Music for human rights continues its project in Portugal this June, and the good people from Farra Fanfarra gave us the best hospitality we could have ever imagined. In Sintra, everything seems at least a little bit magical. Of course, the people are as pleasant as they could be, but the microclimate makes this almost fairytale-like atmosphere. You could see the sunset on one side and a cloudy and foggy mountain on the other side of the horizon. Step into the shadows, and the cold, windy breeze will make you chill, but if you stepped one meter into the sun, you will feel its heat.
This project had one mission, and now that the last days are closing in, you can finally see the last pieces of the puzzle falling into place to form this amazing and colorful pallet of songs, instruments, lyrics and vocals. We are almost done now, making albums to use music as a tool, teaching young adults, teenagers and kids about the importance of human rights. Utilizing this instrument that our hard-working methodology team made, teachers of all kinds can, through fun, emotional and truly beautiful music, teach younglings about one of the essential topics in this world. And why not? When you have talented and extraordinary musicians like the people that came together in Portugal. Why not make this beautiful little thing that can influence and guide in such an approachable and fun way.
The feeling you have in Sintra is almost mystical. This little place hidden in the fogs, just a little bit colder than the rest of its area, is hiding things of most peculiar beauty. Colorful flowers and plants of all types. Even more colorful people and characters walk around, greeting you with smiles and warmness behind their eyes. If you would go to the ocean side, where I am writing this right now, you could see the beauty of the sea, crashing with the cliffs. If you would look carefully, it can seem that the ocean has a life of its own. Waves are moving and crashing and twisting and dancing in the wind. I suppose this is the reason why there is such a pleasant and inspiring feeling between us here. Our musicians, my dear friends, are singing and playing the songs they made in every language we have. When I write here, I usually get lost in the music of the same song, being repeated in Serbian, German, Italian or Portuguese. And those slight differences in pronunciation, rhythm and tone are the ones that truly underline the charming and elegant nature of the idea behind this project.
And the music never stops. At night we had jam sessions where people would just take an instrument, no matter what it was, and would merge and blend it into the richness of sounds of the trumpet’s sound. Ocassinaly as I was watching them, I could see brief glimpses of almost hypnotic immersion, where they would, exactly like the ocean and the wind of Sintra, move on the stage, wildly, gently, passionately and lovingly forming this fantastical theatre before your eyes. That theatre can drown you in. You could almost see the sounds. If you would look to the right, you could see eyes closed behind a brass trumpet. Or wavey movement of some golden locks of hair following the rhythm. That’s what this project is all about. That same energy, love and passion, completely naturally, musicians pass down to everyone and everything around them. Music doesn’t stop at night when we quietly play the acoustic guitar near the woods of Farra Fanfarra headquarters. Or when I hear Sarah or Victor humming, passing by. You can see it one day after the next when we walk or talk. The humming, the head nodding, hand-clapping and plates clacking. The music is everywhere here in the heart of Sintra. And the best bits are being filtrated for these albums full of songs and emotions. Most nights, you just don’t want to go, even if your eyelids are slowly falling and the wind is telling you to. And as this project is slowly coming to a close, and the songs are being polished to see the light of day, I can’t but be just a little bit melancholic to leave this magical place. This land where everything can stop in a heartbeat. The problems, the headaches, the worries. Where the music flows as far as you can see, and friendships are formed and strengthened in front of your eyes. I look forward to hearing the songs again, and I’m sure they will make a great deal of change.
What else is there to say about Sintra? Its beauty will stay here, and I hope I see it again soon. As for the astounding people in this project, be sure to know that your beautiful energy and kindness will stay with me forever. Music for human rights will continue in Berlin this summer, and the beauty of music and people will then transfer there. In a new light, under different conditions, but with kind hearts full of rhythm. Forever.
See you soon, my friends.
The project Music For Human Rights s co-founded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union – EU.
European Commission is not responsible for any upload content. Such content represents the view of its author only.
Thanks to JUGEND für Europe for cooperation.
Written by Marko Macanović