Musical inspiration comes in a variety of ways. For Dr. Mathew Packer, it came from the imprisoned son of a colleague at Mott Community College.
Amir Hekmati was taken prisoner in Iran – accused of being a spy after travelling there to visit his ailing grandmother. His family is now working to get him freed.
Packer, a music professor at Mott, heard about the family’s efforts to free him and created a song called “I WILL FLY” which is being performed and recorded for sale to benefit the Hekmati family on Friday afternoon.
Packer hopes the piece will bring comfort to anyone in distress. “It’s a song that’s kind of written for everybody that struggles with loss of freedom and the many different forms that loss of freedom might take”, he says.
The piece took on a life of its own as it developed. Packer says “it's definitely brought home a sense of community. It's been a lot like a mini-WE ARE THE WORLD type of collaboration. I have just greatly appreciated the opportunity to get to work with many other fine musicians and the way many other fine musicians have rallied around this song and this cause for the Hekmati family.”
The song's production includes contributions from Dr. Bill Withem, assistant music professor; Richard Kerry Thompson, dean of students at Swartz Creek Global Learning Hub; Delaina Oberman, music instructor; music professors Townes Osborn Miller and Mary Procopio; Krista Black, assistant sociology professor; students Bradford Fielder, Jack McDonald, Amy Walker, Dani Nettleton; and Bradley Irvan, MAET instructor.
He provided an early version of the song. Click on the link above. But Packer says this is not the final version that will be performed.
The performance will be at the Tom Bryson Studio on the Terrace Floor of the Mott Memorial Building at the Mott Community College Main Campus.
- Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom