A remarkable and unpredicted popular response to the Playing For Change project has ignited around the world. Driven by more than twenty million video hits, countless blogs and pure viral communication between fans and followers, the global music project bubbles-up from the underground to debut at #10 on Billboard’s Pop chart.
“The success of Playing For Change illustrates the world’s desire for a truly authentic connection,” stated Concord Music Group co-owner Norman Lear. “Mark and his team brilliantly tapped into the collective undercurrent of change. We’re thrilled to help his beautiful vision become reality.”
Hear Music’s two-disc CD/DVD Playing For Change – Songs Around the World, a stirring call for harmony, freedom from strife and global reconciliation, stunned the music industry today selling over twenty-six thousand copies. Traveling the world for a decade, Grammy winning producer/engineer Mark Johnson and the Playing For Change team brought together diverse musicians in a heroic effort to inspire peace through the universal language of music.
Their ambitious journey took them from post-apartheid South Africa, through the ancient sites and conflict regions of the Middle East, to the remote beauty of the Himalayas and beyond. Using innovative mobile technology, the PFC crew filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors, in parks, plazas and promenades, in doorways, on cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. Each captured performance created a kaleidoscopic new mix in which essentially the artists are all performing together, albeit hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
The project’s deep emotional resonance, combined with the muscle of the internet, word-of-mouth and non-traditional/digital marketing motivated music fans to actively and aggressively seek out the record amidst this grueling era at traditional retail. The remarkable clip for “Stand By Me”, featuring 37 musicians from around the world, has been viewed by more than 18 million people to date on sites like YouTube and Vimeo and clips for other songs such as “One Love” and “Don’t Worry” have been viewed by millions more.
On release day, in celebration of the Playing For Change – Songs Around the World CD/DVD, four videos were presented on the home page of YouTube including the debut of Bob Marley’s classic “War/No More Trouble.” The clip highlights musicians from Congo, Israel, India, Ireland, South Africa, the U.S., Zimbabwe and Ghana, along with an extraordinary performance by U2’s Bono and Bob Marley himself. Also included was the Playing For Change band’s version of Sam Cooke’s iconic “A Change Is Gonna Come” recorded live in New Orleans.
This international collective, featuring musicians from the ubiquitous “Stand By Me” video including Grandpa Elliot and Clarence Bekker just completed a wildly successful jaunt in the U.S. (and an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno). They will announce more U.S and international dates very soon. (A second Tonight Show visit is also on tap in July, this time with new host Conan O’Brien.) In addition, the feature film “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music” will air nationally on PBS this summer and released on DVD later this year.
“The profound response to this project is thrilling and immensely gratifying to all of the people who have passionately and tirelessly worked to make it happen,” stated Playing For Change founder Mark Johnson. “It demonstrates the immense power of music to bring people together and make the world a better place; something we had faith in all along.”
The special CD/DVD package Playing For Change – Songs Around the World contains a ten-song audio CD as well as a seven-track DVD, which features five full ‘songs around the world’ videos. The DVD also includes a trailer for the forthcoming PFC feature film and information on the PFC Foundation.
Playing for Change is headquartered in Los Angeles.
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