March 29, 2011

Heal The Kids / Carnegie Hall Address on February 14, 2001

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This post is dedicated to one of my dearest friends.
Happy Birthday !!!
Thank you  for your love.



In 2001, Michael Jackson delivered a speech at a Valentine's Day Extravaganza event at Carnegie Hall, promoting Heal The Kids (a division of Heal The World foundation). Pieces of the speech can be found in several of our blog posts but it deserves the attention.

"I would like to welcome you to Carnegie Hall, ... the world's most famous concert hall to hear an entirely different kind of music -- a loftier melody. It's a more eternal song.
There are two kinds of music. One comes from the strings of a guitar, the other from the strings of the heart. One sound comes from a chamber orchestra, the other from the beating of the heart's chamber. One comes from an instrument of graphite and wood, the other from an organ of flesh and blood.
This loftier music I speak of tonight is more pleasing than the notes of the most gifted composers, more moving than a marching band, more harmonious than a thousand voices joined in hymn and more powerful than all the world's percussion instruments combined. That ... sweet and sound of love.
Just a generation ago, it was this sound that could be heard in every turn in every town. It was the sound of love that echoed in the livingroom when a father giggled with his son or a mother tickled a small infant child. It was the sound of love that echoed from children's literary classes as the parents read their children ... tales before they went to bed. And it was the sound of love that reverberated in their dinner conversations. Between parents and children, not just once a year but should be discovered everyday for peace and prosper.
Sadly, that sound has become a lost melody, a forgotten refrain, an empty tune and all we have in its place today is a dark and terrible noise. Instead of dinner conversations, there is the noise of video games. Instead of homework there is the din of the evening news. And instead of regular conversations between parents and children about the [webs of violence?], there is the ... sound -- the deafening sounds of silence.


Who among us would have believed that the sound of children at their playground would be replaced by the sound of automatic machinegun fire at our schools. That the sound of little girls skipping rope would be overshadowed by the frantic squeals of children dodging bullets. Yet instead of loving our children more we've installed metal detectors in our schools.
Are we blind to the fact that our children are raging against the indifference; crying out against the abandonment; of thundering against the neglect.
Heal The Kids is about doing something, about making a difference and trying to help adults and parents realize that its in our power to change the world that our children live in.
As a wise man once said, 'If not us, then who; if not now, then when?'
My friends, with 2 children of my own, I know what it means to have to balance the demand of family and career -- let's not even talk about finding a date for myself, even though... Even though Rabbi Shmuley keeps telling me he's going to find me the perfect woman, my response is: 
As long as it's not a journalist.
But learning how to strike this very necessary balance is what this special evening is all about.
In 3 weeks time, at Oxford University I will be delivering an address with strong implications for dealing with the parent-child relationship and giving an address that is certain to surprise you. Until then, I want to thank you all for coming out...showing your love. And I want to offer a couple of special thank-yous going .....that we have 100 ... New York City teachers with us .... I want to thank Steven Shaunfeld, he's a wonderful, wonderful. Everything he does for Heal the Kids is just incredible.

Together we can make a change for the better; together we can heal the world and make it a better place. God bless you all, I love you all."






March 27, 2011

I Just Can't Stop Loving You

To R and F
May your life be blessed with joy !
恭喜您結婚的日子
"Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict." - Rabindranath Tagore




Michael Jackson had an extraordinary talent, he was able to put confer a physical dimension to his songs - I can see the rhythm, I will cry, laugh, love, protest, dance, feel empowered  – every time I listen to his songs, I feel them. It’s an unique, rewarding experience.


"Each time the wind blows
I hear your name so
I call your name ...
Whispers at morning
Our love is dawning
Heaven's glad you came ...
 
You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I'm so proud to say
I love you
Your love's got me high
I long to get by
This time is forever
Love is the answer"

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was the first single of Bad album. It was received as rather a second hand song, maybe because of the fact it featured unknown, at the time, Siedah Garrett. Whitney Huston, Barbara Streisand and Aretha Franklin, rumored to have been asked for the duet but declined due to previous obligations, might have brought more star power to the song 
but it is my opinion that would have not brought the chemistry.
(Well in a total different way a duet with Aretha Franklin would have rocked our world.)

In spite of what has been said about the song the fact remains it opened the list of 5 consecutive number one songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 and went on to top R&B and Adult Contemporary singles charts (Michael's 2nd number one hit in the later after, coincidentaly, his duet from 1982 
with Paul McCartney, “The Girl Is Mine”)


Truth is at this point in time the duet needs no introduction. Michael and Siedah created magic.
In the studio and on stage. 
Two wonderful artists who were brought together by their 
deep understanding of how music can touch people.

In an interview with SongTalk Magazine, Siedah talked about how she found out 
she will record a duet with Michael:

"It came as a total surprise. Quincy called me after I had worked with him doing the background vocals for 'Man In The Mirror' to come back to the studio to do more work, but when I got there, I was surprised to discover that there was nobody else in the studio but Quincy, Michael and me. And the song they were working on wasn't 'Man In The Mirror.' It was a song that Quincy had given me a tape to learn. But I had no idea – I do lots of vocals on demos for Quincy, so this was nothing unusual. So Quincy said, 'You got the tape, right? Did you learn the song?' I said, 'Sure, I know the song.' He said, 'Well, go in there and sing it.' I go into the booth: there's two music stands. Michael Jackson is standing at one of them in front of a microphone and there's another microphone for me. This is the first time I realized what was happening. On the sheet music it said, 'Michael, Siedah, Michael, Siedah, etc.' I said, 'Wow! I get it.'"


“I hear your voice now
You are my choice now
The love you bring
Heaven's in my heart
At your call
I hear harps,
And Angels sing

You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I can't live my life
Without you”

 
The song originally had a spoken intro (which was added for later version of the BAD album) and a longer musical opening. The song was also recorded in French as “Je Ne Veux Pas La fin De Nous” 
and in Spanish as “Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu”.
But what stands out is the perfect match up between Siedah’s and Michael’s voices. Marvin Gaye described Michael as having “the quality that separates the merely sentimental from the truly heartfelt, …. rooted in the blues”. Siedah Garrett definitely had the quality as well – whatever Michael brought to the song she answered.

Rolling Stone magazine, in their 1987 review of Bad album, described the song as “quivering with the kind of desire that makes men walk bent at the waist”.

[Michael]
You know how I feel
I won't stop until
I hear your voice saying
"I do"

[Siedah]
"I do"
This thing can't go wrong

[Michael]
This feeling's so strong

[Siedah]
Well, my life ain't
Worth living

[Both]
If I can't be with you
I just can't stop loving you

And even though it is my opinion their review only describes part of the song, they did very well underlined the songs power to transmit the ache and the embodiment of love.
In my opinion, the explanation behind the song’s success it’s the deep emotional connection, that the two shared and the lyrics talk about. 

 [Michael]
At night when the
Stars shine
I pray in you I'll find
A love so true . . .

[Siedah]
When morning awakes me
Will you come and take me
I'll wait for you


As Siedah remembers not everything about recording the song was all serious. 
In her interview with SoulTalk magazine she said: 
"Michael is funny. He has a real keen sense of humor. Which surprised me, because you hear all these stories about how strange he is. I guess he felt relaxed with me because I wasn't in awe of him when we met. I was kind of, 'Yo, Michael, what's up?' I think he found that refreshing."
"If I was talking to Quincy and we were serious for some reason, Michael would toss cashews and peanuts at us. I would be talking to Quincy and these peanuts would fly by. You know, the duet is a very serious love song. And when I was doing my verse, Michael was making these faces at me so that I would mess up. Quincy would say, 'Siedah – come on! You're holding up the whole album!' And I would get in trouble!"


In his autobiography “Moonwalk”, Michael said he did not write the song with someone in mind but that while performing it live he did.

The song did not had a video but eventually it didn’t needed one. The live performances during the Dangerous Tour become the visual support of the duet. Though Michael also performed alongside Sheryl Crow during Bad Tour, I don’t think too many of us think of that when we are talking or listening to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.
It will always be Michael and Siedah.
The on stage performance of the song, their on stage attraction to one another created a lasting impression
that will never fade away.


Michael, you are, and will forever be the thread of velvety voice, so intricately woven into the
fabric of the soundtrack of my life. Your music, talent, heart and soul has touched every cell of
my being. More than enough to last a lifetime. You are magic. And I will miss you.
May your vibrant soul rest in eternal peace. You changed my life, and for that I will love you forever.

Siedah
AKA "Miss Gayree"



[Siedah]
We can change all the world
Tomorrow

[Michael]
We can sing songs of
Yesterday

[Siedah]
I can say, hey ... 
Farewell to sorrow

[Michael]
This is my life and I,

[Both]
Want to see you for always
I just can't stop loving you
Credits

Written and composed by Michael Jackson
Vocal duet with Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
Bass: Nathan East
Drums: N'dugu Chancler
Guitar: Dan Huff
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
Piano: John Barnes
Synclavier: Christopher Currell
Synthesizers: David Paich and Greg Phillinganes
Synthesizer programming: Steve Porcaro
Rhythm arrangement by Quincy Jones
Synthesizer arrangement by David Paich and Quincy Jones
Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson and John Barnes

Also read:


March 26, 2011

Be a part of Earth Hour 2011!



Earth Hour 2011: It's time to go beyond the hour

At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

With Earth Hour almost upon us, our thoughts are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.

日本の皆さん、勇気を持って頑張って下さい

Be a part of this global movement!

More info:

http://www.earthhour.org/


http://www.worldwildlife.org/

Make sure your engagement goes beyond the hour. Go and get inspired and inspire others:
http://www.beyondthehour.org/

Prepare yourself for Earth Hour 2011 with the "Lights Off" Twitter-application. http://eh2011.com #earthhour


Michael Jackson - Planet Earth




Planet Earth, my home, my place
A capricious anomaly in the sea of space
Planet Earth are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid

Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn't true
You are my sweetheart soft and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

In my veins I've felt the mystery
Of corridors of time, books of history
Life songs of ages throbbing in my blood
Have danced the rhythm of the tide and flood
Your misty clouds, your electric storm
Were turbulent tempests in my own form
I've licked the salt, the bitter, the sweet
Of every encounter, of passion, of heat
Your riotous color, your fragrance, your taste
Have thrilled my senses beyond all haste
In your beauty, I've known the how
Of timeless bliss, this moment of now

Planet Earth are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid
Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn't true
You are my sweetheart gentle and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

Planet Earth, gentle and blue
With all my heart, I love you.


----

Addition March 27, 2011:

Thank you everyone who participated in this global movement!!!

This video sums it all up. Enjoy watching:

Earth Hour 2011 Official video

March 23, 2011

Rest In Peace Elizabeth Taylor


Rest in Peace dear Elizabeth Taylor, you will be missed by all of us, an amazing woman, the epitome of class and inspiration, the epitome of a strong loving woman. Thank you so much for all you did, all you gave and for your amazing heart. We love you Elizabeth you will never be forgotten.

http://www.elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org/
this was her amazing foundation, please go and make a donation to help in her memory if you want, it is but only one of the many ways to remember this beautiful woman.


Found this beautiful memorial video to Elizabeth on youtube, it's lovely, Rest in Peace Dame Elizabeth forever in our hearts
video

March 22, 2011

Children's Day, March 22, 2011










Please continue your prayers and meditations for Japan, and, all who suffer globally and in our communities.



Photos courtesy of MSNBC.com.


March 18, 2011

ONE EARTH- HEARTBEAT DRUMMERS OF JAPAN



ONE Earth

Performance of the Kodo Drummers of Japan, March 17, 2011

Less than one week after triple disasters hit Japan – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, I had the honor to see an arts performance in North America, that gives context to the phenomena many of us have been perplexed or inspired by, praise and aspire to – the Japanese’s ability to be dignified, reverential and heroic during a disaster event that is unmatched in modern human history.

The composition “Sakai” begins the concert, house lights dark, but a small section of the audience illuminated by the one white spotlight on a male dancer. He is dressed in traditional Shinto clothing. The Shinto is an indigenous spirituality, which tells the creation stories of Kami (deities). It is one of the two main spiritual practices in Japan, along with Buddhism. Most Japanese practice a combination of the two.

The performance by the Kodo Drummers of Japan (和太鼓-WADAIKO 和(WA) Japan and 鼓TAIKO Drum) was not just a concert. It was an odyssey, unmatched by any other live performance I’ve ever experienced. I say with confidence that I would say the same outside the triple disasters happening in the drummers’ homeland right now.

Though the initial sight of the upwards of 12 drummers on the stage produced a flood of emotion, their disciplined performances, not seeking applause or adoration, quickly brought me back to being present and aware of the waves of my own biorhythms. I could literally hear my own heartbeat working up or down, to the intensity of the traditional Japanese drums.

Kodo’s performance allows the audience to experience a range of emotions and states - serene, energetic, spiritual, passionate, reverential and enthusiastic. Meditative states were beckoned by the Japanese flute; jangra cymbals were like an alarm preceding the passionate, energetic states that you would experience with the drums.

The 和太鼓-WADAIKO ranged in size from those that the performers could hold in front of them with a strap across their shoulder, or set in front of them while they played seated on the floor. While listening to the latter style of drums, where seven drummers lined up seated on the floor, I imagined a rainstorm teasing a copper tin roof, its pace varying in intensity from a light patter to a downpour. These performers made you aware of your human experience and nature, in the moment.

The largest drum appeared to be nearly six-feet tall, and was played by two drummers on each side, dressed in nothing but a head band and a cloth reminiscent of a Sumo wrestler. The power from the sound made me feel I was ONE with the instrument.

The physical stamina and concentration of the Kodo drummers and reminded me of the relief workers and engineers working with such passion and discipline to clean up the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear crisis. The audience showed the group their appreciation for their performance with at least four prolonged standing ovations. I suspect that these ovations were not just for their performance, but also support for what their country is enduring.

A beautiful friend from Tokyo, @oocax took the time to educate me on the Japanese way to express this art form, even though she and her entire country are living in extreme difficulty. It is not hard to see her as a living example of the traditions of the Shinto.

"To be grateful for the blessings of Kami and the benefits of the ancestors, and to be diligent in the observance of the Shinto rites, applying oneself to them with sincerity, brightness, and purity of heart."

Mitsuru Ishizuka, the founder of the Kodo Drummers has said, “People gather at the shrine to sing, dance and drum so that their prayers may reach the heavens.”

If the heavens didn't hear these prayers, it simply wasn’t listening.

AA

March 12, 2011

Global Prayer

So many people in so many countries are suffering; prayers and help are in desperate need. Today we are sending out this prayer to anyone on earth who is in need of HIS mercy. 

The nuclear disaster of Tschernobyl (1986) has already changed the lifes of two generations.  Now the world worries, that today in Fukushima  the second worst case scenario has happened. Nobody knows the effects this nuclear catastrophe will have on those who yesterday survived the devasting earthquake in Japan. 




God our Father:



In faith we acknowledge your paternal care over us, your sons, daughters and children. In hope we trust in your divine providence of giving us wisdom and courage as we face the challenges in life. In love we invoke your help and guidance during these difficult days of death and destruction. 


Our is a prayer of thanksgiving for once again reminding us that ours is an imperfect world, that heaven is not on earth and that nature every now and then tells us not to abuse her. Ours too is a prayer of repentance for calling upon you when we are in need and desperation but forgetting you in favourable times and pleasing occasions. Ours as well is a prayer of petition as we say:

Grant eternal peace to those who lost their lives. Embrace the children who died in their innocence. Help those who are hurt and cure those who are sick.

Encourage those who suffer the destruction of their homes and properties, and to once again stand up and rebuild their future.

Bless all those who extend their helping hands to those in need of food, shelter and clothing, who share their time, talents and resources with others.

Inspire more people to be men and women for their neighbors, convinced that the more they are for others, the taller they stand before you.

Give insight to the leaders of our world to take better care about this planet.

Spare us please from other natural disasters and devastations if this be according to Your will and for our own spiritual good and growth.

Amen.

(Words following a prayer, posted via our dear friend @MariaR77uk. )

March 8, 2011

International Women's Day.

On March 11th, 1911 Clara Zetkin, German politician and a women's rights activist, started up the first International Women's Day.

The theme for the 2011 "International Women's Day" is "Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women." By clicking on the logo below you can access the official site for the celebrations and find out more.
While on this day a number of protests in connection to women's rights and news channels reported on women's issues, we should all be concerned with everyday. 
And there are stories that never make it to prime time.

For example people in Ivory Coast have been long facing violence and social struggle. Since January 2011 violence have again increased in intensity as armed groups have taken the disputed presidential elections from political fight to clashes in the streets.
As a result tens of thousands are at risk. The humanitarian crisis is growing because power and water cuts. Poor sanitation and a medical system that cannot attend to the populations needs, people forced out of their homes, random attacks and killings.

But there is another aspect of the conflict in Ivory Coast. 

Euronews also reports on women being victims of sexual assaults "from forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, from armed opposition forces and also from mercenaries of both sides". In an interview with the news channel Gaetan Mootoo (researcher for amnesty International) talks about a hospital that took in 25-30 rape victims a day.

Further more  the attacks are rarely reported as the women do not know the legal formalities and most of all because the attackers are more often than not officials in charge.

Last week 7 women were killed during a protest march while holding tree branches as symbols of peace. 

 Rebecca Blackwell, AP

Today, 4 more were killed during a "march of mourning" for the victims of the post-election conflict.

 Rebecca Blackwell, AP

 We must not allow this to go on.
For information on what you can do to help visit Amnesty International.

But most of all lets join our voices in protest. World leaders and international community should act now.

March 5, 2011

Trending on Twitter: #WeLoveMichaelJackson



Today, MJ Fam started what was intended to be a trending topic on Twitter, #WeLoveMichaelJackson. It did make a trending topic, and it created a list of inspirational and  funny insights on Michael Jackson. We want to share with you our collection of "We love Michael Jackson" to celebrate Michael. Here are just a few  statements and "reasons". 
We all know, that we do not need any reason 
and we loved him 
because were completely unable to love him not.

    
         We love Michael Jackson
  • for so many reasons that it won't fit in a twitter text box.
  • forever!!! He lives through the music ...
  • because he loved us more.
  •  ♥ ہم مائیکل جیکسن سے پیار کرتے ہیں ♥~                                                                                                Translation from Urdu into English-> We love Michael Jackson ♥
    • cause he takes up all the space in my iPod!
    • because we all are his soldiers of LOVE.
    • cause he taught us that "whatever happens",the "man in the mirror" will "hold my hand", because that's "human nature".
    • and his 3 beautiful children like they are family!
    • because his spirit and music healed the world...Now that he's gone, the world is missing the glue that united us all.
    • Because there will  never be another (M)agical (I)ntelligent (C)hild-like (H)ealing (A)ngelic (E)ternal (L)ove
    • as he is the greatest entertainer on earth <3
    • porque es simplemente inigualable.
    • because he taught us that ur dreams can come true and to have faith and hope.
    • because he gave us hope for the future.
    • as Michael is the reason for the season!!





    *