Playing for Change: Peace through Music

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Seriously – how can a world that produces beautiful things like the video below also produce the cookie-cutter garbage that so heavily pollutes our airwaves?

Yes, Bono is back, lending his voice to yet another musical endeavour meant to raise awareness about our common desire for peace in the world… And, my previous somewhat scathing post notwithstanding, Bono does need to be given credit for putting so much effort into raising awareness. Hopefully these efforts will coalesce into something more than mere words and music.

So what is Playing for Change?

Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. And with this truth firmly fixed in our minds, we set out to share it with the world. (…)

We built a mobile recording studio, equipped with all the same equipment used in the best studios, and traveled to wherever the music took us. As technology changed, our power demands were downsized from golf cart batteries to car batteries, and finally to laptops. Similarly, the quality with which we were able to film and document the project was gradually upgraded from a variety of formats– each the best we could attain at the time—finally to full HD.

One thing that never changed throughout the process was our commitment to create an environment for the musicians in which they could create freely and that placed no barriers between them and those who would eventually experience their music. By leading with that energy and intent everywhere we traveled, we were freely given access to musicians and locations that are usually inaccessible. In this respect, the inspiration that originally set us on this path became a co-creator of the project along with us! (…)

Over the course of this project, we decided it was not enough for our crew just to record and share this music with the world; we wanted to create a way to give back to the musicians and their communities that had shared so much with us. And so in 2007 we created the Playing for Change Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to do just that. In early 2008, we established Timeless Media, a for-profit entity that funds and extends the work of Playing for Change. Later that year, Timeless Media entered into a joint venture with the Concord Music Group through the support of label co-owner and entertainment legend Norman Lear and Concord Music Group executive vice president of A&R John Burk. Our goal is to bring PFC’s music, videos and message to the widest possible audience.

Now, musicians from all over the world are brought together to perform benefit concerts that build music and art schools in communities that are in need of inspiration and hope. In addition to benefit concerts, the Playing for Change band also performs shows around the world. When audiences see and hear musicians who have traveled thousands of miles from their homes, united in purpose and chorus on one stage, everyone is touched by music’s unifying power.

And now, everyone can participate in this transformative experience by joining the Playing for Change Movement. People are hosting screenings, musicians are holding benefit concerts of every size, fans are spreading the message of Playing for Change through our media, and this is only the beginning. Together, we will connect the world through music!

Further explore this wonderful initiative here – enjoy!

It’s no wonder that music is one of the easiest ways for us to get over our mental and historical obstacles. In the Baha’i Writings, Baha’u’llah tells us that: “We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high.” The song War/No More Trouble is such a ladder to my soul. I have been having some trouble with colleagues of mine, and the anger and resentment I feel towards them melt away when I listen to this song. It reminds me that my problems, although they aren’t easy to deal with, aren’t as bad as some of the troubles afflicting others. It also gives me the peace of mind and the calmness of heart needed to deal with the situation in a calmer way. I actually have this song on my portable music player – and each time I need to deal with a thorny, emotional situation, I put it on as a form of preparative therapy.

Hmmm. Perhaps world leaders should consider doing so… Wouldn’t World Summits and Peace Talks end very differently if they were forced to listen to music like this?

I need to get in touch with Bono..
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