Music and Humanitarianism

In his keynote address at the Music Without Borders 2016 Concert, Dr. James Orbinski’s explores the overlap between music and humanitarianism, and explains how each is an expression of commitment towards excellence, beauty, love, and a world without borders:

"There are many similarities between basic humanitarianism and the power, energy and vitality of music in what is so beautifully captured and presented here tonight... Deep in my own centre, I feel a common sense of unity between this idea and experience of music, and the experience of what I know to be humanitarianism...

At its root, humanitarianism is about entering into that space where you are in relationship to other human beings—where you see the other not as an object, not as a subject, but as a fellow being. And in that relationship, one acts where the other is unable to act for themselves. One acts in a manner that is very much focused on and very much seeks to relieve suffering. And so, in a certain way, it is a kind of relationship that is rooted in the best words that I can find to describe, it’s rooted in a kind of "being and becoming." Music very much comes from that same place of "being and becoming." The resonance of music, the sound of music, its reverberations, bring us into that relationship of "being and becoming." And music, in many ways, is a window into and an offering from that "being and becoming."