Peace and Joy (single)
Sophia Agranovich and Rupam Sarmah
2022 / RJ Productions International, One Little Finger Global Foundation
Review by Kathy Parsons
In the twenty-five or so years that I've been reviewing music, I've heard a lot of eclectic and hard-to-categorize music, and I've seen a lot of music used to raise funds for some very worth-while projects, but "Peace and Joy (Mendelssohn/Mozart World)" just might top everything else in all of those aspects! Classical pianist Sophia Agranovich and world music producer/musician/ composer Rupam Sarmah have assembled an international group of musicians to collaborate on a unique improvisation and arrangement of timeless pieces by Mendelssohn and Mozart, going far beyond a classical reading of the music by incorporating a whole range of genres, instruments and traditions. Even better, the single is a fundraiser for One Little Finger, an international organization that promotes "Ability in Disability." Quoting their website:
"The purpose of the foundation is to relieve the poor and underprivileged through the advancement of education, media, and research. The goal is to improve the communities by bringing them together through community services, media initiatives, and skills-development. Our research seeks to find early intervention methods to improve mental health, autism, and the well-being of persons with disabilities. Our education and media initiatives aim to create literature, film, and music for social causes, such as peace, ability in disability. We strive to unlock the potential inside every individual and by generating ideas at the grassroots level."
"Peace and Joy" begins slowly with piano, cello, flute, and the voice of Tamra Garrett, adding more instruments as the piece unfolds. Ambient and meditative for the first two minutes, the piece suddenly springs to life with one of the most buoyant and certainly the most unusual performance of Mozart's very popular "Alla Turca" I've ever heard - and I've seen and heard a lot of them! Garrett's operatic soprano voice soars over the piano, sax, sitar, flute, banjo, rabab, and keyboard, resulting in a wonderful expression of happiness, the joy of life, and universal love. You can't help but smile and feel uplifted by this truly exceptional blending of East and West music traditions!
"Peace and Joy (Mendelssohn/Mozart World)" has been released as a single and is also a track on the album Arise Together. Don't miss it!!!
September 9, 2022