4bar Collective & Zohra - Fighting Extremism With Music - Stereo Stickman

4bar Collective & Zohra – Fighting Extremism With Music


4bar Collective is a world wide music collaboration project set up by Dan Blackwell. For the past few years, Dan has been organising meetups with musicians and creative minds from around the globe to compose and record original music, promoting undiscovered talent and simultaneously celebrating unity and peace. A recent Kickstarter Campaign of 4bar Collective’s caught my attention and I was keen to get in touch with Dan to find out more about it.

The project relates to a newly discovered, all female orchestra based in Afghanistan. The orchestra is the very first of its kind and goes by the name ‘Zohra’. Dan was unsurprisingly inspired by the discovery and was keen to connect with the musicians involved. His reaction was to compose an original piece of music entitled Sister and release it within a video as an open letter to the talented women of the orchestra. It’s a beautiful and incredibly uplifting piece of music with a stunning animation accompanying the open letter.

Shortly after releasing the video, Dan was contacted by the Afghanistan National Institute Of Music to arrange a meet up, during which 4bar Collective and Zohra could collaboratively perform and record a unique version of the Sister composition. This set the wheels in motion for what is certain to be a truly eye opening and inspiring project, which, with your support, will take shape over the coming months.

After 30 years of oppression and a ban of music under Taliban rule, Zohra are standing up to extremism by actively pursuing their passion for music. Their goal is to help move their country towards equal rights and a time when everyone can enjoy and create music without concern – a freedom we have so rightfully enjoyed in the UK and elsewhere for such a long time, that anything less seems almost impossible.

Dan Blackwell set up 4bar Collective to discover and share some of the world’s most talented and creative minds, as well as to consistently push towards unity and peace in a world that so often seems to pull in the opposite direction. What his efforts have achieved so far is incredibly warming to hear about, and this particular project is hugely inspirational and something that I personally feel needs as much attention, awareness, and support as possible.

In addition to the collaboration, Dan will be filming a Documentary throughout his journey. The film will detail first discovering Zohra, getting the chance to record them, interviews with the talented women involved in the orchestra, his own experience of Kabul, the history of the Taliban, the laws against music in Afghanistan, the threats women face on a daily basis, and Zohra’s incredibly important mission of equality. The entire project is a non profit – all money raised will be donated to the Zohra fund.

This is something immensely beautiful to embrace and appreciate in the face of global struggles. It is the opposite of division, a voice against inequality, and a wonderful opportunity to inspire real positive change.

Please check out the video below, and head over to the 4bar Collective Kickstarter Campaign Page to show your support and to make sure you’re one of the first to be informed as the journey starts to take shape. Find and follow 4bar Collective on Facebook & Twitter. Visit their Website for more information.


Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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