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  • Liz DeLise

World Refugee Day - Uniting Through Music

This year at World Refugee Day, Buildabridge had an "instrument buffet" open to passersby. We had artists-on-call and volunteers there to show participants how to play the instruments, which were mainly small hand percussion instruments and drums. There were art supplies available as well, and participants were invited to draw an image of "The Good Life." They were prompted to consider what community, home, and safety look like, feel like, and sound like. Beside the instrument table, we set up a circle of djembes and a loop pedal with a microphone attached. Participants were invited to engage in call-and-response and structured improvisation on the djembes. After a brief introduction to the loop pedal, participants were invited to make a sound or sing a melody that reminded them of home. This was then "looped" and others began to layer their own sounds overtop, creating a soundscape. Many of the children participating were thrilled to sing into a microphone and hear themselves recorded. One of the young people who tried the loop pedal shared a song from his home country.

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