The World Peace Song - Shalom, Asalaam
Jim Fox, 10 Ross Commons, Ross CA 94957 (415) 381-2644
www.worldpeacesong.com - jimfox@cyberthings.com
November 28th, 2002
 

OVERVIEW

Without communication, there can be no Peace.

This project is for the kids. To kids, Peace is magic. They're right, Peace is magic!

Thank-you for your interest in The World Peace Song - Shalom, Asalaam. Shalom means Peace in Hebrew, Asalaam means Peace in Arabic. This very beautiful song symbolically unites the Palestinians and Israelis through music and is a hope for Peace for the whole world. A project like this has never been done before. I have had people from all over the world translate Shalom into their native language, put them into the recording studio and recorded them in their native languages. 17 languages recorded so far and a rap version. Kind of like a literal We Are The World. Someday I hope everyone in the world will be able to sing The World Peace Song in their languge, on World Peace Song Day.

The scope of this project goes far beyond just music. This will be an educational experience for children that will introduce them to different cultures & languages through online games (The World Peace Song Game), online information about cultures & languages, printed books/CDs and language lessons.

Communication is a major obstacle to Peace, whether it be between a couple or countries. The more communication, the more peace. Without communication there is no peace. If by listening to The World Peace Song, a person can learn to recognise a new language, communications have improved, peace is one step closer. Children have the ability to recognize and learn new languages much easier than adults. A want this project to be fun, educational & entertaining and need resources to make this dream come true.

I have divided this overview into two parts, music & educational:

MUSIC

Background:

Shalom, Asalaam was written and originally performed by a group called “Lost At Last” in 2000. I have a publishing agreement with Lost. It was released on RCA a month before the September 11th attacks. After the attacks, RCA did the patriotic thing to do about a group singing about Peace, they shelved them. Lost is no longer with RCA and looking for a new label. After the attacks, Lost approached me and asked me to help promote Shalom. At the time it was really needed and still is today. I thought the best way I could help is to do what I have done since then.

Current status:

The demo CD is almost done. I am adding harp and tabla, re-recording a couple of the languages (better vocalists and translations) and remix

Future enhancements:

This is an evolving project that will takes years to totally complete. More languages added, different versions in the same language, reggae, rap (we have a rap version recorded already), country/western, etc. Then there are different versions in the foreign languages, using traditional styles and instruments. Examples, in India you could have an acoustic version using sitar and tabla and you could have another upbeat Indian version of the more modern style Indian music popular in Northwestern India. Almost every language has a traditional music style that is popular in that culture(s). It is impossible to fit all of this on one CD and should be made into CD singles specifically for different languages. Distribution, marketing and making a profit will be difficult in some countries and may present a major challenge

I want to start this whole project over, using entirely children performers, singers and musicians, traveling around the world recording the audio/video in their native countries. I have already approached some local children’s choirs to sing the chorus. These kids are amazing. Scouting, traveling, recording and coordinating this version will be a major task and will take a lot of time. UNICEF could help since they are already have schools with children worldwide.

While traveling the world, versions of the song using traditional instruments could be recorded and information about the people and cultures can be documented for use in this project.

The WEB site will give people the ability to upload to the site, versions of the song people translated and recorded in their language. This would create a global World Peace music board. A karaoke version of Shalom is already on the WEB site.

A decision has to be made as when to release. Do we release now with the current version, wait until we have the Children’s Version or wait until we have all versions in all languages. By then wars may have come and gone.

When a release is done, it should be a major event, with lots of press and a live performance where the singers sing one line of the song from each language into one song of all major languages, together.

There are some changes to the lyrics I want to make. It should not be “Shalom, Asalaam” . The chorus to Shalom is a common greeting in the Middle East that goes “Shalom Alackhem” and the response is “Salaam Aleykhoom”. So the chorus/title should be changed. I am certain that most, if not all translations, could be done over much better.

EDUCATION:

The educational aspects of this project are amazing. It all starts with “The World Peace Song Game”, which will be available both online or on a CD/ROM. These games are currently secret, but they make learning a language entertaining, educational & fun. Scoring will be automatic, levels of difficulty selectable, users can choose the languages to play against and other features. The precise scoring system has to be decided. Do you get penalized for wrong answers and if so how? Hopefully kids will be bragging about their high scores in The World Peace Song Game

Kids brains are like sponges to picking up languages. It is not uncommon for a kid to know 10 languages by the time they are 8. The ability to learn languages easily fades after then. This is the time that we have to focus on teaching kids languages, getting them interested in languages and their cultures music, art, history and most important teaching them Peace. Children are our only hope.

A method of teaching a language is now described. While listening Shalom, the sentence in the language being played will be displayed on the computer screen. A bouncing ball style thingy will highlight the current syllable being sung and the English style phonetic translation of the syllable will also be displayed above the syllable as it is pronounced. An actual bouncing ball will not be used, instead the syllable will be highlighted in red on the screen. The Vietnamese version of Shalom, besides being one of the most beautiful languages I have recorded so far, is an example of a phonetic alphabet. While listening to the Vietnamese version, read the lyrics, you can actually read them, not like Chinese, and what you are reading is what you are hearing.

Resources will be available so that a player can find out a wealth of information about a languages peoples, cultures, music, history, etc. Fun, interesting language lessons using the teaching techniques described could be created

Throughout all this, communications have improved immensely and strides have been taken into getting one step closer to World Peace. I recently met a pre-school teacher and she says they are teaching their students Peace. They have a Peace Pole and everyday they sing “The Peace Song”, which is Peace in a whole lot of languages. These should be required classes.

Peace,

 
Jim Fox