Project planning

Monday, day 22

Today I met with Marqy and we talked project ideas. Here is what we have come up with:

  • Three days in early December, offering workshops for children in instrument-making, playing and composing
  • Some of the art facilitators at his school will hopefully also be part of this project and develop skills as music facilitators. Tiny will be in Timor by then so he will be part of it too.
  • After the three days of workshops we will have a performance outcome, maybe in a public space such as the old Mercado (the Portuguese market)
  • We can link the event to International Human Rights Day and approach the UN for support.

We decided that we’d spend the first three days creating an ensemble of about 30 children. We will approach the local primary schools and ask them to nominate students to take part. School holidays will have started by then (they star early this year because all the teachers are going on 3 weeks of Portuguese language training, apparently) so the children will be available for consecutive weekdays. On the performance day we will also hold a public workshop for other local children to be part of the event. They will make instruments and will then participate in the opening and closing numbers of the performance which will be interactive and along the lines of the big public Jams I lead for the MSO in Melbourne.

Next stop – the UN. We visited the staff in the office for Human Rights and asked what events were planned thus far for International Human Rights day, and if there might be any funding available for local NGOs who wanted to create projects to mark the day. The response was definitely enthusiastic… although there were some other things they needed us to clarify before submitting a proposal. The plan for tomorrow is follow up some of the questions that arose in that UN meeting, prepare some information materials for the schools, and pay a visit to the principals of the schools we hope to work with.

There’s another possibility for this project. Several years ago, instrument-maker and composer Jon Madin (who I met just before I came to Timor) did a project here, and made three (I think it was three) marimbas with the local children, hosted by the Catholic education authority. The project was a great success, the instruments were made and used and loved, but now, some years on, they haven’t been seen by Marqy or any of his colleagues. An Australian woman at the teachers college said they had been distributed out among the different local schools, so I’m hopeful we can track them down and put them to use for this project.

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