Tuesday, January 30, 2007

INDIGO ANTHEM: The Indigo Song

I (T.H. Culhane of Circus Guy -- Michael Culhane's brother) wrote this to be a kind of "Anthem for Indigos" in 2000 after my friend Yvette told me about the phenomenon in South Africa on a drive around a Cape Town nature reserve she was working to protect. UCLA Transformative Action Professor Scott Sherman and I performed it for our Global Eco-Village group during the Earth Summit of 2002 in Johannesburg, and Byron DeLear (Green Party Congressional Candidate) and I performed it in Jerusalem with a group of friends when we were there as part of Global Peace Solution. The rap lyrics before the last chorus reflect my philosophy of life.

This grainy video, and the performance on the out-of-tune guitar, were shot by my former Jefferson High School (South Central L.A.) students in their solar powered video studio in the 'hood in 2002 just so we could have it on record.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

INDIGO ANTHEM (The Indigo Song)
c 2000 T.H. Culhane
Los Angeles Eco-Village

(Intro guitar arpeggio evokes thoughts of the X-files theme)

"What if we looked up at the stars...
What if we found out who we truly are...

(Chord hit)

Sometimes we think that life is pain
And hardly worth the things we gain
But when we look up at the stars
Everything seems clear and well explained...

Sometimes we think that life is tough
Sometimes we say "I've had enough!"
But when we find out who we really are...

We finally understand for what we came
We finally understand just what we are
If we look up at the stars.... (guitar arpeggio a la "close encounters of the third kind" II - III - I - I (8ve lower)- V)


I'm feeling indigo
not blue
not black or white (not red, nor yellow, no!)
And I'm feeling 'in the know'
cause we're doing what feels right

I'm feeling indigo
It's true, I feel alright
And I feel we're seeing the light...
at the end of a long dark night

I'm feeling indigo
I'm feeling indigo
I don't get blue no more
I'm indigo I'm indigo I'm indigo

(Guitar solo with vocal scat in the style of Harry Nilsson)

When we look up at the stars (guitar arpeggio, Close Encounters II - III - I - I (8ve lower) - V)

I'm feeling indigo
not blue
not black or white (not red, nor yellow, no!)
And I feel we're seeing the light...
at the end of a long dark night

I'm feeling indigo
It's true, I feel alright
And I'm feeling 'in the know'
cause we're doing what feels right

I'm feeling indigo (sing along now)
I'm feeling indigo
I don't get blue no more
I'm indigo, I'm in to go, I'm indigo, who's in to go? I'm indigo
Willing to go
Where no one's gone before...
no one's ever ever ever gone before...
(spoken Stark Trek quote: "to boldly go where no one has ever gone before!")

Rap section:

Are you a mouse, or're you a man
and do you even have a plan?
What's your mission, what's your purpose?
Someday you'll understand

That every living thing's connected
Made of stardust mixed with love
and there's no black or white
no left or right, below is as above

We are more than merely human,
we're infinity of mind
We are endless possibility
We're more than mere mankind

We are indigo my brothers
pure as ultraviolet light
We are indigo dear sisters
We're the peace that ends the fight

We're the mc squared in energy
The order built of chaos
We're the "manifest" in destiny
A plenitude of players

We're both up and down and near and far
extant in all directions
We're both everything and nothing
We are fractalized reflections

We're both particles and waves
We're nodes and intersections
We are quantum and continuous
the cure for all infections

We are never ending being
We are ever lasting light
and we've come to end the suffering
We're here to end the strife!

I'm feeling indigo
I'm feeling indigo

I'm feeling indigo
not blue
not black or white (not red, nor yellow, no!)
And I feel we're seeing the light...
at the end of a long dark night

I'm feeling indigo
I'm feeling indigo

I don't get blue no more..."


(P.S. if you enjoy the song, you might join us in the efforts of our NGO, "Solar C.I.T.I.E.S" (Connecting Community Catalysts Integrating Technologies for Industrial Ecology Systems) in trying to eradicate poverty through ecological design. See http://solarcities.blogspot.com)

Friday, January 26, 2007

"The Future is Here, The Future is Now" is a song that T.H. Culhane and Frank DiMassa created for their renewable energy educational campaigns. The song was taken on the road by the Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador program (performed by T.H., Mike and Andrew Culhane, Anais Mitchell, Ted Stern, Greg Ross, James Dean Conklin and Frank Marino) and performed in a series of solar and wind powered concerts at the Wadi Environmental Science Center in Egypt and throughout the country with the U.S. State Department Cultural Affairs Program. It was then performed in Kuwait during a series of tours that culminated with its performance for the Sabah family children (kids of the oil sheikhs) and their classmates in the Imax Theatre at the Kuwati Science Center. It was recently performed on KPFK radio's "Healthy Me, Healthy Planet" hosted by Sherry Beale.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Mike Culhane wrote and recorded this awesome tune -- "Enchanted" for the Circus Guy debut album "The Lovely Luna" then took the song on the road to the Middle East, enchanting audiences and stopping the chanting of anti-American slogans by crowds of near-violent protesters from Syria to Palestine to Egypt. In this wonderful music video, crafted by film-maker and guitarist James Dean Conklin (http://greenheadmedia.org) Circus Guy is captured performing the tune throughout the land of the pharoahs. Note violinist and pedal steel guitarist Ted Stern -- a veritable "rocket scientist" whose patented solar technology flies on many space missions -- he came to Egypt not only to play but to demonstrate a new invention for low cost solar electric and solar thermal applications (see Energy Conversion Conference presentation here). Note the scenes of the band performing in the desert dunes of the Fayoum (where some of the oldest hominid fossils are found) using a BP Solarex photovoltaic panel to power the electric guitars, and the scenes of the band performing on the solar and wind powered stage at the Wadi Environmental Science Center, powered by the 14 Siemans, Astropower and Photowatt panels and the Windstream Air403 Wind generator that T.H. Culhane originally used to live off the grid at the Los Angeles Eco-Village!

Circus Guy's mission to provide "oil free music" in the Middle East is documented in the documentary film "Solar Circus", which contains this music video as one of its center pieces. The whole documentary can be viewed here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

All Things Considered
copyright Michael Culhane

Circus Guy" composer Michael Culhane wrote and recorded this tune with his previous band, "Circle Sky". "All Things Considered" has been performed by Michael Culhane and Circus Guy in New York, by T.H. Culhane, Steven Cass and Anais Mitchell in Israel and Palestine, by T.H. Culhane and Amira Dibsy in Cairo Egypt and by Michael Culhane and Circus Guy in Bahrain, Kuwait, Palestine, Egypt and Morrocco on the Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador tours. The pictures of of rooftops in Darb El Ahmar and Muqattam where Circus Guy and T.H. and Sybille Culhane have been building solar hot water systems from local and recycled materials.

The Circus Guy concept for Musical Goodwill Ambassadorship is to bring Americans who represent all the many facets of our pluralistic democracy to the rest of the world to share our common humanity and our common desire to solve problems.

In particular, we strive to bring musicians who also have skills in science and technology and education.

In this video clip, Alan Bigelow, Physicist and lead guitarist for the Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador Program, demonstrates to (R)evolution Host and Circus Guy vocalist his work in nuclear medicine. Alan and Circus Guy bassist Greg Ross both worked in this facility at Columbia Labs using a particle accelerator to help combat cancer.

Circus Guy's Arabic Melodic-Mnemonics Song

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Maey Oh Maey! (Water, oh Water!)
copyright 2005 T.H. Culhane, Melodic-Mnemonics

This is the song we performed in Kuwait (2005) and Morrocco (2006) on our Circus Guy Goodwill Musical Ambassador tours. This video (powerpoint) was projected on a screen behind the band as we played the song. We also performed this in a Palestinian refugee camp during the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. The recording was done in Dobbs Ferry, New York in January 2007.

This is one of the two songs (along with "Springtime by Design" that will be featured in "Water Circus", produced by James Dean Conklin and Elissa Zazzerra at Greenheadmedia.org

In the goodwill concerts we did during Education Week in Kuwait with the U.S. State Department, before our song and presentation, we thanked the Kuwaiti people and government saying the following:

"Through Hurricane Katrina, we have seen the power of water for good and ill, in its various forms as rain, storm, flood, contaminated sink of dangerous pollution and, of course, life sustaining blessing for drinking, irrigating and cleansing. From this tragedy we have learned much about the importance of respecting and taking care of water, and we have learned much from the international goodwill response to this terrible event.
“Circus Guy would like to personally thank the government and people of Kuwait for their generous financial and humanitarian support, helping the people of America recover from the environmental and social tragedies that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.
It is in that spirit that we offer this song about that most precious of the world’s resources… something every Arab knows very well!"

Then we began the song:

(tempo 118 bpm, 8 beat)

Verse I
Fmaj7 add G arp, Fdim add G arp, Em7, Am7, Dm, Dm/G G7
Allah made *{of water every living thing}* (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:30),
...و جَعَلنا من الماءِ كُلَّ شَيءٍ حيٍّ أفلا يُؤمِنونَ (سورة الأنبياءِ ٢١:٣٠ )
The total volume of water on Earth is about 1.4 billion cubic kilometers, but only 41 million of this is fresh water that we can drink and use. We must protect this precious heritage. We must recycle it, we must purify it and make it good to drink again, as Allah intended. We are the stewards of the earth.. and the water…

(Am) There´s lots of talk about (F#m7b5) disasters that are coming down the (F) pike…
(D7) We´re told we´ll soon run out of water and we´ll one day have to (Bb) fight (E7) (riff e g# b e, ´live and let die!´)
(F) But water´s not like oil, it never disappears…
(Dm) It´s so abundant there´s no need for all these fears
(Bb13) Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink?
(E7) Purifying water, friends, is easier than you think…
(F) Making new fresh water is as simple as can be
(D7)Through Distillation and osmosis and some fun technology, You’ll see… (E7) … Because we´re…


(Am) Living on a water planet
(F) Blue and green on top of granite… (Am) Maey! (bass and horn riff a e g a c a)
(Am) You may call this planet ´Earth´ but
(F) Water is our place of birth…
(D7) A hypersea of living liquid (G7) LIFE!… We´re alive…
´Ashan Maey! (Am) (bass and horn riff a e g a c a) (´Ashan Maey means ´because of water´)

"About 80% of the diseases that plague humanity are water-borne – cholera, typhoid
Amoebic dysentery, diarrhea, and other pathogenic diseases, not to mention
arsenic, lead, mercury and other forms of heavy metal poisoning. These are all completely avoidable. All we have to do is stop dumping our biological and chemical wastes into our water supply. Drinking quality fresh water should NEVER be used to carry our filth. Polluting our water supply is an inexcusable and criminally dangerous practice. Nobody should ever have to get sick or die because of dirty water"

Verse II
(Am) Khilafah means earth stewardship, to (F#m7b5) keep our wastes and filth away from (F) Maey
(D7) Amana is the trust Allah bestowed on all of us to learn and (Bb) try… (iqra!) (E7)Try to do right!)
(F) We must learn from Allah´s plan…, the balance, `Al-Mizan`
(Dm) Learn the hydrologic cycle as water goes through plants to man
(Bb13)Wastes don´t belong in water, not in the toilet nor the sink
(E7) Filth must be composted, water must be fit to drink
(F) Our rivers can´t be sewers, not for home or industry
(D7) We can keep our water pure and clean for all eternity, you’ll see (E7) … because we`re…

(Am) Living on a water planet
(F) Blue and green on top of granite… (Am) Maey? (bass and horn riff a e g a c a)
(Am) You may call this planet ´Earth´ but
(F) Water is our place of birth…
(D7) A hypersea of living liquid (G7) LIFE!… We´re alive…
´Ashan Maey! (Am) (bass and horn riff a e g a c a) (´Ashan Maey means ´because of water´)

Am-F Am Am/B C11, C9


There are (F) Living Machines that can (F#m7b5) make water clean again… (C)
Plants and (F) algae, it seems, like to (F#m7b5) play on our team…
(G) Cleaning our wastes, puri- (E ) fying our streams…
(F) Wind and sunlight can power desalinization, making
(F#m7b5) salt water fresh water through distillation

(C ) Maey…. oh… (Am) Maey….
(F) Oh why can´t we (F#m7b5) see it´s the (C ) reason we thrive (Am)
(Am7) Allah gave us Maey! (Fmaj7 add G arp) But we have to be wise… Fdim add G arp)
(Em7 arp) We must practice Amana, be the viceroys of life! (Am 7 arp) Allah gave us (Dm7 arp) Maey, oh maey oh maey! (Dm/G) (G7)

(C) Living on a water planet
(Am) Blue and green on top of granite… (Fmaj7 arp) Maey! (bass and horn riff a e g a c a)
(C) You may call this planet ´Earth´ but
(Am) Water is our place of birth…
(F) A hypersea of living liquid (G7) LIFE!… We´re alive…
´Ashan Maey! (C arp) (Am7 arp) (C arp) (Am7 arp) (Fmaj7 arp)

When we performed the song, singing to hundreds of schoolkids (including the children of the Sabah oil sheikh family) in front of the IMAX theatre screen in the Kuwait Science Center, with our video behind us on the 70 foot screen, we made the mistake of having the slide with the Qur'anic quote showing while the musical intro began. This deeply offended our fundamentalist hosts, who told us that one must never associate the Qur'an (Koran) with music or entertainment of any kind! We thought we were honoring Islam! In subsequent concerts we remedied the problem by simply showing the slide before the music began and after it stopped. As long as there is no music playing while referencing the Koran, we were told, things are okay.

Quranic environmental science quotes from various Arabic web sites:

*{Then set your face upright for religion in the right state-- the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know.}* (Ar-Rum 30:30)
In the Quran, men and women are viewed as God’s vicegerents on Earth. (2:30). God created nature in a balance (“al-mizan”) and mankind’s responsibility is to maintain this fragile equilibrium through wise governance and sound personal conduct."

"The Quran also describes the believing men and women as those who “walk on the Earth in humility.” (25:63). Scholars have interpreted this verse, and others like it, to mean that Muslims are to protect nature’s many bounties given to them by the Almighty. Preservation is therefore more than a good policy recommendation - it is a commandment from God.
Allah has blessed the earth on which we live with abundant natural resources, and He has given the human race intelligence and power to use these resources for its benefit. At the same time, Allah has bestowed upon human beings the honor and responsibility of khilafah (stewardship) of these natural resources. The concept that it is our sacred duty to respect, preserve, and sustain the animals, plants, and inorganic resources of the Earth was revealed to the Muslims 1400 years before the term "human habitat (environmentalism)" was coined in the West. Allah has revealed, "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, 'I will create a vicegerent on earth.' They said: 'Wilt Thou place therein one who will create mischief therein and shed blood?' ..." (Surah Baqara, ayah 30), for, unfortunately, man has been learning the hard way the lesson that wanton exploitation of natural resources leads to irreversible destruction."

Labels: , , ,

"Springtime By Design"

Michael Culhane wrote this tune for performance in the Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador Tour of Morrocco in the summer of 2006 where we were filming our second documentary film "Water Circus". The tune was produced in Dobbs Ferry, New York on January 4 2007 by Michael and T.H. Culhane with drums and engineering by Vito Lizzi in what used to be the Pickwick Theater, now "Stolen Moments" recording studio

Friday, January 05, 2007

This is T.H. and Mike Culhane, Clown College alumni from the class of 1975. We graduated with Bill Witter and Dolly Span Baker and Enoch Cook and then toured with Bill and Enoch and Steve Smith and other good friends in the Blue Unit under boss clown
Ron Severini. We were the "youngest salaried clowns in the history of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus" in the summer of 1976, the bicentennial show year.

Since September 11, 2001, Mike and T.H. have been making biannual tours of the Middle East
(Syria, Bahrain, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait, Egypt, Morrocco) with a show
we put together with Mark Shapiro of the U.S. State Department Cultural Affairs Division called "The Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador Program." We basically bring musicians and performers from the U.S. and the Mid East together on stage and in workshops, with a dash of unicycle riding, juggling and handstands thrown in for fun and chicanery, and use the outside performance time to meet with ambassadors and community leaders and scientists and planners, demonstrating technologies for sustainable development and alternative energy (trying to get the Mid East to kick the oil habit too!)

We have a DVD documentary trilogy coming out (Solar Circus, Water Circus, Recycle Circus). Previews can be seen here:


Mike is currently living in Northhampton Mass. with his wife Amy Weingartner Culhane, editor for Disney Adventures Magazine, and T.H.
and his wife Sybille Fruetl Culhane live between Cairo, Egypt and Essen, Germany with occasional pit stops in New York and L.A. (T.H. is getting his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA).
In July and August of 2001 T.H. Culhane was visiting Fullbright scholar Hind Rassam Culhane and author John Culhane in Damascus, Syria while Michael was performing with Circus Guy in New York. During this time T.H. performed at many embassy functions and parties with Cultural Affairs officer Mark Schapiro and American and Syrian musicians. After the tragedy of September 11th, Mark Schapiro and T.H. and Michael Culhane decided to make Michael's New York based rock band "Circus Guy" a regular part of the U.S. State Department mission to "change hearts and minds" through cultural exchange.

T.H. Culhane maintains three other blogs that talk about the Circus Guy Musical Goodwill Ambassador Program: http://thculhane.blogspot.com, http://solarcities.blogspot.com and http://environmentalpsych.blogspot.com