This series of excerpts begins with a composition with Cuban influences – with the great Grammy award-winning Cuban percussionist Horacio “el Negro” Hernandezand his daughter Jennifer who co-wrote the piece with Alex.
Following this, both countries of the Holy Land – Israel and Palestine are featured – with renowned Palestinian oud player Adnan Joubran ofLe Trio Joubran co-composing a track with Skolnick (a piece with surprises in its full version where the melody takes a rather unexpected turn) followed by a duet with famed Israeli percussionist Gadi Seri(a frequent accompanist in the group of Israeli singing sensation Noa) in a piece inspired by travelling through the Negev desert. Initially both Seri and Joubran were to feature on the same track but, due to different rhythm styles, decided to have two separate pieces.
The fourth excerpt is the first guitar-pipa duet ever performed of a popular Chinese melody – with Skolnick and pipa virtuosoYihan Chen playing on a variation of Wang Huiran’s tune Dance of the Yi People as “Return of the Yi People” and the colorful landscapes featured in the video are indeed from the region of South China where the Yi people reside. To see the very first meeting of Chen and Skolnick and how they clicked instantly go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G-ymgp5e-8
And finally, an excerpt of the popular signature tune of the project – the very first track which Skolnick had composed in 2012 when he conceived of the Planetary Coalition series: Sleeping Gypsywhich includes visual clips of the dancing crowds in Union Square where he kick-started the project in 2012 and later performed once again in the summer of 2014.
On Saturday November 29, 2014, about seven of the twenty seven musicians of Planetary Coalition will play at the Liberty Science Center coinciding with an exhibition on the history and development of the acoustic and electric guitar.
A short video with glimpses of the first four tracks of the album, including two time Juno-award winning Indian ghazal/folk style as well as classically trained singer Kiran Ahluwalia; also, Turkish kanun player Tamer Pinarbasi along with other members of New York Gypsy All Stars; members of the group Raza Truncka from Salto playing Argentine indigenous drums and members of the Brooklyn-based world music group House of Waters. Stay tuned till the end of the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87ncMQRiX44
(Photography and videography of the artists in-studio are by Tom Couture and Maddy Samaddar – who has also done the editing and album artwork. A separate page will be put up to list all other images used, including film clips with copyrights, permissions and detailed credits for all the regional, political and landscape photos used in this video.)
First of a short series of audio-visual album previews and track excerpts, including scenes from the recording studio. This one includes guitar duo Ridrigo y Gabriela and other world musicians. http://youtu.be/xjmnE3sDpSc
New York, New York, 11/11/2014. Our album is now officially released! This date also marks the centenary celebration to mark the end of World War I.
As we often say here – Make Music, Not War.
We are grateful to all who have contributed, supported and appreciated this project. Please support the arts by getting your copy of the album today and/or spreading the word to your friends and families. Here’s a sneak peak into some pages from the album. Enjoy!
Here is a collage of some photos from the recording sessions with some of the artists, on location at Spin Studio:
Click to enlarge.
The musicians in the collage are Alex Skolnick, Yihan Chen, Rachel Golub, Max ZT, Raif Hyseni, Moto Fukushima, Kiran Ahluwalia, Luke Notary, Tamer Pinarbasi, Yacouba Sissoko, Gabriela Quintero & Nitin Mitta. At the mixing board are audio engineer Nik Chinboukas and Yosimar Gomez. (6 photographs by Tom Couture and 7 photographs by Maddy Samaddar.)