Sunday, August 01, 2004

About Heavier Octaves-Part I

Disclaimer: This is a fan inspired concept and has not been endorsed by any of the musicians who have inspired it.  There is still more to the story. Below is my attempt to clarify its purpose and vision as succinctly as possible.

Heavier Octaves Radio is a work in progress and was inspired by the music and fan communities of John Mayer,one of my favorite musicians, his seminal message board community My Stupid Mouth(MSM) and his friends,many of whom are legendary blues,soul,rock and pop musicians.One of my biggest challenges over the years has been figuring out just how to say this without excluding any of his other fans or the notable musicians who have helped to make this broadcast concept a reality. If you know anything about John Mayer you know that he cherishes the relationship with his fans.This is illustrated by the tremendous amount of energy he puts into gathering and listening to their input.No doubt,another reason that I was so inspired by his music.

The vision for this project began coming together during the Songbird Benefit in April 2003,which was coordinated by the Guac Fund with participation from Oxfam.John Mayer performed as a special guest of Bonnie Raitt for musician friend Danny O'Keefe's Songbird Foundation,in efforts to help coffee farmers struggling to achieve fair trade.I met John and Bonnie at that event and had the opportunity to talk with them about their perspectives. I traveled all the way from Detroit to Boston for the event.I was very moved by the concert, his music,Bonnie's music,their accessibility to the community,as well as with each of them as artists lending their names and music to a worthy cause.That impression remains...although I have attended many of John's concerts since then... Music and positive action improves the quality of the social and physical environment.Providing meaningful "hands on" participation and contributions to communities stimulates even more focused involvement.This I learned from earlier involvement in such efforts, including U.S.A. for Africa as a staff volunteer during the 1985 "We Are the World" famine relief effort...

Heavier Octaves has also linked and/or partnered with social activists,community organizers and others on projects that are in line with its mission and philosophy of "playing sound and music on the scale of humanity." One such effort was the Poverty Initiative's mission to the Gulf Coast to help the victims of hurricane Katrina.As you know both John,Bonnie and other musicians performed in a series of benefits for Katrina as well.You'll find either videos,songs and play lists or specific combinations of all highlighting that music and that from other benefits on this broadcast... The stories about the various concerts as well as the mission trip referred to and those of others, can also be found on the Heavier Octaves blogs. Two of the blogs written by your station host were included as part of the detailed chronicling of the Katrina mission captured in the book:
Katrina: Listening with Our Hearts (An Immersion Experience in the Gulf Coast)....
Book Cover of KatrinaListening With Our Hearts documenting mission trip to Gulf Coast after hurricane devastation.

I also aim to get the news out as a citizen journalist and avid music blogger by covering various benefit concerts aimed at healing social ills and heightening perspective.In that vein,I traveled to Virginia Tech last September to cover the concert to uplift and encourage the Hokie community after the trauma they experienced.Read about that in the blog entries "Good Love Is On the Way..." and "Virginia Tech Mountain High Reflections". I also covered and blogged about the Tsunami Benefit,Acoustic Africa supported by Oxfam,Cross Roads guitar Festival,the Live Earth Concert for A Climate In Crisis,the environmentally sound and groundbreaking journey of the Mayercraft Carrier,etc; Spurred on by the music,in part,playlists have been created of John's songs live and recorded,combined with those of other artists performed at various benefit concerts and charity events over the years.

Many of the songs have been recorded by devoted fans who have traveled miles and miles to cover his concerts for themselves and other fans. All,out of sheer love for his music... Whether the issue involves human rights, climate change,animal rights, hurricane and hunger relief, war, homelessness or other issues affecting our local, as well as global neighborhood,I feel the social and physical environments are inextricably intertwined, and ultimately impact global life... The Heavier Octaves spirit is embracing and "playing sound and music on the scale of humanity" as a metaphor for caring, committed individuals reaching out to their neighbors at home and abroad, solving problems one phase at a time, inspired by the " transforming and unifying power" of music as a source of healing through inspiration, as well as its tremendous potential as a catalyst for positive change. This dynamic I witnessed in my participation in fan communities such as My Stupid Mouth(MSM), a discussion board founded by Richard Young,one of John's initial fans.It is a community and message board driven by passion and appreciation for an artist's music. More about that to come...

With an associated podcast radio broadcast, meaningful updates,public service announcements, interviews and commentary are provided about events and activities involving John Mayer and his causes as well as his many musician friends. About the Radio Broadcast (More...) .. Many of the songs played or streamed are by musicians in our friend's list.We also play or link to archived live recordings from Tsunami("Bold As Love"), Live 8,Live Earth(See Playlist in Music section of this profile), Katrina and other benefit concerts(Video of John's performance with Eric Clapton on Larry king Live).

We swing the pendulum and have gone back in time too,and include live music videos from historic concerts and recordings such as "We Are the World"(See video stream selection above), Bangladesh,Woodstock,Monterey,etc... I have been searching most of my life for a music medium with just the "right mix".

Inspired by my favorite music and recording artists,I am happy to say that creating this broadcast was not only inevitable, but a whole lot of fun! I see music as a unifying and healing force---a medium of personal, social, and spiritual transformation. It ushers in or defines an era, flowing freely through the airwaves bridging generational and geographical gaps. Playing on the "scale of humanity", music creates "heavier octaves" by transcending racial, cultural, and social barriers.

I hope that this broadcast will be your point of contact to capture and embrace a huge portion of music's true spirit,while discovering heavier octaves in the process...       Blogs - "Hope" Is Not a Buzz Word ( - JM Bl

Check this out!

Find Heavier Octaves Radio's MySpace page at

In the video performance below,John Mayer plays guitar and vocals on his blues masterpiece "Gravity", accompanying him on saxophone was the late Leroi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band who co-headlined the concert with Mayer.  He dedicated the song as a prayer to the Virginia Tech Community(Hokies).


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