Waiting for the Gods
Truth is I don´t know where I´m going next,I look ahead, no view where the sun might setYet I know these feet must take me farAs evening surrenders to the starsThere´s a crossroad of which many speak,There´s a devil there that I must to meet, And I don´t know if I will survive Till I´ve met his gaze with steady eye And their ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods to save meAnd their ain´t no use waiting in waiting for our time to comeAnd their ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods to save meCause I must walk this road to make it home And there ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods
There are many miles to walk aheadFlesh is weary, feet has turned to leadAnd our faith is only what we makeOf walking forward hand in hand with fate

Waiting for the Gods

Truth is I don´t know where I´m going next,
I look ahead, no view where the sun might set
Yet I know these feet must take me far
As evening surrenders to the stars

There´s a crossroad of which many speak,
There´s a devil there that I must to meet, 
And I don´t know if I will survive 
Till I´ve met his gaze with steady eye 

And their ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods to save me
And their ain´t no use waiting in waiting for our time to come
And their ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods to save me
Cause I must walk this road to make it home 
And there ain´t no use in waiting for the Gods

There are many miles to walk ahead
Flesh is weary, feet has turned to lead
And our faith is only what we make
Of walking forward hand in hand with fate
"An old man in love is like a flower in winter" Chinese Proverb

"An old man in love is like a flower in winter" Chinese Proverb

"When the works of Tolstoy, Balzac, and Dickens arrived in the local bookstore for the first time, this caused as much sensation as if today a pop star were sighted in some celebrity-deprived suburb: everyone ran to spread the word and craned their necks to see"
Yu Hua writing about the discovery of previously banned books after the Cultural Revolution ended in 1977. I took the photo on my last day in Shanghai. Wonderful experiences pass too quickly just as terrible epochs last too long….thank God books always find a way to survive regardless of how many crazy men attempt to ban, burn or boycott them!

"When the works of Tolstoy, Balzac, and Dickens arrived in the local bookstore for the first time, this caused as much sensation as if today a pop star were sighted in some celebrity-deprived suburb: everyone ran to spread the word and craned their necks to see"

Yu Hua writing about the discovery of previously banned books after the Cultural Revolution ended in 1977. I took the photo on my last day in Shanghai. Wonderful experiences pass too quickly just as terrible epochs last too long….thank God books always find a way to survive regardless of how many crazy men attempt to ban, burn or boycott them!

Piecing together my experience of China through a multitude of memories, fragments, inklings, discussions, experiences and unworked out thoughts. Something I´ve learnt is that our understanding of ourselves and whats around us is something ongoing. It is always in potential, always in flux. And such is my experience of China. It´s not fixed so far - and I´ve realized that I have as much to learn and understand about it on my return, as from what I have experienced first hand. 
"Journeys" is a title not so much of an album, or a project, but of this chapter of my life. And it is not about any particular place traveled to but the recognition that I find myself, finally, in the heart of my journey in life.
When I signed with EMI, I thought I had arrived home professionally. Though it was tough to lose the deal so quickly, I realize now that it is the best thing that could possibly have happened to me.
For better or worse, my own journey is not meant to be conditioned by forces outside myself - something I have learnt many times over, whether with labels, or being in bands, or through the continuing decision to cut off from outside entities which continually seek to impose their whims upon you.
I am first of all a human being and second a musician. Music for me comes out of path, out of what I dare to live, or to experience, of the thresholds in myself I am willing to cross or explore. I never once in my life sat down to write a song “to write a song”. It was always something that just happened, something which arrived whenever I needed help in understanding something about life. 
I felt so dam nervous before my trip to China. Like so many times when I have done something that ends up being important to me - i would have abandoned the undertaking the night before departing.
Its something I´ve learnt - you are never ready, and that´s okay. For me “Journeys” is about acquiescing to the spirit of life. And a knowledge that fear is the most worthy of traveling partners. Each time it is vanquished you learn something of yourself. 
In the words of the Confucian philosopher Mencius “we survive in adversity and perish in ease and comfort”
Anyway, the picture above was taken in Changsha. I was in the heart of China, midway through 20 shows, with a wretched throat infection, and had been in urban heart lands day after day. I found this river a few hours before the show, and somehow it returned me to myself. I felt awed at where I was, awed that I did not understand China, but that I could somehow fathom it by dancing my reckless musical dance in its underground & relating through a howl with the curiosity of some of its people. 
Everywhere modernity seemed to rage for and with and against an older culture - an older deeper wonderful culture - whom its people have waged a war against. And just seeing this boat against the skyline, I felt with it and of it. Maybe it is just the sense I have that our spirits are deeper and older than ourselves, or our bodies. And a resonance that despite the Cultural Revolution and so much lost, there is something more ancient in China than anything I had ever experienced. Despite the wars we wage on ourselves and on each other, the deepest things always survive, because they are always in us, always potential, too fluid to be destroyed.
I am seeking to understand my own journey, and I feel clear that the more I understand, experience and engage with the culture of man, the more I can know - without grasping on to it of course.

Piecing together my experience of China through a multitude of memories, fragments, inklings, discussions, experiences and unworked out thoughts. Something I´ve learnt is that our understanding of ourselves and whats around us is something ongoing. It is always in potential, always in flux. And such is my experience of China. It´s not fixed so far - and I´ve realized that I have as much to learn and understand about it on my return, as from what I have experienced first hand. 

"Journeys" is a title not so much of an album, or a project, but of this chapter of my life. And it is not about any particular place traveled to but the recognition that I find myself, finally, in the heart of my journey in life.

When I signed with EMI, I thought I had arrived home professionally. Though it was tough to lose the deal so quickly, I realize now that it is the best thing that could possibly have happened to me.

For better or worse, my own journey is not meant to be conditioned by forces outside myself - something I have learnt many times over, whether with labels, or being in bands, or through the continuing decision to cut off from outside entities which continually seek to impose their whims upon you.

I am first of all a human being and second a musician. Music for me comes out of path, out of what I dare to live, or to experience, of the thresholds in myself I am willing to cross or explore. I never once in my life sat down to write a song “to write a song”. It was always something that just happened, something which arrived whenever I needed help in understanding something about life. 

I felt so dam nervous before my trip to China. Like so many times when I have done something that ends up being important to me - i would have abandoned the undertaking the night before departing.

Its something I´ve learnt - you are never ready, and that´s okay. For me “Journeys” is about acquiescing to the spirit of life. And a knowledge that fear is the most worthy of traveling partners. Each time it is vanquished you learn something of yourself. 

In the words of the Confucian philosopher Mencius we survive in adversity and perish in ease and comfort”

Anyway, the picture above was taken in Changsha. I was in the heart of China, midway through 20 shows, with a wretched throat infection, and had been in urban heart lands day after day. I found this river a few hours before the show, and somehow it returned me to myself. I felt awed at where I was, awed that I did not understand China, but that I could somehow fathom it by dancing my reckless musical dance in its underground & relating through a howl with the curiosity of some of its people. 

Everywhere modernity seemed to rage for and with and against an older culture - an older deeper wonderful culture - whom its people have waged a war against. And just seeing this boat against the skyline, I felt with it and of it. Maybe it is just the sense I have that our spirits are deeper and older than ourselves, or our bodies. And a resonance that despite the Cultural Revolution and so much lost, there is something more ancient in China than anything I had ever experienced. Despite the wars we wage on ourselves and on each other, the deepest things always survive, because they are always in us, always potential, too fluid to be destroyed.

I am seeking to understand my own journey, and I feel clear that the more I understand, experience and engage with the culture of man, the more I can know - without grasping on to it of course.

Shanghai

Shanghai

We were lucky enough to visit The Great Wall after the Mid Autumn Moon festival. There was literally not a soul around and we were not quite prepared for the sheer tranquility and deep peacefulness which met us. Sometimes the mind boggles at the feats man has achieved, yet somehow it only highlights how reckless we are with our gifts. Music may have been devalued commercially in modern times, but I feel that in attempting to resonate with our higher potential, it’s role is as important as ever. If my songs, even on occasion, can serve to break down barriers, then that is enough for me. #TheGreatWall #journeys

We were lucky enough to visit The Great Wall after the Mid Autumn Moon festival. There was literally not a soul around and we were not quite prepared for the sheer tranquility and deep peacefulness which met us. Sometimes the mind boggles at the feats man has achieved, yet somehow it only highlights how reckless we are with our gifts. Music may have been devalued commercially in modern times, but I feel that in attempting to resonate with our higher potential, it’s role is as important as ever. If my songs, even on occasion, can serve to break down barriers, then that is enough for me. #TheGreatWall #journeys

Heading to Jianghu for tonight’s show after finding some green amongst the concrete.

Heading to Jianghu for tonight’s show after finding some green amongst the concrete.

Some impressions from my short stay in Beijing, this most fascinating of cities. There is an unmatched vibrancy, a great tide of movement, energy and activity, and, it seems, a great kindness at its heart. Where I am staying, in the Hutongs, there is a fascinating mix between very old ways of life, and modern stores and boutique shops. You can expect an invitation while walking home from a show, but tipping for food is not accepted. The people seem to have an innate musicality, and it feels there is a fascination with rock n roll and what it represents. One person told me that after the repression of 20th Century Communism, there is a space growing where new meanings are being explored. As well as a reconnecting with the Tao, Buddhism and Zen, Yoga centers are popping up and there is one Christian Church per district. The buzz of modernity combined with the changing place of venerated ways of life reminds me of a quotation from a book I read while studying for my thesis at university.

"To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world - and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are… To be modern is to be part of a universe in which, as Marx said, “all that is solid melts into air"

Marshall Berman
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity
For now, our residency continues nightly, and during the day we´re taking in all we can of Beijing - which is of course, just a fraction of a fraction. 
Writing the Journeys #2 - songs developing nicely! Please keep telling friends about it journeys EP 1 and if you would to order write to journeysep1@gmail.com. THANKYOU #friendsofjimkroft

Writing the Journeys #2 - songs developing nicely! Please keep telling friends about it journeys EP 1 and if you would to order write to journeysep1@gmail.com. THANKYOU #friendsofjimkroft

Sleeping quarters in #beijing

Sleeping quarters in #beijing

Boy racer on the way yo tonight’s show #beijing  #journeys

Boy racer on the way yo tonight’s show #beijing #journeys

Departure

A few thoughts before I set off on my journey. Before most voyages there are a few questions. Am I running from or am I going to? Am I ready for what lies ahead? What is the  protocol if you lose your passport in Wuxi, China?!

A year ago I felt incredibly uncertain over my future. Getting signed by EMI had felt like an “arrival” for me. It felt like I had fulfilled something that I had set out long ago to achieve. I felt I had arrived home. 

If anything losing the deal has highlighted for me how important it is not to hang on to things. I seem to search for certainties because I am not yet developed enough to give into the permanent changeability of things. 

When you´ve been in the wilderness for so long as an independent musician, getting signed by a major feels like a vindication and a validation.

Thankfully life has taught me not to hang on to illusions, to certainties, to fixed things. I feel incredibly grateful for that. There is a lot that I don´t know, and much I´m yet to learn. But I am thankful for all the ways life has humbled me.

At some point during the last year, I realized that I was in the richest moment of my life as a songwriter. Songs seem to arrive in abundance when things are shaky, and my uncertainty about my musical future was not answered by a new “real life” certainty like a record deal. It has been arrived at through song - and by that the adventure of the spirit.

I have no idea why, but the songs have kept coming, and in a way that has reignited me. All I really knew was that I had to somehow try to live up to them. And that is what I am now trying to do. 

The idea of “Journeys” is not about travel for me, and not dependent on whatever place I happen to be. In some ways it is more about the arrival at the realization that the human spirit is always in motion, is always potential, is not something static. 

It is about the journey of the songs from birth to their audience, and about the journey the spirit makes as it accompanies them. 

For now I am taking a deep breath on my last morning at home. There is a cup of tea and an Autumnal crispness in the air. It feels a fitting wind as I prepare to depart.

"To accept the challenge of the unknown, in spite of all fears, is courage"

— Osho - Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously

Introducing “Journeys”