Ravi Unites Songwriting Safaris
Ravi Unites Songwriting Safaris are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to collaborate with songwriters from multiple cultures and backgrounds under the guidance of Ravi Hutheesing, former member of three-time Grammy Award nominee, Hanson. Participants write at least three songs with hands-on instruction from Ravi and his award-winning songwriting teaching method, 1-2-3 Songwriting, as well as learn from carefully selected well-known guest instructors. In addition, participants gain valuable insight about having a career in the arts (Ravi has taught artist-entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music in Boston MA USA, Saint Petersburg Drama Academy in Russia, etc.) and how music can be used as a form of cultural diplomacy (Ravi serves as a cultural diplomat for the United States Department of State). By participating in this unique ten-day workshop, participants create timeless songs, build global friendships and memorable artistic collaborations, and discover how to use their talents to change the world.
Ravi's songwriting retreat was a big part of my motivation to make music my full-time career. It made me realize that the fear of missing out on doing what I love was greater than the fear of not making it. Now I am living my dream.
Paolo Benjamin, Ben & Ben, Philippines
History: In 2016, he launched the first Ravi Unites Intercultural Songwriting Retreat at the Jakarta Institute of Arts in Indonesia with the support of the US Department of State and their implementing partner, American Voices, as a subprogram in their already established "YES Academy." He created and conducted a two-week songwriting and cultural entrepreneurship program for up-and-coming millennial songwriters from the ASEAN nations (i.e. Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, etc.). It was nothing short of life changing for all involved.
Out of seventy-five applicants, Ravi selected sixteen to receive scholarships from their US embassies and join him in Jakarta for twelve days. During that time, these strangers collaborated and wrote a total of twelve songs using the structure of his songwriting video course, “1-2-3 Songwriting.” In addition, they gave two performances at the US Embassy cultural center in Jakarta, one private concert at the US Ambassador’s residence with distinguished guests from ASEAN nations in the audience, and a final concert for the public. By day three, five songs were written and two days later performed live. Another seven songs were then completed and performed at the final concert. They even began to write another three before the end of the program.
What is more monumental than the quantity and quality of the music created was the very fact that they did it together. One song was co-written and performed by a Cambodian, Filipino and two Indonesians—that translates to a Buddhist, Christian, and two Muslims. They had an amazing collaboration between two Indonesians—one “Ex” Muslim and the other, a Muslim who defends Sharia Law. They also had a Muslim and Christian write a song that incorporated both of their countries’ traditional melodies and languages, at times woven together, and a romantic duet written and performed by a conservative Muslim and a Christian. Other than bringing them together in the first place, nothing was forced; it all developed organically. Now three years later, they all remain close friends and share their music with each other online and in person.
Ravi replicated the program the following year in Iraq to help bridge longtime divides between Iraqis and Kurds. This included four talented musicians from Mosul who had just been released days earlier after three years of captivity under ISIS. He then did a third program in Lebanon to unite Syrians and Lebanese, which included participants from the war-torn city of Aleppo.
A few days but a lot of inspiration and light to open doors. To meet a person as Mr. Ravi after super dark days full of pain and war but also full of hope to taste freedom one more time was more than the best thing that could happen to me and my friends. He is great listener, teacher, and friend—the best first step in my healing process after war was and still is knowing him.
Ameen Mokdad, Iraq (prisoner of ISIS)
Next Safari: In early 2020, Ravi will launch his first program in South America in collaboration with the stunningly beautiful Curaumilla Arts Center near Valparaiso, Chile. There, his aim is for participants to not only create timeless songs and have unparalleled intercultural experiences, but to help overcome rising tensions between Chileans and the indigenous Mapuches.
Learn more and apply here: Curaumilla Arts Center
"If these retreats do not prove that music helps overcome humanity’s greatest self-inflicted wounds, I don’t know what will," Ravi says. "Such experiences convince me that world peace is indeed possible."
Next Safari: Chile Feb 21-Mar 1, 2020
Learn more and apply here:
Curaumilla Arts Center, Chile