BUILDING BRIDGES WITH MUSIC
The Kaiserslautern band „Shaian“ unites musicians hailing from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Syria, Indonesia, Tunesia and Germany since early 2016. They are old and new Pfälzer - (citzens of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz), students and refugees, women and men. It is their shared passion for music that brings them together.
Dagmar Kern and Michael Halberstadt founded the project in late 2015 , the idea being to round up musicians for the band in the local refugee accomodations. The idea literally struck a chord with many. A ten-year-old Kurdish girl, Shaian, eagerly helped with the search, and soon it was clear that little Shaian should not only become the band's mascot, but also its namesake – in Kurdish, „Shaian“ means „the worthy one“.
In no time, a group of musicians was regularly assembling and practicing together. Oud and dambora players, basssists, rappers, percussionists, as well as singers and guitarists joined in to sing and accompany each musician's favorite songs from his or her home country. Thus the band members, who are Christians, Bahai and Muslims, have formed a new realm where they can feel at home in their music. The musicians each contribute the themes of their own cultures, their specific playing techniques and their indivdual interpretations of the music, thus creating a unique multicultural sound – the unmistakeable sound of „Shaian“.
The diverse musical repertoire of „Shaian“ ranges from the traditional music of the various cultures of the band members to their own interpretations of modern songs of the Charts. The very mixed audiences appreciate „Shaian's“ authenticity and enjoy the appealing textures evolving from the various cultural influences.
To many of the musicians, the band has become a second family.
As an acknowledgement of their high and unsalaried commitment and the widespread popularity of the band, the band project was honored with the „Special Award for Voluntary Commitment 2016“ by the Minister President of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz, Ms. Malu Dreyer. She also initiated an invitation to the then residing Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin (on March 17, 2017).
A documentary film, „Shaian“, was made by the internationally renowned filmmaker and young refugee Solomon Tsehaye. His camera impressively captures the harmonious spirit among the musicians against the backdrop of their great cultural diversity.
Translation: Nemone Wittenstein-Helmling
(Television Program of the Südwestrundfunk: „Matter of Honor 2016“)
Multicultural band project SHAIAN from Kaiserslautern honored in the program
„SWR Ehrensache 2016“ on August 28, 2016
The „Special Award of the Minister President of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz“ („Sonderpreis der Ministerpräsidentin“) was presented this year in the television program awards ceremony „SWR Ehrensache 2016“ to the the multicultural band projekt „Shaian“ of Kaiserslautern, recognizing and honoring their project. In lieu of the whole band, a representative group of the musicians received the prize from the Minister President of Rheinland Pfalz, Ms. Malu Dreyer herself. The award presentation took place on Sunday, August 28, in a live broadcast in Mayen, on the Rheinland-Pfalz „Ehrenamtstag“ (Honor Day of Volunteer Workers).
Source: Press information: SWR
CD-RELEASE & FILM PREMIERE
December 2107: The band's first CD, titled „Shaian – Pop-Soul & Tradition“, was released. At the same time the documentary film,„Shaian – die Doku“, celebrated its premiere in the Union-Kino (Union Cinema), Kaiserslautern. The film is by the filmmaker Solomon Tsehaye of Eritrea
Invitation to Berlin, Schloss Bellevue,
to the formal retirement celebration of the Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck (March 2107)
MUSIKALISCHER BOTSCHAFTER 2017 (Musical Ambassadors, 2017)
April 2017: „Shaian“ was delegated by the Kultusministerium Rheinland-Pfalz (Ministry of Culture of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz) as Musikalischer Botschafter des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz (Musical Ambassador of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz).
June 2017: „Shaian“ was delegated by the Integrationsbeirat Kaiserslautern (Integration Advisory Board of Kaiserslautern) as the Musical Ambassador of the City of Kaiserslautern (Musikalischer Botschafter Kaiserslautern).