The CD release concert at Loring Theater will feature the showing of two music-film productions, produced by David McDonald of DMcD Productions, which feature songs on the Don’t Stand Still sound recording:
Tibet (Honoring Gyatsho Tshering)
The song Tibet was composed by Larry Long with Tara Thukral’s fifth grade class of Valley View Elementary School, Columbia Heights. It was created during an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song residency program in the school (with support from the West Metro Education Program and McKnight Foundation). It was written in honor of Gyatsho Tshering, a Tibetan scholar and author. (For more about Gyatsho Tshering plus video and audio recordings from the school residency click here.)
Artists and community members featured on the sound recording of Tibet include: Venerable Tibetan Monks Gendun Kelsang, Jampa Thupten, and Lobsang Jungnes from the Gyuto Tantric and Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery (Multiphonic chanting); Dolma & Yiga Tshering with family and friends from the Tibetan community of Minnesota (choral vocals and prayer), Marc Anderson (world percussionist), Dirk Freymuth (electric guitar), Billy Peterson (bass), Ricky Peterson (keyboards), JD Steele (harmony vocals) and Larry Long (lead vocal, 12 string guitar).
You can watch a video clip of Tibet here.
Be Kind To All That Live (Honoring Helen Tsuchiya)
Be Kind To All That Live was written by Larry Long with students at Prairie View Elementary in Eden Prairie, MN, created during an Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song residency in 2004. It honors community elder Helen Tsuchiya, a Japanese-American internment camp survivor currently living in St. Louis Park, MN. (For more about Helen Tsuchiya plus video and audio recordings from the school residency click here.)
Featured on the sound recording is Helen’s son, Todd Tsuchiya, on taiko drums, Larry Long on guitar and vocals, JD Steele on harmony vocals, Pete Watercott on violin and Lonnie Knight on backup guitar.
The music-documentary also features photographs that Helen took while interned at the Gila River Japanese American internment camp in Arizona during World War II.
Larry Long Talks About Be Kind to All That Live (written in 2004):
“When I was thirteen years of age, my father passed away. My family received help from good neighbors with food and letters of comfort. One of those letters of comfort came from my Little League coach, Mr. Mayeda.
Thirty years after my father’s death I came upon Mr. Mayeda’s letter. I was so moved by his words that I sought him out. He had moved to Oceanside, California. He was terminally ill. I called and thanked him for his letter of comfort to me when my father passed and for his years of volunteering as my Little League coach.
Mr. Mayeda said to me, “Larry, my family was part of the 125,000 Japanese Americans placed into internment camps during World War II. I have one favor to ask. Could you please write a song about the Japanese-American internment camps” I promised Mr. Mayeda I would. He passed away soon thereafter.
In his honor, I visited the Manzanar Internment Camp in California and read books about the Japanese-American experience with hopes of inspiration. Nothing came in the way of a song, until now.
During one of my residencies at Prairie View Elementary, Mrs. Helen Tsuchiya, the grandmother of a child in one of my classrooms, shared her Japanese-American internment story with the children. After she spoke, I discovered that her husband and she were best friends with Mr. Mayeda and his family. Not only that, but her husband had coached with Mr. Mayeda in the Babe Ruth League.
Through Mrs. Tsuchiya, I was able to fulfill the promise made to my Little League coach, Mr. Mayeda. Forever grateful.
About David McDonald, producer of Don’t Stand Still music/film production
Before returning to Minnesota to raise his family, David McDonald worked throughout the world as a cameraman for the Reuters News Agency. Presently, David lives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota with his family and is an independent multimedia producer, as well as instructor of mass communications at Itasca Community College and Leach Lake Tribal College.
About Community Celebration of Place and Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song
Elder’s Wisdom, Children’s Song is a program of the nonprofit organization, Community Celebration of Place. Larry Long serves as the Executive Director. For more information about their work in schools and communities across the U.S., visit their website at www.communitycelebration.org.