Musicians from 16 different countries shared powerful melodies and messages this past weekend in Chapel Hill and Durham.
OneBeat, a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Stateand Found Sound Nation, is a program that unites musicians from all around the world for a month of music instruction, collaboration and performance.
Chris Marianetti, a director for OneBeat, co-founded Found Sound Nation, which is producing the program. Marianetti said Found Sound is an organization that strives to use music to connect people and communities.
Found Sound Nation responded to a call from the State Department for applications for OneBeat’s program development and was chosen as producer after a six-month application process.
“This is an initiative of the State Department, so it’s their program, and our role as producers is to design it and collaborate with them — we carry it out, but they do have a very active role,” Marianetti said.
“I really believe we wouldn’t have been so passionate in pursuing the grant in the first place had we not felt such a synergy with these goals. ‘People diplomacy’ sounds like a cheesy term but it’s a brilliant way of engaging the rest of the world, and an important dialogue to have about how we can think locally and globally and improve things using music as a vehicle to do so.”
Marianetti said that OneBeat is following a very similar route to the one they took last year with the launch of the program — heading up the East Coast from Florida to Brooklyn, N.Y., making stops along the way at places like UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Motorco Musical Hall in Durham.
The program consists of two phases, he said — first, a residency phase, where the fellows come together and begin to get to know each other and collaborate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fl. The second phase of the program is a tour up the east coast to perform their collaborations.
Marianetti said OneBeat chose largely the same venues as they visited last year because they wanted to develop programming and reconnect with a lot of the venues they spent time in last year.