Morayshire hosted its own version of the United Nations on Saturday, 29th June, when the Moray World Music Network, in cooperation with the Universal Hall Arts and Conference Centre, staged its second World Music Day.
A day of workshops covering a diversity of activities from belly dancing to the use of sound to change consciousness, climaxed in an evening performance with 200 people taking part in an exuberant expression of the vibrancy and versatility of world music, dance and song.
The event further grounded the creative vision of local Scot, Dave Martin, who, with other local musicians, pioneered the first World Music Day funded by the Moray Council Arts Development, in March 2002. This time, again helped by Moray Council, Dave collaborated with local community artist Kate O’Connell, who explained, “We want to get everyone together to have a good time, with no boundaries, and to enjoy the incredible local and international talent living in this area.”
This was an exhilarating fusion of cultures and rhythms – South African and gospel singing, bluegrass lapslide guitar, Greek and Balkan song, Middle Eastern, African and Latin drumming, Celtic song and a ‘scratch’ band.
And there were no boundaries – a Scot played the Egyptian tabla, an Englishman played the Indian sitar, another, the didgeridoo. South African and Spanish women belly danced to a pulsing mix of fiddle, Irish pipes, Egyptian tabla and Egyptian duff and, wonderfully, arriving unexpectedly was a dynamic Polish singer and fiddler to fire us with the power of wild, gypsy music.
The audience took to the floor after the interval and danced with irrepressible energy, in response to the richness of the beats and rhythms offered to them. It was a most joyous way to promote goodwill and world peace – a celebration of individual cultures and also an acknowledgement that each of these voices and rhythms can be appreciated by each one of us.
This richness will continue on 6th July, for one week, when the Findhorn Foundation hosts its famous yearly Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song attracting people from all over the world to dance, sing and make music together in the spirit of joy and unity.
For more info about the upcoming Dance Festival: www.findhorn.org/events/workshops/dancefestival.html