JEDDAH: Music can transcend boundaries, bridging gaps between different cultures and creating an atmosphere that is appreciated by all.
On World Music Day, the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) celebrated in Jeddah its first Music Forum under the slogan “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
The event was sponsored by the University of Business and Technology (UBT), with the participation of 84 artworks.
The forum, which aims to break music barriers, is proof of how musicians from different backgrounds can learn from each other while forging new artistic collaborations, according to Mohammed Al-Sobieh, the director of the association in Jeddah.
“Music is a universal language that brings people together to express themselves, and collaborate,” Al-Sobieh said.
The forum gathered musicians from Saudi Arabia, the US, France, Syria, Portugal, Egypt and the Philippines.
Music tastes are no longer confined to a single genre, language or even country. People often enjoy songs in languages they do not speak, showing how music can transcend cultural boundaries.
Al-Sobieh said the forum is one of the most prominent activities on SASCA’s annual agenda. “The event provides a platform for musicians from everywhere to compete in offering their inspiring music.” The Jeddah event, which runs until June 28, will also shed light on art and its relationship with music. It will include seminars by expert speakers, discussion groups, performances, presentations by intellectuals on Saudi music and its symbols, and an art exhibition. He added that Saudi music icons will be honored during the 10-day event.
Al-Sobieh said that Jeddah has always been a cultural hub in the region, proudly adding that the Jeddah Association brought together the pioneers of Saudi music.
A musically inspired art exhibition called the “Whispering Iron” will also be displayed. It was created by renowned artist Mansour Al-Mutairi, a member of the Saudi Plastic Artists Association and owner of Najdeh Colors Art Salon. The exhibition includes around 42 artworks, including 20 models of musical instruments.
Al-Mutairi has recently turned his hand to creating art from musical instruments, both modern and old.
The solo exhibition showcases metal sculptures made from huge piles of scrap metal collected from junkyards. While Al-Mutairi believes that they have been exquisite art forms in their prime, he has given them a new lease of life.
“My exhibition is entirely dedicated to music and it is my personal tribute to some of the Saudi singers, poets, musicians and composers I have listened to in my life and who have made a great impact on the Saudi music. Poets such as Prince Bader bin Abdulmohsen, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, composer Tarek Abdulhakeem and singer Talal Maddah.”
He added: “There are over 40 works on display, each telling their own story about these wonderful machines of music and our relationship with them.”
Al-Mutairi, from Taif, hopes to expand the exhibition to other parts of the Kingdom as part of a bigger national project.
Demonstrating its continued support of art and culture, the UBT has announced its sponsorship of the Music Forum for the next 10 years. UBT Chairman Abdullah Dahlan said at the opening ceremony: “We are proud to be the official sponsor of the Music Forum because we are very keen to merge education with arts and culture.”
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