Harmony Beat

William Harvey's thoughts about cultural diplomacy and news about Cultures in Harmony, the non-profit he founded in 2005.

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Location: San Juan, Argentina

violinist, violist, educator, composer, conductor, arranger, cultural diplomat

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Video about our deputy director in Pakistan

Check out this video by the US Consulate General in Lahore about CiH Deputy Director Kimball Gallagher's recent trip to Pakistan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Congratulations to Gulalai!

Congratulations to Gulalai Ismail, founder of Aware Girls, for winning the Commonwealth Youth Award for Asia! Cultures in Harmony partnered with Aware Girls on last month's project in Pakistan. Gulalai also got to meet HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Gulalai (center of photo) meets with HM Queen Elizabeth II after winning the award

Me with Gulalai after the CiH benefit concert for Aware Girls at Kuch Khaas in Islamabad, Pakistan, on February 1, 2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

Pakistani Passacaglia video now public

The first piece created as part of our Passacaglia Project, can now be viewed via this public video taken at the world premiere on February 1, 2015, at Kuch Khaas in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

From Okemos to Afghanistan and back: in 29 years!

In September 1986, I started learning violin with Cheryl Hudler at Okemos High School. I was almost 4 years old. On February 25, 2015, in Kabul, Afghanistan, I performed Raga Pillo with rubab and tabla. And yesterday, students at Okemos High School watched the video of that performance! Thank you to Okemos High School Orchestra Director and CiH project participant Joel Schut for arranging this!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Crossover performance from Kabul

Want to see 2 Afghan and 1 American musician go absolutely crazy—in an awesome way? Check out the brilliant, peerlessly charismatic rubab virtuoso Ramin Saqizada, the rock-solid tabla wizard Fraidoon Myayee, and myself on violin playing a version of Raga Pillo that starts with one of the most difficult Indian rhythms—9.5 beats!—and finishes with a teentaal (16-beat) section played at head-banging, neck-breaking velocity. Can I keep up with the fastest fingers to caress the rubab strings at near-light speed? Of course not...but I do try!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Iranian-American cultural diplomacy

It is great to see that Iran is engaging in cultural diplomacy by bringing jazz saxophonist Bob Belden and his group to play there, making them the first American musical group to tour Iran since the revolution. I hope they will be the first of many groups. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Video of Afghan song

This video is dedicated to the music and musicians of Afghanistan...to all who celebrate the beauty of traditional Afghan culture and its role in rebuilding this once-glorious nation. May Afghan culture flourish again in those places where it was destroyed!

American violinist William Harvey, who taught at Afghanistan National Institute of Music from 2010 to 2014, plays "Bia ke birim ba Mazar" in the ruins of Darulaman Palace—built during the 1920s and destroyed during the civil war of the 1990s—during a return visit to Kabul.