Playing for Change: Peace Through Music
Tue, 09/15/2009 - 9:00pm
A story of hope, struggle, perseverance and joy, Playing for Change: Peace through Music airs on Tuesday, September 15 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011/cable 11). The documentary is part of a global effort to inspire peace through music and to connect diverse musicians worldwide, especially those in regions of conflict.
Grammy-winning producer/engineer Mark Johnson and his Playing For Change team traveled the globe with a single-minded passion to connect the world though music. Their ambitious journey took them from post-apartheid South Africa, through the ancient sites of the Middle East, to the remote beauty of the Himalayas and beyond. Using innovative mobile technology, they filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors, in parks, plazas and promenades, in doorways, on cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. Each captured performance created a new mix in which the artists essentially are all performing together, albeit hundreds or thousands of miles apart. This is a story of an unparalleled international musical collaboration and its remarkable power of redemption.
Some of the magical moments include Ireland’s Omagh Community Youth Choir, comprising of a mixture of Catholic and Protestant teens, singing “Love Rescue Me,” written by U2 and Bob Dylan. The film begins with American street musicians Roger Ridley and Grandpa Elliott harmonizing with Clarence Bekker from the Netherlands amid an assembly of artists from Russia, Spain, Venezuela, France and Brazil on the Ben E. King/Leiber & Stoller classic “Stand by Me,” the video of which has already become an internet sensation.