For the Camps Featuring Steve Ono[CD]
I'm not a professional musician. I'm a fifth-grade teacher who got involved with the Save Darfur movement through an interdenominational activist group in Redding. When asked to sing at events, I found there weren't any songs written about the genocide in Darfur. So I began writing. The genocide in Darfur has continued, and so has my songwriting. Since June 2006, these songs have been performed by me at various religious and political rallies in Northern California and Oregon. Thanks to web exposure on CD Baby, the songs have been picked up and used by activists at events from coast to coast. In November 2008 I was honored to perform at the Gathering of the Tents of Hope Rally for Darfur on the National Mall in Washington,DC. The organization StopGenocideNow also features my song "For the Camps" at the traveling genocide museum Camp Darfur across the United States and in a YouTube video highlighting the plight of Darfur's refugees. This CD, "For the Camps," features songs I wrote and sing with my wife, Vicki Ono, accompanied and produced by Fresno-based guitar virtuoso Steve Ono. Steve has been a professional musician for over thirty years, and the quality and production values you hear here are a testimony to his talent and wisdom. Together I feel we have created a recording that transcends my initial intention, which was and still is, to draw attention to the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. All funds from CD sales go through GenocideNoMore- Save Darfur, and the First United Methodist Church of Redding directly to humanitarian aid at refugee camps in Chad, which are now in urgent need, as all foreign aid has been expelled from Sudan by the indicted President Omar Al- Bashir. Here is a little more info about individual songs: 1.Borders- this was written with some broader themes in mind, and I tried to hit a lot of international issues in just a few images. The last verse brings it home to real stories from Darfur. 2. For the Camps- the first song I wrote for Darfur, in the summer of 2006, after experiencing the energy and compassion of one of Gabriel Stauring's speeches. He used this song as the soundtrack for video he shot in Chad. 3. If We Allow This- our goal is not just to save Darfur, but to end genocide in the world. Time and again we see genocide happen because the villains feel confident they won't be stopped. 4, Tents of Hope- I wrote this for Tim Nonn to put on his website. It was inspired by watching the kids at my school and kids around Shasta County getting involved in sending messages of hope to Darfur while painting the tents. 5. Not Me- this is a little bit satirical, dedicated to a guy I encountered on the Sundial Bridge. This was his response when I asked him to sign a petition. I felt like these guys need a song too. 6. Genocide No More Save Darfur- this was meant to be an anthem, singable in church and at rallies. It has since been used in churches and rallies in New York and Massachusetts. 7. Run Run- a tone poem about the courage of the women in the camps, and the choices they face every day just to survive. Inspired by the photos of Paul Jeffrey. 8. Time is Running Out for Darfur- originally titled "Wally Herger's Blues", this song gets it's name from a nationwide campaign in April 2007. Congressman Herger has since responded to our efforts by improving his Darfur voting record. 9. Back to the Fur Land- Darfur literally translates to "the realm of the Fur people." I wrote this as I was finally coming to terms with the International Criminal Court (ICC), indictment of Sudanese President Al Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. At first I felt we would lose the humanitarian focus of the movement, but as I heard the cries for justice documented by I-ACT, I got angrier. 10. Children of Kounoungou- written for our "Torch Event" in April 2008, to draw attention to China' s role in supporting Sudan's genocidal regime. I was honored to perform this song at a rally in June 2008 outside the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. 11. Brick by Brick- these lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the testimony of Adam on I-ACT 3 on StopGenocideNow's website. An incredibly inspirational man. I was moved to learn that Gabriel and Katie Jay shared my music with him. 12. Season of Harvest- based on an email we got early on describing the sadness of women who were kept from going out to their fields.
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