Posted on August 6, 2020 at 12:28 am

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Simon Thacker’s Global Collaborative Note On Solidarity During Covid 19

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Simon Thacker’s Global Collaborative Note On Solidarity During Covid 19

Simon Thacker’s Global Collaborative Note On Solidarity During Covid 19

19 leading musicians from around the world come together to share a message of solidarity in the time of Covid 19.

There have been many creative responses to the challenges of the COVID crisis. A revelatory take by Scottish classical guitarist and composer Simon Thacker on a seminal song of hope has added to the artistic achievements of this time. He has brought together nineteen leading performers from nine countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, for his ecstatic reimagining of the iconic song We Shall Overcome. This remarkable collaboration is an international message of solidarity in the time of Covid 19.

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I often see people on social media wondering out loud: how is it possible to be #creative during this period? Part of the problem, in my opinion, is the seemingly irresolvable nature of current issues. Broadly speaking, I believe that humans fundamentally love chaos because, most of all, they love to #create order. People of every #culture yearn for paradise. One person's paradise might be another's Hell. That's beyond the scope of this post. The main point is: as chaos is the condition that creates order, both are two polarities of one reality. When reality consists of seemingly inexorable chaos, multiple problems of great complexity within sniffing distance (literally) with no easy solutions, it creates an imbalance. Ultimately this results in #spiritual distress (I mean #spirit in the personal rather than wider sacred sense). In my view, that's where creativity comes in. I believe that even (especially?) in a period like this, your creativity can be your path to order/paradise. Through connecting with your #imagination you can create an alternative #reality. This can be a refuge or an exorcism of turmoil, as you wish. It can be a means to clarity of #perception and give you the tools to interpret the exterior more objectively, removed from whatever "bubble" we have created, or has been created, around us. Through the odyssey of creation, journeying within, by way of whatever happens to be your medium (paint, musical notes, movement, words, etc), you can re-enchant your world, as far beyond the pitiless external "reality" as you wish. So...go and create. In the next couple of days I will release an example of this in action, featuring 25 #artists from around the world. Photo by @desert_photographer in #Jaisalmer, #Rajasthan . . . . . . #guitar #classicalguitar #classicalguitarist #guitarplayer #philosophy #advice #createeveryday

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Simon aimed to create a track that would celebrate the unique possibilities of a spectacularly diverse ensemble. We Shall Overcome features a vocal lineup of India’s Paban Das Baul, Parvathy Bau and Raju Das Baul, and Bangladesh’s Farida Yesmin, from the mystical Bengali Baul spiritual tradition, India’s much-loved singer-songwriter Raghu Dixit, Polish world music diva Anna Witczak-Czerniawska, Bangladeshi folk singer Prokash, Pakistani classical masters Javed Bashir and Akbar Ali, and Persian classical singer Farzad Moradi. Each verse in this epic transformation is preceded by breathtaking instrumental interaction between Thacker on classical guitar, Jehad Al Halal (cello) and Salah Alawi Sharakhat (bass) from Bahrain, Bangladeshi flutist Mainuddin Khan Sayonto, Chennai based tabla maestro Praveen Narayan, Rubin Shrestha (flute) and Siddhartha Maharjan (percussion) from Nepal, and virtuoso Iranian qanun exponent Yasaman Najmeddin.

Simon Thacker composed, produced, and edited the audio and video of the track, embarking on the complex journey of creation in April. Simon’s career has been defined by pioneering intercultural collaborations, particularly with Indian classical and folk luminaries in the collective Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti. We Shall Overcome he took inspiration from each of the respective traditions of the performers as well as the immense legacy of a song known around the world in many languages. He said “For me, this version of We Shall Overcome is a beautiful testament to the force for positivity and unity that music will always be. We hope it will lift your spirits during the time of COVID 19.” You can see the full video on Simon’s YouTube channel.

Out now featuring: Akbar Ali (Pakistan), Anna Witczak-Czerniawska (Poland), Farida Yesmin (Bangladesh), Farzad Moradi (Iran), Javed Bashir (Pakistan), Jehad Al Halal (Bahrain), Mainuddin Khan Sayonto (Bangladesh), Paban Das Baul (India), Parvathy Baul (India), Praveen Narayan (India), Prokash (Bangladesh), Raghu Dixit (India), Raju Das Baul (India), Rubin Shrestha (Nepal), Salah Alawi Sharakhat (Bahrain), Siddhartha Maharjan (Nepal), Simon Thacker (Scotland), Vladislav Demin (Russia), Yasaman Najmeddin (Iran)

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