Celebrated musicians donate tracks for global peace project
Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler l Philip Glass l Angélique Kidjo l Anoushka Shankar l Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor
London, 11 August 2015: Peacebuilding charity International Alert is delighted to announce the launch of Peace Tracks, a global collaborative music project that brings together internationally celebrated recording artists with musicians from conflict zones. The musical collaborations will be released in September, in the run up to UN International Day of Peace (21 September).
High-profile recording artists from different musical backgrounds, from rock and pop to classical, have contributed exclusive audio elements to a common digital ‘music box’. They include Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Philip Glass, Angélique Kidjo, Anoushka Shankar, and Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor.
From 17 August onwards, musicians from conflict-affected regions around the world will collaborate and build upon these contributions, drawing on their own diverse styles and musical heritage to create songs using the online platform Ohm Studio.
The best recorded songs will be released online on 8 September, when the public will also have the chance to download them from Ohm Studio to remix them.
The project aims to bring together musicians across cultural and conflict divides, who might never otherwise have a chance to create music together, and give them a platform to express themselves, and their views on issues of conflict and peace.
Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath’s bassist, lyricist and co-founder, said: “From the earliest Sabbath stuff, I’ve written lyrics about the grim reality of war. Peace Tracks can hopefully bring more people around to world to think about peace.”
Ilaria Bianchi, Head of Communications at International Alert said: “Collaboration is key to music making, but it’s also integral to peacebuilding. Through this project, we hope to demonstrate the opportunities that music and technology open up for building new relationships across borders and cultures, and sparking conversations about important global issues.”
As part of this initiative, a group of 30 musicians from conflict zones, in partnership with In Place Of War, will collaborate in a music studio in Sheffield, UK on 25-26 August to build on the original audio elements and create unique pieces. The songs will be produced by Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure.
These musicians will perform the songs live at Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire on 27-28 August and at Festival No 6 in Wales on 3-6 September.
More details of the project will be announced later this month.
The initiative takes place as part of Alert’s second annual Talking Peace Festival (3 September – 3 October 2015), a month-long series of events designed to spark conversations about peace through creativity. In addition to music, it also features art, food, technology, talks and comedy.
From 17 August: Musicians from conflict countries around the world collaborate to create unique songs, using the unique audio elements donated by well-known recording artists.
25-26 August: Sheffield recording sessions with In Place of War and conflict musicians around the world. Finished tracks produced by Jon McClure.
27-28 August: Performance of finished tracks at Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire, England.
3-6 September: Performance of finished tracks at Festival No. 6, Portmeirion, Wales.
8 September: Official release of Peace Tracks online and launch of tracks to public to remix.
About the musicians:
Geezer Butler is the bassist, main lyricist and co-founder of Black Sabbath, the legendary English rock band who have sold over 70 million records worldwide. Since their inception in 1968, Sabbath have composed songs dealing with the effects of war, social chaos, and the conflict between good and evil.
Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and peace ambassador from Benin. She blends various musical influences, such as Afropop, zouk, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles.
Anoushka Shankar is an Indian sitar player, composer and activist. She has appeared as a guest musician on recordings by Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Herbie Hancock and others. Anoushka is the daughter of Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
Roger Taylor is the drummer of influential English rock band Duran Duran, who have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and are holders of two Grammies and two BRIT awards.
Philip Glass is an American composer, considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century. He won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for The Truman Show in 1999.
About International Alert
International Alert is one of the world’s leading peacebuilding organisations, with nearly 30 years of experience laying the foundations for peace in more than 25 countries (including the UK). We believe that dialogue is crucial for building peace. We bring people together to help them better understand their differences and resolve them peacefully. Find out more at www.international-alert.org