It started with me. I could see that, as a humanity, we had all the information we needed, even we had all the technology to fix the climate crisis, but the will was not there. I realized we needed cultural pieces, like Picasso's Guernica and Buffy Saint-Marie's Universal Soldier, to move people's hearts, to coax them toward a culture shift, toward a green tomorrow.
In December 2019, I wrote two music producers for their help. One lived here in Canada and had produced many famous acts, including the Rolling Stones. The other producer had worked for Snatam Kaur and Mirabai Ceiba, musicians popular in my yogic community.
Shortly thereafter, I asked a student of mine if he might find any brass players who could perform a few bars of Chopin's Funeral March and he went to work on that. In January, a famous children's choir conductor came to my meditation class. When I told her about my project, she was encouraging and said she would love to collaborate. That was a boost to my morale because the music producers were not replying to my emails.
Not being a musician myself, I reached out to Karina Skye Barros, whom I had met at a yoga camp in Florida the previous December, and asked if she would pitch in. She loved the idea of doing a something musical for the planet.
In late February, my student presented me with the Chopin recording, which he had arranged for five brass pieces. It was a little rough, but just what I felt we needed.
A week later, I heard from once of the music producers. It was Thomas Barquee, who had produced a number of Snatam Kaur's albums. He set a very nominal rate for his work, I sent him some money, and we started to talk about my vision.
When it turned out the conductor of the choir could not join us - the choir board did not like the idea - we set to work in the fall. With his connections, Thomas was able to find a singers who could rap in Arabic and Mandarin. Karina did her piece in Portuguese, her native language since she is originally from Brazil.
By now there was serious money to raise - for all the musicians and for the video to follow. By the grace of the Universe, the money came - from people in my yoga community in Spain, Trinidad and the USA, from my local Sikh community, from longtime students, from my own pocketbook. Somehow it all worked out.
My call for mothers to dance with their children took a while to materialize, with calls out to five continents, but finally four mothers - three of whom I know - submitted their adorable contributions.
In the end, we needed a gifted violinist. That is where Bogdan Djukic, regular accompanist with Mirabai Ceiba, came it. Once I was able to track him down, he gave an inspired performance of a piece Thomas had written for us.
By the grace of the Cosmos, Ryan Manning appeared with his team just on time for the film shoots. When we needed a really talented ballerina, Clare Butler appeared. When we needed some young dancers, the same agency that found Clare for us, also provided the dancers and a choreographer for them.
In the end, we needed a little girl who could call for her mother in Tamil. Jayisha Annalingam and her mother were found at a local Hindu temple and she was recorded by our ever-resourceful assistant, Jarnail Singh.
Guru Fatha Singh, February 22, 2022