It seems insane to me that The Voice Project has been around for about 4 years and I just heard about it for the first time a few days ago. For someone who loves music and many of these artists as much as I do it’s hard for me to fathom how this just crossed my path. Maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention?
So what is The Voice Project you ask? From the About section of their website:
“The women of northern Uganda – widows, rape survivors, and former abductees have been banding together in groups to support each other and those orphaned by the war and diseases so prevalent in the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps. And they are singing songs. The lyrics of “dwog paco” (come home) songs let former soldiers know that they are forgiven and that they should come back. The songs are passed by radio and word of mouth out into the bush, as far as the Sudan and DR Congo. And it’s working. Former LRA are returning and for the first time in 24 years the region has a chance at real peace.
Taking our cue from the women in Uganda and how they’ve used music to help bring peace, The Voice Project began with one artist covering another to pass on the torch and message to others. We’ve created ongoing chains of songs and artists that use music to help raise awareness and drive donations here at the website to support local initiatives and amplify peace, reconciliation and rehabilitation efforts.”
I am a firm believer in the healing power of music and its ability to reach into places in our hearts and souls that can’t be reached in other ways. I love the aims of this project, and it’s just an extra added bonus to me that so many artists that I love have participated covering each others’ music. It’s amazing to see the chains of covers and read the stories about how many of the musicians came to be involved with the project. I’ve pretty much spent all weekend listening and reading to stuff on The Voice Project site.
The musicians that participate play a single song, a cover of someone else’s song. In many cases the original artist then participates singing another cover creating these glorious chains being passed on from musician to musician. Most of the songs are recorded acoustically, which makes them even more lovely. They’re recorded in the simplest of settings: living rooms, hotel rooms, cafes, some studios, back porches, and even a church.
I stumbled across the site when Sara Watkins tweeted out a link to Marie Miller covering her song “If It Pleases You”. I adore Sara Watkins and I adore Marie Miller. (If you haven’t heard her song “You’re Not Alone” go listen to it now.) I also adore the song, so I was super excited to listen to it. When I clicked through the link I had no idea I was going to stumble upon such a treasure trove of wonderful things.
I highly encourage you to go check out the rest of the wonderful music on The Voice Project website and to donate to their cause if you are so moved.