Making Voices Play Well Together

3 Nov

Making the unique elements of a composition work together, be it a story, a recipe, or a song is a struggle. It takes hours of cutting, tweaking, layering, adding in and taking back out. Going from chaotic clamor to a beautiful harmony is daunting. It can feel like you will never get there. As I wind up work on my sequel to the Tiger’s Tale there are days when I feel like it’s impossible. Yesterday was one of those days. Zero progress. Today was backwards progress, and after a couple of hours I was looking for an excuse to set the work aside again. I have to check my email, right?

I subscribe to the Playing for Change mailing list and the video above was in my mailbox this morning. Playing for Change is an organization working for peace through music. They choose a song and a street musician, record a track, then fly to another city. The crew finds another musician and asks them to listen to the original track while adding their unique style and talent to the composition. They repeat the process as they travel around the world and they don’t make it easy on themselves. The composition above includes street musicians on electric guitars, chamber musicians on violins, music played on instruments I don’t know the names of and from parts of the world I know little about. From a children’s choir in Ireland to Grandpa Elliot in New Orleans, they make it fit. The end result is a brilliant blend of diversity–culturally, musically and visually. It leaves me with a feeling that there is hope for what I am trying to accomplish. But more important, it gives me the hope that in a world of 7 billion voices we can find harmony.

~Nara Malone

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