2012 has been an incredible year for the development of our music empowerment project Studio-Live. Here we give you a summary of what we've been up to so far!
February-March 2012 – The Studio-Live team, made up this time of Danielle and Violeta Ruano (Sandblast), spent two weeks in the camps. We participated in Run the Sahara 2012 as part of the UK group who were raising funds for Studio-Live. The trip included a cultural day organized by Sandblast where all the runners could enjoy learning about Saharawi traditions and music with fantastic group Salwan. We also interviewed different musicians across generations about their ideas, dreams and aspirations, discussing Studio-Live and the development of Saharawi music in the near future with them, and gaining a much better idea on the best way for them to take full advantage of the project. We visited the recently inaugurated ENAMUS and learned about the work they plan to develop there. Music director Leily and coordinator Lebsir introduced us to the students and showed us the facilities, including the space where the recording studio is being set up. Sandblast also provided the means to install Internet in the school and discussed possibilities for a more reliable source of energy than the current generator.
April 2012 – The first training workshop of sound engineering for live concerts was led by sound engineer Giancarlo Cossu. For 10 days, 6 Saharawi students with almost no previous knowledge about sound engineering learned the basics about it and were trained on how to use and maintain the equipment, how to set it up before a concert and how to take it down afterwards. At the end, each of them got a Studio-Live certificate for the course.
June 6, 2012 – Sahara Nights. The Roundhouse Studio-Theatre was filled to the brim for the London multi-arts launch of Studio-Live. Organised in collaboration with Fairtunes andLyrix Organix and partially funded by Arts Council and Refugee Radio, the event brought the house down with an array of film, photography, short story presentations and wonderful music to provide rich glimpses of the Saharawi world, culture and plight. The launch was interlaced with fantastic first-class performances from a wide range of international artists, such as Guinenan kora player Mosi Conde, British-Congolese band Ruby and the Vines, Venezuelan Luzmira Zerpa and her band Family Atlantica, British-Nigerian poet Inua Ellams, Scottish violinist Lizzie Ogle and Hispano-Saharawi singer and guitarist Suilma Aali. The evening culminated with a stellar performance from Saharawi singer and percussionist Aziza Brahim, who was presenting her new albumMabruk, inspired by her poetess grandmother Lkhadra Mabruk. Afterwards, all the musicians joined her onstage, together with Algerian friends Karim Dellali, Yazid Fentaziand Redha Boudbagh, for the mother of all jams, showing how music can launch a powerful message of peace and hope. READ REVIEW.
November-December 2012 – A Studio-Live delegation, coordinated by Danielle Smith and Violeta Ruano, travelled to the camps for two weeks with a multi-stranded agenda that included:
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