Posted by Michael Henstra on Mar 16, 2018
 
 
Music Can Help Us Understand Peace and Conflict
Presented by David LaMotte - Rotary Peace Fellow
 
 
 
 
 
 
David LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker and writer. He has performed over 3000 concerts and released twelve full-length CDs of primarily original music, touring in all of the fifty states, as well as five of the seven continents. The Boston Globe writes that his music "pushes the envelope with challenging lyrics and unusual tunings, but he also pays homage to folk tradition," while BBC Radio Belfast lauds his "charm, stories, humour, insightful songs, sweet voice and dazzling guitar ability."
 
LaMotte suspended his eighteen-year music career at its peak in 2008 to pursue his other primary vocation by accepting a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to study International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. As part of that study, he also spent time in rural Andhra Pradesh, India working with a Gandhian development organization.
 
David has published three books, including two illustrated children's books. The first based on his award-winning children's song SS Bathtub and the second, White Flour, tells the true story of a creative, effective, and whimsical response to a Ku Klux Klan march in Knoxville, Tennessee by a group called the Coup Clutz Clowns. His most recent book, Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, is being used as a textbook in universities in the United States and Australia.
 
The elements of creating music and building peace are often analogous In this 2017 TEDx Asheville talk, LaMotte explores the metaphors associated with making music and shows how they offer framework for understanding peace work. Listening, practice, interrupting the script and striving for harmony (rather than unity) are just a few examples. At the peak of an 18-year career as an internationally-touring musician, David LaMotte quit playing music publicly from 2008-2010 in order to pursue a master's degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution in Australia, accepting a Rotary World Peace Fellowship in order to do so. These days, about half of his work is performing, and the other half is traveling, learning, speaking and leading workshops around the world. LaMotte served on the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Task Group, is a consultant on Peace and Justice issues for the NC Council of Churches, founded the non-profit, PEG Partners, in Guatemala and has written 2 books that address justice and peace work. LaMotte has traveled to conflict zones around the world (Bosnia, Belfast, Bethlehem, etc.) to engage in conflict work, teach, and learn from front line peacemakers.
 
 
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