Ireland, Panos Pictures for Der Spiegel
1st Prize Art and Entertainment Singles
Joséphine Nsimba Mpongo, 37, practices the cello in the Kimbanguiste neighborhood of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a member of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (OSK), Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra. During the day, Joséphine sells eggs in Kinshasa’s main market, and rehearses with the orchestra most evenings during the week. The OSK was founded by its current conductor Armand Diangienda in 1994. Initially, just a few dozen musicians shared the small number of instruments they had at their disposal. Today, the OSK can muster 200 players for a concert. Most are self-taught amateurs who hold down day jobs all over the city.
[official post on the website]
My first reaction was *silent* then "bless that lady and all members of the orchestra, and may all their passions for music be kept alive". I'm telling you how lucky we are (I am) for being able to practice or rehearse properly in proper places, for being able to purchase decent musical instruments, for having all things provided when doing performances, for being able to learn any musical instruments you (and I) want anytime or anywhere, if only we have the will.
Keep in mind that every time we play a tune, we have the spirit of every musician in the world: good or bad, an expert or a beginner, old or young, rich or poor, with her own musical instrument or borrowed. No need to brag about your shiny instrument, spacious studio, or even your extraordinary ability in reading musical excerpt. Don't even whine if you're still borrowing guitar from your friend, rehearse full band in a small 3 x 3 studio, or simply if you can only play the I - III - V chords.
Happy new year.