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Help the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq have summer music camp! You'll see and experience the magic of music in their lives.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this project won't succeed on Kickstarter. Please visit the following sites to keep up to date with the NYOI and to find out how you can help them save their summer camp this year, and to guarantee the orchestra's existence going forward. Thanks to everyone who pledged! Your support is greatly appreciated.

NYOI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NYO.IRAQ

The German Förderverein on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JO.Irak

NYOI on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nyoiinfo

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A youth orchestra in Iraq? Amid the poverty, and violence? It seems impossible, but it’s true. The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq consists of musicians from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. They come together each summer for two weeks of intense musical training, learning to trust each other and work together.

But it’s not easy. Music teachers are rare, instruments are in shambles, and the orchestra members don’t even speak the same language. Security remains a constant concern, and there is a large gap in the orchestra’s budget.

With your help, Harmony-Iraq will capture the musical journey of an improbable group in a country beset by decades of desperate conditions. We’ll collect film, audio, photos, interviews, portraits, and testimonials from this year’s two week summer camp and create a 45 minute documentary film. Money collected will also help directly fund the orchestra, and give these kids a chance they won't otherwise have.

“The orchestra is a complete paradox from top to bottom” says music director Paul MacAlindin. It exists thanks to Zuhal Sultan, a young Iraqi woman who, in 2009, advertised for a conductor to start up a youth orchestra in Iraq. Auditions are held on YouTube, and music lessons are done using Skype. Talented and experienced music tutors from around the world coach the musicians in the orchestra and give them valuable training that is otherwise simply missing in Iraq.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music, is the orchestra’s honorary composer-in-residence. His new piece for the orchestra, to be premiered in Iraq this summer, is dedicated to Prince William and Kate Middleton on the occasion of their British Royal Wedding in 2011.

Also, Iraqi composers Ali Authman and Mohammed Amin Ezzat will have new works performed by the orchestra, making this year’s event a bonanza of new orchestral music.

Harmony-Iraq is sending a film maker and camera crew to Iraq during the two week summer camp to collect the stories and experiences and assemble them on an interactive multimedia DVD. Your pledge to Harmony-Iraq will enable us to make the DVD capturing the experience of the orchestra, and at least 15% will go directly to the orchestra itself, enabling them to have their summer camp.

The stories that we collect, in film, audio, and photos, and personal testimonials will be distributed online using a Creative Commons license. This will help others tell the story about the orchestra, and it will play a role in making the orchestra more sustainable in the future.

Please support this project and help the young musicians in Iraq have an uplifting and magical orchestral experience!

About the filmmakers

The multimedia DVD and all other digital goodies will be produced by Cologne-based filmmaker Ulli Schauen and the German production company Lighthouse-Film.

Ulli Schauen's in-depth documentary work has covered subjects as diverse as the US occupation of South Korea, bouncers at discos,  Indian "untouchables" throughout history, the reasons why men visit prostitutes, and conflict facing muslims building mosques in Germany. While working with Paul MacAlindin, he's become "downright smitten" with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, and hopes the Kickstarter sponsors are as curious as he is about the life and passions of these young Iraqis.

The creative minds at Lighthouse-Film are presently finishing a six-part-series of documentaries on high profile Turkish writers, among them Nobile Prize winner Orhan Pamuk.

Our ambitious goal

The funding target for this project is very ambitious. It has to be, or we can't meet both goals of supporting the orchestra and filming the orchestra. The film part of the project is a relatively fixed cost, while the orchestra needs all the support we can give it. Therefore, as we raise more and more money, a larger and larger hunk of it goes to directly funding the orchestra. For every dollar over the funding target, 75% is for the orchestra. That's our motivation for hitting and exceeding the goal!

Many thanks

Many thanks to Mike Newman and Richard "Dobbs" Hartshorne for providing the video footage from 2009 and 2010 that was used in the making of our teaser video.

On Facebook and elsewhere

Join the NYOI.IRAQ group on Facebook, and share it with your friends. Watch videos and press coverage from the orchestra's first two years on YouTube. Please share this project with your friends! Thank you.

FAQ

  • Yes! The orchestra was able to rehearse, and they will be performing in Germany in the autumn of 2011. Thanks to everyone who supported the orchestra in any way.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    DIGITAL GOODIES: Exclusive updates; Digital download, pre-release, of the multimedia videos, images, audio, etc.; "Thank you" on the website and DVD.

  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    26 backers

    DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: The multimedia report about the orchestra, on DVD, mailed to you, plus all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    2x DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: Two copies of the multimedia report about the orchestra, on DVD, mailed to you, plus all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    TESTIMONIAL + DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: You and your words, as part of the multimedia report. What moved you to back this project? This will either be a text quotation or a video segment that you send us. Plus a DVD and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    IMDB SPECIAL THANKS + DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: "Special thanks" credit in the multimedia report. This will be recorded in IMDB and will boost your STARmeter rating. Plus the DVD and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    IMDB ASSOCIATE PRODUCER + DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: "Associate Producer" credit in the multimedia report. This will be recorded in IMDB and will send your STARmeter rating to the moon. Plus the DVD and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $3,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    SIGNED SCORES + IMDB ASSOCIATE PRODUCER + DVD + DIGITAL GOODIES: You will receive two orchestral scores, by Iraqi composers Ali Authman and Mohammed Ezzat, signed by the composers. These pieces are to be performed as a part of the camp. In addition you will receive "Associate Producer" credit in the multimedia report. This will be recorded in IMDB and will boost your STARmeter rating. Plus the DVD and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    "A Reel of Spindrift" signed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE, Master of the Queen's Music. This piece is a new composition, written for Paul MacAlindin and the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq and dedicated to H.R.H. Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their marriage. In addition to this historical collectors item, you will receive IMDB "Associate Producer" credit in the multimedia report, two copies of the DVD, and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

  • Pledge $8,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    PATRON SAINT - YOU GET EVERYTHING - INVITATION TO CONCERT IN BONN: "A Reel of Spindrift" signed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE, Master of the Queen's Music. This piece is a new composition, written for Paul MacAlindin and the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq and dedicated to H.R.H. Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their marriage. You also get two orchestral scores, by Iraqi composers Ali Authman and Mohammed Ezzat, signed by the composers. These pieces are to be performed as a part of the camp. You will receive an invitation for two (pre-concert refreshments and reserved seats) to attend the orchestra's performance on October 1, 2011, in Bonn, Germany. In addition to this historical collectors item, you will receive IMDB "Associate Producer" credit in the multimedia, three copies of the DVD, and all of the DIGITAL GOODIES.

Funding period

- (65 days)