To commemorate the International Day of Peace, esteemed Blaine composer and flutist Shere Lowe, known professionally as Shere Fraser, has embarked on a collaborative musical endeavor alongside 15 other musicians from around the world. Their collective effort has yielded the release of the altruistic album titled “Keys for Peace.”
Shere Lowe is a proud member of the Contemporary Classical Collective (CCC), an international community of musicians that initially sprouted as a Facebook group in early 2021. This collective, now boasting over 170 artists, was initially conceived as a virtual space for musicians to share their creative works and explore fresh musical concepts.
Over time, the CCC’s mission evolved, as Lowe stated, “The Contemporary Classic Collective started out as something to help us as musicians, but now we are going to take it and help others.”
Following a rigorous selection process, the collective decided that the proceeds from “Keys for Peace” would be dedicated to the humanitarian organization SOS Enfants, a French entity focused on providing crucial aid to underprivileged children in various parts of the world, including Haiti, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
SOS Enfants’ mission encompasses ensuring access to essential food and education for youth in these impoverished regions.
“Keys for Peace” was scheduled for release on Thursday, September 21, across multiple streaming platforms. The album’s opening track, “The 7 Colors of a Rainbow,” was a contribution by Shere Lowe herself. This composition was inspired by the innate human capacity to find hope amidst life’s most turbulent storms.
Lowe remarked, “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. It brings a feeling of hope and joy.”
French composer Amaury Laurent Bernier orchestrated Lowe’s enchanting flute melody for the opening track, and while initially surprised and slightly nervous about the honor, Lowe now appreciates the decision, stating, “It’s got a lot of emotion in it, and the flute is quite dominant. It’s sort of like an announcement, and then as you go through the album it’s quite peaceful.”
This instrumental album is available for free listening and can be digitally purchased for $8.67 on the CCC’s Bandcamp page (bit.ly/3rrQUCR). Those who purchase the album also have the option to leave an additional donation.
With an enduring passion for music, Lowe’s journey began as a self-taught guitarist. However, when the time came to choose an instrument for the school band, she was drawn to the flute due to its voice-like qualities. Today, despite owning two guitars, the flute remains her instrument of choice.
Reflecting on her musical journey, Lowe expressed, “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. Now, what I try to do is provide music for others, to help them feel the same way.”
Lowe’s musical versatility shines through as she explores a range of genres and styles with her flute. Tracks like “Terracotta” feature the low, melodic resonance of a Native American-style flute, while others incorporate the sounds of Chinese and Japanese flutes.
Her upcoming release, “11:11 a.m.,” composed by fellow CCC member Manuel Galán, will feature the Spanish guitar and is slated for release on Friday, October 6.
Having actively participated in collaborative projects aimed at global causes, such as raising funds after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lowe now aspires to make a positive impact on the Blaine community by spreading joy and raising charitable awareness. She plans to kickstart her local initiatives by offering free concerts at L&L Bakery on Peace Portal Drive during the upcoming holiday season.
“I’m 67, and as you get older, you tend to narrow things because it’s more comfortable,” Lowe shared. “Now, I’m trying to open up more. I’m kind of like, ‘That’s not my comfort zone but it’s okay.'”