Long distance call

On October 24th, in celebration of the 60th year of the UN, musicians from both the Greek and the Turkish parts of Cyprus collaborated in an immense on-location performance in the city of Nicosia.

The musicians stood on rooftops, balconies and in the streets on both sides of the Green Line. The sound was free to move over and across the buffer zone and formed a musical bridge between the Northern and Southern sides of the city. The music played at either side of the Green Line united in a musical composition. Even though often both sides could not hear each other because the music was not amplified, an echo and a musical wave reaching over the Green Line was a result of this large scale effort invloving 400 participants of both communities.

The project originated from Merlijn Twaalfhoven’s fascination for the capital city of Cyprus. The Green Line runs through the city as a divider since the civil war and Turkish invasion of 1974: a piece of no-man’s-land (under protection of the UN) between the Northern, Turkish part and the South, Greek part. Although the current situation is relatively at peace, the conflict is not settled at all and the devision is a shameful reminder of mans incapacity to live together.  The aim of the project was to narrow the gap symbolised by the Green Line between both parts of the country, physically as well as symbolically by placing an emphasis on the similarities between both communities.

Cyprus Times, 2005 - The Long Distance Call
“Twaalfhoven’s three-dimensional piece Long Distance Call, specially composed for all Cypriots, shall be performed by students, children from primary schools in Nicosia and professional musicians. They shall play together from rooftops, balconies and in the streets along the Green Line which will emphasize the physical unity of the city”.