Friday, December 28, 2007

SED 2007 Musical presentations

One of the many highlights of the Baha'i Social and Economic Development conference was the music. We were treated to high quality musical presentations every night from some of the Baha'i world's favorite musicians. People who have spent any time with me in the last couple of weeks already know that I am a raving fan of Eric Dozier and JB Eckl having just purchased their fabulous cd Badasht . So you can imagine how thrilled I was to actually see them perform live. I also just love how their music blends and integrates so many musical genres: "Drawing upon the Bahá'í Sacred Writings for lyrics and inspiration, and incorporating elements of soul, rock, Gospel, folk and world music, Eric and JB's first collaboration weaves a rich tapestry of sound at once intimate and expansive, introspective and jubilant." [from the CD cover]. JB Eckl is a first class music producer as well as a musician so the album was in good hands.
They have quite a repertoire and we got to hear songs that were just being born like a new bluesy song from the "Mornin' Suns" which may (or may not?) be the name of their new partnership?? Here they are performing a song that is one of those NOT on Badasht.

sweet sweet sweet!

We were also treated to some "new age/world" music by Afshin Toufighian on piano (original composition) and Gustaff Besungu on his djembe. Mm mmm mm. So nice so nice. Just close your eyes and do some serious meditating to this one.

In addition to these rich listening experiences we heard from Jack Lenz [who also put the whole musical program together], Gwendolyn Watson [virtuoso cello player and improviser], Vedad Theophilus, and Roya Bauman. As if this were not enough Red Grammar was there too! Wow!! He is a very well-known and popular singer of children's music that adults LOVE too. He sang so many so many of everyone's old favorites including Teaching Peace, Listen, the ABCs of you ... Here he is singing "We're rich" which he introduces by explaining the inspiration for the song in the following quote from a document put out by Baha'i International Community in 1995 entitled "The Prosperity of Humankind"

"History has thus far recorded principally the experience of tribes, cultures, classes, and nations. With the physical unification of the planet in this century and acknowledgement of the interdependence of all who live on it, the history of humanity as one people is now beginning. The long, slow civilizing of human character has been a sporadic development, uneven and admittedly inequitable in the material advantages it has conferred. Nevertheless, endowed with the wealth of all the genetic and cultural diversity that has evolved through past ages, the earth's inhabitants are now challenged to draw on their collective inheritance to take up, consciously and systematically, the responsibility for the design of their future.

(Baha'i International Community, 1995 Mar 03, The Prosperity of Humankind)


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