Monday, March 30, 2009

My Music Played in London Today to Help Rebuild Gaza Hospital and Finance Israeli Interfaith School

My dear friend, political soprano Deborah Fink, joined others today in London to perform music of peace, in a benefit for the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, and for Intergratsia School in Israel. It was in the glorious acoustic environment of St. Marlybone Parish Church, on Baker Street.

Ms. Fink was joined by Siobhan Mooney, a rather political mezzo-soprano, Richard Black, piano, and Rev. Garth Hewitt, on guitar.

His Grace, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, former Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, gave a keynote speech. In it, Dr. Abu El-Assal detailed the rebuilding work at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, and integrated education efforts of Intergratsia.

Baroness Jenny Tonge and Dr. Ang Swee, who founded ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’‚ also spoke of ongoing relief and integrated peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.

In addition to my music, the artists performed work concentrating on children. The concert was titled:

Benefit Concert
'Remembering the Little Ones'
a commemoration of, and a tribute to, all children

Here's a picture of the sanctuary of St. Marlybone, known for its choice acoustics.

Deborah sang two movements from The Skies are Weeping, in their reduced piano and voice version. Here they are, in their versions for percussion and soprano, sung by Ms. Fink in London, in 2005:

Song: God the Synecdoche in His Holy Land i.m. Rachel Corrie

Around you the father gods war. This
Father. That father. The other father.

What more dangerous place could
A woman stand, upright, than on that sand, as if
She were still antiphon to that voice, the other
Mind of that power. The very idea!

Crush her back in to her mother!
Crush her. Crush her. Consensus. War.

-- Linda McCarriston

Song: The skies are weeping
The birds have flown away
With rain-sodden flowers in hand
I wait for you, Rachel…

The rain drops trickle
Washing the scent off the mourning tulips
Pounding the healing earth
The howling winds and trembling blades of grass
Calling for you, Rachel…

Dust dancing around my knees
Walling me in, and my grief
From the weeping heavens faintly at first
I hear you, Rachel…

You give strength to my tears
And resolve to my limbs
As I stand up with my broken tulips
The skies are clearing
The earth is sprouting fresh blades of grass
That whisper your name, Rachel…

The winds are gentle
Reassuring in their calmness
Heaven and earth rejoice today
As you’re with me again, Rachel…

-- Thushara Wijeratna

top image - Deborah Fink


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a talent! All that and politically active as well. Congratulations to you.

And thanks for the musical interlude. Must say that all of the political drama has me burnt out... I don't know if I can take another big one after the past few days.


Philip Munger said...



Casey said...

Phil...thank you for this. Rachel Corrie is one of my heroes. I have read just about everything I can about that wonderful young woman.


Tea N. Crumpet said...

What an honor to have such talent interpreting your work in such an amazing setting!

hello said...


Anonymous said...

Too bad the money wasn't used to fund a Muslim Pali school that doesn't teach their kids that Jews are monkeys and pigs.


Yaakov said...

The money will go right to Hamas. How stupid can everyone be. Spend the money to help move the so-called Palestinians to Jordan or some other Muslim country. Why are my fellow Jews supporting Arabs when Israelis are in need.


Anonymous said...

over 30 artists around the world dedicated their songs to rachel corrie since 2003
read the article for a complete list of the songs
demos, streaming audios and even free mp3 downloads from artists' pages

Anonymous said...

why dont you record this concert and put it on internet for free
or sell it in a cd format or even better as a video-dvd
so it will bring money annually for the children