Soldiers of Love
These beautiful human beings, women and men full of light and song, hop out of bed every morning with joy in their hearts. They pack up their gear and head to their mecca to pay homage to the gods of music – out of love, pure uninhibited and deep love. In London, UK – you will find many of these fantastical songbirds strumming until their fingers bleed along the banks of the River Thames, every single day come rain or shine. In a fake plastic world consumed with instant gratification, their arduous fate, a story shared with likeminded harmonious souls around the world, is one that needs to be heard, with great respect and dignity, and because of love.
A busker’s heart is full of passion – a lust for music deep within the soul. To listen to music, to create music, to play music – nurtures and sustains their existence in this great big world. A busker’s mind is wired to persevere in the truest sense, dictionary.com defined, i.e. to continue, “in a state of grace to the end”. Chivalrous to the core, these soldiers of love march on with authenticity and bravery tattooed on their arms. They hone their craft and unleash exponential potential through elated exertion for thousands of hours. These bringers of joy teach us to follow our hearts, to find beauty in our sometimes-dark world– and graciously lead us on by spreading peace, love and joy to all through their gift of song.
Fortunate for me, I had the pleasure of meeting one such beautiful soul in December 2016 in Zurich at Robin Sharma’s Titan Summit – a soldier of love, born in Scotland and existing in London, UK, a true artist, Scott McMahon.
When he played the stage at the Park Hyatt Zurich, I was lost. I felt things that I hadn’t felt in a long time – it was as if no one else was in the room. His quiet confidence teeing up his set got my attention, and when he sang, the world stopped. His power, his passion, his confidence, his energy uplifted every person in that room, and captivated my soul. He was not only singing to us – he was singing to the world, and to all the great rock gods before him. I just felt it. His passion for music runs incredibly deep. His new album, Lion Taming, was created with love within a year of his previous album, Natural History. This new masterpiece, I whole-heartedly believe, is the climax of his evolution as an artist and is elevating his rising star. Download it, listen to it – he takes you to the most wonderful places in his vast and varied stories of love.
The Music in Me
Music is an expression of life – melodic, soothing, energizing, and has millions and millions of songs and symphonies still to be written. It comes from the depths of souls, the fires in hearts, and the creative potential in minds. And it is in me.
I started pouring music into my soul when I completed my first glitter poster project on my favourite artists at the time, Hall and Oates, for Mrs. Matsui’s Grade 7 music class. And this continued after I attended my first real stadium concert, Rick Springfield, at age 13 on my own; and so many more concerts by iconic artists over the years like David Bowie, U2, and Pat Benatar; most recently having the joy of seeing the timeless and powerful Stevie Nicks in Toronto last November.
AC/DC’s Back in Black was the very first album I ever got, and hundreds more records, cassette tapes, and CDs over the years. I’ve listened to thousands of songs so far in my lifetime – and still get excited to hear a new song or check out a new artist, and instantly now with the luxury of streaming music from around the world on Spotify.
Other than attempting to play viola and to sing in the school choir in middle school, I consider myself an enthusiastic appreciator of music and believer in the power of human potential.
My mother’s father, Antun Tkalec, my late grandfather, was the musical genius in my family – he was a self-taught musician who could play and write music for seven instruments in the local village brass band, Habeki, in Mali Bukovec, Croatia.
His musical talent was passed down to his grandson, my cousin, Zeljko Tkalec, who today hand crafts electric and acoustic guitars out of wood in Croatia.
And to his great-grandson, Toni Tkalec, a singer, songwriter and musician in the Croatian band, Jam Ritual.
What More Do We Need?
To survive as humans on this planet, we basically need food, water, shelter and clothing. To grow into our full potential, we need sanitation, education and healthcare. To pave a path to universal acceptance and understanding of every individual, we need music. Music is the definition of equality. Music is the definition of freedom. Music is the definition of unconditional love.