MP3 Scattered People - Normal Days
Soft groove, ethnic vocals & global instruments - melodic West meets reflective East, rhythmic Africans and vibrant Latinos.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (41:51) !
Related styles: WORLD: World Traditions, WORLD: World Fusion
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Be moved and inspired by the voices and the stories of asylum seekers and refugees from Afghanistan, Burundi, Chile, the Congo and Sri Lanka as they express their desire for ‘a normal life’ in their new Australian home. A life in which their skills are valued, safety is assured, and where they feel welcome. All profits from the sale of Normal Days go to the Refugee Claimants Support Centre in Brisbane, Australia, where the album was produced.
That familiar catch-cry when considering issues of social injustice “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” beckons a creative response from those of us who are writers, not fighters – at least not fighters in the conventional sense.
This collection of songs is dedicated to the original Scattered People vocalists who have been ‘removed’ to the precarious environments from which they escaped. We have not heard from them.
Many of these tracks need no introduction or explanation especially for those savvy to the issues experienced by asylum seekers – the ever-present fear, the recurring effects of past trauma, a thirst for freedom, their lingering depression mingled with a meandering hope.
How understandable is it that people whose lives have become punctuated with bureaucratic delays, lack of access to work permission, health care and social security just yearn for “a normal day” where their skills are valued, their safety is assured and their access to ordinary life is welcomed?
Understandable as well is the need “to feel the tears and to let them fall” as they negotiate their survival - “clothes on our backs, food on the table, children at school, willing and able”. They’re not asking for much.
We visualise the captivating Afghan metaphor as ‘kite runners’ deliberately seek to sever the strings of other kites with their own flyers - their aim being to release their creations into the sky for a momentary experience of freedom. The eventual fall to the earth is always a source of delight for the children who find them and embrace the magic of what they represent.
Our new-found friends from Burundi were anxious to share their awareness of what they’ve found to be important – things that have been in short supply for them and are so easily taken for granted by others born into more fortunate circumstances.
Young Amnesty International members draw inspiration from their iconic logo as they express their own solidarity with those whose “lives move in slow motion towards fading futures”.
We pause as Chilean asylum seekers busy themselves with their crafts – their calico bags emblazoned with the word HOPE – bags which mysteriously contain those ‘things of the heart’.
We sit at the very table that has been the context of conversations between cultures – the desperate efforts to navigate language barriers in order to nurture one another via the sharing of experiences of their loves and their sorrows.
Our gratitude is to the various kindred-spirited partners who responded to our call for financial assistance to make this album. They understood that government funding sources generally accessible for other community capacity building initiatives were not available for asylum seekers – yet another politically closed doorway for this vulnerable group of people.
Our hope once again is that the music of the Scattered People will find its way into the consciousness of ordinary citizens who perhaps take safety and basic human rights for granted … that their senses may be engaged, their awareness stimulated to the point where they too in their own way and in their own time will challenge the escalating societal hard-heartedness and make a stand … with us.
Normal Days, which includes the bonus music video ‘Stand With Us’, was produced with the assistance of Sweet Freedom, an independent, not-for-profit record label that advances social justice and human rights, and celebrates creativity and artistic expression.