And if the World (Suoni, 2002)
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 2001)
On March 1st, (2004) after I arrived home from a visit with a friend, I found my mailbox overflowing with CDs of artists spreading peace and compassion so I feel honored in writing this review. The two compilations listed in this review featured musicians from varying countries with one thing in common–stopping the madness and greed that has perpetuated around the globe by a handful of elite, political leaders and multi-national corporations. These musicians are unarmed except for their passionate voices and musical talent. And they must believe in the same way that I believe that each of us makes a difference by sharing our talents and speaking our truths with compassion.And if the World produced as a collaborative effort with the Seattle based non-profit Pressure Point, Arv, Suoni Dell’ Atromondo and Ra Media takes a political stance. Along with the 18 donated tracks by international artists, Annbjørg Lien,
Flook, Laura Love, and 15 other groups, the producers of the compilation provide listeners with revealing statistics and famous quotes such as, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Gandhi. The tracks on this CD are mostly pre-recorded and compiled by producer Arv/Giovanni Amighetti.
A few of the tracks were recorded and produced specifically for this CD and include, Ivan’s Mazurka (Stefano Valla), Flutopia Parts 3 & 4 (Flook), Dammi La Man Biodina (La Squadra) and Ndosi by Luisa Cottifogli (a vocalist with a range that could shatter glass). Three of the tracks are a cappella, Ndosi and Dammi La Man Biodina and Bella Chao (Paroplapi) sports an a cappella introduction and
then is accompanied by drums thus reminding us that voice is a powerful instrument for change. This CD brings us everything from a spirited Eastern European romp (Crossing Mountains pt 2) to Asian flute (Goodbye Again) to the folky In Seattle (Laura Love). The songs flow well into one another and prove
that diversity can be woven into an exquisite fabric.
According to promotional information that appears on Pressure Point’s web site, “This CD is an example of the positive potential of globalization. Cultural ambassadors from 18 countries are represented. Their diverse cultures are bound together in joyous, creative expression intrinsic to the medium of music. They play for their communities and they sing for the earth.” The CD was created
as a fund raising effort for the activist non-profit, Pressure Point and they offer a special discount for unemployed individuals and students. For further information visit http://www.pressurepoint.org/worldcd.html.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace is more of a collaborative collage than an actual compilation CD. The title derives from a prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi and the CD was created to honor the Centennial of The Nobel Peace Prize and its recipients. Produced in 2001 and released on the Kirkelig Kulturverksted label out of Norway in collaboration with Worldview Rights, offers an elaborate
collaboration with Susana
Baca (Peru), Sinead O’Connor (Ireland), Dr. L. Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurti (India),
Mari Boine (Norway/Samiland), Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe), Banda Dida (Brazil), Kris Kristofferson (US),
Knut Reiersrud (Norway), Maureen Nehedar (Israel), Brilliant (Azerbaijan) and Saed Sweiti (Palestine). The 17 tracks that appear here were composed for this recording and were recorded in various studios throughout the world and then fused together along with exerts from famous speeches of Nobel Peace Prize winners.
The first half of the CD focuses on injustices that are taking place in various countries and the remainder of the CD offers prayers of peace from the Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu religions, ending with the title track sung by Sinead O’Connor. The production is passionate and the various speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lhama and other peacemakers can easily draw tears. I find this recording incredibly powerful with diverse voices, styles and cultures that flow seamlessly into one another. On, Begging/Anuheapmi, Mari Boine sings, “I don’t know it seems as if we now are guests at the king’s table and it’s time for serving and we reach out our hands bowing gracefully and feel ourselves blushing.” I have a dream fuses Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech with hearty vocals compliments of Brilliant, Boine and Kavita Krishnamurti. Those are just two examples of the thought provoking tracks that appear on this recording.
To sum up these two compilations, here is a quote by Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela (South Africa), “Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates. Let the striving of us all prove Martin Luther King Jr., to have been correct when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to starless midnight of racism and war. Let the efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being
more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. Let a new age dawn!” (1993). Proceeds from the sale of this CD go to the Nobel Peace Laureates Follow up Fund.