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Omagh

The PFC crew has always embraced the spontaneous, and our trip to Ireland was just that. On Christmas day of 2008 the crew got on a conference call and decided that we would head to Ireland on New Year’s Day. We came from all corners of the country and met in Atlanta only to discover our flight was delayed. This gave us a great opportunity to discuss our goals for this once in a lifetime trip.

First, we would make our way to Northern Ireland to meet up with Daryl Simpson and the Omagh Community Youth Choir. This was a very exciting opportunity because of the choir’s history and what it represents to the entire planet. Daryl formed the choir after a horrific act of terrorism due to the Protestant / Catholic conflict that has plagued Northern Ireland. The choir was formed to bring the children of both groups together using music as a bridge to allow these kids to see their similarities and ultimately form a bond and connection that could not be broken by social, political, or religious differences. Additionally, the parents of the singers also came together in an arena that allowed them to open up and communicate with one another. Thus the processes of healing, forgiveness, understanding, and collaboration were able to flourish in an environment rich with love, happiness and unity. The result is a much stronger community that can embrace differences and celebrate connections. This was a community we had to meet and a group of singers we had to collaborate with. If music could bring peace to this community then surely it has to power to affect the rest of the planet. They are an ideal group to represent the lyrics of War / No More Trouble.

Second, we would film and record Bono. More about that later!

We arrived in Dublin, rented a car and drove to Omagh. That night we met Daryl and had a great evening of getting to know each other. The next morning we met the choir at the church where they rehearse and headed out to our filming location. This location was very special. Alexandra Anastasia “Sacha” Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn, is a big supporter of the choir and the arts and offered us a house that was built on her property. It was a true retreat constructed of beautiful wood with an amazing skylight in the center nearly 30 feet above. We entered to meet a lively group of teens eager to sing. After a moment of reflection to allow each of us to focus, we set up and began the recording session. It is hard to describe the impact of the moment when the first note was sung. The crew just stood in awe, taking in every note and voice, and looked at each other knowing that we had come to the right place and were about to be a part of something very powerful. We admired the smiles and confidence with which the teens sang and realized at that moment that we were surrounded by the music that had brought peace to this community. We could feel the power within each voice, see the connections between the individuals, and hear the wisdom behind each note. We left that evening knowing that we had filmed and recorded one of the most important group of singers this world has ever heard.



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