Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Voice Project Premieres Peter Gabriel Covering Tom Waits "In The Neighbourhood" On Rolling Stone + Invisible Children, Oxfam America, Resolve Ugan

The Voice Project Premieres Peter Gabriel Covering Tom Waits
"In The Neighbourhood" On Rolling Stone + Invisible Children, Oxfam America, Resolve Uganda, WITNESS & HOPE

Click Here To Watch Peter Gabriel Cover Tom Waits "In The Neighborhood" On The Voice Project

Rolling Stone -

How Far a Voice Can Carry?

New Video of Peter Gabriel Covering Tom Waits for War Torn Africa

A new episode of The Voice Project featuring Peter Gabriel covering Tom Waits' "In The Neighborhood" was released today simultaneously across five non-profit web sites. Invisible Children, Oxfam America, Resolve Uganda, WITNESS, and HOPE Campaign teamed up to premiere this latest installment of The Voice Project, a music based initiative that's raising awareness and support for the war torn region of Central East Africa.

Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, Eastern Congo and Central African Republic have been severely affected by the ongoing violence of Joseph Kony's rebel army the LRA in Africa's longest running conflict. Women's groups in Northern Uganda have been using songs to send messages of forgiveness to those abducted and forced to fight, many of whom escape but hide in the bush afraid to return home for fear of reprisals. The songs are played on the radio and passed by word to let the soldiers know they are forgiven and can come home.

"The life I was leading was a hopeless life and I could not imagine that I could come back home," said former child soldier Odong Martin. "When I heard the song I felt happiness in my heart and I began to say that surely, people at home are really caring for us, that they are longing for us."

Like the women in Uganda, the artists from around the world participating in The Voice Project are using music to pass the message. Each artist has been covering another's song creating a chain of melodies, awareness and support. In this particular chain London based artist Gary Go passed the torch to his friend Joseph Arthur by covering "Chicago," Joseph passed it to his friend and mentor Peter Gabriel with his version of "Shock the Monkey" and now Gabriel has passed it to Tom Waits with this cover of "In the Neighborhood." “I love the idea that a song can reach people that can't be touched in any other way," said Gabriel. "The Voice Project is a movement that grew out of a few songs with a simple message. Almost everyone on the planet has access to a mobile phone, which means we can start dealing with the world's problems linking person to person. That is what is powerful about The Voice Project's original dream.”

Peter Gabriel just finished his world tour in support of his covers album "Scratch My Back" and his daughter Anna Gabriel is one of the founders of The Voice Project. “I am enormously proud of all my daughter's work on this and I was very happy have been asked to participate. I've wanted to sing Tom Waits' "In the Neighborhood" for a long time and this was a great opportunity.”

"Music has always been a part of my life and I believe it’s one of the most powerful and effective tools to bring about change," said Anna. "My father has inspired me with his humanitarian work and has always been supportive of my work as a film maker so shooting this video in particular bought together all aspects of my life in an amazing way."

"Peter Gabriel has totally inspired us, from ‘Biko’ to ‘Scratch My Back,’ said The Voice Project's Chris Holmes. "He has been sharing his uniquely personal voice to make a change in the world around him. It's amazing to see the transformative power that music can have in solving problems and healing wounds when words and diplomacy have failed.

The Project utilizes what it calls a content driven model of philanthropy, using the music and video content created on the Website not only to raise awareness but also to attract advertisers, sponsors and donors. “We're using the content on the site as a means to fund initiatives on the ground that could contribute to ending the conflict and helping people in the region rebuild,” said Voice Project co-founder Hunter Heaney.

Heaney continued, "We wanted to release this video together with some of the organizations who've been working so hard and for so long on this issue. These are organizations we've been working with and who've become friends. One of the great things you can see happening now is how willing everyone is to work together at this problem, and all of us releasing this video in unison is a reflection of that."

Quotes from Partners...

“By connecting people through the music that beats in all of our hearts The Voice Project is bridging cultural gaps in such a beautiful and wonderful way. We're honored to be working with such a sincere and creative group of people dedicated to seeing peace in Central East Africa.”
-Kenny Laubbacher, Invisible Children

"One reason why Oxfam America’s music outreach work continues to be so meaningful is that we've built partnerships and alliances with other organizations who also use music to engage the public, like The Voice Project. I love how the voices of the women in crisis in Uganda are amplified by the artists involved. The Voice Project is more proof that music is a powerful tool for creating social change."
-Bob Ferguson, Oxfam America

"We are incredibly grateful for the hard work, creativity, and character of our friends at The Voice Project. Their team and the musicians who are coming on board this project are bringing very needed attention to one of the world's most neglected humanitarian crises and they are doing it in a way that is truly inspiring."
-Lisa Dougan, Resolve Uganda

“The HOPE Campaign is honored to partner with The Voice Project in the effort to bring these important humanitarian issues to the forefront of the media through involvement of artists and the creative community. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.' It is amazing to be a part of such an incredible collaboration!”
-Andi Scull, HOPE Campaign

Information on The Voice Project

The Voice Project is a song-driven effort inspired by the women of Uganda who are using their voices and songs as vehicles for change in the war-ravaged region of Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, Eastern Congo and CAR which for the last 24 years has been marred by terrible atrocities and ongoing violence. The Voice Project is an attempt to support these incredible women and the peace movement in the region, and an effort to see how far a voice can carry.

From Indie rockers to African Hip Hop and R&B artists, The Voice Project is recording musicians all over the world, filming them as they cover songs by fellow artists, creating a chain of melodies, stories, awareness and support. In the process, they are carrying a message of peace from resilient Acholi mothers and wives to eyes and ears around the globe and shedding light on Africa's longest running war.

 The founders of The Voice Project see this endeavor as a partnership with the women and communities in the region, they emphasize that "the strength, the message, and the art of these women and their peace movement can benefit the world." Beyond spreading awareness, the Voice Project also supports programs in region that provide viable and sustainable economic opportunities for these women, former child soldiers and their communities.

Click Here To Visit The Voice Project
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