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People in the Film

Beginning in 2009, artists, scientists, traditional elders and others around the world were asked, ‘What is the Great Song for you?’

 Our first film, Shining Night (2012) features the life and music of one of those interviewed- American choral composer and National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen.

Our second release, In Search of the Great Song (2016), includes 50 interviews and a wide variety of music from around the world.

More people were interviewed than appear in these films; the universality of the Great Song touches many, and it was not possible to include them all in one documentary.

Meet the film’s ‘players’in this online gallery or via video.
Meet others and share your own viewpoint at the Great Song Cafe.

 

Select an individual or scroll  

See the award-winning documentary

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, shaman, healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (winddrum), is an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder whose family belongs to the traditional healers from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland. 

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Hortense Reintjens-Anwari

HORTENSE REINTJENS-ANWARI (Dr.phil.) is an Ethnologist with the speciality in Middle East Studies (Nomadism and Sufism) and also a Theologist, Dipl.-Theol. (Jewish Religion and Philosophy). She currently researches and delivers seminars in the field of Intercultural Philosophy and Spirituality (especially the “Worldviews” of the great modern Physicists).

Angeles Arrien

ANGELES ARRIEN (c.1940 – 2014) was a cultural anthropologist, educator, award-winning author, and consultant to numerous organizations and businesses inside and outside the medical field. She lectured nationally and internationally and conducted workshops bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and mediation skills on issues such as conflict resolution and multi-cultural issues. 

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Karin Jana Beck

KARIN JANA BECK is a ritual singer from Winterthur, Switzerland, trained in music and Expressive Arts Therapy. Her work includes sharing folk songs from different world cultures as well as the traditional natural yodelling of Switzerland.

Jason Becker

JASON BECKER is an American rock/classical guitarist and composer. At the age of 20, he joined David Lee Roth’s band and won the coveted Best New Guitarist award from Guitar Magazine. In 1996, due to ALS, Becker lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. The music in the film soundtrack entitled Higher is composed by Becker on computer using this method. 

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Rinaldo Brutoco

Rinaldo S. Brutoco is a successful entrepreneur, executive, author and futurist, and the Founding President of the World Business Academy. Rinaldo has published numerous cutting-edge articles and books that address the role and responsibility of business in relation to the critical moral, environmental, and social concerns of the day.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari

SHEIKH ABDUL AZIZ BUKHARI (c. 1949-2010) of blessed memory, was the leader of the Naqshabandi Sufi and Uzbek community and a leading Muslim voice for peace,harmony and non-violence in the Holy Land. Sheikh Bukhari was also co-founder of the Jerusalem Peacemakers and the Abrahamic Reunion group of religious peace leaders.

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Ilan Chester

ILAN CHESTER (b. 1952, Israel) is a celebrated Venezuelan singer, keyboardist, arranger and composer. A 2010 Latin Grammy award winner, Ilan has more than 35 music productions incorporating a global range of influences into his music. Mantra, included in the film soundtrack, is from his groundbreaking symphonic-choral recording, Symphony of the Soul, arranging ancient Vedic texts celebrating Lord Krishna in contemporary musical style.

Insingizi

INSINGIZI, a trio from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, performs a-cappella singing, traditional chants, and hand percussion with choreography. Their first CD, Voices of Southern Africa, sold more than 250,000 copies in North America. In 2010 they received the France Musique World Music Award. 


In contacting the group, we discovered their hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, is also the home of Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa, another of our speakers. We appreciate the generosity of Vusa Mkhaya Ndlovu for contributing their music to the soundtrack of In Search of the Great Song.

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Pujya Deepakbhai

PUJYA DEEPAKBHAI is an Atmagnani, a Self-realized person,
of the spiritual science called “Akram Vignan” from India. He offers Gnan Vidhi initiations and teachings in America, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Asia.

Rolf Edelmann

ROLF EDELMANN (b. 1941 in St. Gallen, Switzerland) For 30 years a Psychotherapist and Supervisor at the University of Zürich and ETH, he also worked with IP (Integrale Politik Schweiz). He enjoys improvising on the flute as he continues his quest for the Great Song. Rolf lives in Eglisau on the Rhein.

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Richard R. Ernst

Richard R. Ernst was a full Professor of Physical Chemistry since 1976 and retired in 1998. He was born 1933 in Winterthur. He finished 1962 his studies at the ETH Zurich with a dissertation on nuclear magnetic resonance in physical chemistry. 1963 he joined Varian Associates as a scientist and developed Fourier-transform NMR, noise decoupling, and several other techniques.

Michael Fitzpatrick

Hailed by The New York Times as possessing “A sense of humor, virtuosity, and an ear for musical dialogue”Michael Fitzpatrick has shared the stage with His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama for the past 17 years as part of the TUNING THE PLANET recording/film/performance platform he is spearheading.  He is recipient of The Prince Charles Award for Outstanding Musicianship conferred by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. 

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Linda Francis

LINDA FRANCIS co-founded the Seat of the Soul Institute with Gary Zukav in 1999. Its mission is to help people create authentic power – experiences of meaning and purpose, creativity, health, joy and love. It offers programs and tools to develop emotional awareness, responsible choice, intuition, trust, and spiritual partnerships.

Gangaji

Gangaji shares a simple message: This is an invitation to shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being. As a teacher and author, Gangaji travels the world speaking to seekers from all walks of life.

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Dana Gioia

DANA GIOIA (b. 1950, USA) is an American poet and writer. Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and has published five books of poetry, three volumes of literary criticism as well as over two dozen literary anthologies. Gioia is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. In 2015 he became the California State Poet Laureate.


Dana brings his eloquent insights to both Shining Night and In Search of the Great Song.

Ola Gjeilo

OLA GJEILO was born in Norway in 1978, and moved to the United States in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. He is currently composer-in-residence with Voces8 and DCINY. A full-time concert music composer based in New York City, Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo) is also very interested in film, and his music often draws inspiration from movies and cinematic music. He appears in both our current films, with commentary in Shining Night and contributing his Ubi Caritas in our 2nd film.

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Amit Goswami

AMIT GOSWAMI (b.1936) is a theoretical quantum physicist. A retired professor from the University of Oregon’s Department of Physics, he is a pioneer of the new paradigm of science called “science within consciousness.” This idea was explicated in his seminal book, The Self-Aware Universe. Goswami was introduced to a wider audience through the film What the Bleep Do We Know? and the award-winnning documentary The Quantum Activist. His latest book is Quantum Mechanics.

Gyuto Monks of Tibet

THE GYUTO MONKS OF TIBET are masters of Tibetan Buddhist tantric ritual, dedicated to practicing their Buddhist traditions. The Gyuto Monks serve as ambassadors of Tibetan culture through their international touring and recordings, both solo and in collaboration with contemporary artists.

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Thich Nhat Hanh

THICH NHAT HANH (b. 1926, Vietnam) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in Plum Village in southern France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English, and is active in the peace movement, promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict.

Chungliang Al Huang

CHUNGLIANG AL HUANG (b. 1937, China) is Founder/President of Living Tao Foundation and Director of the international Lan Ting Institute. Philosopher, author, brush calligrapher, and performing artist, he is an acclaimed Tao master in Creative Tai Ji and Qi Gong practice. A speaker in the field of East-West synthesis, human potentiality, and cultural diversity, Huang has worked with many noted philosophers and distinguished artists of our time.

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Angela Hewitt

ANGELA HEWITT (b. 1958, Canada) is a classical pianist who has performed around the world in recital and as soloist with orchestra. She is most well known for her cycle of Bach recordings which she began in 1994 and finished in 2005– covering all the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach.

Priest Juvenalis

PRIEST JUVENALIS is priest of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an orthodox cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral.

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Sanjram Premjit Khanganba

SANJRAM PREMJIT KHANGANBA (B.A. Hons. Psy, M.Sc. Psy., Ph.D. Psy.) is Assistant Professor in Psychology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, working as a human factors research practitioner.

Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa

MANDAZA AUGUSTINE KANDEMWA was born a Svikiro (in Shona, his language), a carrier of earth and water spirits, and a Mhondoro, one in constant prayer on behalf of others. As a vessel of the Spirits, Mandaza receives visions and dreams, performs healing rituals, and serves as a messenger for the Ancient Ones. He lives in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and travels internationally as a Peacemaker. 

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Silvester Klausen

Since the 15th century in Appenzell, Switzerland, the folkloric festival of ‘Silvester Klaus’ celbrates the Julian New Year. Arising before dawn, groups of costumed and masked villagers sing New Year’s blessings throughout the valley.

Koshin Christopher Cain

KOSHIN CHRISTOPHER CAIN (b. 1965) is Abbot of the Puget Sound Zen Center. Koshin grew up in London, England, and Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1990 he moved to Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California, where he ordained in 1991, and trained as a monk until 1999. Since 2009, Koshin has been the formal teacher of the Rinzai Zen Center in Oslo.

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Irwin Kula

IRWIN KULA (b.1957) is an American rabbi and author, currently serving as president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. An internationally sought–after speaker, Rabbi Kula has inspired people worldwide by using Jewish wisdom to speak to all aspects of modern life and relationships. He is author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life. 

Muriel Kuoppala

Muriel is an artist whose contribution includes logo design, graphics and editing consultation. As the opening voice of In Search of the Great Song, she sings the oldest song of Switzerland together with a refreshing historical and philosophical context for the film.  She resides in Switzerland and Finland with her artist husband, Karri Kuoppala, and son Aslak.

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Tito la Rosa

TITO LA ROSA is a descendent of Quechua Indians of the Peruvian Andes. For many years, he has been recovering and preserving, studying and intuiting the ancestral music of Peru. He is also a Curandero de Sonido, a sound healer, who enters into an altered state to bring forth sound that elevates, allowing for healing and balance to occur.

Morten Johannes Lauridsen

Morten Johannes Lauridsen is an American composer and National Medal of Arts recipient. A Distinguished Professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, he has written much of his music in a  cabin on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Musicologist Nick Strimple regards him as ‘the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic’.


Lauridsen and his music are the subject of  ‘Shining Night’
and feature prominently in ‘In Search of the Great Song’.

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Michael Levy

Michael Levy is a multi-instrumentalist & prolific composer who has focused his unique skills researching & recreating the ancient playing-techniques of the lyres of antiquity. Basing these techniques from both illustrations of ancient lyre players and the various playing-techniques still practiced today in Africa, he has independently produced almost 30 albums for solo lyre music.

Bernard Lietaer

BERNARD LIETAER (b.1942, Belgium) is a civil engineer, economist, author and professor. He promotes the idea that communities can benefit from creating their own local or complementary currency, circulating parallel with national currencies. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the Euro, the single European currency system.

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Gary Malkin

Gary Malkin, whose music infuses In Search of the Great Song and who comments in Shining Night on his studies with Morten Lauridsen, has been a musical and creative collaborator with us for decades. He is a multiple Emmy, CLIO, and ASCAP award-winning composer, producer and recording artist dedicated to making a difference in the world by creating music-driven media and events that inspire the heart and catalyze individual and social healing.

Nicol Matt

Nicol Matt, one of Germany’s new generation conductors enjoying international reputation, was born  in the Black Forest region of Germany. He is conductor of the Chamber Choir of Europe and the Amadeus-Choir, giving numerous concerts around the world.

Nicol contributed to Shining Night with commentary on the music of Morten Lauridsen, and brings the Mozart Requiem into ‘In Search of the Great Song’.

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Paul Mealor

A Welsh composer and conductor, much of Mealor’s music is for chorus, both a cappella and accompanied, and has been performed, broadcast and recorded by artists worldwide. His motet Ubi Caritas et Amor was performed at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, heard by an estimated audience of 2.5 billion people.

Mealor conducted and spoke in our first film, Shining Night; in our second film, he speaks together with a soundtrack of Ubi Caritas.

Eliyahu McLean


ELIYAHU MCLEAN is a Middle East peace activist/bridge builder. His title is “Rodef Shalom”, or Jewish peacemaker ’pursuer of peace’. The Director of the Abrahamic Reunion in the Holy Land, Eliyahu regularly organizes events bringing together Israelis and Palestinians in shared prayers for peace.

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Pop Mybarnj

A community cultural adviser, Pop Mybarnj works with Lewis Walker for a re-declaration of the Sovereignty of the Bunjalung Nation, the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, Australia.

Patrick Oetterli

A singer, conductor, voice teacher, musicologist and manager of secular and spiritual musical events– opera and recital,
choral and chamber music, medieval to contemporary– Oetterli has conducted the Solothurner Vokalisten– Swiss Chamber Choir since 2001 with a preference for non-mainstream repertoire.

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Joseph Prabhu

JOSEPH PRABHU is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and Trustee Emeritus of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is active as teacher, author, public speaker and peace activist.

Deva Premal


A musician known for her meditative spiritual music, Deva Premal sets ancient Buddhist and Sanskrit mantras into atmospheric contemporary arrangements. Together with her life partner Miten and Nepalese flautist Manose, Premal provides her meditative music to audiences through chant concerts and creative retreats.

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Uncle Bob Randall

BOB RANDALL (c.1934 – 2015) was a Yankunytjatjara Elder and a traditional owner of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Throughout his life, Bob worked as a teacher and leader for Aboriginal land rights, education, community development and cultural awareness. Author of four books, including his autobiography, Songman, Randall’s 1970 song, My Brown Skin Baby They Take Him Away, is described as an anthem for the ‘Stolen Generations’.
In 2006, he co-produced the film Kanyini, winner of the 2006 Discovery Channel Best Documentary Award and voted Best Documentary at the London Australian Film Festival 2007.

Chip Richards

An Author, Holistic Coach and multi-medium Creative Artist, Richards co-founded Peace in the Water in 2005.

Peace in the Water is a global movement to bring into reality the vision of peace and protection for dolphins, whales and all marine life, fostering a global campaign on behalf of our living Planet.

 

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Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami

A monk and steward of Saiva Siddhanta Church and Himalayan Academy in Kauai, Hawaii, Paramacharya is editor-in-chief of Hinduism Today magazine and other publications, senior counselor to the monastic community and overseer of global relationships with other Hindu organizations and interfaith forums.

Alex Shapiro


An acoustic and electroacoustic composer known for her lyricism and drama, her chamber music and wind band works are heard daily in concerts and broadcasts across the U.S. and internationally.
Alex lives on Washington State’s remote San Juan Island, and when not composing, she can be found communing with the sea life.

Alex is a speaker and editorial advisor on both our current releases, and her piece “BELOW”, for contrabass flute and Humpback whale, graces the soundtrack of ‘In Search of the Great Song’.

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Bhai Mohinder Singh

BHAI MOHINDER SINGH (b.1939) is a visionary Sikh faith leader furthering interfaith dialogue. He is current chairman and spiritual successor of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, with headquarters in Birmingham, UK.

Prof. Renuka Singh

PROF. RENUKA SINGH works in the field of gender studies through non-governmental organizations and the Women’s Studies Centre, Delhi University. She is the author of The Womb of Mind and Women Reborn, and has compiled and edited many books on Buddhism, including Buddhism: Message of PeaceBecoming Buddha, and Boundless as the Sky.

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Lalita Sivaji

LALITA SIVAJI is a biotech administrator with the Pushpa Mittra Bhargava Foundation, in association with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India. In the film, Lalita conveys the significance of the mother’s lullaby to her child as instrumental in creating a feeling of comfort, trust and fearlessness.

Br. David Steindl-Rast

With studies in art, anthropology, and psychology, Br. David received his PhD from the University of Vienna. In 1953 he joined Mount Saviour Monastery, of which he is a senior member. For decades, Br. David has divided his time between periods of hermit’s life and lecture tours on five continents, with books translated into many languages. At present, Br. David serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living.  Our interview with Br.David in Cortona, Italy, ‘Hymn to the Great Song’, is part of the film, In Search of the Great Song.

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Stephan Thelen

Living and working in Zürich, Switzerland as a musician, composer, producer and mathematician, Thelen plays guitar and electronics in bands and ensembles around Zürich that concentrate on music at the fringes of rock, jazz, experimental and classical. Currently he performs and records with the minimalist band Sonar.

Jane Tiik

JANE TIIK is a mezzo-soprano born in Estonia. In the film ‘In Search of the Great Song’, she performs and speaks about Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. She performs and teaches in Switzerland. 

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Jeffrey Tipp

Entering into Dharma with Lama Tsultrim Allione in 1973, he met Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1978, and founded Blue Heron Zen Community in 1980. Jeffrey is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and lives with his wife Roberta in Sebastopol, California.

Pop Lewis Walker

A Sacred Guardian/Caretaker of the Bunjalung Nation, Australia, Lewis is an artist, dancer and musician, he performs ceremonies and music wherever he is asked. He is a language expert, speaking all thirteen languages of the Bunjalung Nation along with countless other languages of other nations.

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David-Whyte

David Whyte

A poet and lecturer, Whyte says that all of his poetry and philosophy is based on “the conversational nature of reality”.  He brings his poetry and philosophy to large audiences across the globe and consults on organisational leadership models exploring the role of creativity in business.

Gary Zukav

An American spiritual teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times Best Sellers, Gary appeared more than 30 times on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss transformation in human consciousness concepts presented in his book The Seat of the Soul

Gary and his wife Linda Francis are long-time supporters of this work as living ambassadors of the Great Song in everyday life, beautifully expressed at the conclusion of the film.

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What is the Great Song for you?  

Share your words, music and images, adding your contribution to this ongoing conversation. Refresh your spirit and connect with others at ‘The Great Song Cafe’.

Song Without Borders

To contact send email or write:

In USA:
Song Without Borders c/o Michael Stillwater
3 Monroe Parkway Suite P #231
Lake Oswego, OR 97035, USA

In Europe:
Michael Stillwater
Erlenstr. 11
8753 Mollis, Switzerland

Song Without Borders is an inspirational arts education project of
Living Bridges, a 501 (c)3 organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico,
supporting sustainability in healthcare and hospice through education and the arts.

To reach Living Bridges write to:

369 Montezuma Ave. Box 128
Santa Fe NM 87501, USA