Friday, March 04, 2016

Stand By Me

I've recently posted two pieces that were inspired by songs I'd been listening to, specifically "War/No More Trouble" and "Biko" from the Playing for Change album, "Songs Around the World."

For those who aren't familiar with this incredible and inspiring project, Playing for Change is the name given to on-going work that began in 2002.  Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, wanting to capture "the heartbeat of the people," traveled around the United States with a mobil recording studio, asking the different musicians they met to record the same songs.  The result was the documentary film A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.    

In 2005, Johnson was walking down a street in Sana Monica, California, and heard the soulful voice of street musician Rodger Ridley singing the Ben E. King classic, "Stand by Me."  Johnson asked Ridley if he would mind being recorded as part of an international collaboration, and Johnson ran off to get his recording equipment.  A phenomenon was born.

To date, more than 200 musicians from around the world -- some quite well known yet most not -- working in a kind of collaboration that was not only impossible until recently, but entirely unthinkable.  While the music is truly incredibly, he videos are perhaps even more so as they show us the international exchange.

Playing for Change is not just about the music, though.  At least, not just about the music you and I can buy.  On it's website it describes itself like this:
Playing for Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music.  The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. 
The true meansure of any movement is what it gives back to the people.  We therefore created the Playing for Change Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world, and creating hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

Projects like this give me hope.  And music like this gets my spirits soaring!

Pax tecum,


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1 comment:

arthurrashap said...

Wow! My ears, my eyes, my heart and my soul were (re) opened. How wonderfully great that this was, is, will be put together and shared. I soar like an eagle on the wings of the notes and the harmonies of the songs and the souls who share.