The Network of the Small Orchestras of People

A project of the Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation and the Francesco Realmonte Association in collaboration with the Cattolica del Sacro Cuore University RiRes ("Research Unit on the Resilience") department and the Augustinianum College. The project is dedicated to Marisa and Vittorio Baldoni.

Music is a universal language capable of uniting peoples of different languages, religions and cultures.

From this premise starts the challenge of the project "The Network of the small orchestras of people” which aims to bring to light the differences and similarities of five different realities (Argentina, DR Congo, Papua New Guinea, Syria and Italy) to testify that the power of music and art is stronger than prejudices, ethnic or social fractures, and than any kind of division and conflict.


“Fratelli Tutti” translated into musical art

This is how musical workshops are born and develop in various countries, including socially, enhancing otherwise dispersed talents, training and educating the very young to the culture of harmony. But the whole world can be transformed into one big workshop where everyone can speak the same language, that of brotherhood. The various orchestras thus become "The Network of the small orchestras of people” which performs in a single common piece and becomes a flag of brotherhood, showing the world that we can be “Fratelli tutti” (All brothers).



Create cohesion and harmony between children and Christian and Islamic families through music


In the city of Nebek, the monastic community al-Khalil of Deir Mar Musa - founded by Father Paolo Dall'Oglio in 1991 and present in Syria in the Monastery of Mar Musa, in Iraqi Kurdistan in Sulaymaniyah - is engaged in humanitarian aid initiatives, necessary in the dramatic situation in which Syria finds itself after 10 years of war, but has not abandoned the numerous initiatives centered on training, recognizing it as a key value in promoting Islamic-Christian dialogue and peaceful coexistence between religions and peoples.

The music school in Nebek (80 km north of Damascus) aims to discover the talents of children and above all to help create cohesion and harmony between children and Christian and Islamic families through music. 60 children and teenagers, between 8 and 17 years old, participate under the guidance of 10 musician teachers who come weekly from Damascus. The Community supplies musical instruments to children and pays music teachers and other running costs. The school organizes special concerts with young musicians on the occasion of festivals and city events.



The project that unites the five orchestras matured within the Vittorio Baldoni “Orchestra dei Popoli”, whose artistic director is Ciro Menale.

The starting point
from the Encyclical "Fratelli tutti"

.Certainly, all this calls for an alternative way of thinking. Without an attempt to enter into that way of thinking, what I am saying here will sound wildly unrealistic [...] we can rise to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity.

148. (...) That is why I have urged indigenous peoples to cherish their roots and their ancestral cultures. At the same time, though, I have wanted to stress that I have no intention of proposing “a completely enclosed, a-historic, static ‘indigenism’ that would reject any kind of blending (mestizaje)” […]The world grows and is filled with new beauty, thanks to the successive syntheses produced between cultures that are open and free of any form of cultural imposition.

The proposal is based on these passages from the encyclical “Fratelli tutti”.

Arrival point:
A single orchestra of orchestras: "Fratelli Tutti" translated into musical art

The goal to create a video concert with the members of all the organizations and orchestras to tell the story of each reality and perform Pope Francis's prayer together on the notes of a common harmony has been achieved.

In each country - Argentina, Congo, Papua New Guinea, Syria and Italy - a performance has been organized with the presence of the public, in which the orchestras have performed a single theme, accompanying the reading - made by local people - of the "A Prayer to the Creator" of the Encyclical.

The reading has taken place in the language of each country. Together with the orchestra, a soloist has played a characteristic instrument of each country, giving life to moments of melodic improvisation.


A Prayer to the Creator

Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.

May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen.



The importance of educating young people to music

This is Pope Francis’s appeal of January 9, 2020: “join efforts to build an educational alliance to form mature people, capable of overcoming fragmentation and contradictions and rebuilding the pattern of relationships for a more fraternal humanity”

The same appeal was strongly reiterated on the occasion of the Global Compact on Education of 15 October 2020 to the representatives of the main religions, to the exponents of international organizations and various humanitarian institutions, to the academic, economic, political and cultural world and to all those who have a heart the education of the younger generations

A concrete proposal to support children and young people living in situations of fragility

This project aims to be a concrete proposal to the urgent challenge to support children and young people who live in situations of socio-economic fragility, who encounter obstacles in their training path and who for these reasons leave school early (Save the Children 2020 Report "Rewrite the future "; ISMU Report 2/2020, Pupils with a migratory background in Italy. Opportunities beyond obstacles).

Music to get stronger

The leitmotif of the project is the strengthening of resilience in the educational field through music, that is, the strengthening of the ability to cope with school and training difficulties to snatch children and young people from the exclusion and marginalization that prevent the flourishing of talents and abilities.

To achieve this goal, the Casa dello Spirito delle Arti Foundation and the Francesco Realmonte Association relate to vulnerable contexts - with minors victims of forced migration, violence and abandonment - which through music and other figurative arts can look to their future with greater hope (Castelli C., Resilience and creativity, Franco Angeli, 2012). The Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation and the Francesco Realmonte Association will financially support the costs of the initiative.

The art of repair

The art of not being ashamed of wounds, rather of strengthening and taking on a new life despite wounds and defects, is the delicate symbolic lesson suggested by the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi which inspired the project. According to this art, the broken shards of the crockery are reassembled and joined by a flow of gold that embellishes the product.

With this technique, real works of art are created, always different, each with its own plot to tell, thanks to the uniqueness of the cracks that are created when the object breaks, as if they were wounds that leave different traces in the body of people. The metaphor wants to teach that the wounds of the soul, like cracks, can be recomposed and that, recalling Andersen's fairy tale "The Ugly Ducklings", the "discarded" by society, can become beautiful swans.

Articles about the "The Network of the Small Orchestras of People" project:
➡ "Il linguaggio che trasforma l'anima" (l'Osservatore Romano)

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