Silk Road -- Part 1

Photo from silkroadgourment.com

Photo from silkroadgourment.com

The Silk Road. Ever heard of it? Do you know what it is? Did you know that it really existed in history? Did you know that it began in ancient times?

You’re going to be hearing a lot about the Silk Road from me for a while. That’s because, in addition to being a historical fact in time, it’s also the title of my new CD to be released in early December: SILK ROAD – Inspirational Journeys Across Planet Earth.

SILK ROAD has been two years in the making, with, at the time of this writing, seven songs recorded, and two to go!

So, I ask again: do you know what the Silk Road is? Did you ever read about it in your history classes? I was made to be aware of it, however dimly, back in my World History class in high school. But, it did not come to Technicolor life until several years ago, when I read a wonderful book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. I know, it sounds like a dry old history book focused on a ferociously inhumane dude from the 12th century …

But, surprisingly not so! (Check out the book for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It reads more like a historical novel than a textbook, and it took me on a truly fascinating journey back into history.)

Anyway, I loved the read. I loved learning about this trade route. The Silk Road actually was a series of trade routes that connected "East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa." (Wikipedia) Essentially, it brought the world together in ancient times through the trading of goods and ideas.

And that’s what I have been thinking about so much these days. Our world is so much smaller, we’re so much closer to each other because we can so instantly connect to one another. And yet … even with all of our wonderful modern tools of communication, some of the same old problems persist: differences of cultures, religions, and ideas still bring misunderstanding and miscommunication. Maybe faster communication has simply brought these problems into stark relief where we’re forced to wrestle with them to find lasting solution.

Meanwhile, my producer and collaborator, Peter Link, and I have discussed these things often over time, exploring the problems, the possible solutions, and the grand theme of modern communication. Peter found a metaphor for this. The idea is that the Internet of today is the modern Silk Road, connecting anyone and everyone: the common man, even to the historically remote Maasai herder in Africa.

That is, if you can get online…

And it seems that the majority of the world CAN and DOES link up to the world wide web.

So, inevitably, as it happens around our headquarters, these discussions led to… Well, you know.  A song.  A song was born: “Silk Road.”

“Silk Road” quickly became the title song to the whole project – this new CD. For me, the concepts of the Silk Road – the historical trade routes, the modern metaphor of the internet and the developing content of the CD all came together to crystallize in my thought the direction I needed to go musically and artistically.

I was looking to create a project that would weave together music and ideas that are shared by individuals in our own experiences the world over. The SILK ROAD CD has evolved into a collection of journey songs. Some are solitary journeys of the spirit within. Some are love songs -- journeys of the heart. And others still are outward journeys, looking at the world as it is and as it could be.

To sum it up, the making of SILK ROAD -- Inspirational Journeys Across Planet Earth has been a real trip!

Stay tuned, there is more to come on this evolutionary journey of SILK ROAD ...

Photo in this blog article is from silkroadgourmet.com -- a fantastic site with recipes from the cuisine of over 30 countries along the Silk Road trade routes of ancient times.  Check it out!