Ballad of Edward Snowden (intro)

Snowden   Introduction

In 2014 the Documentary Movie Citizen Four won an Oscar for best documentary.

In January 2013,documentary film maker Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from “CITIZENFOUR,” who claimed to have evidence of illegal surveillance programs run by the NSA. Five months later, she and reporter Glenn Grenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden.

The STAZI were the East German Secret Police.

The Intercept is an online news publication dedicated to “adversarial journalism”.

The Amnesic Incognito Live System,TAILS, is a secure version of LINUX that along with TOR and PGP can enable private secure communication.

References to an hundred million in the song are vastly understated but I couldn’t make realistic numbers scan or rhyme.

Ballad of Edward Snowden – YouTube

Multi Track Video

The video edit on this clip is pretty good. I suspect they are using ProTools which is pretty expensive and they are pros.   

We can achieve the same effect as follows:

  1. Create a click track on an mp3 file.    Sound recorder and a metronome will serve.
  2. Each musician records the song using whatever they have to create an mp4.   A smart phone on a tripod works pretty well.  Count the start in 1 2 3 4 to sync the tracks.  We cut this out of the final production.
  3. We pick the most likely version and each listen to it while re-recording our own part.
  4. The tracks are mixed into a video using LightWorks or ShotCut.  
  5. We could post the individual .mp4s on YouTube  so we don’t need to email huge video files.

Performer pages


Anyone who has performed a feature at the Vancouver Folk Song Society or is presently listed on as a performer may request a page provided only that they produce the required material.

Any board member may nominate a performer if they produce the required material

Required Material

  • Performer Head shot. — jpg or gif or png picture
  • Media — video or audio material — need not be perfectly edited we can trim

Optional Material

  • Website — shall we link to your website
  • Biographical material — whatever you think we need to know
  • Copywrite notice if necessary

What I’ve listed above is just what is needed to create more entries for the performer menu item that you see on the right side of this page.

Adding to the Website

1.   A WordPress website/blog is nothing more than a set of posts, blog entries.   That is the base case for a free site. 

2. is a WordPress site with the content and structure, more or less, of the website.    It has a page for “PERFORMERS” that has six of us at the moment.   I’d be happy to create a page for anyone else that has audio or video content we could post.

3.  If you accept my invitation to become an AUTHOR you can make posts to the BLOG which can contain audio or video.  That is you can just create a post like a web page with content.   Anyone with editor access can link posts to pages.

4.  If you graduate to EDITOR  you can create and maintain the static pages that host the content from  You also have input into the format of pages that is unavailable to Authors. That means you can create a new performer page and link the performers posts to the page.   Volia a performance site. 


Video Editing

Video editing is a pretty big topic.  I made a video a few years with LightWorks which was a real bear to operate.   Microsoft Movie is no longer easily available on windows 10 so  I searched WordPress and someone recommended  SHOTCUT.   

Here is a good example of what I have done so far —

Shotcut enables you to assemble images and clips or parts of clips onto a timeline just like LightWorks  and MS Movie but the user interface is much easier to mange.   The timeline contains both audio and video tracks from videos in your playlist. 

You can easily create transitions between shots and remove all of the audio from the clips you load and replace it with custom sound if you are so inclined.   You can create and manage Titles and text overlays that follow parts of your movie.   

I’m still learning to use SHOTCUT but if anyone wants to create  a video from some smart phone footage I’ll give it a try. I use AUDACITY,  as a digital audio workstation.   It lets me create multi track audio and mix tracks down to stereo for publication or to use as a studio audio track with a video.

Both AUDACITY and SHOTCUT are open source and cost only time to download and install.