Fulbright Austria alum Melissa Danas has curated a project titled "The International Horn Project" as a way to connect with musicians around the world during the COVID-19 crisis—and to continue making music for all to enjoy.
During her time as a Fulbright Austria program participant, 2017–18 US Fulbright student Melissa Danas came to Vienna to pursue her work with the horn. Since then, she has ben involved in many projects and worked with several orchestras—projects that were put on hold as a result of COVID-19. Determined to move forward with her music, Melissa has curated the International Horn Project.
The International Horn Project
By Melissa Danas
The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone adversely, but it has especially disrupted the lives of musicians and performers everywhere. As life slowly returns to 'normal' for many people, as restaurants open and restrictions are lifted, musicians across the globe remain isolated and are still prohibited from performing—the world stage is eerily silent.
There is a deep financial loss for all, but perhaps the greatest loss has been the companionship of friends creating something together. In response to this, the International Horn Project has evoked the horn’s power to call out and connect across great distances, to simultaneously express the loneliness that we are all feeling, but in a powerful and hopeful way, as the horn is so beautifully capable of. The project’s inspiration harkens back to the alphorn, which has been used for centuries as a means of communication that also gives a sense of community across the seemingly insurmountable boundaries of the Alps and the valleys below them.
The International Horn Project draws on these origins to express solidarity and unity in our current situation—across closed borders, across a closed world—and the endurance of music in spite of these obstacles. For this reason, the film begins with a short horn call between the Austrian Alps (Kanisfluh, Vorarlberg) and Vienna (Wiener Konzerthaus) that will start the piece and echo across the world to call everyone together to play.
For more information on the project, please check out Melissa's website. And be sure to watch the video below!