Photos by: Mariam Awad
On the first night the MV Explorer arrived to Bulgaria, approximately 30 SAS students attended the Varna Summer Festival in the evening. This event was held in the Roman Bath, and thus, the students were able to connect with both the history and culture of Varna. This program was not simply a music festival, but also showcased a new art form. The musicians were able to manipulate everyday objects into music. Items, such as newspapers and plastic bags, were used as acoustics making the performance exceptional. Just as the various form of instruments were unique, so were the players participating in the presentation.
After viewing the concert, the SAS students had the opportunity to interact with the musicians. To our surprise, they were not all from Bulgaria; instead some were from France, Belgium and other Eastern European countries. More interestingly, it was their first and last performance together. Furthermore, they were students from both high school and college, their ages ranged from 17-24. It was astonishing yet motivating to know that the students were around our age.
In addition, we were fascinated by the collection of instruments: Vibra-phone, Marimba, Xylophone, Timpani, Cymbals, Gong, and Base Drum. It was amazing to see how each player was skilled at playing all the percussion instruments. The pieces performed were inspired by a plethora of cultures representing the diversity of the percussionists themselves. For many of us, it was an experience that enabled us to understand how music is a universal language that helps us connect no matter what background or language we speak.