In 2005, Martin and Rebekah Neil recorded in their rural community in central Tanzania. “Sing to the Well” brings their story into your home so that you may experience the musical atmosphere and spirit of hope.
“With the sound of beating drums and chanting voices all around, the small African compound had come to life, illuminated by the light of a new moon. As the heat of the day subsided, the cool breeze of the evening brought renewed energy into village life. Scraping, sliding sounds of dancing feet against the red ochre coloured earth floor, swished in time with the hourglass shaped percussive instruments, enticing everyone into the intoxicating rhythm. No one could keep still, even a feeding mother sitting cross-legged swayed in time, picking out vocal harmonies or answering sung phrases, seemingly oblivious to the clinging child at her breast.
As we sat entranced by the spontaneous nature of this musical explosion the day to day survival of these Tanzanians had been forgotten. Patiently waiting for the rains, their crops were slowly but surely withering under the brutal heat of an East African sun. Yet, there was hope in the air, and this evening it had come, as it often did, beginning with the sound of a drum, coaxing us to dream of a new day.”
Martin and Rebekah Neil ….. extract from report after our first visit in February 2003.
A Voices from the Nations production.
Recorded on location in the village of Mnase, Tanzania
Recorded, edited and produced by Martin Neil
Mixed by Neil Costello at ICC studios Eastbourne, UK
Tracks 1,8,9,13,17 and extra DVD songs
Mixed by Martyn McQuade at Oceanview Recording Studio East Lothian, Scotland.
Mastered by Jon Blamire at Digital AudioPhotography Rebekah Neil
Video clips Jeff and Zach Hobbie
Cover Design Andy Colthart
DVD editing and production Jerry CurdSpecial thanks to the Chairman, elders and people of Mnase. To all singers, musicians and dancers
The wonderful hospitality of Julias and Clen Galundo
To Seth Gidiony without whom, none of this would have happened. Elisha Walimu, for helping us with translations. Jeff, Lori, Isak, Zach, and Chloe Hobbie,
who first invited us out to Tanzania, and have been partners in this adventure, you guys are amazing.We would also like to offer our sincere thanks to all those who contributed in so many other ways and made this project a reality Kevin and Shelly Prosch and More Church, Amarillo, TX. Loren and Christine Johnson, David and Ann Clark, CA Spring Harvest, UK for equipment grant.
Mike Spratt at Wigwam, thanks for lending us the microphones. All our friends at the Northumbria Community.