- Albert Camus
Being the last song on a solo guitar recording mostly felt to be drawn from classic traditions, I wanted to end it with a different kind of feeling, not so much a 'piece' of music but instead...a song. Today, looking out through my windows on a cold and winter Sunday, at a seemingly endless sky covered with a canopy of undulating silver gray, thoughts roll slowly around in my mind about the film I have been asked to write the music for, an upcoming documentary about the families doing their utmost to make a life in what was the large thriving community in the area known to all of us as Gaza, to make some semblance of a "normal" life for their themselves and their children (or what remains of them.) As winter comes on in the most densely crowded city in the world, a city that now seems more to resemble Hiroshima post catastrophe, San Antonio based film maker Chuck Vanvoorhis and his small crew will (courageously) enter Gaza in January and February of 2015, to live with five families and bear witness to yet another human catastrophe, to open a window for us to witness people filled with unimaginable sadness, matched only by their extraordinary courage and joy in the face of overwhelming destruction. Though buildings and infrastructure, and loved ones may be gone, the hearts and minds of the people and their culture steadfastly remain and they carry on with a dignity and humble pride that is awe inspiring. It makes me wonder if we in the US would have the temerity and braveness to be able to survive in such circumstances. I am honored that Chuck asked me to be a part of this project for which I have been preparing everyday through books, presentations, videos, articles, an Israeli/Palestinian discussion group, visiting a mosque I was kindly invited into, and listening to the music of the Middle East, which I have always loved. Tomorrow I leave for a week to San Antonio to meet with Chuck, talk of Gaza, the world, our cares and concerns, the film content, production stuff, music, get to know each other, and even...have some fun This documentary for me will be the most intense and emotionally wrenching music or film project I have ever taken part in. I am already working on the music, and look forward to the release of the film. And though that place in that area of the world at this moment in history, is without a doubt the most serious situation on the planet that threatens existence as we know it and therefore demands immediate attention, I am wholly aware that these horrors are happening on every continent even as I write this. So as I shift my eyes and slowly scan the grayness again through my windows, I find myself asking the wind: "God damn it...just when the hell is this fucking shit going to stop(?)"