Beyond PHENOMENAL: Playing For Change
“I was standing kitty-corner to Grandpa while [other PFC staffers] were recording a song about Louisiana, and I was taking some still shots. I stopped to take in a moment where everything around us just seemed to stop…all I could hear was his beautiful voice, when suddenly I was startled by a man standing right behind me practically breathing over my shoulder. He said to me softly, ‘His voice has made me smile for so many years. I thought we had lost him. But he’s back and so are we.’ The man was not there to converse, just to listen, chime in, and be on his way. I stood breathless as Grandpa sang, ‘They’re trying to wash us away…’ and he sang the words again, and then one more time.”
Within the next year, Playing For Change had expanded its focus to include performers from across the globe. In 2008, its documentary/“global concert film” Playing for Change: Peace Through Music debuted at the Tribecca Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival.
Watch the remarkable, impossible-to-ever-forget “Stand By Me” music video featured on the PFC site; Grandpa’s voice truly is beautiful, even moreso when it’s woven into a tapestry of voices and instrumentals from around the world. Talk about performances fueled by passion and purpose. As PFC founder, co-director and producer Mark Johnson wrote in a blog post last November:
“This act of playing music with different cultures, religions, economics, and politics is a powerful statement. It…illustrates that we can find ways of working together and sharing our experiences with one another in a positive way. Before we were ever different, we were all human beings.”
Later this month the Playing For Change CD/DVD Songs Around the World will be released and yes, I’ve preordered it. Thanks (once again!) to Lisa Kenney for such an inspiring link. I am so looking forward to enjoying Songs Around the World and learning more about Playing For Change in the future. Oh yeah, they build schools too. Wow.