By Eliya Simantov
30.9.10: One of the latest and most exciting developments taking place in our music and arts programs is the Art & Music Fusion Workshop that we initiated at our Cegi School during the last couple of weeks. For the first time, the two creative programs combined forces, and did certainly prove that “the whole was more than just the sum of its parts”.
At the beginning, when I tried to explain the purpose of the workshop to our young music team, it seemed as if they are not really following me. “Is it going to be like a music class?” they asked. “It’s going to be an event in which you will be creating together with other artists” was my reply. The idea was to have our young musicians prepare music for the workshop, and then continue to work on it during the event, while working off other artists, and getting inspired by the artistic environment that will be created around them. During our meeting I gave them a few examples of types of music that could be appropriate for the occasion, and sent them on their way. I decided to let them work on the music independently, to give the necessary freedom to prepare the musical material on their own, and if it will be needed I will be able help them out during the course of the workshop. After all, we wanted it to be a creative process, and not necessarily just a performance.
When I met them at EBPP’s headquarters in Ban, before we went to conduct the workshop up at the Cegi School, I asked Wayan (our Ban-native nineteen year-old musician, composer and music teacher) how he feels about the music they prepared, his answer was “Bagus!” (“Good!”), and from the twinkle in his eyes I sensed that something good is going to happen. We loaded the musical instruments onto EBPP’s Isuzu D-MAX pickup and soon headed off to the village.
When we arrived the students were already in the small and cozy classroom at the Cegi School, preparing for the workshop together with their longtime art teacher Wayan Merta. We set up the instruments quickly, and after a few short words of introduction the musicians went to their places and started to play. Gentle sounds of music spread all around quickly, leaving us all quite spellbound. Soon, children from other classes and from the nearby village came to listen to what was being played, only to be summoned quickly back to class by their surprised teachers (later on, during their break, they came back to witness more of what was happening). First the art students just sat and listened to the music, taking in the stream of musical sounds coming out of our boys’ instruments. After a short while they started working, and went on to fill the blank pages in front of them with color. It was really amazing to see how the music team managed to compose in just a few short days such an accomplished acoustic piece that felt just right for the occasion, and that blended in so perfectly with the surrounding mountainous area and village we were in. By the time the musicians finished their first piece I saw a big smile on their faces. Needless to say that I had a big smile on my face as well! Later on, when I asked Wayan Merta about his feelings during the workshop he said that it was like magic!
Something special happened that day, and we all feel very happy and fortunate for this opportunity to work together in such an inspiring atmosphere, and with such brilliant young artists! As we concluded the workshop we happily commended our art students and musicians on their beautiful work, and expressed our wishes that we will have many more opportunities like this in the future, to continue and develop the creativity, education and lives of the children of Desa Ban in such a meaningful way.