The Time Is Ripe, by Island Seeds
Recording Artist: Island Seeds
Released by: Home for Cooperation
Release date: 21/06/2020
Publicist: Louvana Records
The song is now available on all music platforms!
About Time Is Ripe!
Life in Cyprus where strict lockdown measures have blocked all checkpoint crossings between Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking Cypriots, the island’s two largest populations, for the first time since the historic crossing point openings in 2003, saw a supergroup of the island’s musicians join forces. The result is a song that drives the message home that no amount of divisive politics will stop the two communities from re-uniting. Recorded by Island Seeds, a collective of nearly 40 musicians from across the divide, ‘The Time Is Ripe’ sees the troupe of artists sing their invitation to the world of united cooperation manifested.
The song’s music and trilingual lyrics in English, Cypriot-Greek and Cypriot-Turkish were written by songwriter Lefteris Moumtzis, musician/poet Vassilis Philippou and poet Gürgenç Korkmazel. The release comes with a music video created by Antonis Pouliasis depicting scenes of the Island Seeds artists recording their parts both in studio and from their homes in Cyprus, Germany, the UK, Greece, Canada and the United States. The Island Seeds collective sprouted from the music scene promoted through the United by Sounds programme by Home For Cooperation, a community centre situated in the demilitarized UN Buffer Zone in the island’s capital which has been divided for over forty years. Promoting nights such as Thursday Lives, Rooftop Thursdays and the Home Café Concerts, Home for Cooperation hosts concerts involving musicians from both communities. It has not only been the meeting point for multiple Cypriot artists, but has prompted venues throughout the island to programme musicians from both sides of the divide. In fact, these very artists are part of a new generation of emerging Cypriot artists that view their music scene and its innate excitement surrounding co-creation as a response to what is known as the ‘Cyprus Problem’. Recently celebrating its ninth anniversary, Home For Cooperation is dedicated to peacebuilding and intercultural exchange, and is the embodiment of intercommunal collaboration.
Moumtzis, who has been acting as the project coordinator for the community centre’s music programmes, used his own experiences of hosting cooperations between artists of the two communities as lyrical inspiration. The lockdown all the more elevated his desire for unity and the importance of human interaction: “The title conveys that after all these years of pain, the time is ripe to heal this collective wound and come together as humans to coexist and co-create”. Korkmazel adds, “To speed up the process of knocking down the wall and to strengthen the bond between the communities we first need to mix! We need to write poems, sing songs, drink and eat together, dance, make love.”
The song is a fresh take on Cyprus’ musical landscape: traditional celebratory dance rhythms meet funky grooves, spoken-word folk poetry interlace with soulful vocal runs, and quarter-tone saz hooks ride through electric guitar comps. With a multitude of genres having been promoted at Home for Cooperation’s events, the Island Seeds artists each bring their own touch to ‘The Time Is Ripe’ – whether that be revitalised Cypriot folk practices, jazzy synth solos or psychedelic rock riffs. They are an amalgamation that mirrors Cyprus’ present-day music culture: open-minded, eclectic, and not bound in purist agendas. Many Island Seeds artists similarly reflect the number of ethnic communities such as musicians of Palestinian, Lebanese and Armenian descent that have long comprised Cyprus’ identity.
For me, one of the most beautiful feelings is for people to express their love through art together - whether they know each other or not! With the lyrics and music that I have written, I want to turn each person’s gaze towards nature, where it’s much more apparent that the symbiosis of all creatures is harmonious, both within joy and within pain. "Let us learn from the trees: Spread our branches out and within our embrace, people will make peace,” states Vassilis Philippou.
In the end, ‘The Time Is Ripe’ champions synergy between Cyprus’ communities, just as their musical and cultural tradition has embodied throughout the island's history. The lyrics lay out their proposition in simple terms: Let’s bring our voices together. No theatrical aggression; no babbling academia. Just a warm-hearted celebration of harmony and co-creation.
About United by Sound Program
United by Sound is a local project that uses music for peacebuilding and social change. We use music as a tool to build connections, foster empathy and shape communities. Music is a powerful tool that can influence behavior, shape culture and strengthen social bonds. We use music as a means to address the needs of societies divided and affected by conflict. Musicians of Cyprus live concerts impact local young people and musicians through music.
To use the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and overcome the long-lasting effects of division.
To inspire people across the divide to engage.
The broad objectives of the project are to,
connect music professionals across the divide with viable opportunities locally and beyond their boarders;
enhance the creative potential of focus communities’ music sectors by raising awareness of their works;
foster the sharing of knowledge and transfer of skills among music sectors and the professionals who operate in them;
facilitate the establishment of sustainable local structures capable of pursuing the aspirations of the project
In carrying out these objectives H4C will,
provide workshop and space to music professionals;
discover new talent and strive to promote it to a wider audience;
provide financial support for artists to perform locally
promote exchange and collaboration among musicians in the communities
promote and strive to create audiences for musical works from those communities.