Our Mitrovica Rock School celebrated its tenth annual summer school with a wonderful concert at Havana Summer Club in Skopje City Park. All seven participating bands performed their own songs, and our first long-term ethnically mixed band the Artchitects (2011-2016) closed the concert with a surprise reunion performance.
On Thursday August 24, we were visited by German reporter Rayna Breuer, who interviewed mixed band Proximity Mine for German public radio Deutschlandfunk. Read and listen to the report here (in German).
All bands wrote and recorded their owns songs with the help of four Mitrovica Rock School band coaches and expert trainers Eric Coenen (Fontys Rockacademie) and Ruud Borgers (RockCity Institute). This year we were also joined by two volunteers, Kirsten Gerritsen, a vocalist and graduate of the Popacademie in Utrecht, and French sound engineer Bertrand Guillot. Bertrand wrote this of his experience in Skopje:
Skopje Summer School, what a week it was! Good vibes, good music, awesome peoples. It was so interesting hearing from all of you, about your ideas, your convictions, and sometimes your history. I didn’t know much about your country or your people, but now I feel like I have some idea about what your lives are.
Serbs, Albanians, me I couldn’t really tell the difference. Probably it was because all of you were so welcoming towards everyone. But also maybe it was because I didn’t care that much about your “nationality”. I’m not saying this to offend anyone, but just as your music the most interesting things occur when people are mixing with each other.
Music is best when genres are colliding, this is when new things arise, when new ideas arrive, when you can really say that you’re creating something. This is the same with people. Maybe you don’t speak the same language, but you all speak the music. I’m not sure I’m in the right place to give advice, and what I’m about to say, most of you are doing it already. Humans of Mitrovica, never forget to mix yourself with others. This is when the magic happens. This is when you live, this is when you love, and what is more important? The world needs more people like you, more open-mindedness. You humbled me, you inspired me, I’ll never thank you enough for that.