!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: "Playing for Change"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"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.

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.
You can watch the "Stand By Me" portion of the film in the video below. A transcript of Moyers' interview with Johnson is here.

All of the "Stand By Me" performers are wonderful. I found myself especially taken with "Grandpa Elliot" Small, a New Orleans street musician.


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