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Description of the project

ORPHEUS XXI
MUSIC FOR LIFE AND DIGNITY

Orpheus, master of musicians, had the power with his singing or his playing, to charm and enchant any living being of this world, humans, nature, animals. Capable to tame the most savage beasts, to reconcile men in conflict, to move hills, and change the flow of the rivers, he goes beyond the singing of the mermaids and allows the ship to go from West to East. Orpheus brings peace, harmony, heals, prophesies.

Just as involved in the valorization of intellectual ancient music as in the one of traditional music from the world and the Mediterranean, awarded several times by different European countries, named “Artist for Peace” by the Unesco, Ambassador of the European Union for an intercultural dialogue, the famous gambiste Jordi Savall, with a humanist and civic point of view, explores the relationship between art and the history of civilizations, crosses and makes cultures meet. He cannot stay indifferent to the migratory waves that Europe knows in the 2010’s. Accompanied by faithful musicians like Waed Bouhassoun and Moslem Rahal, Jordi Savall went to the Calais jungle in 2016, then to the camps of Thessaloniki in Greece. He is shocked by the situation in which the migrants live and decides to come to the rescue of musician refugees. Aware that music cannot solve everything, “it helps however to find a path so life is more humane”.

Around twenty musician refugees and migrants are selected in Europe, Catalonia, France, Norway, Germany, to form an ensemble but also to teach refugee or immigrated children and this way allow to ensure with these young people the musical and cultural transmission of their home country. These musicians are responsible for a memory, holder of these rich musical repertoires, that are today threatened, by war, ethnical or religious intolerance. The traditional instruments, oud, saz, percussions from the Maghreb or the East, nay and duduk, qanun, associate with voices to make this oriental, Christian and Jewish music resonate, with for a common denominator emotion, but also intercultural dialogue.

In this ensemble of musicians, Kurdish, Syrian, Bengali, Sudanese, Turkish, Moroccan, Afghan, Armenian, no one has the right to dominate the others. Despite the languages and the different repertoires, the music speaks of common themes that join together, the cultures feed with the contact of others.

Today, Orpheus XXI was able to perform in Catalonia, France, Norway, Morocco (Festival des Suds in Arles, Musique et Histoire de Fontfroide, Les Traversées de Noirlac, Festival des Musiques Sacrées of Fès, Nuits Blanches in Paris, Festival Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, Festival Connexions of Barcelona, Philharmonie de Paris…)

« One of the most tragic defaults of humankind is its important capacity for amnesia, that is why we want to offer you this “concert against oblivion”, convinced that thanks to the commitment and the art of all these musicians, the strength of the emotion and beauty of these songs at the same time ancient and very current, will make us – like Orpheus’ singing – more sensitive and more generously united. » Jordi Savall

OUR OBJECTIVES

1

Enable refugee children to express themselves and communicate through music with people that do not speak their maternal language and have other cultural references

2

Help refugee children become aware that despite the wars and exiles they went through, music is a vector for understanding their past which will help them grow as citizens

3

Offer professional insertion opportunities to young refugee musicians

4

Give refugees an opportunity to rediscover the formal and traditional music of their own country, then share this as widely as possible with Europeans in order to offer the latter a chance to discover and understand the refugee population

5

Support the propagation of this collaborative and intercultural work during a European tour