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First Edition 3 May till 2nd of June 2023

The racism – Necessary historical aspect

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake's order to vacate a row of four seats in the "colored" section in favor of a white passenger, once the "white" section was filled.

Park, the most famous “no” in contemporary history, was considered one of the most important drivers of events behind the changes to combat racism in Western societies, which she sees as more modern and civilized than others. Park's refusal to get off the bus was perhaps the loudest cry in the face of racism, which soon resonated and extended to many social aspects that contributed to raising social equality between whites and blacks in the societies of the United States of America, which were replete with racist laws against blacks!


DNA and change the equation

What is the relationship between DNA and racism?! We could say that DNA was the Straw that broke the camel's back. With the analysis of the DNA of many races and nationalities, researchers found that many people trace their ancestry and roots to a completely different race than they thought, and perhaps their DNA indicates that their roots go back to human groups that they have always fought and thought of with contempt.

Perhaps Hitler is considered one of the most prominent racist names in human history, who was known during his bloody life for his massacres against all what he called the lower races of the German race, such as Africans, the elderly, Jews, people with special needs and others.

"Nazi leader Adolf Hitler possibly had Jews as well as African ancestors - communities whom he had pledged to exterminate, new DNA tests have revealed."[1] This based on the daily express newspaper in London 2010.

Opening the door to researching the DNA origins of many celebrities, and the two elements contributed greatly to changing the general view that racism is an innate feeling left with humans, especially when knowing that a person himself may return his nucleic acids to other origins.

Music was the only survivor!

When it comes to fun and music, all scales are reversed. Then racism escapes behind the sun. History tells us about musical instruments that moved between warring countries and societies without any racial accountability. For example, the oud instrument that was known to the Arabs (although its origins were not due to them) was transferred during their stay in Spain to their enemies and was developed little by little to become the lute instrument. As for the guitar, references say that it was also transferred with the Arabs, who took it from the Babylonians to Spain, and remained there with the Morsin, who transferred it to the Spanish people, who made through it an integrated musical form what we call today flamenco music.

The Indian drum has a great influence on the Arabic drum. The Indonesian and Afghan rebab had a connection with the Arab rebab, which in turn contributed to the formation of the violin. As for recently, no city in the Arab or Eastern world is devoid of Western piano or drums after being transferred to the Arab world during the 20th century.

It is not surprising that, historically, music and instruments have escaped the heat of racial conflict. In the entertainment industry, friends and foes sit in one trench to watch the show.


What is DNA_MUSIC Project?

The DNA project is an intercultural project which aims to make cultural exchange between musicians  from several regions in the world who live in the NRW. The musicians will work together to musically promote concepts, stories or even figures, which clearly proved during the history that genders, colors, religions, national, ethnicity have nothing to do with the music development. But on the other side, they were able to drive the music scene only by cooperating between all if them. For example, We will never be able to categories the Jazz music as a music which was developed by one ethnicity, rather it was been created and improved by many civilizations during the last century till now.

The DNA_Music project will make its visibility through 3 activities:

  1. 3 Interactive workshops under the name (Binaries EAST_WEST): The workshops will have 2 musicians from 2 professional musicians from 2 different culture but they have similarities in some points. For example: Oud and Lute / Ney and Flute / Qanun and Harp Violin and Kamancheh …etc.,  The two musicians are going to introduce their instruments to the audience and explain the historical development. This will help us more to see the differences between two cultures. The workshops will be targeting music students in the music school, music students in the colleges, singers … and more.

  2. 3 days of rehearsals and intarctive works to create a final concert for the project.

  3. 1 concert at the end . Regarding the concert, we have to find every year one project which can show always the differences between the cultures. For 2023, we decided to present music about the Life of (Leo Africanus). The concert will have a place on the 1st of June in the Orchesterzentrum NRW Dortmund. 


Who will be participating in 2023?

  • Damla Aydın : Cello (Turkey)

  • Rimonda Naanaa : Qanun (Syria/ Germany )

  • Simon Tressin : Oriental percussion, Indian Tabla (Bulgaria)

  • Marcus Ottschofski:  Kora  (Germany)

  • Dominika Maria : Oud (Pollen, Germany)

  • Badee Al-Hindi : Violin (Syria)

  • Ronas Sheikhmous : Ney, Duduk and Saz (Kurdistan)

  • Rebal Alkhodari : Singer, composer and Project director (Germany / Syria)

  • Orpheus NRW choir (32 singers from Iran, Syria)

  • Amaan choir  (24 members from Jordan)

The project founders & Partners:

  • Orpheus NRW : Orpheus is a group of musicians and singers which have been founded on 2018 and working under the umbrella of the Vokalmusikzentrum NRW.

  • Vokalmusikzentrum NRW ( Sponsoring, Rehearsal rooms)

  •  Institute for European Music Anthropology - Cologne University (Advices and support in the historical researches)

  • Orchesterzentrum | NRW : Concert hall (organized by the Vokalmusikzentrum)

  • The music school of Dortmund (Dortmund Musik)

  • Landesmusikrat NRW 

  • Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen



Process & timeline:

  • On early March 2023, All professional singers will be meeting by zoom. The main aim of the meeting is to discuss the topic of the DNA-Music concert 2023. The philosophy of the project as well as the goals are clear but they musicians need to agree on the first concept and the musical pieces which they will work on it. The project director will give some suggestions as draft for the project. This draft will be discussed and improved during the meeting, until an idea of the project will become clearer. At the moment, The Project leader has suggested 4  topics for the concert which are  (Leo Africanus, Ibn Battuta journey, The old Andalusia and the journey of Jesus) . All these topics will be discussed deeply in the meeting to find the right one for 2023. 

  • On mid-March, The Orpheus NRW in cooperation with the Vokalmusikzentrum NRW will be announcing an open call for all singers who like to join the project.

  • On Mid-April, all scores, texts, audios will be sent to the participants in order to be prepared before the rehearsals. Meanwhile, all reservations will be made for singers who live outside Dortmund.

  • 1st and 8th May: intercultural seminars via zoom with all participants and professionals aim to explain to them the musical pieces and why they has been chosen for DNA Music project.

  • 30-31 May 2022 : All participants arrive to Dortmund and rehearse in the Vokalmusikzentrum with the professional musicians.

  • 1st. June 2022: DNA Music concert 2023 in the Orchesterzentrum _ Dortmund in cooperation with the Vokalmusikzentrum.


What are we looking for after this project?

with this edition we want to establish our Festival (DNA)  in 2024 which will focus on world music as a tool to fight against racism and encouraging the socity to be open for the coming era of music. 


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