Thursday, September 16, 2010

moving to new blog, new website

These "SmallTall Musings" are moving... the new blog is incorporated into the new-look SmallTall Music website.

I've opted not to import posts from this blog (which I've been writing since 2006... hard to believe...) into the new one, but this blogspot site will remain right here (I trust) for archival purposes (I refer to and link to the writing here periodically).

The musings and miscellaneous meanderings will continue... but not here. Hope to see you and hear from you at the new site!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

of manna and quails (a jolly good fallow)

A few months ago, in the midst of a difficult and anxious time, I blogged about feeling "unproductive," and sensing a need for some kind of "sabbatical" - some kind of "fallow" time. Coming to the end of a period of 7 years where my "SmallTall Music" ministry has been my full-time (or, as I like to put it, "flexible full-time") employment, I had the sense that perhaps some kind of "sabbatical" time was overdue. I found myself anxious, particularly anxious about finances, and this sense of anxiety was beginning to impact me and my family in other ways as well.

Well, I didn't do anything particularly dramatic. I didn't take an extended "sabbatical" time and travel anywhere, or take a break from work, or make plans for any kind of ambitious "sabbatical" agenda (is "ambitious sabbatical agenda" a contradiction in terms?).

But I did consciously choose to make a few changes. And I can tell you that I'm at a "different place" now than I was a few months ago. And I do think those things are - at least in part - related.

First of all, I decided not to push so hard. Economic anxieties had me pushing and pushing and pushing, looking for gigs, planning tours, working hard to make contacts and "get out there" and sing my songs. Now don't get me wrong - working hard is not a bad thing. I believe I am called, in fact, to work hard at this ministry. But I began to wonder if my "pushing" had to do with a desire to engage in meaningful and effective ministry ("building up the body of Christ by creating and sharing songs of faith for small and tall"), or if it had more to do with anxiety about paying the bills. I had some suspicions about which way it was going, and I wasn't very happy about it.

So I decided to stop pushing for a while. I decided to take a break from tour planning. This meant accepting that there would not be a fall USA tour, since work visa/immigration requirements are such that the visa application has to be submitted 90-120 days in advance. I decided that I'd wait until 2011 for the next tour in the USA.

At one level, this felt like a relief. After an extended season of performing in the USA, I wouldn't have to push so hard, so fast, to make another tour possible. I could relax a little bit.

At another level, this left me with some significant questions and uncertainty. That fall schedule was looking awfully empty. Would the calls come? Would there be manna again in the morning? Would the quails fly in again on the evening breeze? Really?

Well, wouldn't you know it, a couple of weeks after making this decision, I received a phone call with a performance invitation in Winnipeg... for the fall... precisely the kind of call, and event, that can often serve as a starting point and an "anchor" for planning other things around it.

And a couple of days later an e-mail arrived with an invitation to lead worship at a retreat in Laurelville, Pennsylvania... at the end of February 2011... a perfect time to begin a USA tour, and a good "anchor" event for beginning the work visa/immigration process and tour planning for a spring USA tour.

I stopped pushing, I let go, I made the conscious (though difficult) choice to take a period of "rest" and resist trying to stack up the manna in a barn... and, sure enough, more manna appeared, and the quails flew in... (here's the fall schedule, which I think is looking really good)... and it wasn't the result of my hard-driving efforts. It was (is) a gift. Thank you, God.

That's one choice I made - the choice to "rest" and not push so hard, for a time, in pursuing gigs and tour possibilities.

The other choice I made was to enter into a "fallow" period in terms of songwriting. Rather than working at new songs (and there are plenty on the "to do" list), I chose to spend more time just "playing" and having fun with my guitar. Specifically, I spent time exploring a new tuning (DADGAD) - something I've wanted to do for a long time - and learning a bunch of instrumental pieces. I don't know if any of this is particularly "practical" or "useful" for my music ministry... learning a new tuning is a lot like learning a new language, a new grammar and vocabulary, and I expect it will be a long time before (if) I become "fluent" enough in this new language to be using it in my own writing...

But that's not really the point. Who knows? In any case, it's been fun to focus on learning new things, training the fingers to move in different ways, in different patterns... internalizing some different progressions, different rhythms, and accessing and expressing some familiar ones in different ways...

Again... sounds a lot like a "sabbatical" - like the "desert curriculum" of manna and quails - doesn't it? Needing to practice and internalize new (old) rhythms and patterns... learning to become "fluent" in a different kind of grammar...

Interestingly enough, this "consciously-chosen-fallow" time for me has also coincided with some significant developments in my wife's vocational journey. I mentioned in that earlier blog post that I've been "Walking with my spouse on her own "in-between" journey of seeking employment and career-wonderings..." During the last few months more clarity has emerged on that journey - Julie is now embarking on her own venture as a self-employed, musical person - she will be teaching piano as a certified teacher of the "Simply Music" method.

We are excited about this new venture, and it is exciting to see how Julie - and our family - has been energized through this process.

It's been a good summer. Can we face uncertainty without being crippled by anxiety? Will the manna and quails keep showing up? I think we're learning to trust, a little more each day. Thanks be to God.

Monday, July 12, 2010

peace - in public!

I've been getting some requests for the "Peace in Public" song that I sang at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly last week in Calgary... a tongue-in-cheek look at the "Peace in the Public Square/1000 Acts of Peace" initiative from a rather different perspective... it's not often that a song dripping in irony becomes a "congregational song" (and, in fact, I wouldn't recommend it...!), but by the end (and once people had "caught" the tone) people were certainly singing along with the refrain...

The last verse was jotted down during the session on the morning of the "Live For Peace" report... based on one of the more amazing stories that we heard... Follow the links in the text for more on the specific references...

Peace - in Public!
(words and music by Bryan Moyer Suderman, © 2010 SmallTall Music)

1. I don't know if you've heard - if not, it falls to me
To warn you of the latest threat to our security
There's a group of people, once "the quiet in the land,"
Now they're speaking out in public, and getting out of hand...


It's peace - in public! - and it's breaking out all over
You'd better watch your back, keep looking over your shoulder
You never can be sure, these folks are only getting bolder
It's peace - in public! - and it's breaking out all over.

2. Riding on the C-train, you'd think I'd be OK
Minding my own business, in nobody's way
I validate my ticket, and headed for the back
And then I saw a little sign that stopped me in my tracks...
It said "Imagine life without war"... (Refrain)

3. Driving down the #1 I know what I will see
Towns and fields and farmers keep me company
But one day in November I thought I'd call the police
A great big sign beside the road said:
"To remember is to work for peace
"... (Refrain)

4. It's not just a sign or two posted here or there
It's 1000 Acts of Peace, in the public square
These crazy people think their message has been heaven-sent
They even want a Department of Peace in our government...!

5. I don't know how it looks to you, but it seems to me
What we're dealing with, my friends, is a conspiracy
We'd better nip this in the bud, starting here and now
Or else these people might just turn our whole world upside down...! (Refrain)

6. Not too long ago some leaders gathered round
It took a billion dollars to keep them safe and sound
At the same time, in Winnipeg, other leaders gathered too
And now there is a 9th Millenial Goal for me and you... that goal is (Refrain)

(A note re: the last verse... World religious leaders, following Robert (Jack) Suderman's address and recommendation at the 2010 World Religions Summit, included the following statement in the final text of their official statement to the G8 leaders: "We condemn religiously motivated terrorism and extremism and commit to stop the teaching and justification of the use of violence between and among our faith communities." A remarkable and far-reaching commitment indeed, coming from religious leaders representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Hindu, Aboriginal, Baha'i, and Buddhist faiths from over 20 countries...! The implications are very far-reaching... peace in public, indeed...)

Monday, June 21, 2010

that's encouraging

A song sung 20 years ago that's had a lasting impact on someone?

That's encouraging... These are stories we often don't hear... Thanks, Doug!

And, as it happens, some of Doug's current involvements (chronicled wonderfully, along with many others, here) have in turn inspired a new song that apparently I'll be singing at some point at the upcoming Mennonite Church Canada Assembly... the cycle goes on... amazing how that works...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

l'arche at last

It was a long time coming. Immediately after my concert in Lethbridge a couple of years ago, Brad came up to me and boisterously shook my hand and said I must, I MUST, come to be the speaker at their L'Arche retreat. Brad is one of the core members of the L'Arche Lethbridge community ("core members" in a L'Arche community are the wonderfully gifted and loved people who have an intellectual disability and around whom the community is formed, living in a household with "assistants" and with the involvement and support of other "members" who participate in various ways in the life of the community). Marie, who had accompanied Brad and some other core members to the concert, smiled and nodded and gave me a little more background about L'Arche Lethbridge and their annual retreat (that's Brad in the cowboy hat on their website).

A couple of months later I received an official letter of invitation from Brad and Marie, on behalf of the community, inviting me to come and be the resource person for their retreat. I was touched and grateful and excited... but I was already booked for that weekend. So I wrote back and asked if there was a chance I could participate some time farther into the future. Not long afterwards there was another reply, with an invitation to the following year's retreat.

So I've had this event on my calendar for about a year and a half... and this past weekend we were together at a little retreat centre in the Crowsnest Pass, on the border between Alberta and BC. And the only thing more beautiful than this spectacular corner of God's good earth was the opportunity to witness and participate in the love and life of this community of faith.

I was asked to lead 4 sessions on the theme of "New Life - New Beginnings." As we explored the Scriptures together, it seemed to me that all I was doing was offering, again and again, another way of articulating (singing) the reality of new life and new beginnings that are lived (incarnated) in their life as community every day: God's work as creator (Genesis 1), God's calling and forming and sending people-in-community to be blessed and to be a blessing, as co-workers in God's ministry of reconciliation (Genesis 12, Acts 2, 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:1), the way our lives in community anticipate the "new heavens and new earth" that is God's vision and future for all of creation (Isaiah 65, Revelation 21, 22).

All of this is lived so fully, structured so carefully, shared so humbly in the life of the L'Arche community that has its problems and challenges, certainly, but that is a vivid witness to the Kingdom where the last are first, where those who are typically excluded are the feast's guests of honour, where the smallest of seeds grows to give shelter to all.

A glimpse of the Kingdom come.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

unproductive... or fallow?

On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be much difference between a field (or a time) that is "unproductive" and one that is "lying fallow." In both cases, it's not "producing" a crop.

And yet the difference - in our understanding - is immense.

"Unproductive" is a negative word... value comes from producing, right?... and if something is unproductive... well... there's something wrong. It's not doing what it's supposed to do. Anxiety.

"Fallow," on the other hand, is a positive word. It's a healthy and indispensable part of a broader process. Land that is lying "fallow" is not "unproductive" at all - it is resting, rejuvenating, replenishing and restoring and preparing for future seasons of growth and "production"... Land that is lying "fallow" - as a healthy part of a broader process - is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. Rest. Trust.

This summer marks the completion of 7 years of my "SmallTall Music" ministry... that is, 7 years since my music ministry stopped being a "side thing" and became my "main thing" both vocationally and economically.

I can't help but feel like the past 5 months or so... since the new year (since I injured my finger at the beginning of January)... have been the most "unproductive" time since this music ministry began. "Unproductive" particularly in terms of new writing. I've simply been struggling to even sit down to write. The ruminating (key part of the songwriting process) continues unabated... the list of "songs to write" and ideas to work on continues to grow... but actually working on new songs... very little.

For the first time in the four years that I've been operating my "community supported music" initiative, I missed a "delivery of songs" to my members. There simply wasn't anything there. A difficult "growing season."

I am grateful for the understanding and support of that community, the "members" of my CSM, which, like the "Community Supported Agriculture" system by which it is inspired, is intended to be a "shared risk" system. Rather than just "consumers" of a "product," the members are partners in the production and consumption/enjoyment/use of food (music)... where good growing conditions mean abundant portions for everyone, and the risk of poor growing conditions (hail, unseasonal frost... injury...) is not born by the farmer alone.

To be sure, it has been a busy and "productive" time in other ways (interesting how those two words tend to go together in my mind... I'm not sure that's altogether accurate/healthy). The new Gather 'Round curriculum CD and extensive spring touring schedule have been good.

And yet...

It seems like a "desert" season in other respects too (again, interesting how terms like "unproductive," "fallow," and "desert" can rattle around and intersect...). Walking with my spouse on her own "in-between" journey of seeking employment and career-wonderings... economic stresses... considerable uncertainty...

One of the stresses about leaving a field "fallow" is when you feel that you need the income... leaving a field "unproductive" when it could be generating crops and income can be a difficult thing to do... and yet allowing for "fallow" times can be just what is needed to enable long-term, sustainable health (including "production")...

After 7 years of this ministry, I find myself acutely aware of peers and colleagues in various ministry roles (particularly pastors and professors) who have structured "sabbatical" times built into their roles. I wonder if I'm sensing the need for a "sabbatical" too. If the fields of my ministry need a time of "Sabbath" as well.

But for me to take a "sabbatical," to leave some of the fields of my ministry fallow for a time, feels like a bigger risk. It's one thing to take a sabbatical when you're still drawing a salary (or portion thereof)... with a "secure" position to return to... What happens when I sense a need for a sabbatical of some kind right when economic concerns are acute?

It strikes me that this is precisely part of the "wilderness curriculum" with which God was instructing the Israelites for so many years in the desert. How hard it would have been to live on manna day to day, having to trust that there would be enough. How hard to be receptive to instructions to extend Sabbath rest to the land on the 7th year...

Can the farmer (and community) afford to let the field lie fallow? Can the farmer (and community) afford not to?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

forgotten songs

In the bathroom, about 2 minutes before the beginning of my concert in Akron, Pennsylvania, I suddenly realized: "Hey - I'm in Akron, Pennsylvania!"

Of course I'll understand if this flash of insight doesn't have quite the same effect on you as it did on me. It may strike you as just a tad obvious. But allow me to continue...

The town of Akron PA, you see, is the headquarters of the Mennonite Central Committee, and I had written a song back in the fall, called "New Wine," specifically for the use of Mennonite Central Committee in it's "New Wine/New Wineskins" process.

So it suddenly occurred to me: "If ever there was a time to sing that "New Wine" song, this would be it! Now, how does it go again...?"

I sat there and wracked my brain trying to remember the lyrics and the chords (I could remember the melody no problem, but the chord progression was a bit unusual, and I didn't have the chance to go to the guitar and renew my acquaintance with the tune).

Partway through the concert I decided to take the plunge and give it a try... and I couldn't for the life of me remember the chords. On the second try I made it through the chorus, but that was as far as I got. We made a joke of it and went on... good times... but I lost that unique chance to sing that song with these folks where it would have been particularly "at home." Arli Klassen told me later that if she had had her Blackberry with her, she could have called it up and showed it to me (she received it as part of one of my "deliveries of songs" through my "community supported music" system).

I've also been trying to find a song that I wrote and sang at the Iglesia Menonita Nueva Vida in Toronto on Easter Sunday, 2009. I can remember the chorus, but I don't remember the verses, and can't find it written down anywhere (I remember finishing them up in the parking lot and on the front bench that Sunday morning... I guess the scrap of paper didn't make it back into my guitar case). I seem to recall they sometimes record their services, so I'm hoping I can get a hold of a recording somewhere, and maybe re-learn the song (I seem to remember it was a good one).

And this weekend, visiting with some friends, Luke showed me another scrap of paper that he had found in a Wendell Berry book I had lent him... the paper had a scribbled lyric that was an early version of one of the verses for "Infiltrating the World," which is on my most recent CD.

If anyone else has found other forgotten songs of mine hanging around in whatever form, please let me know. I just might be looking for it, and if not, I may have some use for it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

kindred spirits in kentucky

I knew I was in for a special time when I came to Kentucky. The home of Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, the intentional community that I'd never met but that invited me to come (and whose blog I'd already been reading for years).

But little did I know that I'd find such kindred spirits, and spend so many hours in delightful conversation about everything from missional church and neo-monasticism, urban gardening, Community Supported Agriculture, the dynamics of change and community, vocational discernment... as I learned about Sean's great book project, the Seedleaf initiative... and on and on and on...

That's not even to mention the energetic concert we had with a group of young families (see pictures here)... and I got to help Maggie and Seth as they first rode their bikes for the first time without training wheels... And I heard the amazing story of London Ferrell and spent an afternoon in the community garden that bears his name... wrote a song about it, actually, and walked the prayer labyrinth there...

While I'm certainly going to be glad to be heading home again soon (and looking forward to the upcoming weekend in Lancaster County), I have a hunch that these last few days in Kansas, Iowa and Kentucky have renewed my spirit in unexpected ways that I'll be discovering for some time to come...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

growing harmony in iowa

Look at all the people who came to one of my Iowa concerts!

Just kidding. On Saturday my hosts and I joined the throngs of people - 23,000 strong - who turned out to watch the University of Iowa football team. Their opponents? Nobody. That’s the number of people who came out to watch the Hawkeyes PRACTICE!

People here loooove their college football...

For the past 4 days I’ve been experiencing a state where I’ve never been before (Iowa, that is, in case you were imagining something more hallucinogenic), and re-connecting with friends that I hadn’t seen in 18 years. I first met Gary and Nancy in Bolivia in the early 80s, when I was a teenager living in Cochabamba and they were MCC workers in the “campo” outside of Santa Cruz.

Nancy was one of the first REAL LIVE RECORDING ARTISTS that I ever got to meet - we had a cassette of her playing the guitar and singing Spanish “coritos” that we sang in many a church service.

And one summer my brother and I spent a week with Gary out in the country where he was doing agricultural development work. That week was most memorable (partly because Gary won’t let us forget it) for the time that my brother and I mistakenly cut down a whole field of carefully sown pasture when our assignment was actually to cut down the weeds. How were we to know the difference, “green” city kids that we were... in the days before “green” meant aware of and concerned about the natural world...?

Gary still gets a lot of mileage out of that story, and gave me a chance to redeem myself by joining him in planting 4000 onions on my first morning in Iowa.

What a delight to get to know Gary and Nancy again, and see their Community Supported Agriculture farm in operation (yes, that is a wind turbine you see in the photo). Last year Gary produced 21,000 pounds of vegetables on his not-quite-2-acre farm, and he has been running his organic CSA since 1997, providing weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables for the 84 families who are “members” of Growing Harmony farm.

Gary has also been a member of my “SmallTall Reference Council” since the beginning, interacting with me via e-mail with wise counsel and experience as I have set up my own “Community Supported Music” system.

Nancy and Gary drove me around to all 4 of my Iowa performances in different communities (Des Moines, Iowa City, West Union, and Cedar Falls). No community was the same, and no concert or worship service was the same. It was a delight for me, and there was great response (although, admittedly, not as many people as turned out to watch the Hawkeyes last “spring practice”).

Now I’m on the train again, munching on one of Gary’s famous carrots on my way to Kentucky, another state where I’ve never been before and where I’ll get to spend some time and do a concert with “Communality,” an intentional community in Lexington. Looking forward to it!

(In case you can't read it, the front of the t-shirt says: "The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution." - Paul Cezanne

And the back says "That day has COME!" - Growing Harmony Farm)

Friday, April 16, 2010

and a little child shall instigate

As people were gathering before the concert last night, I heard a number of people say variations on "Lucca must be excited"... "I bet Lucca had something to do with this"... "thanks, Lucca, for helping make sure this happens"...

Apparently Lucca, age 4 (I think she's 4), was one of the "movers and shakers" to bring me to Newton, Kansas, for a concert.

So let me add my voice to the chorus - thanks, Lucca!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

grandpa jake

While I was waiting for the train in Buffalo I received the news of the death of my step-grandfather Jake Goertzen at the age of 91.

Grandpa Jake married my grandma the week before Julie and I got married (we coordinated the dates so that my family, living in Colombia at the time, could make it back for both weddings). I can't say I ever got to know Grandpa Jake very well, but my most vivid memories of him are as a wonderful, funny man who made my grandma very happy again.

It feels terrible to be far away at a time like this, but it was good to talk with my grandma on the phone yesterday. She reminded me that their honeymoon was their trip to our wedding... and she wanted to know all about my tour, which I think was her gentle way of saying it's ok that I can't be there for the funeral.

I know tomorrow afternoon in Winkler, Manitoba there will be a lot of people gathered to remember and give thanks for the life of Jake Goertzen... and as I travel in and out of Newton, Kansas for tomorrow night's concert, I'll be remembering and giving thanks too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

heading out... first stop, newton kansas

Tomorrow at the crack of dawn (more or less - I'm not exactly sure when the cracking happens) I'll be climbing aboard and starting the next railroad tour. First performance is an all-ages concert at New Creation Fellowship Church in Newton, Kansas at 7:00 pm on Wednesday (that's April 14). If you're from there - can't wait to see you! And if you're not - tell any of your friends and family who might be!

You can see my tour itinerary here... train blogging will commence shortly...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

ain't no grave gonna hold my body down

I first heard this song when Julie and I went to see Crooked Still at Hugh's Room in Toronto. Loved the band, and this is one of the two songs ("Wading Deep Waters" was the other one) that absolutely blew me away and that I couldn't stop hearing/humming/singing for weeks afterwards.

A resurrection song with ATTITUDE! "Gabriel don't you blow that trumpet until you hear from me... ain't no grave gonna hold my body down..."

Here it is:

Here's an entirely different "take" on the song, by Johnny Cash, not long before he died. The sound of a chain rattling in a box (I believe that's what it is) gives it a particularly eerie quality...

A few months ago I also found a haunting, almost terrifying version, sung by a young father directly into his computer screen/mic, quietly and intensely and unaccompanied (a note accompanying the video said he didn't want to wake the children, but the hushed approach to the passionate vocals gave the song an entirely different "edge"). I can't find it on YouTube anymore now that the Johnny Cash version has been released and dominates the searches for the song...

Whatever the tone and colour and "edge" of this season for you... I wish you a blessed Easter, and a tenacious faith in the possibility of new life...

"Ain't no grave gonna hold my body down..."

Friday, March 26, 2010

"riding the rails" press release

Here's the press release I'm sending around in advance of the next leg of the tour.

Riding the rails to share songs from Kansas to Kentucky

Spending weeks at a time traveling by train isn't everyone's idea of a good time. But it's all “part of the job” for Bryan Moyer Suderman, who has logged over 10,000 miles by rail in the past year, carrying his guitar, a backpack full of CDs, and a soul full of music across North America, including stops in the next few weeks in Newton Kansas, southeastern Iowa, Lexington Kentucky, and Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

Moyer Suderman has become known for his unique gift of crafting songs and performances that draw from the deep wells of biblical vision and wisdom while being accessible and fun for young and old alike. Audiences respond to the warmth of his voice, the contagious nature of his songs, and his signature interactive style of singing and song leading. Since the release of his first CD “God's Love is for Everybody”
in 2002, Bryan's “songs of faith for small and tall” have become favorites with families and churches across North America and beyond, and have been published in various hymnal, songbook, curriculum and other resources. “A New Heart” is his 4th CD released on the SmallTall Music label (

But why travel by train?

While travel and performing is an important part of Moyer Suderman's work (he recently returned from Paraguay, where he was part of the song leading team at the recent Mennonite World Conference Assembly), he also struggles with how to carry out this vocation in a way that is sustainable economically and ecologically as well as sustainable in terms of healthy relationships with his family and local community
(he attends Community Mennonite Church of Stouffville Ontario).

As a result, Moyer Suderman works to keep his long-distance travel schedule confined to a limited number of weeks per year, and then to “make hay while the sun shines” and perform as much as possible while he is on the road. CanRail and Amtrak rail passes offer a way to do that at a low cost and in a way that reduces the carbon emissions that would result from more “one-off” flights to long-distance engagements. Moyer
Suderman completed a coast-to-coast USA railroad tour last spring and took the train from Toronto to Vancouver and back last fall before his current tour in the American Midwest.

Another component of Moyer Suderman's long-term strategy is what he calls his “Community Supported Music” system. This is an innovative online delivery system for music that is patterned after the “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) approach, making regular “deliveries” of new songs that are “fresh, home- grown, and always in season.” Since pioneering this alternative business model for the arts, now in its
fourth year, Moyer Suderman has made quarterly “deliveries” of new songs - complete with music notation, chords, thoughts and reflections, and activity ideas and tips for using the songs in home, school, and congregational settings. Various other artists have picked up on the idea as well, have been applying this model to their own work.

Bryan lives near Toronto, Ontario with his wife Julie and son Matthew. For more about Bryan Moyer Suderman recordings, downloads, and tour schedule, visit, and discover more about his “Community Supported Music” system at

Saturday, March 06, 2010

19 out of 20 and the spring tour begins

Last night I sent off the last of the preliminary mixes for the next Gather Round Sunday School curriculum CD (well, the 19th out of 20 songs... the 20th will have wait just a bit longer). While it's been intense and far too compressed a time line for my liking (thank you, finger injury), I've been enjoying putting these songs together and finding new ways to do some old (and new) favourites. I'm beginning to feel like I know my way around editing in Cubase by now... and laying down what might pass as reasonably funky bass lines was an uncommon and unexpected delight (I don't get to play bass very often).

And it's always a blast - especially since I typically perform solo these days - to collaborate with others in the recording process. I had met but never worked with Tom Cummings before (we recorded drums for three songs in a day at John's studio - now that's takin' care of business!), and it's also fun to get different family groups in to sing. Thanks everyone for helping out!

Now I'm off in a few minutes for the first leg of my spring tour - a one-week circle around Lake Eerie, with a few days in Leamington, a few in Indiana, and a Sunday morning in State College Pennsylvania. Looking forward to it.