#NoBordersTour. Världens Band: creating and performing music across borders

Balosso-bardin, Cassandre (2018) #NoBordersTour. Världens Band: creating and performing music across borders. The World of Music, 7 (2). ISSN 0043-8774

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#NoBorders. Världens Band: creating and performing music across borders.

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Abstract

Moving away from a university context, and within a framework of intercultural (ed. Burnard &co. 2016), performance (ed. Solis 2004) and social change (Baker 2014) studies, this article will explore the constant border negotiations of a professional international world music band, formed by thirteen musicians from seven countries: India, Senegal, Sweden, France, England and Scotland. Imagined as a utopian social experiment by two Swedish brothers in 2012, Världens Band (the World’s Band) quickly grew beyond the project phase and established itself as a group, performing self-branded ‘transglobal roots fusion’ music.
With six different nationalities and the will to create music that both reflects and transcends them, borders are a constant source of negotiation for the musicians in musical, political and touring contexts. Musically, the band chooses to represent a united ensemble featuring musicians rather than ‘countries’. Although each individual strongly represents his or her own tradition, rehearsals are a vital space where musical negotiation and collective arranging shape pieces, respecting both cultural backgrounds and the will to collaborate across borders. The inclusiveness message featured in the music becomes a strong yet consciously unvoiced political message on stage of an ideal world where multiculturalism is a strength rather than a divisive force. Politically, the band reinforced its inclusiveness message over time, namely during the 2015 refugee crisis that coincided with a 10-week tour branded ‘No Borders Tour’. Since, performing for schools and refugee audiences is fully integrated into their schedules with the ideology of counteracting the growing nationalist movements in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Off stage, borders continue to impact the musicians. Not only do visas have to be issued and frontiers crossed, sometimes unsuccessfully, there is also a constant cultural dialogue between the band members as they learn to understand each other. Verbal communication then becomes key and the leadership of the band manager becomes at times crucial as space is made for voicing opinions and thoughts, resulting in a better understanding of each individual. Through all these different aspects, Världens Band offers a platform for rethinking intercultural collaboration within a professional context, beyond the popular one-off projects or groups with a high turnover (see Hughes 2004).

Additional Information:The World of Music (new series)
Keywords:Intercultural performance, World Music, borders, intercultural collaboration
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W390 Music not elsewhere classified
W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:31486
Deposited On:04 Apr 2018 14:13

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