Lokashakti was conceived in 2004 by Will Travers as a way to combine his experience playing music with a persistent drive to promote nonviolence. In gestation since then, the idea was finally delivered in early 2009, when Will came across the word lokashakti while sifting through the political philosophy of Gandhian activists Vinoba Bhave (pictured at right), and Jayaprakash Narayan.
Starting with three musically diverse anti-war songs composed between 2005 and 2009, Will recorded the basic tracks at a practice studio he had rented near Boston’s Fenway Park. Playing all the instruments himself, recording and producing the songs as best he knew how, he finally enlisted Will Quinnell at Sterling Sound in New York to take care of the mastering. In October 2009, Lokashakti’s parent nonprofit organization, Lokashakti Inc., formally came into existence. The songs were eventually released as the Three Stories EP on March 20, 2010, the seventh anniversary of the US invading Iraq – a subject which reverberates throughout the first song, “Spinning Black Gold“.
The occasion also marked the launch of a new record label, Lokashakti Records, operating through the nonprofit organization as another potential means of funding its work. Although since the release of Three Stories efforts have been largely focused on creating the online activist resources now available at Lokashakti.org, the music aspect has not been forgotten. While still searching for other activist-musicians in New York City, Will continues to write protest songs, the most recent being a call to action for the people of Burma.
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