I cannot fathom the emotional and spiritual agony one faces when being forced from their home. Seeing the fear, anger and joy of those who survived the many perilous routes to freedom was a reality check on how blessed I am.
Visiting the Annenberg Space For Photography's "Refugee" exhibit in Los Angeles this summer brought home the plight of those fleeing war torn countries. Nothing can prepare you for the pain of the photo of a child's lifeless body washed ashore in Lesbo, Greece. Truly heartbreaking.
We are all one with the same hopes and dreams of making a better life for our families. The Refugee song from my forth coming, Anarchist Guide To The Universe album encompasses this message with love and compassion towards our fellow peoples in their journey towards freedom.
To personalize the song and message, I reached out to Tatyana Mazur and Rahim Alhaj to record native instruments from the war torn countries of Syria and the Ukraine.
Tatyana plays the traditional Ukrainian bandura instrument in many different styles, from classical to covers of Metallica! Watch the video below. She is the winner of national and international competitions and an honored student of the National Music Academy of Ukraine.
Rahim is a virtuoso oud musician and composer, who was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing the oud at age nine. He migrated to Syria after being forced to leave Iraq for being an outspoken activist against the Saddam Hussein regime. He now resides in Albuquerque and performs internationally with a recent appearance at the Library of Congress in Washington. His opening solo oud performance on the Refugee song is both haunting and the perfect introduction to the storyline of the song.
Robin Suhkadia aka, Tabla Pusher
I was introduced to Robin through a mutual friend while writing for my Internal spark spirituality and creativity blog. You can read the interview I did with him about the future of tabla and his charitable music work with kids in India here. Robin's tabla part added a nice flow to the groove of the track and gave it a spiritually uplifting feel. Robin tours internationally and performs with MacArthur Fellow musician, Walter Kitindu.
Danny is no stranger to alternative music. He began his drumming career in New York during the early Punk-Rock days at iconic venues like CBGBs. While performing there, Brian Eno discovered his band, which resulted in a Warner Brothers deal and a move to Los Angeles. He has appeared on records from the likes of Lou Reed to John Cale, Rikki Lee Jones, K.D. Lang, Laurie Anderson, Fiona Apple, Jewel, Everlast, Marianne Faithful and Beck, to name just a few. Danny's intricate drumming on Refugee is the driving pulse behind the dense layered tracks. He introduces the, "wave" drum in the song and the thunder clap sheet that emulates the sounds of war during Rahim's oud solo in the intro. Chlling effect...
Chris is primarily known as the touring bass player for Alanis Morissette and current bass player for Jane's Addiction. A prolific and versatile session musician, he has played with a variety of recording artists ranging from Joe Cocker, Shakira, Slash, and Avril Lavigne to Sara Bareilles, Gavin Degraw, Cher, and Celine Dion. There is one sentence I can say about Chris's bass playing, "the dude is the Jaco of rock"....
To learn about the diaspora of refuges in hot spots across the globe, visit the Annenberg Space For Photography site: https://annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/refugee
To learn more about how you can help through charitable donations, visit: https://www.globalgiving.org
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updates on the Refugee song and Anarchist Guide To The Univers album project.