Cornflower's "AzTheEarthChanges" Provides Rhythmic Relief for Japan

Cornflower's "AzTheEarthChanges" Provides Rhythmic Relief for JapanTuesday, 29 March 2011 - Written by Monica Christoffels

The mark of good musicians is how connected they are to their music, but great musicians take it one step further. Artists who feel a strong connection to the world around them - be it politically or culturally - reflect these bonds through their music. Such is the case with Cornflower, a vocal-instrumentalist whose latest EP, AzTheEarthChanges, was born out of pure concern for the victims of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactors crises.

I first learned of Cornflower when he performed last January with Alcyon Massive and Skip Wicked of Indubious at the WOW Hall in Eugene, Oregon. Cornflower, born John Francis, uses a loop pedalto form a multi-part song all by himself. He has a very unique and impressive way of blending beatboxing and vocal clips using only his mouth and feet into real music; when listening to his songs, I always try to guess when his real voice stops and the recorded loop begins. The Tennessee native relocated to Oregon to work with Jose Argüellas, a Mexican-American artist/author known for his conceptualization of Earth Day and the Mayan calendar.

“I was sort of a preacher of the ‘natural timing’ theory for a while,” Cornflower said. “It’s funny - before I left, my dad was like, ‘so, why are you going out to Oregon?’ and I said, ‘this job is only the surface - there’s something deeper.’” And he was right: not only did Cornflower find his passion in music, his “purpose,” but also his wife. “They all came together when I moved down here.”

Read on for an EP review and a statement from Cornflower.

AzTheEarthChanges is a simple, three-track EP. “Prayer 4 Japan” is a solemn, empathetic song that starts off with a bubbling brook sound and builds into an almost haunting hymn. “Open Wide,” a track 14 min. long, implores the listener to "open up to your heart / open up to another world." Cornflower's voice is surprisingly smooth, almost reminding me of George Michael's tenor tone. Lastly, “You Are The Medicine” is a more upbeat number that asserts that, indeed, we can come together as an international community and "heal the world," as Cornflower states in a message below. Note in this track how, in the middle of a Cornflower symphony, he manipulates his voice to sound just like lasers and an electric guitar at the end - I told you it was impressive!

Cornflower released a statement along with AzTheEarthChanges:

This EP is in response to the many world events taking place in this moment - primarily, the most recent being Japan's 9.1 Earthquake, Tsunami and the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Crisis.

My wife Nikita and I (The TONE) have been tracking these changes, along with the global response, and have been guided to support everyone to re-connect with their Heart, and from this place Unite with your World.

As our dear friend Tej Steiner has shared with us, it is in this place of United Heart Connection that we will all be able to respond to the times we are living in.

The Hopi, The Dalai Lama, The Hathors through Tom Kenyon, Abraham-Hicks, and many spiritual leaders, prophets, seers, wayshowers and guides are flooding the airwaves with the focus on unity, heart & visualizing the World we know is possible, but FEELING IT & CELEBRATING it now... while simultaneously responding consciously and grounded to what is happening right in front of us based on our previously accumulated collective unconscious vibrational karma.

Our hearts go out to all those who have completed their journey on Earth with us through these tragic events and to all those who lost loved ones. To all in need of guidance and direction, may this music be a space where you can dive in, close your eyes, connect with your Heart, and then from that place connect and be empowered with your World.

You Are The Medicine that has been sent here to Heal the World.

For more info go to:

In Gratitude,

Cornflower, The TONE & Time is Art Records

Upcoming events for Cornflower include the Joshua Tree Music Festival May 13-15 in Southern California and the Wanderlust FestivalJuly 28-31 in North Lake Tahoe.

This Friday, Cornflower will perform at a customer appreciation party for Midtown Direct at the WOW Hall in Eugene, Oregon. At the end of every month, 75% of all proceeds from AzTheEarthChanges will be donated to a Japan relief charity of Cornflower’s choice (which I know he will pick wisely).

AzTheEarthChanges is available for download here.