In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, increasing violence in the middle east, and the atrocious execution of reporter Daniel Pearl, it seems as if conflicts between cultures, religions, and classes are tearing the world at the seams. Individuals are left with the feeling that nothing binds the world together and the absence of a common belief system only seems to fuel the suffering for everyone. However, you can't help but wonder if the direct source of the problem often lies within the political and religious leaders as well as the media that often times create more differences the demonstrating the comfort of similarities. You would hope that the visual art and music of the time will offer that hope but it usually ends up a mere reflection of the world conflict. This is why the 1 Giant Leap project couldn't have had better timing.

The project creators are Jamie Catto, a founding member and art director for Faithless, and Duncan Bridgeman, a producer and remixer that has enjoyed commercial success with the likes of Duran Duran, Paul McCartney, and the Eurythmics. Forming 1 Giant Leap, the duo have translated their primary theme of "unity in diversity" into a DVD/CD/Cinema project that brings together musicians, artists, filmmakers, and writers from around the globe for a project that merges the music, stories, and images from 20 different countries into one common artistic expression of mutual themes that are of significant importance to everyone.

Catto and Bridgeman had the option of using current studio technology to grab samples and recordings from the artists and then return to the studio where they could cut-n-paste it into whatever form they wish. However, with 1 Giant Leap, they felt the united theme of the project required the direct involvement from everyone. They decided to record the basic tracks and set out on their travels with little more then a laptop and digital camera. Catto and Bridgeman created a group of songs that would eventually be narrowed down to twelve chapters such as love, sex, death, money, confrontation, etc.This mobile studio allowed them to collaborate in the field on the music and capture their surroundings on video without having to worry about power problems in remote locations The 1 Giant Leap project was able to capture on sound and video their powerful work with an stellar array of acclaimed and lesser known artists; creating what is rightfully described as a "time capsule of the planet Earth at the turn of the 21st Century." The songs are accompanied with massive footage of the collaborative process and the cities, towns, and villages that they were recorded in. They give the viewer an urgent reminder that we have far more in common then we ever realize. Perhaps a few years ago, this project may not have meant as much to the viewing audience but in static of recent times, it means everything.

Justin Hardison

1 Giant Leap is available through Palm Pictures on April 9th.

Contributing Artists:

Bada & Bakane Seck, Asha Bhosle , Whiri Mako Black, Richard Carter, Neneh Cherry, Stewart Copeland, Zebulon Dread, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Brian Eno, Cosy Fabian, Michael Franti, Dennis Hopper, Jiggs, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Brendon Jury, Rabbi Yosef Kantor, Spencer Love, Luang Padit Thairoh School, Baaba Maal, Mahotella Queens, Davina McCall, Levon Minassien, Kishore Kimar Mishra, Santosh Kumar Mishra, Sharon Mitchell, Zulkifi Mohamad, Ronu Majumbar, Mustapha Tettey Addy, Tehamua Nikora, Improbable Theatre, Kerstin Olivier, Grant Lee Phillips, Eddie Quansah, Ram Dass, Dave Randall, Eddi Reader, Fred Reed, Tom Robbins, Anita Roddick, Jerry Sadowitz, Revetti Sakalkar, Dr. Rewati Sakalkar, Penny Shaw, Linesh Shesh, Shrinvas, Kid Sithole, Smart & Friends, Soweto String Quartet, Speech, Michael Stipe, DJ Swamp, Kaolin Thompson, Ulali, Sanjay Kumar Verma, Kurt Vonnegut, James Webster, T.O. Jazz.




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