To celebrate International Day of Peace, Blaine composer and flutist Shere Lowe collaborated with 15 other global musicians to release the charity album “Keys for Peace.”
Lowe, who performs under the name Shere Fraser, belongs to the Contemporary Classical Collective (CCC), a group of global musicians that started as a Facebook group in early 2021.
The collective, which now includes over 170 artists, was originally intended to offer musicians an online space to share their work and consider new ideas.
As the number of members grew, so did the overall goal, Lowe said.
“The Contemporary Classic Collective started out as something to help us as musicians, but now we are going to take it and help others,” she said.
After a lengthy vetting process, the collective decided to dedicate proceeds from the album to the humanitarian organization SOS Enfants, a French organization with a focus on providing aid to children in impoverished countries.
SOS Enfants’ work includes providing accessible food and education to youths in Haiti, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Keys for Peace” was slated to become available across streaming platforms on Thursday, September 21. The opening track, “The 7 Colors of a Rainbow” was contributed by Lowe, who was inspired by the human ability to find hope after life’s stormiest moments.
“When it has just finished raining and it’s been wet and miserable, and you’re gloomy, then you see this rainbow and the sun shining on the water droplets in the sky,” she said. “It brings a feeling of hope and joy.”
French composer Amaury Laurent Bernier created the orchestration around Lowe’s flute melody on the track.
Originally surprised and a bit nervous about “The 7 Colors of a Rainbow” opening the album, Lowe now understands the decision.
“It’s got a lot of emotion in it, and the flute is quite dominant,” she said. “It’s sort of like an announcement, and then as you go through the album it’s quite peaceful.”
The instrumental album is free to listen and is available for digital purchase on the CCC’s Bandcamp, bit.ly/3rrQUCR, for $8.67. Those purchasing the album can choose to leave an additional donation.
With a life-long love for music, Lowe started out as a self-taught guitarist. When the time came for her to choose an instrument for the school band, she remembers feeling drawn to the human voice-like nature of the flute. Now, even though she still owns two guitars, the flute remains her instrument of choice.
“Since being very young, music has been an organic experience of finding a place where you can go to escape, explore or get away from pain, suffering or stress,” she said. “Now, what I try to do is provide music for others, to help them feel the same way.”
Lowe enjoys playing a variety of different genres and styles of flute. Her track “Terracotta” features the low, melodic hum of a Native American-style flute, while some of her other tracks feature the Chinese and Japanese flutes.
Her next release, “11:11 a.m.” was composed by fellow CCC member Manuel Galán and features the Spanish guitar. Its release date is set for Friday, October 6.
After participating in multiple collaborative projects for global causes, including raising funds after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lowe said she hopes to get more involved in spreading joy and charitable awareness in the Blaine community.
She plans to start by offering free concerts at L&L Bakery on Peace Portal Drive this holiday season. More of her work is available on Instagram, @Shereflute, and on Spotify as Shere Fraser.
“I’m 67, and as you get older, you tend to narrow things because it’s more comfortable,” Lowe said. “Now, I’m trying to open up more. I’m kind of like, ‘That’s not my comfort zone but it’s okay.’”
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