Sultans Of String & Dr. Duke Redbird Celebrate Our Mother The Earth

The world music ensemble & the Indigenous elder create an anthem for our world.

Sultans Of String and Dr. Duke Redbird pay tribute to Our Mother The Earth with their new single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Our Mother Earth is the third single off our upcoming Sultans Of String album entitled Walking Through the Fire, the most ambitious and important project of our career — a CD and concert of collaborations with First Nations, Metis and Inuit artists across Turtle Island,” says Sultans Of String violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool. “For this project, we are working with an advisory circle of Indigenous artists including Chippewa/Anishinaabe elder and poet collaborator Dr. Duke Redbird, who says “The place that we have to start is with truth. Reconciliation will come sometime way in the future, perhaps, but right now, truth is where we need to begin the journey with each other. As human beings, we have to acquire that truth.”

Redbird was inspired by the idea that there is no anthem for the Earth. “If people included an anthem to the Earth along with their national anthem at every event, it would serve to acknowledge our identity, values, and sense of pride in the fact that we are all children of the Earth,” he says. With this idea in mind, he wrote the poem Our Mother The Earth:

“A Great Mystery
Created the Universe
And manifested a blue geosphere
A radiant planet
The marvelous Earth
The Mother who gave us birth
The genesis of all, we hold dear
With all the billions of stars in space
Only the Earth could create.
The perfect human birthing place
A little sphere of cosmic dust
Was the spark of spirit given to us … ”

“We can use our imaginations, innovation, creativity, and capacity to evolve in a cooperative way with nature, in a symbiotic relationship,” he says. “The definition of love is when another entity’s happiness is essential to our own. Right now, the happiness of the Earth is not essential to those industries that are exploiting her resources purely for profit. When we realize that we, as humans, are born fully integrated with the spirit of the Earth … we will replace exploiting with exploring and begin to truly love her.”

Our Mother The Earth was co-produced by McKhool, Grammy-winning engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, and guitarist Kevin Laliberté. The bed tracks were recorded on Six Nations land at the Indigenous-owned Jukasa Studios, a multi-million-dollar studio created for world class and developing artists to make music in surroundings rich in spirit and tradition.

Equally at home in a concert hall, folk and jazz club or festival setting, three-time Juno nominees Sultans Of String have played Birdland in New York, Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and London’s Trafalgar Square, among countless venues. They have performed with symphony orchestras, played live on radio in Canada, U.S. and the U.K., and collaborated with Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains, Sweet Honey in The Rock, Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Yasmin Levy, Béla Fleck, Crystal Shawanda and more.

Watch the video for Our Mother The Earth above, hear more from Sultans of String below, and find them at their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.