas, homelands and other hopeless environments. The time is coming that those on this Ship that is our planet, who live in the belly of the ship like cargo will have their time on decks, in the sun. Bless you Steve, call me a Dreamer, I have had no dreams for so long. Being here on reverb brought the Dream back, and you want to share your Dream with me. Let's do it. Harry V Maastricht Netherlands, december 23 2013.
Steve Lovelady part 1: Q: Harry,its me again,truly impressed by your music and the sheer amount of it. my question is,How can it be that you are not already famous?i would love to hear one of my tunes done by you. merry x-mas.
My answer to Steve:
Hello Steve. Before I submitted my music to reverbnation in 2009 I never had any idea how it would be received, especially in USA and the UK. I am dutch, in Holland people only notice I have a nice voice and can pick a fine guitar. Nobody cares WHAT I'm singing about.
Furthermore, I live on the edge of poverty, what money I have comes from disability wages, just enough to survive. This is the crux all musicians get to deal with, if you want to step into the light you will be confronted with companies and people who, even before they did anything for you at all, will ask money for their services - money that I don't have.
But times are changing. We can do so much ourselves, reach out and touch thousands of people, through dedication, hard work, faith, and the Love for Music.
I don't know if you are familiar with the Linda Chorney story, she was nominated for a Grammy award without a company, producer or even an agent. They tried to exclude her from participation but Linda fought back. She won in court, she is and always will be the first and last independent artist to be nominated, THEY CHANGED THE RULES. This goes to show we are being surrounded by wolves indeed. Changing the rules is a pathetic attempt to maintain a system that has outlived itself, now the industry is protecting itself from the truly strong and independent minds in music. They should be asking us kindly, no such thing. But we, you and I Steve, and all these excellent people on reverbnation and other platforms, are changing the world into a better place. We are creating hope and prospects for those who never had any. We're in the Cloud, even if it means that our closest Friends live oceans away, we are there, we talk, exchanging ideas, hopes and the unfounded but true Dream that we deserve to be there.
continue reading on Part 2 of Steve Lovelady part 2
Did you ever buy a crowd review? I did, asked for the song Come June to be reviewed, disappointing experience. I got 5.2 out of 10 points which is more than I expected, I'm not commercial at all and my home recording leaves much to be desired. Most listeners did not seem to have a clue what the song is about , some were puzzled at the lyrics, I can imagine, but even that's not important. The disappointment came when I read the last review, sounds very nice - until I came across this line: "The use of drums is really inventive and you've used your initiative well." There are no drums on Come June.
This makes the whole thing, all reviews, doubtful since none of them even mention the song title. Sorry reverbnation, we pay for these things, this is not good to say the least.
I wrote reverbnation support, hope I'll get some answer, a new review or even a refund, that would be reasonable. Wishing you all a good experience, this makes me feel a bit ridiculous, sorry I tried. For the whole review click
it's a dropbox file, no need to install dropbox.
Maastricht, 8 8 2013, Harry V
After talking to some Friends I have the feeling many just fan for the numbers on the stats. Likes on facebook often don't mean a thing, at least no guarantee that people even click the link. I can guarantee you that I listened to all your playlists, clicked Play All, when I fanned you.
I will keep on doing this, that's why some may have to wait a while before being fanned back.
After all I'm just a normal human being, one can be Fan to only those that really appeal to you. A handful, with luck 2 handfuls of names float to the surface after a while. There is lots of good music on reverb, but not much really Great Music. I took some days off from the Machine that is reverb and synced facebook and listened to some great jazz, reggae and other music that is Great, like Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Eagles, John Martyn, Macka B and much more.
There is not just a difference, there is a chasm of difference in quality, writing and production, let's admit it.
I have a feeling the day will come I am going to call it a Day, my little music is here, in the cloud, but my little gig last thursday, even tho it rained like hell and hardly any body showed up woke up my ancient desire to play the streets again where nobody knows you, but when they stop they listen.
There were 2 more occasions when people listened, one playing to Geoffrey one hour before he died, alone with him and wife Astrid, he heard, his face lit up - and the same playing for Aisha, who will leave us shortly too, she's just a little shadow of what she used to be, but she too lit up like a sun rising - for a moment. They listened, and I was happy they did. My music comes from moments like that, that's what it's about, it's only for a handful of people in my life. That's good, I know this.
Last but not least, any psychiatrist will tell you it's a downright recipe for a depression to be staring at one point for hours a day, that goes for screens too. Which brings me to the following conclusion: Looking at my own work I just wrote some 80 songs that I rate good enough to be published. My music has served one purpose I think: to overcome the Depression that fell on me when I was about 6 and has been always there until I met Annet. I decided to write only for her and sing for her, no longer trying to make something original and not be afraid of using cliché's , the only thing that mattered was to make her happy. And they did, my little songs, they lengthened her life by years. Now I can say I overcame that Depression, that is my greatest success, for me it's the difference between life and death. It also explains why I never even tried to be an entertainer - how will you entertain people when you're depressed? At least I couldn't. All in all I may have written one song that will outlive yours truly, Come June. That's how I look at my own work, had I been a painter my hands would be impregnated with pigments, it would be under my fingernails, I am definitely a guitarplayer, that shaped my hands, but a writer? Then, instead of 80 songs, there would have been 8000 and these only the tip of an iceberg.
So things have to change, besides my very limited abilities I'm too tired and sometimes feeling very old half the time to go on.
When I'm rested again I intend to write more about how we get caught in a Machine that makes us believe things and sucks us into a game of illusions that are not rewarding in any way. Have a great weekend. God bless you. He listens too :-))
Hello Reverbnation, Joined RN in 2010 with 9 songs that I deemed to be too personal for a larger audience. I have written most of them for my sweet Annet who went to the Lord in 2004. Never thought there would be so much response to them, all the more because english is my second language. You who read this must be a fan or you wouldn't take the trouble to spell this out, you and all of you have kept my hope alive that eventually my music could touch so many, thank you all for being there!
I have a dream: Europe. Against all odds, against all that speaks against it at this moment I'm trying with the smallest means to create a sound that could only be european. Europe is like an angry baby, it's been spoilt to the point where it only whines and complains, it's struggling to get to its feet, staggering under the weight of so many newcomers, many of them illegal, but they are here now, many more will follow and they will live and work here. Sound familiar? Baby Europe is whining about loss of values, virtues, culture, religion and it still refuses to see the beauty and strength that will come from this Change. Have Hope.
In the years 2004 - 2010 I've been playing the streets often, street's my favorite stage. People don't know who you are, they don't know your song, but I got a lot of smiles, response, especially from immigrants who feel a little bit more at home when they hear a dutchman sing in languages they can understand, all the more because I sing about them in my french songs.
Europe. Melting pot. Something new is brewing under the surface, on the surface my country and its streets are no longer the same, on the surface old forces struggle to make the impression they rule. But change is unstoppable. Fear is ruling now, fear of strangers, fear of having to share, fear of other languages, fear of islam... Fear forcing us to chose, either for the old ways that can not support all of us any more, or for something new that is still not clear. I REFUSE TO CHOOSE! I'm sure of one thing: fear is not a good teacher. Having an open mind and ear for these new influences must help. So, something old, something new, something borrowed will result into something not TOO blue, music for the world FROM EUROPE.
Since a year and a half I've been rehearsing with Nick McGrath who brings a lot of life to my tracks playing his bass, Thank God for that man! Without him I might have considered giving it a rest, just post my songs here and leave them to live a quite life on the internet. But things are taking a turn, we are making recordings in Belgium for a small label, Runn Records, that specializes in reggae. That fits into my vision that we need a counterweight to american music here in europe. Second generation immigrants living in Liege the people of Runn have welcomed our contribution with open arms. To my surprise my french turns out to be a lot better then I thought. I took french to be the vehicle for my indignation because most african immigrants are french spoken. A twist of fate and luck has brought us together, and we're WORKING ON IT!
Music from europe. Not a clone of british or american sounds, but something that could only come out of this melting pot, this steaming cauldron of people in search of a new identity, a new face that they can proudly present to the world and SHINE! This is my home. Friends in america sometimes say: you should be able to come to the USA, there would be more places for you to play and present your material, and if you want to be heard in america you'll have to go there. I don't know if I am going to make that. Age and health are ever more imposing on my daily life and the way I still can work. But I won't stop. I'm a European, crawling on all fours through the quagmire that is this crisis, but old and worn out as I'll be, I WON'T QUIT, I CAN'T! BE READY! EUROPE IS LEARNING TO WALK! EUROPE IS COMING YOUR WAY! To stay.
Maastricht, december 9 2011.