"Playing for Change"Yesterday's edition of Bill Moyers Journal included one of the most arresting features I have ever seen on TV. In the segment in question, Moyers presented lengthy excerpts from "Playing for Change: Peace Through Music," a film produced by Mark Johnson, a sound producer/engineer and film director.
As explained at the Bill Moyers Journal website:
"Playing for Change" "brings together musicians from around the world blues singers in a waterlogged New Orleans, chamber groups in Moscow, a South African choir to collaborate on songs familiar and new, in the effort to foster a new, greater understanding of our commonality.You can watch the "Stand By Me" portion of the film in the video below. A transcript of Moyers' interview with Johnson is here.
Johnson traveled around the globe and recorded tracks for such classics as "Stand By Me" and Bob Marley's "One World" creating a new mix in which essentially the performers are all performing together worlds apart. Often recording with just battery-powered equipment, Johnson found musicians on street corners or in small clubs and they would in turn gather their friends and colleagues in all, they recorded over 100 musicians from Tibet to Zimbabwe.
All of the "Stand By Me" performers are wonderful. I found myself especially taken with "Grandpa Elliot" Small, a New Orleans street musician.