A Musical Wedding in Knysna

A week ago today, two of our closest friends – the very talented Brent & Lorette – tied the proverbial knot. It was a beautiful wedding, and after they’d made their vows, many of the musicians present engaged in an ongoing live jam/concert. Here are some photos of the stunning day!

The bride and groom:





Alan Kozak and Claire Venn:


The talented Kozak family:


Perpetual Blues:


The amazing cake:



Mali & Me also played, but obviously I was unable to take photos of that! Brent & Lorette also played, but I was too busy filming them to remember to take pictures!

If you haven’t already checked out Brent & Lorette, I encourage you to do so at any of the following places:

Congratulations, Brent and Lorette! We wish you many, many years of love, laughter and blessings!

4 Years as Mrs Korsten!

Today, Cuan and I celebrate four years of marriage! It sure has gone quick. I look forward to the next four, and maybe even the next forty (God-willing)!

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These past four years have been a continual lesson in how to love. When you’re young (okay, I’m still young!), you assume that love is the most natural and easy thing in the world. And that’s probably true of emotional love. But the kind of self-sacrificial love that keeps a marriage thriving is not so easy. It requires laying down your life daily for the other person.

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It’s something I’m still learning, and will likely continue to learn for the rest of my life!

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Thankfully, Cuan and I are committed to each other, and to continually growing and learning how to be servants of all (Mark 9:35).

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Thanks for marrying me, Cuan, and congratulations on putting up with me for 4 years! I love you!

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Photos by Andre Pretorius.


The Story of my Beautiful Mandolin


About three years ago, I began to rediscover Bluegrass music. I got really into Alison Krauss & Union Station and Nickel Creek (not exactly purist Bluegrass bands, but I’d say that Bluegrass is their foundational genre). I decided I wanted to learn mandolin and fiddle.


I posted a jokey Facebook status update asking if anyone wanted to buy me a mandolin. Then, on my 22nd Birthday, my Grandfather said he would in fact like to buy me one! I was ecstatic, and set about Denmark Street in search of an entry-level mandolin that would be good enough to learn on and maybe good enough to record on the occasional song. I tried out a few different instruments that were within my budget, but none of them really stood out to me.


Let me backtrack a minute here. A few weeks earlier I’d gone to a shop in Denmark Street and admired a beautiful, 100-year-old guitar that had an amazing mother-of-pearl butterfly design on it. I had considered buying it, but instead spent my money on a MacBook Pro laptop. When I went back to the store in search of a mandolin, I asked if they still had the guitar. The shop-assistant informed me that the guitar had been sold, but that they actually had a mandolin in stock that had a similar vibe.


He brought out the mandolin and informed me that it was 100-years-old, and had belonged to a soldier who had fought in the war (not sure which one – probably WW2, unless he bought the instrument new!). It came with the original leather case, plus an old newspaper cutting which referenced the soldier who had owned it. It even had one really, really old string (maybe one of the original strings?) rolled up in the case. Inside the mandolin, it says, “Via Antonio”.

Now, anyone who has read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin might understand why I got excited by all this. I know that it’s a work of fiction, but it’s one of my favourite works of fiction, and the obvious parallels helped me to fall in love with this particular mandolin. (For those who haven’t read the book, Captain Corelli is a soldier in the second World War, whose first name is Antonio, and who plays a bowl-back mandolin named Antonia, which I seem to recall even has a mother-of-pearl butterfly on it. I have, of course, named my mandolin Antonio.)


When I played it, I loved it even more. It was a little over-budget, but other family members had also given me some money for my Birthday, which meant I was just able to afford it. It was very reasonably priced, considering what a beautiful instrument it is.


It’s been over a year since I bought it, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t put very much time into learning how to actually play it. But I plan on changing that – I’m going to give it the attention it deserves so that you can all hear how beautiful it is.


Do you have an instrument with a special story? I’d love to it in the comments section below!

The Gift of Creativity


In Jon Foreman‘s blog post on “Making a Living”, he talks about the word “re-appropriate”. He says he stole this word from a friend, who stole it from someone else. Now I’m going to steal it from him!

According to Jon’s article, to re-appropriate means to seize and reassign. When used in relation to art and creativity (and even songwriting), this word is quite revelatory. We are all working with a finite number of notes, chords, words, colours, etc. These raw materials already exist. So when we mere mortals “create” something, we are in fact just re-appropriating (seizing and reassigning) things which have already been created.

I think on of the reasons why art is so compelling is that when we engage in this artistic act of re-appropriation, it is as though we have been invited to share in the experience of creation. It’s as if God is giving us a little glimpse into His own creative character, whilst simultaneously reminding us that He is the ultimate author.

When we realise that our desire to create is a result of our having been made in God’s image, we can also develop a deeper understanding of how God sees us. Most (if not all) artists I know love, cherish and value their creations. They view their art as precious and close to their heart. Is this not how God sees us? As precious and valuable?

God is creative, and when we try and create something new from the raw materials that He has already made, we experience another aspect of His character. I for one am thankful that He has invited us to partake in the gift of creativity!


Photo courtesy of DoremiGirl.

Our First Day of Shooting the “Songs of June” Videos

Hey friends!

So, today was the first day of shooting for the updated “Songs of June” series. We were going to get started on Tuesday, but it was SUPER windy, so we postponed till today. It went really well – we managed to get four songs shot! Not bad for a day’s work!


We filmed in a series of beautiful, outdoor locations. One of the benefits of living in South Africa is that the light is almost always great!


We’re so happy to be working with Glory to God Motion Pictures again – they did such an awesome job on the video for Am I Lost.


We managed to pull off some cool, multi-instrumental set-ups. Cuan thinks that his electric guitar (when amped) sounds seriously awesome outside (I agree with him)!


The weather played along – we had some beautiful sun, few clouds and very little wind.


 I’m so excited to see the finished videos (and of course, to share them with you!).


We’re planning to upload one song per week to our Youtube channel, so be sure to subscribe there if you want to keep up-to-date! And watch this space for the first video, which will be coming soon!



Photos 1 and 4 courtesy of Cuan Korsten.