Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Philip Glass, Angélique Kidjo donate tracks for global peace project

Peacebuilding charity International Alert is delighted to announce the launch of Peace Tracks, a global collaborative music project that brings together internationally celebrated recording artists with musicians from conflict zones. The musical collaborations will be released in September, in the run up to UN International Day of Peace (21 September).

High-profile recording artists from different musical backgrounds, from rock and pop to classical, have contributed exclusive audio elements to a common digital ‘music box’. They include Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Philip Glass, Angélique Kidjo, Anoushka Shankar, and Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor.

From 17 August onwards, musicians from conflict-affected regions around the world will collaborate and build upon these contributions, drawing on their own diverse styles and musical heritage to create songs using the online platform Ohm Studio.

The best recorded songs will be released online on 8 September, when the public will also have the chance to download them from Ohm Studio to remix them.

The project aims to bring together musicians across cultural and conflict divides, who might never otherwise have a chance to create music together, and give them a platform to express themselves, and their views on issues of conflict and peace.

Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath’s bassist, lyricist and co-founder, said: “From the earliest Sabbath stuff, I’ve written lyrics about the grim reality of war. Peace Tracks can hopefully bring more people around to world to think about peace.”                                                                                   

Ilaria Bianchi, Head of Communications at International Alert said: “Collaboration is key to music making, but it’s also integral to peacebuilding. Through this project, we hope to demonstrate the opportunities that music and technology open up for building new relationships across borders and cultures, and sparking conversations about important global issues.”

As part of this initiative, a group of 30 musicians from conflict zones, in partnership with In Place Of War, will collaborate in a music studio in Sheffield, UK on 25-26 August to build on the original audio elements and create unique pieces. The songs will be produced by Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure.

These musicians will perform the songs live at Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire, UK on 27-28 August and at Festival No 6 in Wales on 3-6 September.

More details of the project will be announced later this month.

The initiative takes place as part of Alert’s second annual Talking Peace Festival (3 September – 3 October 2015), a month-long series of events designed to spark conversations about peace through creativity. In addition to music, it also features art, food, technology, talks and comedy.