On 12th January 2010, at 4.53pm local time a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It entrenched poverty, making over a million people homeless, as well as claiming more than 200,000 lives. Many people across the world responded to the disaster with thoughts, prayers, money.
Says Paul, “I remember making breakfast on the morning after the earthquake hit. I had the radio on and the news was breaking. The good night’s sleep I’d had in my comfortable bed was hard to reconcile with what had just happened in Haiti.”
This juxtaposition was to prove the spark for the song “While we sleep tonight”, which explores the issues of suffering in the world.
Paul comments “At times like this, there are lots of questions, but not a lot of answers. I certainly don’t have them, but something in me wanted to respond.”
The song is taken from Paul’s recent album of the same name, and is probably one of the most emotional moments on the record. The beauty of the music provides an atmospheric backdrop to some of Paul’s most thoughtful and poetic lyrics to date.
A few months after the album was released, Paul heard about an exhibition by Sheffield based photographer, Richard Hanson, of images taken in the aftermath of the quake in Haiti. The exhibition was held in conjunction with Tearfund, who commissioned the photos.
“I remember wandering around the gallery space, looking at these stunning images, reading the stories of the subjects. I love the way Richard’s pictures focus on people – their stories of pain, loss, resilience and hope are written on their faces.”
Tearfund and Richard kindly gave permission for their images to be used in the stunning video to accompany the song, which can be viewed on Paul’s website (paulbellmusic.com
Proceeds from the single were be donated to the work of Tearfund.
NOTE: This track is no longer available for download, but is available on the album of the same name. If you want to support the work of Tearfund, I recommend you do this directly on their website www.tearfund.org
released 12 January 2012
Produced by Paul Bell and Phil Baggaley
Mixed by Rob Bullock, assisted by Phil Baggaley
Mastered by Nigel Palmer at Lowland Masters
Cover photo ©Richard Hanson/Tearfund.