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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
May 25, 2017
Introducing WWMD Participants: Marie-Claire Boel

“When you are playing music as much for yourself as you do for your audience you are able to connect with each other, simply because you’re connected to yourself and the people listening can feel this”, says violinist Marie-Claire from Utrecht, the Netherlands. To acknowledge World Wide Music Day and to support our work, she is dedicating her final violin exam, which will take place on June 21st in Fentener van Vlissingenzaal, Utrecht.  

1. How did you find your way to music?

Music was already playing a main role in my life when I was born 24 years ago. Both my parents were music freaks, mainly classical. They didn’t play any instruments but I can’t remember a moment without the record player spinning at home or the car radio on maximum volume. When I was three years old I saw a coffee brand commercial on television where a violinist in a red dress played Vivaldi’s summer and from that moment I fell in love with the violin. On my fourth birthday I received my first violin lesson.

2. How did you become involved in social activism?

All my life I had difficulties understanding all the violence in this world and I always had the desire to be part of improvements in society. In 2010 I organised a protest to stand up for the importance of the arts in The Hague, the Netherlands. When these thousands of people showed up and made a front to stand strong and together there was a moment of reflection from my side. Arts and especially music are very strong factors of binding people together, no matter what country, religion or social environment you’re from.

3. What are the ways that a musician can make a difference today?

My beliefs are that difference in this world starts within yourself. When you are playing music as much for yourself as you do for your audience you are able to connect with each other, simply because you’re connected to yourself and the people listening can feel this. So, in my opinion, music nowadays shouldn’t be about inventing new ways of playing to become popular or make lots of money, but musicians should see the importance of finding new ways to connect to fellow musicians and from there, bring nothing but love through music upon their listeners. When they are connected to each other and empathize, the audience will notice. And love and understanding can spread worldwide.

4. What are the main challenges for a musician-social activist?

Everything in life today is designed to be a challenge and I think this is what made people sort of scared. I’ve grown to be a person who doesn’t believe in insurmountable obstacles or challenges anymore. But when it comes to a musician-social activist the biggest challenge will be to really reach people and bring them together due to, for instance, political differences.

5. What motivates you to collaborate with Musicians without Borders?

Music can be such an enrichment to life. And the way Musicians without Borders reaches out to people in places where there isn’t a chance of access to music is really inspiring to me. I really hope that one day I could be part of one of their projects with this World Wide Music Day as a start.

6. If you wanted to inspire people through music, what song/composition would you play?

If it comes down to classical music I would definitely choose to play Vivaldi’s Summer for inspiring other people. It is music people can relate to, and is close to nature.

•• Topics World Wide Music Day