CD perpetuates peace vigil
How can you cut 720 minutes of performances by 75 acts from Nevada County’s most popular entertainers to fit a two-CD set?
CD producer Mikail Graham recently solved that dilemma by aiming instead for a four-CD set to commemorate last October’s “Awakening: A Sunset to Sunrise Peace Vigil.” That way, Graham could preserve on disc 51/2 hours of the 12-hour vigil.
Through last weekend, Graham spent three months working pro bono on the “Awakening” CD for two reasons: to perpetuate the entertainers’ peace messages presented at Miners Foundry Cultural Center and to aid Nevada City’s Community Radio Station KVMR. The CD is available only through KVMR as a fund-raising tool.
Guitarist-singer-songwriter Graham also organized the peace vigil with composer-multi-instrumentalist Terry Riley and folk singer and storyteller Utah Phillips.
For 12 hours last Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, more than 100 Nevada County artists donated their time to the vigil that opposed violence. The event featured storytelling, music, dance and spoken-word performances.
About 1,500 peace supporters attended the nonstop performances and at least 100 of these supporters brought pillows, sleeping bags and blankets to the Foundry for the vigil’s duration. KVMR Program Director Steve Baker estimated thousands more heard the vigil via the radio station’s 12-hour live radio broadcast and an Internet simulcast.
Just as all the artists donated their time at the vigil, they’ve also contributed their songs to the CD.
“It’s got to be the greatest array of Nevada County talent ever put in one recording package,” exclaimed Baker, “with that many folks and all different kinds of talent, from Alasdair Fraser’s fiddle to Terry Riley’s ragas to kids reading quotes about peace.”
Calling his work on the “Awakening” CD a labor of love, Graham said, “This CD really shows that through our art we can plant the seeds for peace in our time. A lot of people are not looking at the big picture, at the amount of needless suffering and abuse around the planet. There’s just so much great art, spoken word and song here. I’m so grateful to live in such an amazing community.”
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