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August 8, 2012

Playing for Change redux
Posted by Teresa at 10:40 AM * 11 comments

Yes, we’ve blogged the Playing for Change project before, with their collaborative recordings by musicians around the world. Pretty much everyone’s blogged them. But they’ve made new recordings since then, and they continue to be remarkable.

(The PFC’s website needs maintenance. Here are some of their missing liner notes.)

Stand by Me. The recording that first got everyone’s attention. As of this moment it’s racked up 43,641,776 views on YouTube. Clarence Bekker is way fun to watch.

Don’t Worry, written by Pierre Minetti, the French musician who leads off. Django “Bambolino” Degen should win something for playing the triangle while dancing in the surf while balancing a giant tray of doughnuts on his head.

One Love. PFC’s first demonstration of the universality of Bob Marley. Rajhesh Vaidhya rocks out on the veena.

War/No More Trouble. Catch violinist Radwin Nazar tucking a bit of “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” in between the verses.

Chanda Mama is a Telugu folksong from Chennai, and a serious earworm. The lyrics are allegedly translated here, but I can’t make much sense of them.

Gimme Shelter, which demonstrates the universality of delta blues.

Redemption Song, starting with Hiromitsu Agatsuma rocking out on (I think) a shamisen. More Bob Marley. Also, Stephen Marley.

Higher Ground. One of my favorites. It’s all good.

Three Little Birds, anchored by a group of musicians in Mali. Nice, if kind of ambient.

United. This one probably has the most diverse mix of musicians and locations, including a Chinese pipa player, Dina Elwedidi in Cairo, and the Mendelssohn Chamber Players of Budapest.

Satchita. Latino-Indian: verses in Portuguese, chorus in Sanskrit, and the majority of the musicians are from Brazil. Lyrics? No idea. It’s got a good beat. You can dance to it.

La Tierra de Olvido is a song about Colombia, performed by a great many Colombian musicians. They’re really good. I love these videos.

That’s not a complete list, but you can explore the Playing for Change site, and YouTube is very good about recommending related videos. Have fun. Feel better.

Comments on Playing for Change redux:
#1 ::: jon singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2012, 10:49 AM:

This is too cool for words. MANY thanks!!

#2 ::: Michael Bloom ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2012, 12:11 PM:

I love the Gimme Shelter performance, but I kinda disagree about this video demonstrating "the universality of Delta blues." The singers, Jamaican and African/American, are inherently part of the culture that produced Delta blues. The Italian guitarist who starts it off and defines the groove has to be a huge fan, otherwise why would he have concentrated on bottleneck slide? The Asian and Latin American contributors aren't contributing to the groove, they're just providing sound bites. (And they know this; watch the Indian harmonium player roll his eyes.)

#3 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2012, 02:39 AM:

Wow. I don't actually know why, but many of these brought tears to my eyes. Thank you and wow.

#4 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2012, 09:39 AM:

Oddly, it repeatedly refused to accept my credit card: "We're sorry, but your payment has been declined. Please try a different payment method."

It took PayPal, though.

#5 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2012, 11:08 PM:

Since "Chanda Mama" is from Chennai, it's likely to be Tamil, not Telugu. Telugu is my younger daughter's native language. It's quite lovely, often called "the Italian of the east" because all words end in vowels and it's quite rhythmic. But it is spoken in Hyderabad, not Chennai.

Chennai is a wonderful city, and said daughter loved dancing around to Chanda Mama. We need to go back!

#6 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2012, 09:05 PM:

I too love the Gimme Shelter cut. Thanks.

#7 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2012, 10:44 PM:

You can also buy this music through the iTunes store

#8 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2012, 08:41 AM:

Following up on my comment #5, Roger Ebert did a short blog entry about the Chanda Mama video here. Commenters filled in that Chanda Mama is a childish name for the moon in several Indian languages, that there are versions of this song in several languages, that this is definitely Telugu, not Tamil. There is also a better translation of the lyrics.

#9 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2012, 08:43 AM:

The gnomes are holding my comment. I offer carrot halwa, and kheer.

#10 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2012, 03:51 PM:

This was a good post. As far as Gimme Shelter is concerned, as a harmonica player, I'd go with Dylan's.

#11 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2012, 03:53 PM:

This was a good post. As far as Gimme Shelter is concerned, as a harmonica player, I'd go with Dylan's.

My previous attempt to post this was gnomed, probably because I tried linking my Google blog and got the URL wrong.

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