II: A Compilation to Benefit Respond Incorporated and the Family
Violence Prevention Fund
By: Sara Zeno
Where there is ruin there is hope for treasure
Out of the ashes come comfort and pleasure
The richness of women
lies waiting here, with thirty-two prisms of light filtered through
each individual's distinctive spirit. It contains the passion to
experience each moment--- wherever it may be on the spectrum of
life, death and rebirth--- and the longing to continue the journey.
II aids organizations committed to end domestic violence. Fittingly,
the women and their music reflect the diversity contained within
all, whatever our situations. In our songs, as in our lives, we
are weeping, raging, embracing, striking out, whispering, healing.
We are individuals and yet we are all one. The beautiful faces gazing
from the center photo are many ages and races: a magnificent mirror
of those the music benefits.
This is a recording where
the a capella sound of Sweet
Honey in the Rock resides comfortably by Sleater-Kinney's
punk noisiness and legendary blues woman Odetta
spunkily nestles near young folksinger Karaugh
Parton's bluegrass, which sounds joyous even as she's singing,
"But a broken heart won't kill you, you just want to die"
stands proudly alongside Neko
Case's contemporary rendering of country.
Some songs speak overtly
of abusive situations. Suzanne
Vega's Luka still matter-of-factly breaks the heart,
Baez's Lily paints the downtrodden woman we've all met.
Sweet Honey in the Rock speak their truth candidly in Run,
"No one has the right to hurt me / Especially when they say
they love me / Apologies don't make anything better / So I'll take
my love and my light and leave today." Many others reveal the
discovery and fulfillment of healing people and places.
There's also a striking
selection of international musicians from Africa, Mexico and Brazil.
Kidjo (whose very name is a melody) contributes the rousing
Tumba. Its rhythms conjure women around a skyward-licking
fire, letting loose pain and oppression and dancing out the joy
is an offering of love. Its treasure is the unearthing of bright,
independent-spirited artists in the midst of helping others find
their road to shelter.