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Building Bridges with Music


Building Bridges with Music

For US-based performer Daria (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) music is a not just a universal language but a bridge between cultures.  Not just spoken words or sounds, but something that creates a space for peace, for unity, for oneness.  Daria is just one of a new breed of artists and musicians that are not so much concerned about being superstars but are focused on spreading mega messages of hope, peace and renewal for the world.

Our team at TW had the great pleasure to talk with Daria who had some wonderful news to share with us: “The Parent's Choice Foundation just awarded me a 2009 Award for my children's music website. “
 
Daria creating music with kids – what a great way to spread peace and understanding!Daria creating music with kids – what a great way to spread peace and understanding!“There is a Native American prophecy that states that each color of humankind holds a special wisdom and knowledge.  It is said that only by connecting in dignity and respect can we all hope to solve the greater world’s problems and become healthy, complete and whole.”  For Daria, the process of learning and sharing music in a spirit of respect creates a wonderful way to build cultural bridges and helps to precipitate real lasting change in the world.

TW: You spent several years in Peru when you were a teenager.  Is that why you have such a close feeling for Peru and its people? 

“Yes, I fell in love with the country and its wonderful people.  They are so warm, intelligent, kind and deeply spiritual.  Their beautiful language of Quechua, their magnificent songs and amazing dances stole my heart.  So I go back every year to do musical programs and to participate in the festivals, such as “Virgin Purisima”.  It is my privilege to be able to help set up programs that benefit the women and children. “

In Philadelphia, Daria also works actively with Art-Reach, a unique organization that enriches lives by connecting a wide variety of audiences with cultural experiences so that they may enjoy and benefit from the transformative powers of the arts.In Philadelphia, Daria also works actively with Art-Reach, a unique organization that enriches lives by connecting a wide variety of audiences with cultural experiences so that they may enjoy and benefit from the transformative powers of the arts.“To this end, I have sponsored programs in art therapy at the Casa Nana Nagle in Lima, a squatters town built by pouring sand - bucket by bucket - over a garbage dump... literally...the Casa was made by two amazing nuns who lived and worked in the community since the days it was a landfill and they do "hands on healing" seeking to empower the people through spirituality, the arts and other such programs.  Their work has yielded the Casa Nana Nagle...” says Daria.

TW: How do you manage to do so much; being a mother it must be difficult? 

Traditional dance from Puno and programs running in San Juan de Miraflores, one of the outermost barrios of Lima.Traditional dance from Puno and programs running in San Juan de Miraflores, one of the outermost barrios of Lima.“Not really, I take my children with me when I can as I want them to be able to experience what I have experienced and to learn first-hand what it is like in other cultures and what they can do to help make things better, because soon it will be their turn.  It is all about empowering kids and letting them explore the world of music and other cultures.”

TW: How difficult has it been for these great people to learn how to "be themselves", to make a living and support their arts, crafts and choose their own way of life?

“You know, progress does not mean that you should bulldoze a town and destroy a culture; “True progress and development means empowering people to make their own choice of life.” They see fit to guide and guard their communities’ life.  This is development, it is community development, and it is spiritual development.  It is sane and empowering; it creates the potential for peace and real stability in the world.  That is why I continue to work in Peru.”

Traditional dance from Puno and programs running in San Juan de Miraflores, one of the outermost barrios of Lima.Traditional dance from Puno and programs running in San Juan de Miraflores, one of the outermost barrios of Lima.Daria spent several years in Peru as a teenager, learning traditional dance and singing in Quechua and Spanish. She returns to Peru every year to do musical programs, participate in festivals such as “Virgin Purisima” and set up programs that benefit women and children.

Daria also wrote a book called Juana's treasure where a young girl from the Andes discovers her past and her heritage  - and a sense of pride in being Indian.... The story is in English/Spanish and Quechua.

In 2006, Daria was invited by the municipality of Nazareth, Israel to perform at a summer camp organized by interfaith activist, Kamel Barghouti. During the week, Daria shared wonderful musical traditions from around the world with the children and helped them create their own versions of songs. The summer camp kids then presented these songs to their families and friends at a special show at the Municipal Stadium in Nazareth. Creating music with kids – what a great way to spread peace and understanding!

Children in PeruChildren in PeruWhat People Are Saying about Daria

Your program reached every child in attendance. I was blown away by the amount of interaction with the students (and teachers)! To me thats the best way to make an impression. I hope we get the chance to work together in the future.
Jason Blacketer, Appel Farms

The music and exuberance Daria brings to a celebration is a cross cultural learning experience for all ages.
Judith A. Langan, Coordinator

The Fresh Air Fund, Bucks Co., PA

Daria brings world folk music home with a strong clear voice, tight arrangements and a bevy of ethnic instruments - didgeriDOO listen to this CD!
John Wood - Kidzmusic.com

Along with her work in Peru, Daria has created a series of world music for kids cd’s, places where songs in Spanish, Quechua, Arabic, Hebrew, Zulu can be heard in wonderful formats that encourage kids (and adults) to appreciate and enjoy the languages and cultures found around the world. They’ve been well-received by the media and each has been lucky enough o receive at least one national award. Daria’s “I HAVE A DREAM” cd features a song she wrote about MLK’s magnificent vision of a world that looks beyond outer appearances into the content of one’s heart. That same album also has songs in Spanish, Hebrew, Zulu and a song sung with a Native American Clanmother. Her BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW WORLD cd won a 2007 Parent’s Choice Award and includes fun versions of songs as diverse as Appalachian, South African, Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and English. Her latest cd – GRANDCHILDREN’S DELIGHT is a cd designed to share best-loved songs from the good old days as a way to bring the generations together.

Say’s Daria: “Another wonderful Native American saying is that you can tell the quality of a culture by how it treats its elderly and its children. For me, creating music that nourishes, educates and brings folks of different backgounds and generations together is such a great way to make music!” You can see info on all of Daria’s work and albums at www.dariamusic.com.

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