Friday, 4 December 2009

this made me smile through tears

A big thank you to Cz for sending this through to me. His email was titled: Makes you smile... and in the email he wrote:

Thought these songs would cheer everyone up a bit :)

I've been so busy at work, and socializing afterwards that I didn't actually get a chance to open the two web links he had attached until tonight.

Playing for Change is a worldwide multimedia movement that tries to inspire, connect and bring joy through music around the world. They travel the globe and record artists playing and singing the same song, then mix it together to become what you see above. The idea is that music has the ability to break down borders, boundaries and distances. You have a singer standing on the rooftop in Israel, essentially singing along with someone on the back streets of Italy, or in a village in Africa. It's an amazing concept and put together is absolutely beautiful.

There's always these stories about how music has the ability to transcend anything. There's the story of soldiers in World War Two in their opposing trenches on Christmas Eve. The German side started to sing Silent Night and soon they heard the Allies join them in carol.

Or there's the more contemporary example of the West-Eastern Divan (orchestra). Founded by Daniel Barenboim (renowned conductor and pianist) and the late Edward Said (the great academic on Orientalism and who once wrote a personal email to my best friend R.) this orchestra brought together young musicians from countries in the Middle East, with the aim to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.

I found this quote on wikipedia from one of the young musicians who sums it up perfectly...

Barenboim is always saying his project is not political. But one of the really great things is that this is a political statement by both sides.

It is more important not for people like myself, but for people to see that it is possible to sit down with Arab people and play.

The orchestra is a human laboratory that can express to the whole world how to cope with the other

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