An Artist’s Duty is to Reflect The Times. | 艺术家的责任是影射时代

An Artist’s Duty is to Reflect The Times. | 艺术家的责任是影射时代

Nina Simone’s words posit an important statement for us to consider, that artists have a duty or responsibility to reflect the times. This statement was one of the stimulus statements that served as a starting point for the Association for Music in International School’s (AMIS) composition workshop for students in IB Music. During the weekend of November 5-7, four students from QAIS traveled to Beijing to attend a workshop at the International School of Beijing. Facilitated by musician and composer Mark Bradshaw from the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, students from 8 different international schools came together to immerse themselves fully in the composition and collaboration process.

“An artist’s duty is to reflect the times.”

~ Nina Simone

During the opening keynote address, Mr. Bradshaw challenged students to step up to this challenge of using music and composition to reflect the issues of threat, injustice, and conflict. As a collective we listened to three “key works” that provoked thinking about how different composers have answered this challenge. To show the range of possible musical responses, one example was a piece of spoken work from a hip-hop composer that is a commentary on how police brutality in America has targeted African Americans. Stylistically different but with a tremendous impact, we listed to a piece from of Steve Reich’s from the 1980’s that uses voice recordings from Holocaust survivors mixed with simple string lines to address the horrors of being transported to concentration camps. The students walked out of this opening session with a mix of complicated emotions and a desire to find their own musical voice.

They then gathered in mixed groups and spent the next day and half working to create an original piece in their chosen style. The work was intense, challenging, personal and therefore the impact was powerful. As they shared their final works on the Saturday afternoon it was clear that each of the 60+ students at the workshop was challenged to think about issues of conflict and injustice and decide how they could offer their own musical voice to the world. As one of our QAIS students has said to me many times “this was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had”.

This weekend was a testament to the creativity, passion and dedication of our students to think deeply about the world around them and actively respond. Coming on the heels of the QAIS grade 10 interdisciplinary unity about non-violent protest and incredible creative work of those students, it is clear that the students in our community care deeply about the world around them and have been inspired to both connect their learning and to share their voices with the greater community.








译者:Paul Pei  11年级(作为CAS服务项目)


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