The Dosti Music Project brought together a group of musicians from Pakistan, India, and the U.S. for a month-long residency and tour in 2015 and 2016. An initiative of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, Dosti invited a group of Pakistani, Indian, and U.S. musicians from a wide variety of traditions, ranging from Sufi singing to beatmaking to avant garde jazz, to collaboratively write, record, and perform original music, reinvent traditional music, and develop impactful initiatives aimed at local and international communities. Dosti, which means friendship in both Urdu and Hindi, seeks to transcend political and cultural barriers through cross-cultural musical collaboration. In 2017, Found Sound Nation released Travelers: Dosti Music Project, a compilation of 12 tracks and accompanying music videos from the first two years of Dosti.
Through the process of sharing, listening, and collaborating, the Dosti musicians model creative, cooperative, and egalitarian cultural exchange between India, Pakistan, and the United States – providing a positive template for cross-national discourse and people-to-people diplomacy. By providing musicians from India and Pakistan the infrastructure for collaboration and integration, Dosti creates a unique opportunity to reconnect musical traditions and re-link the politically fractured South Asian subcontinent. By facilitating the project in the U.S. and including American musicians, the U.S. participates as capacity-builders and as equal partners, establishing a model of cultural interaction that can positively impact diplomatic and political discourses.
The cultures of India and Pakistan are deeply interconnected, yet creating opportunities for people-to-people contact can be challenging. Still, music has always served as a binding force in South Asia: Bollywood is wildly popular on both sides of the border, just as ghazal singers attract audiences in both countries and across the region. Indians and Pakistanis have an immense shared cultural experience upon which to build new collaborations – the Dosti Music Project provides a space for that to happen.
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FOUND SOUND NATION
Found Sound Nation (FSN) is a collective of musicians and artists who leverage the unique power of creative sound-making to help build strong, just, healthy communities. FSN partners with local youth, social organizations, music festivals, and artists across all disciplines to engage people from all walks of life in our interactive process of collaborative music, audio, and video production, in order to give voice to underrepresented communities, unlock the creative potential of youth, and bridge cultural and political divides. Found Sound Nation is part of the new music organization Bang on a Can, founded in 1987 by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe.
US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan
Atlantic Center for the Arts
Gig City Productions
Savannah Stopover Music Festival
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Chattanooga Public Library
RCA Studio B
Spruce Creek High School
Crash Pad Chattanooga
Chattanooga High School Center for the Creative Arts