The video for “Our Colors,” premiering exclusively below, offers a look inside the ebullient creativity that led to Beyond Music, Vol. 1/Same Sky, an international musical collaboration recorded in France and released during August.
The project, put together by the nonprofit Beyond Foundation, united 23 artists from 17 countries at La Fabrique studios. In addition to their own material, the musicians — who began their associations via Beyond’s online portal — wound up creating a couple of original songs, which album producer Larry Klein calls “community pieces,” during their time together, including “Our Colors.”
“It was a pretty amazing experience, I think, for everyone involved — kind of life changing,” Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman) tells Billboard. “Here we were with this great studio, built in a 19th century tannery, and right in the middle of Van Gogh country, in these beautiful surroundings to make a record. The circumstances were so ideal. It was really a very catalytic and energized atmosphere.” Considering all that, Klein adds, new collaborations were inevitable.
“The (studio) was just full of all kinds of little, different spaces, little nooks and crannies where people would hole up with other participants and work on music,” he recalls. “The atmosphere was incredibly positive and congenial. They just started working together on these community pieces, and we decided we’d take the best two and record them.” Those, Klein says, were recorded in smaller, ancillary studios apart from the main room he was using for the sessions, and the “Our Colors” video depicts the participants building on an idea by Danish violinist Andreas Bernitt, adding parts and improvising on the themes that were being developed.
“We were able to gather performances from everybody at the same time we were working in the main studio for the principle recording,” Klein says. “It was a very unique way to create something — and very productive.”
Beyond Foundation and Beyond Music founder Regula Curti says that the Same Sky album, which hit No. 1 on the iTunes World Music store, has “exceeded all my expectations. The vision of Beyond Music is one of pure creativity, connection and togetherness. We inspire artists to push through the boundaries of mainstream music and break through the confines of music industry standards. The musicians have expressed with their songs what their wish is for a better life together in this world.”
Same Sky is the first of what Curti says “will be an on-going series of albums, created in a similar fashion” via Beyond Music’s platform. Details about artist involvement can be found here.