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Kingdom Rise, Kingdom Fall.

           Since ancient times, music has proved to be a potent vehicle for social change and facilitating dialogue. The Boston-based educational collaborative Legacy Time Travellers brings a glimpse of music’s transformative powers in their multicultural documentary, Kingdom Rise, Kingdom Fall. Based on an academic conference featuring speakers, performances, workshops and film screenings, and a subsequent roundtable discussion, both held at Harvard University, this work explores the provocative question: “If music can be so beneficial to the body, can there be similar beneficial results when applied to the body politic?” Pioneering a concept dubbed “sonic high-definition education,” Kingdom Rise, Kingdom Fall illustrates how these rhythms of reconciliation can become the springboard for a renewed sense of dialogue, analysis and community in an age of inconvenient truths.

Kingdom Rise, Kingdom Fall. Trailer


The Healing Power of Music in Media as an Alternative to Violence


In light of music’s proven therapeutic qualities – from treating brain injuries, autism, and drug abuse, to learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, etc. – we began to study another question. “If music can be so beneficial to the body, could there be similar beneficial results when applied to the body politic?”


This question was then explored in a roundtable discussion, hosted in collaboration with the Boston Theological Institute and Harvard Divinity School. Our focus was on recent ecumenical dialogues between evangelical, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish communities worldwide. We investigated such themes as violence, displacement, and competing historical/religious narratives. We askedhow music can illuminate pathways to clarity and resolution? Of particular concern was the role of prophecy, the plight of refugees, and the global movement toward restorative justice as opposed to retributive justice. Our panelists included life-experience expertise and authorities from religion, history, archaeology, film, music, theology and street ministries. Here’s a sample:


Roundtable point from: Bill Spencer

Our future plans for this project include television broadcast and classroom applications. We hope to stimulate discourse toward reducing violence through a concept we have dubbed “sonic high-definition education,” where music becomes the springboard for a renewed sense of dialogue, analysis, and community in an age of inconvenient truths.


Toward this end, we propose bringing together, next May in Kingston, Jamaica, two luminaries recently honored by the Jamaican government for their works: the legendary Toots Hibbert (of Toots and the Maytals) and Denroy Morgan.  Denroy Morgan

Morgan Heritage For Real

In the honor awards section, Toots Hibbert and Denroy Morgan were named as Role Models of the Year. Hibbert gave a quick speech, but Morgan spent quite some time on stage thanking and giving ‘big ups’ to almost every community, parish and Rastafarian sect that exists in Jamaica.

 These artists are uniquely capable of illustrating the healing tributaries of African-Caribbean sources which, together with African-American gospel, rhythm-and-blues, and soul, have galvanized audiences worldwide over the last four decades. Here, also, on a note of harmony and reconciliation, would be a fitting musical culmination to the “Decade to Overcome Violence.”


Peter Gabriel, who has noted music’s potential in efforts to overcome global violence and rivalry:

“Music is a spiritual doorway…its power comes from the fact that it plugs directly into the soul, unlike a lot of visual art or textual information that has to go through the more filtering processes of the brain.”