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New Album / Podcast / Interview / An initial word about Jean Vanier

Yesterday, after a week of prep, we finally pressed the record button on my new album…

New Steve Bell Album! (release: Sept. 15/20)

Good day friends and supporters!

Yesterday, after a week of listening to songs, planning, gathering instruments and fixing gremlins in our recording gear, we finally pressed the record button to begin work on my new album Wouldn’t You Love to Know?  – to be released September 2020.

(listen to a demo of the title song HERE…)

proposed album design (draft) / Roberta Landreth

It feels good to get instruments out of their cases, restrung, oiled up, polished and ready for whatever may come.  I don’t typically over-plan the recording process, but I do suspect we’ll keep the production on this one pretty spare. The songs in queue don’t seem to need much adornment so I think we’ll be happy to honour that.  I’m really liking this new batch…

Lots to come! I’ll post pics and previews along the way.  Stay tuned.

Magnificent Podcast with Malcolm Guite:

My church, st. benedict’s table, produces a podcast and recently released an episode with Malcolm Guite which I found to be wonderful.  In it, Malcolm is as “Malcolm” as ever, and even though I’ve dined, travelled, recorded, performed and taught many times with the man, across Canada, the US and England, I never tire of his winsome manner and his often startling, wise and animating insights.

You don’t want to miss this. Fr. Jamie is a great interviewer and manages to pull a lot out of Malcolm in a brief 30 minutes.

Listen to “The Poet’s Ear for the Gospel” HERE… 

Interview with Steve Bell
re: the song The Gifting and the Giver

I was recently interviewed by the newly minted, online arts and faith magazine, Collected

They were curious about my writing process… especially about the thoughts behind a  particular song I co-wrote with Matt Richardson called The Gifting and the Giver (Album: Kindness).

I usually forget what I’ve said in interviews and am often surprised (sometimes negatively) when I read them later. This one I was happy to read. 

“My songs are not (intentionally) instructional. They aren’t about my faith. They are my faith, my prayer and my worship. If they happen to lead others to a posture of reverence before the divine… well, so much the better.”

Steve Bell

You may want to listen to the song in advance of reading the interview. 

Listen to The Gifting and the Giver  HERE…
Read the interview with Steve Bell  HERE…

One Last Thing

Years ago, in a song commemorating the birth of my niece alongside the death of a friend I wrote “…one hand suffered loss, the other gain.” It feels dissonant and perhaps dishonouring to write the following in the context of the lighter announcements above… however…

I am gutted and grieved, as many of you are, over the recent and staggering revelations of beloved teacher, author, humanitarian Jean Vanier’s predatory behaviours toward women colleagues over the course of his long and celebrated career (see: Globe and Mail article).

In the past, I have written glowingly about Vanier and his profound influence on my life, and so I will need to craft some sort of formal statement and commit, as best as I can, to remove those things from the various books and blogs in which they appear.

I really have no words right now and so a more thoroughly considered statement will have to come in the future. In the meantime, my anguished prayers are for the women victims of Vanier’s predation who must be suffering terribly and yet, who somehow managed to find the courage to tell their story—and for the ones, perhaps, who haven’t or simply can’t. I pray they are now surrounded by steadfast believers, protectors, healers and encouragers.

My prayers also go out to the L’Arche communities around the globe that Jean Vanier founded. They do such wonderful work and shine as a beacon of hope in a world decimated by the terrible alienation of individualism and privilege. I pray their leadership will navigate wisely through this devastation and that the love which fires their communion will not be extinguished.

If any good can come from this, I pray that we men, so prone to fall into toxic behaviours, might recommit to the relentless work of routing out the smallest sprouts of noxious weeds (in ourselves, in our fellows and in our surroundings) that grow to menace and contaminate the lives of others.

Lord have mercy.


1 Comment

  1. Jim Lapp

    Thank you for your prayers and support. Though the news about Jean Vanier has shocked and devastated members of L’Arche around the world we have been well prepared and have started the healing process. We have received much encouragement and support from people like you. Jim Lapp L’Arche Winnipeg

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