Our vision can be summarized
by two quotes of Dr. King’s:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
These two quotes encompass much of Dr. King’s message. The first addresses the what: the importance of recognizing and standing up to injustices in society, and the second implies the how: to effect true and lasting change, we must first begin with our own hearts.
Furthermore, we recognize that Dr. King’s dream neither began nor ended with him. It is our intention to help build a community that tolerates neither racism nor any other divisive “ism” and that continues to actively work toward a positive, peaceful future.
The overall message conveyed by the songs in the Dream On! compilation is positive and uplifting yet thought-provoking. It is at once a celebration of the progress we’ve made and a challenge to recognize and stand up to continuing injustices in our society and in the world at large.
You may say I’m a dreamer… but I’m not the only one!
On Dr. King’s celebrated birthday last year, I was listening to one of the public radio stations that had dedicated a large part of the day to interviews and stories related to Dr. King, his life, and his work. One of the segments played a recently rediscovered sermon, which had been given originally at Temple Israel in Hollywood in 1965.
The first thing that struck me was the man’s amazing voice. As I listened to his words — so eloquent and inspiring — I could really feel his presence. Moved by the power and emotion of his voice, I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had heard a speech or sermon by Dr. King — apart from the occasional sound-bite, “I have a dream!” He had become an icon… like a St. Francis statue in a garden… more of a figure and an abstraction than a person who not only had a dream but who followed it, lived it, and inspired countless others to do the same — and in doing so, empowered millions and changed the course of history.
The clip that was playing was about the importance of non-violence and about the power of love over fear. As I listened to the words and to his melodious voice, I knew that I wanted to sample it and put it to music. I could imagine it… “Hope… Justice… Love… Freedom… Dignity… Love… Divine discontent… Love… ”
At first, that was it — just a song. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do with it afterwards. But then my idea began growing and growing until its current incarnation — which is much bigger than me or anything I’ve ever done. And THAT — being bigger than oneself… stepping beyond doubt and into one’s power… THAT was just the sort of thing that would have made Dr. King smile.
Within a month of my original inspiration, I put out a call to musicians: “To those of you inspired by this great man… to those of you who want to share your own dream of peace with the world… to those of you who love the idea of being a part of a creative collaboration to raise money for organizations whose work is to continue that dream in some way… I invite you to participate.”
And the response was AMAZING! I received close to 500 song submissions, which eventually – after much deliberation and difficult decision making – got whittled down to the 30 tracks that comprise the 2-disc set of DREAM ON! The final product contains a variety of musical styles, written and produced by independent artists with diverse backgrounds – artists, whom I hope you will support (make sure to check out their links on the Artists/Music page).
From day one, my vision for this project was to be “an international creative collaboration” – and it has become just that. Some of the participating musicians, I could meet for coffee in some Los Angeles coffee shop… others hail from as far as Australia and Zimbabwe, and my sound engineer lives in Paris! How small the Internet has made the world – and all the easier to reach out and help each other.
There are many people to thank for helping me turn this dream into a reality. Please check out my Angels pages to learn more about these amazing individuals. But, now, I want to thank you. Thank you for being curious about this project. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for your support – in whatever form. I invite you to download the music, which is our gift to you. I invite you to really listen to the lyrics and let them move you. I invite you to support one or more of our partner charities so that they may continue their many important projects. But, most of all… I invite you to dream.
Together, we can dream a better world. But we must not stop with dreaming… we must take steps to make it happen.
Maya Indigo Armstrong
Copyright © Three of Wands Productions, LLC 2008-2009. All rights reserved.