My name is Dan Blackwell, I run the worldwide music collaboration project 4bar Collective, with '4bar' I meet up with creative minds and record original music to promote talent and unity across the globe.
I recently discovered that Afghanistan has its first ever female orchestra - 'Zohra'. Seeing their passion for music in the face of adversity and their message of peace and equality inspired me to compose a piece of music for them titled 'Sister'. I uploaded Sister with an open letter video online, I also emailed Dr. Sarmast the founder and director of the Afghanistan National Institution of Music (ANIM). I had a quick and positive response with him inviting me over to Kabul to record Zohra performing the piece. Since then I have been talking to ANIM's Music Director and Events Manager to organise the trip which will take place this summer!
I will also be filming a Documentary following my journey from discovering Zohra to recording them and everything in between, such as interviews with the Zohra Women, my experience of Kabul, history of the Taliban and the ban of music in Afghanistan, the threats women face day to day and Zohra's mission of equality.
This is a non profit project, all money made from selling the recorded piece 'Sister' will be donated to the Zohra fund.
Risks and challenges
Danger of Physical Harm
I am taking every precaution possible in booking this tour to Kabul which is a well known danger zone, my transport will be armoured and well organised and my accommodation is guarded at all times. All safeguarding issues have been given the green light by the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. The British Foreign Office will have detailed information regarding my whereabouts and movements within Kabul.
Damage to equipment during flight and travel around Kabul -
I will be bringing backup equipment in case of any issues that may occur.
Putting involved musicians at risk of attack, I will not be revealing any specific dates or locations of filming/recording leading up to, during or post tour.
- (60 days)