World music master Piers Faccini couldn’t have picked a better time to release his new album, I Dreamed an Island, which celebrates cultural diversity in a time of increasing intolerance around the world. It’s a noble aim for sure. Faccini did his historical research as he wanted to based his new album around the idea of an island where a multicultural people live in harmony. So, he ended up choosing 12th Century Sicily as it was a decidedly metropolitan place where the Western, Arabic and Byzantine worlds all came together.
That said, this new set of 10 songs from Faccini is thoroughly contemporary as he blends the sounds of those historic empires with lyrics that address today’s most potent issues. “Bring Down the Wall” doesn’t refer to the Berlin Wall, but to the nativist campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump and his sad notion of building a wall along the Mexican border. Whereas “Drone” looks at the tragic aftermath of a drone strike in a Syrian town.
Meanwhile Faccini’s voice enchants, his lyrics engage us and his meticulously composed music lifts our hearts. I Dreamed an Island releases this Friday, October 21st via Six Degrees Records.
Faccini says, “I’ve always been fascinated by the Mediterranean and its rich cultural traditions, spanning Europe and Africa, as well as the Greek, Latin, and Arab worlds. My own genealogy and story are mirrored in the region’s history as well as in the countless paths that pilgrims, travelers and migrants travelled along for centuries.
“Appalled by the increasingly sectarian and divisive politics spreading across the world, I Dreamed an Island was inspired by a unique moment in Mediterranean and European history when 12th century Sicily, was a haven of tolerance and co-habitation between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Making this album was a way for me to converse with my ancestry and to build a bridge between past and present.”