Israel: Conference about ‘music on troubled soils’



Conference in October about ‘music on troubled soils’

Which role does music play for countries in conflict? Does music have a power to overcome physical or cultural barriers? Such questions will be investigated when musicians, politicians and experts from Europe, the United States and Africa gather in Jerusalem, Israel, on 23-26 October 2008 to discuss the role of music in troubled regions such as Israel, Cyprus and South Africa.

The conference ‘ Music on Troubled Soils’, organised by the European Music Council together with the international section of the Israeli Music Council, will include lectures and discussions, project presentations, workshops and concerts.

As an example of how making music together in a friendly setting can unite a divided people, the “Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra” of Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) will be opening of the conference.

The first session of the conference will feature several successful projects:

Laura Hassler, the director of the organisation “Musicians without Borders”, will report on her daily work with the power of music for reconciliation in the Balkan region;

Marion Haak will present the current music education project of the “Barenboim-Said Foundation” in Israel, and

Nenad Bogdanovic of the Jeunesse Musicales Cyprus will introduce “Ethno Cyprus”, a project within that youngsters from the six Mediterranean countries Portugal, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus meet during a summer camp to experiment with their traditional melodies and rhythms. He will also report on cooperative projects between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

The following sessions of the conference will focus on education, cultural politics, and the use of media in these troubled regions. Representatives from various media bodies such as the Israeli Haaretz magazine, the IDF Radio Station, the “Society for Preservation of Film Music” as well as the international department of the Sony Company will discuss the challenges of music broadcasting.

A debate on the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue” will close the event, inspired by the experience of Marco Abbondanza, director of the International Music and Theatre Festival Sete Sóis Sete Luas. Additional concerts and short excursions to other venues and districts of East Jerusalem will enrich the diverse programme.

The organisers hope that this conference can become a unique encounter for all who wish to contribute to the well being of people around the world by using music as a tool and means to ease pain, bridge gaps and reinforce self-dignity, intercultural understanding and peace.

For more detailed information about the conference programme and the registration for your participation, visit the EMC website:

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