Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest in Burma today! As you know, Damien has been a very active supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi, since his visit to refugee camps in Burma in 2004 with fellow musician Ani DiFranco. In 2005, Damien spoke about this trip and the song he released in his honour to Hot Press
“I was quite impacted by the whole Burma experience,” toys Rice, “so when the US Campaign Far Burma asked me would I be interestested in doing a show in New York with Ani Di Franco and David Byrne, in aid of Aung San SUM Kyi, I said yeah, absolutely. But they had to pull out, so it looked like I was going to be doing the show on my own, which I was fine with. But then I asked the campaign, why am I doing this show? If it was to make money, I’d rather just give the money …
“They said that creating awareness was more important just then. So lashed, what do you think is the most powerful way for me to do that? And they said, you could write a song far Suu Kyi. That’s what Lisa Hannigan and I did with ‘Unplayed Piano’.
“I wanted the sang to be universal, personal, and to come from a human and emotional, not a political, point of view. I wanted it to be an expression of loss, but with a huge amount of hope in that loss.
“Suu Kyi has so much potential that just hasn’t been realised. The majority of people in Burma want her as their leader. She seems like somebody that the world could benefit from, if she were let out. And the has asked people outside Burma, ‘Please, use your liberty ta promote ours’.
“I see it on a very simple level. The country asked for this woman and the army didn’t allow it. I don’t think that should be happening. I’m excited, because I feel there’s a potential solution, and Suu Kyi is it. She’s the unplayed piano.”
Congratulations to everyone who’s been involved in the campaign for her release!