At Dolphin River Lodge editAugust 12 — “No issue caused more conflict in the debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership than intellectual property and other protections for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry,” says The Washington Post. Five years’ work with partners in many countries helped block conclusion of a multinational negotiation in Hawaii last week that would have cost a great many lives. Read and watch more in The New York Times, at WikiLeaks, on Democracy Now! and Al-Jazeera, in The Wall Street Journal and The Hill and on our access program‘s web site. Public Citizen recently published this short profile of our program’s work.

Notaries Public had a great show at Treehouse Lounge in Washington last Friday. Our lead guitarist Ben O’Donnell is leaving us for the west coast, and we are trying out new musicians. Our songs “Star Field Below” and “Meet Me in the Middle” are available for download on Bandcamp.

Our no user-fees Sierra Leonean School of Hope has reopened its doors. Join Foday Mansaray and the stone mining kids of Adonkia as we put Ebola behind and provide education for all. See also this letter in The New York Times from my father, who served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Sierra Leone, critiquing the US government’s missed opportunities controlling the virus in West Africa.

A ring around the Atlantic
CD cover of A Ring Around the Atlantic

By turns a world music album, field recording, and power pop showcase, A Ring Around the Atlantic is thoughtfully written and orchestrated and features the standout production value of The Magpie Cage’s J. Robbins. Maybarduk’s voice, breathy and soft, reminds me of Hey Marseilles’ Matt Bishop and Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis. His songwriting is thought-provoking without being pedantic, helped by the album’s relentlessly catchy hooks and strong backing musicians.

No Hay Pueblo Vencido
CD cover of No Hay Pueblo Vencido

We released No Hay Pueblo Vencido (No Defeated People) on March 19, 2009.
Vencido features kinetic electronic compositions, political rock and acoustic nueva canción, with the musical talents of producer J. Robbins, drummer Darren Zentek, vocalists Shawna Potter and Linsay Rousseau Burnett, pan flautist Marco Ovando and trumpeter Ronald Rollins.
In part, Vencido is a tale of the Americas; of people standing up for their dignity despite oppression. It’s also a personal story. Vencido tracks a dual narrative of social justice and personal evolution, and explores the relationship between them. In the words of Edward Abbey, Action is the antidote to despair.

CD cover of Passengers

Passengers, my first LP, is an introspective and primarily acoustic narrative recorded with J. Goody at Mega sonic in West Oakland, CA.
I made Passengers in 2006 under a routine of moderate solitude near the bay and trains. I recorded soundscapes from around northern California, linking songs together to hint at a unified story. Listeners can draw their own meanings from it, but I think the related themes of impermanence, travel and isolation, as both personal narrative and rising social illness, come through. I’m pleased to say it’s earned the affection of many careful listeners.

New on this site

Notaries @ Treehouse Lounge Friday August 7

Tree House Lounge in northeast DC

Notaries @ Fort Reno July 13

Notaries Public plays Washington DC’s iconic indie music free summer concert series. This is a bit of a dream for the band’s DC natives. Save the date — more info soon.

Center for Artistic Activism Barcelona

Access to medicines advocates from around the world recently gathered in Barcelona for a week-long seminar on the creatively persuasive arts. After a couple days’ lessons in history, neuroscience and organizing by the Center for Artistic Activism we took a … Continue reading

Por el Derecho a la Salud en Ecuador

A Spanish-language interview with ANEPI, a news service of Ecuador’s public agencies, about a national policy on patents and access to medicines which we helped develop.