Thursday, April 24, 2014

West - Eastern Divan Orchestra

West - Eastern Divan Orchestra 

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a youth orchestra, ages range from 15-35, in which players from both Israeli and Arab nations come together to form a very interesting human project.  In 1999, Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said had the idea to create the orchestra.  The orchestra would and still does rehears outside of Israel and Palestine in places such as Germany and now Spain.  

This orchestra is all about different people of different cultures coming together in this sort of human project of music.  The players have a strong curiosity to meet each other while putting all politics aside. They listen to each other and search for a strong musical consensus.  Obviously, they players do have heated discussions about their political views and over who is entitled to live on the holy land, but one thing they all do agree on is that military action is not a solution.  This isn't a fight between two nations, it's a fight between two peoples who are deeply convinced about their own views.

So, what an interesting set up for a great orchestra, two kinds of people that hate one another, but can get together in an exclusive musical way and create amazing music.  As the players accept these differences and they put compromises behind them,  An orchestra gives them the right all together, as a unit to create together.  This orchestra isn't quite the emblem of peace, nor do they strive to ever get along, but rather it is an example of how we can get along.  The two sides are actively disagreeing and hating one another, but not killing each other.  This human orchestral experiment shows how two opposite sides can cope with one another.

I cannot imagine disagreeing with some of my ensemble members on that deep of a political level, whereas our peoples are killing each other the same time we are rehearsing Beethoven.  This is a great step towards human acceptance, not to much compromise, but acceptance.  

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