Monday, 18 July 2016
Search for UK maestro to help create an orchestra in Iraq
Paul Macalindin's book Upbeat (its most powerful message encapsulated in this one well-chosen word) is published on the 18th of August.
If you have a passion for music and music education; if you need to bring people together to collaborate, learn from each other, perform and achieve; if you are simply searching for an engaging, thought provoking and inspiring read: read this book.
Paul takes us on a journey from Europe to Iraq and back again, and on the way he tells us a story that, quite frankly, could not be made up.
Who would think of creating a national youth orchestra in a country which most of us associate with the words 'war zone'? Who would think of championing a national youth orchestra in a country where playing western classical music is often frowned upon and sometimes severely punished?
Paul and the young musicians of Iraq not only thought about it, they did it!
Paul tells us about his journey, both actual and metaphorical, as he banded together with young Iraqi musicians to create an improbable oasis of collaboration and shared purpose amid a desert storm of conflict and everyday violence.
He gives us a front line and vivid account of his set backs and successes, the dark that (eventually) was followed by the light, and as he does so he provides us with a route map, complete with indispensable landmarks and compass headings, that can guide us through the tricky, complex and sometimes dangerous terrain of collaborative working.
And during the journey we hear the travellers' personal stories: their tears and their laughter; their hopes and dreams and sometimes brutal realities; their sacrifices and their successes. Paul gives a very human face to the enduring beauty within the painful tragedies of Iraq.