1. How To Build A Studio (and a better world)

    04:34

    from Stories From The Checkpoint Added 1,694 6 3

    I'm all about music.  I've been this way for so long it's hard to remember when it started.  Maybe it started in the sweltering heat of summer road trips with my family. With no air conditioning in our cars, our annual trip from California to Colorado was insufferably hot. Attempting to evade heatstroke we would try to cross the desert by night. It was always too hot to sleep.  Somewhere outside Las Vegas - temperatures 100 plus - we'd pass the time singing at the top our lungs and spraying ourselves with ice-water.  I'm not joking about the heat. On one such trip our VW van caught fire outside of Barstow.  A disaster for my parents at the time, the memory brings me nothing but joy as I recall it. . . just me and my family in the desert surviving the odds by being with each other. Those trips are etched somewhere deep in me, the defiant act of song against an insufferable foe.   “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” -Hafiz In a dark night, I want music that lights up the sky.  I want music that you feel instead of hear, music that engages rather than entertains. To me, the desert-music of my childhood is like that. It's not just melodic, it has a heat and taste to it.  The music of those car trips- windows open with ice water drying on our wind-chapped faces - has a smell vaguely like pavement after a summer storm. In my memory it tastes like a car on fire in the desert. I'm writing this note -falafel in hand- from a cafe in the Bethlehem, Palestine. I came here looking for music that lights up the night sky. I'm not too fancy. I'm not a politician with a 5 point plan for peace. I'm no expert. But I am human: gifted with eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart built to respond. I am not alone in this. Thankfully over these last three months I've met people built a bit like me and my family. Stranded in a dark desert night of their own, the engine totally burnt out of their VW bus, they sing. They band together, defiant against an insufferable injustice, and sing. Their homes have been demolished, family members imprisoned without charge, and yet they continue to create. They continue to resist. Dispossessed of their land, their rights, and their freedom they let their voices loose in song. . . they rap. For the past three months I've been working in the West Bank with Musicians without Borders and the Holy Land Trust. My organization, Sunset Youth Services, freed me up for four months to come out here and help build a partner recording studio for youth in the Deheisheh Refugee Camp. It's been amazing. One day, mid way through this project, I began working on a song with two brilliant young musicians: Hisham Al-laham and Mohammad Azmi. We were writing a song to Jerusalem. In the song, Jerusalem took on the role of an ill-fated lover. . . a Juliet to the Romeo being played by these two refugees. As we worked on the song these guys were amped. They began rapping verses like sonnets, poets pining after the beauty of a lost lover. Verses about her beauty and the very sound of her breath--inhaling and exhaling through stone streets of bustling markets -you get the idea. Then all of the sudden, in his excitement, Mohammad stopped me, "Joel, Joel, Joel. . . do you have any pictures of Jerusalem!?! I want to see them so I can get some ideas of what to write. . . you've been there right?" "Uh, yeah, I have pictures. . ." I'm thinking, 'it's only 7 miles away from your house . . . why do you need to see my pictures?' "Wait," I ask, comprehension beginning to dawn on me, "have you been there?" "Not really, no, I have a green (palestinian) ID." He follows quickly with "I did get to see it once from afar. I was little and had to go to the hospital on the mount of olives. . .I could see it from there." Shock. Utter Shock. "Oh, let me find my pictures." Moments later we began sifting through the evidence of my privilege, I have literally hundreds of photos from recent day trips to Jerusalem. We sort through them together, searching for inspiration. It's embarrassing. I am no better, safer, kinder, or gentler than my friend. . . I just happened to be born in America. Ever since that day, it's hard to see the 400 mile long separation wall and not imagine the label "Made In The USA" etched across its face. My tax dollars pay to keep my friend in this cage, while I can pop over for a latte any time I like. It makes me angry. Part of the vision behind the studio we built is that it will be a place where young leaders can provide younger children with workshops in drumming, hip hop, and nonviolence. A couple of weeks ago, when we were talking about these plans, Mohammad turns to me and says. "This place is going to be amazing! It's a new beginning. . . a new big bang! From this place we will do big things. From this place I will to send my message to the world." "What message is that?" I ask. "Stop making factories that produce bombs. . . make studios that produce music." Truly music that lights up the sky.

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    • Rwanda Youth Music - IndieGoGo Fundraising Campaign

      02:10

      from Musicians without Borders Added 146 0 0

      We are setting up a music program for hundreds of HIV+ children and youth in Kigali, Rwanda. We need your help. For more information, donations, and sharing, please visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/RwandaYouthMusic1 (African drumming soundtrack: Ingoma-Nshya)

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      • Original IndieGoGo Campaign Trailer - “THE SECRET OF THE 5 POWERS

        03:35

        from MindfulCloud Added 11.9K 32 1

        THE SECRET OF THE 5 POWERS - (Our first trailer, All New Teaser trailer completed) 3 Superheroes of Peace use the 5 Powers of Faith, Diligence, Mindfulness, Concentration and Insight to change the course of history and inspire millions around the world. Planting seeds of peace in the deep mud of war. The documentary weaves powerfully illustrated comic book animation with contemporary and historic footage that follows the lives of Alfred Hassler, an American anti-war hero, Vietnamese peace activist Sister Chan Khong and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, whom Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. The film also reveals the story of the powerfully groundbreaking, yet mostly forgotten, 1958 Martin Luther King Jr "Montgomery Story" Comic Book.

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        • Part 5 - Comic book creation - Peace is the Way Film Series

          07:12

          from MindfulCloud Added 1,660 12 2

          Part 5 of Behind the Scenes footage from the making of the comic book for the first "Peace Is The Way" Film Series episode. The first film in the series is titled “Walking with Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh & Sister Chan Khong” A feature documentary film and animated comic book about normal people who became Human Rights Heroes & Heroines. Peace Is The Way - A Century Of Nonviolent Activism chronicles the intersecting stories of normal people, who became nonviolent beacons of light. Your donations can help us to bring their messages of Peace and Nonviolent Action to the broader world http://www.indiegogo.com/peaceisthewayfilmseries1 Special thanks to Joe Reilly for his Plum Village jam session with the monks and nuns on the cellos and violins

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          • Part 4 - Comic book creation - 'Walking with Al Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh & Sister Chan Khong'

            05:31

            from MindfulCloud Added 560 3 0

            After a visit to Plum Village in France, the film team "Sangha" got together to discuss the screenplay, the film's trailer, cook and eat some food together. Erich our Comic Book "Sage" draws our film's three Superheroes.

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            • The Martin Luther King / Alfred Hassler Comic Book Story.

              03:03

              from MindfulCloud Added 559 5 0

              A segment from the film series, 'Peace is the Way' - Walking with Alfred Hassler. Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story was conceived by the late Alfred Hassler, a former FOR executive director and life-long pacifist who founded a wide number of creative projects for peace, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Benton Resnick, a 1950s writer who had been banished from professional circles for his political associations, is credited with writing the comic, and the images were drawn by an artist working in the Al Capp Studios. Their work illustrates nonviolent protest in action to reach a successful outcome, a great and accessible example for us all.

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              • Exodus, Movement of the People Workshop preparing for Manchester Day Parade

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                from Manchester City Council Added 675 0 0

                Percussion and dance workshops at Band on the Wall as part of the Exodus – Movement of the People collaboration, which will form part of the Manchester Day Parade on 19 June 2011. This is a partnership project between Community Arts North West, Global Grooves, Band on the Wall, Cabasa Carnival Arts and Management, Bloco Novo and Musicians without Borders with participants from a wide range of community groups.

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                • BMUKK Film Project - Transform It - Music As A Uniting and Transformative Force

                  06:57

                  from MindfulCloud Added 128 0 0

                  This video features: The Vienna Jewish Choir, which is a mixed group of passionate choir members who come from all religions, countries and backgrounds. Musicians Without Borders, Laura Hassler who is a pioneer in using music as a conflict transformation tool. Celia Mara, a Brazilian world music sensation who is also a social activist in Europe and Brazil.

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