'We Are Amazing!' new music for children from Bobbi Hansen

Bobbi Hansen has always loved working with kids and music, but she was a bit daunted when she first felt the vision of a new musical project for kids coming into her mind and occupying her thoughts and feelings.  Luckily for kids everywhere, she was willing to be brave and step forward in faith and dream big.

In producing "We Are Amazing!" she teamed with veteran children's writers Roger & Melanie Hoffman, Marvin Payne, and Steven Kapp Perry to write and record a program that embodies the concepts she felt every child should know about themselves and their world.  Take a listen as she shares the music and the results of performing the songs live with 2nd and 3rd grade choirs.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-weareamazing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23pm MDT

Latter-day Saint mayor runs for President in Mali

A visiting legislator once asked Joseph Smith Jr. how he governed so many people with such order.  Joseph replied, "I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves."  Joseph Smith was the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois at the time and was later a candidate for President of the United States.  Now, over a hundred years later, another Latter-day Saint espouses much of the same principle-based philosophy of decentralized governance, only his name is Yeah Samake, he is currently the mayor of Ouelessebougou, and he is a candidate for President in the African country of Mali.

In this audio interview, BYU graduate Yeah Samake shares the story of his father's vision for education which raised an entire family from hunger to prominence.  We'll hear how his actions eliminating corruption as Mayor of a small town brought him to the attention of national leaders in Mali, and what he hopes to accomplish if elected President of Mali in April of 2012.  You'll also learn what it's like for brother and sister Samake and their children to be the only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their country.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-yeahsamake.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:37pm MDT

'Come Let Us Adore Him,' new album for Christmas from The Lower Lights

If you can picture a jalopy crammed full of thrift-store-clothing-clad carolers singing and playing hymns with acoustic instruments as they bounce merrily along through the snow under a winter moon, maybe you can imagine the sound of The Lower Lights on their cheerful new Christmas album without even taking a listen.  But do take a listen, you'll be glad you did.

Producer Scott Wiley provides the quirky recording space where all the magic happens at June Audio, in Provo, Utah.  In a room filled with instruments and mics at the ready and looking like it's decorated for A Beatles Christmas all year long, he collected faithful friends and musicians to spontaneously arrange and record the holiday songs they love best over a joyful five-day period.  In this week's audio interview, Scott talks about the group dynamics, the surprising reaction to unexpected fans from young to old, and ultimately why The Lower Lights do what they do.  Like I said before, take a listen, you'll be glad you did.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-lowerlightschristmas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:32pm MDT

"Christmas," warm and cosy new music from Tricia Storey

From tender to triumphant, you'll find all the moods of the Christmas season in this beautifully produced new holiday album from Tricia Storey.  It's the kind of heart-felt work of art from a skillful and experienced artist you rarely hear any more in these days of glossy arrangements, one-song downloads and whatever-will-sell retail dynamics.

Turn on the Christmas lights, sit down with a cup of hot cocoa and put on this new recording for a feast of favorites and rare finds that feel instantly like old friends.  Perfect simplicity in instrumental arrangements and harmonies make this my favorite intimate holiday recording of the last several years at least.  You're in good hands with Tricia Storey and you'll love hearing her insights and stories of the songs in this week's interview.  She calls Christmas songs "the last socially acceptable way to bear testimony of Christ," and you'll hear plenty of joyful and inspiring music doing just that on "Christmas."

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

O Come All Ye Faithful • I Saw Three Ships • Rise Up Shepherd and Follow • Good Christian Men Rejoice (harp interlude) • Who Comes This Night • Away in a Manger • What Child Is This (harp interlude) • The Holly Berry • Christmas for Cowboys • Some Children See Him • O Come O Come Emmanuel • Lo How a Rose (harp interlude)  • We Will Rock You • what Songs Were Sung • Angels We Have Heard On High (harp interlude) • Christmas is a Comin' • I'll Be Home for Christmas • Silent Night • Merry Christmas Round

Direct download: cs-triciastoreychristmas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:10pm MDT

'Good Tidings of Great Joy' celebrates the advent of Christ's birth all December long.

One of the most surprising things about Christmas is that the earliest Christians didn't celebrate it at all—it was just too pagan. Not long thereafter though, the human propensity to observe important events began to assemble a celebration like none other. 

In his new book on the advent, Eric D. Huntsman creates a near-perfect mix of history, facts, doctrine, stories and illustrations to engage readers of every age and intellectual bent.  Along the way, you'll encounter wisemen, shepherds, angels, Joseph and Mary, and all the familiar elements of Christmas cast in a revealing new light.  You'll also enjoy a heart-felt chapter on "Christmas with Autism," which shows one family's discovery of ways to fill the season with joy for every family member. 

Click Here to follow the Huntsman's celebration of Christmas in Jerusalem this year at their blog at http://www.huntsmansintheholyland.blogspot.com

Happy Advent, from The Cricket and Seagull!

Direct download: cs-goodtidingsofgreatjoy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:52pm MDT

Painting life in an upper room with Lee Bennion

Renowned painter Lee Udall Bennion has been partners in life and art with her husband, potter Joe Bennion, for 35 years. This Fall the Bennions and their family open their pottery shop and painting studio for visitors and shoppers on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving for a special sale in Spring City, Utah.

In this second of a two-part series, Lee talks about painting, becoming aware of her "style," and why her work focuses more on color, form, and feeling, than on photographic accuracy.  She shares the serendipitous story of meeting her mentor, Ella Peacock, soon after moving to Spring City.  In addition to everything else she's accomplished in her life, Lee Bennion may also be the only woman alive with her own combination art studio, print-making shop, and horse stable.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-leebennion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:11pm MDT

Pottery and Philosophy at Horseshoe Mountain Pottery

For over thirty years Joe and Lee Bennion have been husband/wife, potter/painter, river runner/camp cook and any number of other partnerships together.  Every Fall the Bennions open their pottery shop and painting studio for visitors and shoppers on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving for a special sale. 

In this part one of two articles, I interviewed renowned potter Joe Bennion while he worked at the wheel at Horseshoe Mountain Pottery on Main Street in Spring City, Utah.  Against the quiet creak of his foot-driven potter's wheel, you'll hear about his creative philosophy, how even pottery can honor the Lord, and how clay pieces are like people.  You'll also learn about two artists who made a life for themselves in the place they love, doing what they love, and blessing the world.

(Watch for part two featuring the visual art of Lee Bennion next week.)

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-joebennion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47pm MDT

'I Will Sing!' celebrates 20 years of LDS music in Japan

This native of Osaka, Japan, had never sung in public until he joined the LDS church and was serving as a missionary in Fukuoka.  In the 20 years since, he's sung and written music with artists like Janice Kapp Perry, Afterglow, Kenneth Cope, Jericho Road and other, all in Japanese.

This weekend Nobu is giving a concert in his home ward in Osaka and has released "I Will Sing!"  This new CD includes many of his favorite inspirational songs sung in Japanese with the artists who created them, and he includes several meaningful originals.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

I Will Sing!
Let Me Be a Light
When Love Leads the Way
Duty to God
He Brought Me Light (w/Daniel Beck)
Like a Lighthouse
My Single Heart
Hold On, the Light Will Come
Big Tree
Never a Better Hero (w/Kenneth Cope)
Sukiyaki (w/Jericho Road)
I Believe in Christ
Arigato Okaasan
Nearer, My God, to Thee (w/Bless4)
My Friend, My Brother
Extending Light
I Will Sing! (English version)

Direct download: cs-nobuaki.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:21pm MDT

'Hymn Creations' new album from Michael R. Hicks

Thousands of LDS teenagers hear and sing his vocal arrangements every summer at Especially for Youth camps, but on this new album, composer and arranger Michael R. Hicks lets the instruments do the work.

Hymn Creations runs the gamut of styles, featuring big celebratory arrangements like "Rejoice the Lord is King," and more contemplative performances like "I Need Thee Every Hour."  In this interview Mike talks about his personal—and sometimes surprising—connection to the hymns he's chosen, about doing his best writing away from the piano, and why he thinks hymns are to music what the scriptures are to literature.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Come Ye Children of the Lord
How Gentle God's Commands
Come Thou Fount
Jesus the Very Thought of Thee
Amazing Grace
Dearest Children God is Near You
Green Hill
We Thank Thee
Come Follow Me
Rejoice the Lord is King
I Need Thee Every Hour
I Know that My Redeemer LIves

Direct download: cs-hymncreations.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:04pm MDT

'Believe. Hope. Endure."  New music on CD for EFY 2011

From the hundreds of song submissions they receive, the producers of each year's Especially for Youth album winnow out the best for recording and sharing with the tens of thousands of youth who attend the annual summer camp.

Producer Russ Dixon talks about the process of creating this year's album, "Believe. Hope. Endure."  He's found some new diamonds-in-the-rough like "The One," plus Stephanie Mabey's "He Knows Me Better," the contemporary Christian hit "What Faith Can do," and more.

That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.

Direct download: cs-efy2011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48pm MDT





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