Third edition highlights sustainable instrumentation
Dubai Metro Music Festival. The melody of happiness continues
The tunes of the musicians spread an atmosphere of joy among metro goers. Cinematographer: Ali Melhem
Between several lanes at five selected stations, music tunes connect with 20 musicians from the UAE, the region and the world, offering metro visitors an extra dose of joy and culture, as part of the third edition of the Dubai Metro Music Festival, which recently kicked off and will continue until next Sunday.
Organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, in collaboration with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the festival will feature musical events inspired by world cultures, as well as highlighting the concept of sustainability through machines made from recycled materials.
Amina Taher, senior executive at Brand Dubai, told Emirates Today: "The festival returns for its third edition and its idea has crystallized through a strategic partnership between Brand Dubai and the Roads and Transport Authority, in cooperation that involves many projects, including this festival."
She added: "The most beautiful thing about the Dubai Metro Music Festival is that it covers all cultures, it is not local, but can be classified as global, and during this year its general character has been merged with the Year of Sustainability, and we have machines made from recycled materials."
Amina Taher pointed out that the festival's performances start from four in the afternoon, and extend until 10 pm, and this time was chosen because metro goers in the morning are busy starting their day and work, and it is nice to provide positive energy on the way back from work to home. She pointed out that five stations were selected: Mall of the Emirates, Burjuman, Dubai International Financial Centre, Etihad and Sobha Properties, and this was based on safety standards in the first place, so the stations were avoided to ensure the safety of the public.
The festival has achieved great success in the past two editions, according to Amina Taher, who added: "The event coincides with the Dubai Destinations campaign, as it was proposed to present it on seasons during the year, but we decided to organize it during this period in particular, to be part of the Dubai Art Season, as the majority of events focus on visual art, and we sought to have music have a share in this cultural scene."
Regarding the criteria on which artists are selected, she stated that in each session, there is a theme that dominates the festival, and the Year of Sustainability was dominant in this edition in line with the title of 2023 in the UAE, noting that they are working to cover different segments and colors from around the world, and of course the absence of Emirati creativity, as the current edition witnesses the participation of musician Iman Al-Raisi.
Regarding the development plan for the festival, Amina revealed that the event is taking into account expanding to include more stations, and there are ideas on the table about organizing a competition in the field of music. She noted the interaction of the audience with the musicians, stressing the festival's support for the participating artists, whether by providing them with platforms for performance, as well as media support for the participants.
For his part, French musician Nicolas Brass, who participates in the festival playing instruments made from recycled materials, said: «I started playing the guitar at a young age, and then I moved to play drums and others, and then I went to build my own instruments, and the number of what I created reached a large number».
He pointed out that he is working on creating instruments that he feels can be useful in presenting his vision of music, so he created machines from recycled materials, which he aspired to own, but he did not have enough money to buy them, so he began to research the variety of materials, and how to invent machines.
Brass said that his sense of innovation depends on his love of physics and not only music, which makes it easier for him to invent machines that produce sounds from strange things, explaining that he created a wind machine from bicycle tires.
What he plays during the festival is a guitar made of recycled wood, along with other instruments, pointing out that it is his first participation in Dubai, as he works to present his own music and is keen to mix it with international tunes, in a form that suits the multiple cultures that live in a city that brings together many nationalities from different parts of the world.
• 20 musicians from the UAE, the region and the world offer metro users extra doses of joy.
The third edition of the Dubai Metro Music Festival will feature 20 musicians from around the world: saxophonist Carrie Stirling, oud player Shadi Al-Harbi, and centaur player Marcel Gharib, and puppet shows by Mohamed Fawzi.
Faraz Ahmed and Anita Morozova will also play the flute, and the piano Elicia Kudzinia, Iman Al Raisi and Nicholas Brass will also play recycled instruments. More than one guitarist, John Buttijig and Boris Mogilevski, will take part, while the harmonica Radi Seikaly and Lara Kassem will play the qanun. In drum and percussion performances, Sagar Patel, Segun Daniel, Ernesto Vidal Jaya, Sarut Nabin, Wasan Brumbenig and Divianch Kashulia will take part, while DJ Isabel Clarcon and Michelle Rasul will take part.
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