Festival of music and harmony in Balchik

We are all living such a complex experience – this life in 21st century – don’t you think? There are so many things happening at the very same time, good things, beautiful things, sad things, bad things, all together melting into one unique experience of life.

I had the honor and the opportunity to be part of the Romanian team of Consonance Chamber Choir  in Chernomorski Zvutsi International Choir Festival, that took place in Balchik, Bulgaria, 4-8th of June, 2014. The organizers have done a wonderful job. They, MUNICIPALITY OF BALCHIK , ASSOCIATION “MUSICAL WORLD-BALCHIK”, MIXED CHOIR “CHERNOMORSKI ZVUTSI”COMUNITE CENTRE “PAISII HILENDARSKI-1870” ,  not only offered support and helped each group, each choir to enjoy their stay in Balchik, but offered the chance for intercultural connections, for sharing experience, for sharing, to say it all in one word only.

Workshops brought together people from Italy, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania (the two choirs from Romania are Consonance Youth Chamber Choir from Bucharest, and Trison Mixed Choir from Brăila). The “Ave Maria” – song written and conducted by Ambroz Copi, member of festival’s jury and a great musician from Slovenia – was probably the most beautiful symbol of unity through music. Because music and “Mother” are beyond any religion, race, color of skin or any other separation people are used to see themselves behind.

This festival has been a true opportunity to enjoy peace, harmony, beauty, friendship and music for everyone, at least this is what I think.

Emotions of all kinds were shared in and around the very dear to us, Romanians, Castle of Queen Mary. There was a time when this area belonged to Romania, and Queen Mary of Romania so much loved it, that she built a small and quite simple residence here, surrounded by great gardens. Balchik has become her refugee place, and she wrote poems, organized artistic events, invited painters to come and do their art there. The community in Balchik thrived and many houses have been built after Queen Mary has established her home here. In her testament she expressed her wish for her heart to remain buried in Balchik, while the rest of her body to be buried together with the other royals in Curtea de Argeş, Romania. This much she loved  Balchik and the spirit of art she sensed on this shore of the Black Sea! Even if her physical heart couldn’t remain in Balchik, but we might still sense her delicate etheric heart enjoying every moment of human art and beauty. The famous gardens of flowers and trees attract tourists from all of the world, and became the biggest botanical garden in Balkan Peninsula. There is no way one cannot find at least one spot in this large domain where his or her heart wouldn’t tremble in admiration.  The very calm Black Sea in front of the castle brings its music through the leaves of the trees, while birds of all kind are enchanting with their on and on singing.

There is no surprise that choral music is really at home in this place. The place itself is music, art, beauty and love.

Our young musicians from the “Dinu Lipatti” National College of Arts, Bucharest, Romania decided to have this experience, and, even if the choir had no sponsor for participating in this festival, but parents and the teacher, Mrs. Lăcrămioara Ana Pauliuc, made all efforts to send the chamber music choir in this competition. Many of these students have been recently awarded in Music National Olympics of Romania, the highest national competition that took place in April. Either playing piano, guitar, traditional instruments, participating in theoretical studies competition or even canto, they were all tired already when they arrived in Balchik. A student in music has to learn other subjects as well, not only music, instrument, choir, and also has to pass exams for many of other school subjects.  So it is not only music they learn in college. Tired or not, to be part of a competition is not an easy thing no matter what age you are. Unless… you stop thinking it is a competition, unless you simply wish to sing or to perform. And this is where I hoped to be of any help for them. There is an always present award for any human being which is sharing beauty through his or her own body, which is sharing the love for music, or any other of the arts, which has that special gift for giving birth to artistic emotions. And there is nothing more precious than the true statement of another human being saying: I was thrilled by emotions! That very special moment brings together all hearts, living in all kinds of bodies, it  reveals the innate bondage that connects us all in one voice, in one vibration. That kind of emotion brings peace and love and harmony and beauty. It is the unity.

Yes, definitely  these 18 young musicians managed to share something, from their gift and love for music, because they did receive a special award, The Future of Europe Award.  And their beautiful youth brought them another special award, Mister Festival!

(If the future of Europe counts music and arts among the most important items on its political agenda, than Europe might become a better place. Make music, not war! if I am allowed such a  paraphrase.)

Congratulations to Consonance, to their teacher and conductor, and also congratulations to the whole team of organizers of this festival! Beautiful people, doing beautiful things for the world! They all have shown us their warmth, their loving hearts!

I wish there would be such a beautiful vibration resonating all around the world, touching the hearts of all humans!

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