“After discovering Mariko Endo’s work on the Artists4Peace website, I reached out to collaborate. As we worked together on another music video, she sent me a work in progress, asking to use music from my album Remember with it. It was a wonderful coincidence that the music and video synched together perfectly.”
Stanley Grill‘s collaboration with choreographer and dancer Mariko Endo on Remember serves as a reminder of who we are by nature — part and parcel of the earth and all of the life around us.
This kind of music is not separate from the rest of life. To speak to people and get inside them, it has to be part and parcel of the world we live in. It might speak in an abstract language, like the wind whispers in our ear, but nevertheless it can reach us in a direct way that can burrow underneath our skin and target our very being.
Stanley Grill is a composer of music that attempts to translate something about the nature of the physical world or promote world peace, sparking positive thoughts and inspiring change.
I write music – but why? For sure, many people write music to entertain – and there’s hardly (yes, this is my biased opinion) anything more entertaining than music. Yet, music has been part and parcel of humanity since our earliest beginnings. We hunted, we ate, we worshipped – and we blew flutes, banged hollowed-out logs, plucked strings. Throughout our history, there’s been music to entertain, but also music that reaches the most elemental part of our nature, that lifts us up and alters us. And it is that kind of music that most interests me – and seems worth spending nearly every waking hour studying and creating.
This kind of music is not separate from the rest of life. To speak to people and get inside them, it has to be part and parcel of the world we live in. It might speak in an abstract language, like the wind whispers in our ear, but nevertheless it can reach us in a direct way that can burrow underneath our skin and target our very being. My desire to write music has always been part of a personal effort to understand the world and myself – and to change the parts of the world that I have found myself unable to accept! For decades, much of my music has been dedicated to a highly personal Music for Peace project, music intended to evoke in the minds and hearts of listeners the belief that peace, despite all the contrary evidence of history, is possible. In more recent years, as the full impact of human activity on the earth becomes undeniably evident, my focus has broadened and given rise to a growing catalog of works in my Music for the Earth series. My goal, with each piece, is to bring to bear the ability of music to drive right to the heart and make people feel a sense of passion for the earth, a feeling for our responsibility to be caretakers, rather than destroyers of the life that surrounds us.
Composing is a solitary activity, but to accomplish this aim, in recent years I have reached out to others with similar ambition to achieve change to collaborate. That led me, among other things, to discover and become a member of ClimateCultures. With this introduction to my work, I open the door to anyone interested in collaborating on projects that further the intent for which the network was created.
Sharing an example of my recent work, Remember is a music video produced this past year with choreographer and dancer Mariko Endo. The music, arranged for viola and piano, was drawn from a larger work for chorus, The Whirr of Wings, setting texts by various poets about both the beauties of the earth and the dangers that face us if we fail to change our behavior. The title of the video, Remember, is intended as a reminder of who we are by nature, beings of this earth and part and parcel of the earth and all of the life around us. And Mariko dances that intent beautifully.
You can view Remember and more of Stanley’s videos on his YouTube channel. And there is more to explore at Stanley’s website – and at Marikos’s site too. You can see more of Stanley’s work in our Creative Showcase.