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🌺 Springtime in Virginia with Alex

🌺 Springtime in Virginia with Alex

Hi!

I hope you’re doing well! It’s Saturday morning and I’m back in Virginia after coming back from Tangier last week and stopping by New York City for a second time this year as I was driving down over here. It’s been such a crazy time, but I’m so glad to be here, waking up to the sound of nature kicking off what seems like a promising day! I decided to grab my running shoes and go down and up the hill in order to join the forest party taking place as the sun rises above the surrounding mountains.

What a magical scenery! It is truly refreshing after all those weeks of running around so many different cities between America, Europe, and Africa! It is a huge blessing for me to feel like I am at home! As I was running through the only narrow path there is on this hill, I had a hard time looking straight forward as I was truly amazed by all those purple, yellow, and white flowers coming to life all around me in this very animated forest! Gotta love this time of the year around here in Virginia, witnessing this amazing circle of life taking its reign back over these long silenced woods where the sound of the wind is overruled by hundreds of colorful birds, all pretty busy building their new homes in the hopes of sharing it with a new life partner!

As I was trying to breathe again after I finally made it back to the top, I realized I was exactly at the same place, precisely a year ago, doing the exact same thing, as we were starting to work on a musical journey called “Springtime” under the umbrella project “All the Violence in the World”, the profits of which would be sent to Ukraine, to an organization ran by a dear friend of mine, Music Saves UA. I was simply mesmerized to see all this nature coming back to life, and here I was a year later, the war in Ukraine tragically still raging…

It was on April 5th, 2022, that Alex invited you to a live broadcast on April 23rd, 2022, during which he and The Long Shadows would perform new and never-released music. Two of the songs performed would become the object of a direct-to-vinyl lathe-cut LP, and more merch has also been crafted, and, as I just mentioned, the proceeds were donated to Music Saves UA. We managed to send $5,000 to Ukraine following this unforgettable journey and campaign with you all. How incredible! The power of music, of people getting together, of not only hoping and wishful thinking for real social change, but mobilizing ourselves and making a real difference in this crazy world.

I don’t know if I ever shared this with you but, I had the amazing opportunity to meet my dear Ukrainian friend and brother in September of 2022 while in Hamburg for the Reeperbahn Festival, and this moment will live in my heart forever! He texted me saying he was at this hotel which I immediately went to, as I wanted to give him the t-shirt we had preciously kept for him! I was already full of emotions as I was walking in his direction, knowing just a slight bit of everything he and his family had gone through since February 2022. We both hugged for a few minutes, silent, simply embracing such a rich moment filled with such a spirit words can’t explain.

And as I showed him his t-shirt, he told me: “Please, tell Alex and the entire crew and family and friends and fans how much we’ll forever be thankful for your incredible and unforgettable gesture. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to move families across the Ukrainian borders allowing them to start a new life safely! You and Alex will always be welcome to Ukraine, and the day you’ll come, I will make sure you will be welcomed like only Ukrainians can: in grand fashion and style as you deserve.” I was speechless. It was so surreal. All of a sudden, what usually felt so distant and only in the news felt so close and so real. I never encountered such a feeling before, and I will never forget this singular moment with Vlad.

I remember sharing this with you last year, and I talked with Vlad about how the “Springtime” idea came together in Alex’s heart and mind:

Alex has been really moved by a few musicians who decided to play music everywhere they possibly could, whether outside in the cold, surrounded by what they used to call homes, or underground, in what they used to call metro stations but that they now call home. We’ve been talking almost all night about it, chatting with our friends over there, being 7 hours behind them. Long whispers… Long thoughtful moments where the right words are hard to find…

It’s with this same humble spirit that Alex and I are inviting you to his home, in Virginia, for the first time ever, in order to attend a unique musical moment with the Long Shadows, so we can all regroup and create a distinguished and significant moment around music, humans, dignity, hope, love, and peace, where humanity will be celebrated in a humble but great manner!


I’m now listening to Jessica Moss as I’m writing those words down, a project called Galaxy Heart, as I didn’t want to dive too much into melancholic and sad music… I’m here at Alex’s home, witnessing how things have changed since I was here a year ago, realizing how little we control, how fragile all of this is, and how precious it is for us to value moments! It’s like each moment had a spirit deeply rooted into something so powerful that it allows us to not only keep going, but to have faith in something better, something greater, something that will outlive us forever!

It’s springtime again. I’m so glad to be right here right now. I sincerely hope and wish it’s the same for you. Life is so rich, even though it can be really hard at times.

It’s springtime again! Let’s be great to one another!

Your Host and Friend,
Jeff

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