What happens when diverse members of a small community come together to create uplifting music? The answer is in "To the Mountaintop," a new video project.
What happens when diverse members of a small community come together to create uplifting music? The answer is in "To the Mountaintop," a new video project inspired by the "Playing for Change" videos.
The music video is a collaborative effort by diverse Taoseños to highlight our strength through diversity even in difficult times, according to logistics director Ana Pacheco.
The song "To the Mountaintop" is an original tune written by local musicians and teachers Brooke Zanatell and Philip Handmaker "that celebrates our connection to the mountains that give us water and elevate our souls," Pacheco stated.
In addition to the song, the music video's entire production team, performers and artists are all from Taos (see sidebar). It can now be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpVzrleTYuU. It is also posted on the Razor Sharp Production site on YouTube, and listed as 'Taos Is Playing for Change, Too,'" Pacheco said.
A central focus of the video is the beauty of Taos, and how it shines a light on the talents of our community. "The mountains around us represent the strength of the place we call home and form the source of all the water and resources for the valley," Pacheco stated. The music video is "an intergenerational project and exemplifies how music can be a catalyst to weave a community together. The power of music and art can trigger movement for positive change. Music connects us all," she added.
Pacheco said she wants to make on thing perfectly clear. "The Playing for Change Foundation is involved with coordinating international music programs and fundraising for those programs," she said in a Monday (Dec. 9) email. "Here at the company-side of PFC, we deal mainly with video and audio production, merchandise and band bookings so the video would be inspired by 'Playing for Change' not the Playing for Change Foundation."
The video was made with the collaboration of SecoLive.org and the New Mexico Returned Peace Corps Association, Razor Sharp Productions, Vito Trujillo Jr., Adobe Records and film footage from Ricky Carlini and the University of New Mexico-Taos Digital Media Program.
"The project started in early September 2019, and once we started filming and recording, we realized the power of this project, as well as the teamwork, trust and empowerment felt by the team," Pacheco stated in an email. "We began and continue as all volunteers, and with some local financial support, we were able to partly compensate the film and audio studios.
"We are appreciative of the support from friends and associates, the New Mexico Peace Corps returned volunteers and SecoLive.org. We thank Cindy Freeman Valerio, founder of Artsoul Inc., a whose purpose 'is to create, produce, promote and present collaborative, multicultural activities and projects that are therapeutic, theatrical and musical in nature.' Ms. Freeman Valerio has organized the Taos Community Annual Night of 1000 Stars youth talent show for 14 years."
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