Ten songs. Ten People. Ten stories of AIDS in Malawi. Each song is inspired by a narrative given by an affected individual whom we have met and recorded their life story. Of 26 recorded narratives, ten were selected to be crafted into song, often weaving direct quotations from the narrators themselves with lyrics in Chichewa and English. The narratives reflect a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and personal relationships of people living with HIV/AIDS. Each song is designed to musically capture the story and personality of the individual profiled. Through these ten individuals the listener will learn about a diversity of issues which reveal the kaleidoscope of social contexts and dynamics of Malawi's AIDS epidemic.
The album's music is a fusion of American and Malawian sounds, drawing on the styles which have shaped the musical personalities of the producers Andrew Finn and Peter: jazz, traditional Irish music, Congolese soukou music, traditional Chewa rhythms and more.
Our musicians include ten Malawians and eleven Americans. We thought it fitting to bring together musicians from our respective cultures and soundscapes, emphasizing the idea that this music and these stories truly transcend culture. It is our hope that this music will open up a similarly cross-cultural conversation about AIDS between the people, personalities, and stories from other cultures singularly connected by this virus. The message of this music is hope not defeat. Reinvigoration not resignation. Life not death.
One of the greatest social travesties brought on by AIDS is the explosive growth of Malawi's population of orphans and vulnerable children. Profits from this album will be invested in several programs being set up by Talents of the Malawian Child, a Malawian non-profit founded and directed by Peter Mawanga. Through these programs TOMC will give AIDS orphans and vulnerable children self-esteem and real economic opportunities through a career working in the arts.
-Andrew Finn Magill, co-producer
Stories of AIDS. Ten songs. Ten People. Ten stories of AIDS in Malawi.