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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thank you, Dino

So here I am in Sarajevo, again. It has been quite some time - three years, to be precise. I wondered if again it would snow and I would spot a Dipper, but no. But the lovely smell of the charcoal fires needed to make cevabcici was there, as was the lovely sound of the muezzins of all the mosques; the Bosnian football team still plays in lovely blue, and Music Academy Sarajevo - which hosted me so kindly - was as filled with its lovely students and as hot as ever. So although I missed my wife and kids, I felt at home, in a way.

About the sounds of the muezzins - it is music to my ears. But I know that for some muslims, reciting the qur'an and music are two very very different things; we hear the same but it feels different and listens to a different name. Related to this: one of the ethnomusicologists with whom I worked these days told me that people in a village where she did fieldwork answered in the negative when she asked whether there was any music going on in processions; of course they were singing, she discovered much later, but they did not call it music.Thank you for the story, dear colleague - and oh, the power of words and feelings

Never take a word on its word.

And speaking about words: the wisest words these days came from a composer. In a reflective conversation he remarked that what we, human beings, do need amongst us is not so much that European buzz-word 'tolerance' - we need 'acceptance'. I couldn't agree more; I told him that his words would stick with me the rest of my life, and - pathetic as it may have sounded - I meant it.

Thank you, Dino.

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