Midist/Wasim and the safe place
Yesterday I went to Haarlem to meet Midist and Wasim in their studio. We drink coffee in the kitchen next to their studio, exchange current state of minds, songs and visions.
Wasim: I actually wanted to wear black today, but the weather convinced me otherwise. Did you hear about the fire at Beirut’s Port? Such a tragedy happens there now. Beirut is the most beautiful place that is meant for people to enjoy life to the fullest.
Midist: People are traumatized, when they see smoke, they start running. 160 schools are vanished away. Even the music venue where people used to go at night to forget about all the sadness of the day, has now disappeared. I am collecting stuff to bring for when I go back. Pencils, food, cloths. People have nothing no more.
We move to the studio where Midist is about to play the first song of their – soon to be released – album. Before it starts, Wasim reads the prescription.
Wasim: This medicine is 7 minutes and 7 seconds. Best to allow it to come through you and let it do its work. You can drink water before and after. For the ultimate benefit you can best start and end the day with it.
I take a seat on the couch in front of the speaker. The room is filled with the smell of Palo Santo, fresh September air and the church bells of the St. Bavo Church coming through the window. The song takes me by the hand on a journey to a desert night, Wasim is right beside me. All I can do is surrender to his incredible voice, letting his strength, his grief, his love, shivers my skin for 7 minutes and 7 seconds. From the couch I can see the sunny rooftops of Haarlems city centre. The memories of my high school years get infused by perspectives on life that are strange to the city I experienced 15 years ago, but are not from afar, this journey is happening right here, through this song, and the men I met an hour ago, sharing their stories with me.
Milou: What do you experience while listening to your music?
Wasim: We listen to this when we feel at the edge of ourselves. It gives strength and is at times the most powerful medicine. It shows so well how I feel right now. Even more than when I wrote it. The vision I had back then, is manifested through this piece of music. I can’t wait to release it.
Milou: What is the medicine you want to share through your music?
Wasim: The one thing people need most right now, is a pill of hope. We need it to survive and I feel there is a lack of it.
Midist: I disagree with you. You are not thinking about all the dictators (or dinosaurs) giving people false hope. It doesn’t bring you anywhere. We need to focus on how we continue, where to go.
Wasim: Hope is the fire that makes you able to fight anything that keeps you from the safe place.
Milou: What is that place like?
Wasim: Where I have a peaceful space and mind in and around me, where I can be the person I am, where fear is not there.
Milou: Where does music itself happen when music becomes medicine? In the melodies, in you, in me, in our voices, in between us, in our brains, in the instrument? Or maybe in the place where you don’t experience any separation between you and the music you play, and the others you are performing with?
Wasim: Thats it. Music is the place where I feel one. When thinking about my family and their sorrow, I feel scattered. I have to neglect a part of myself in order to also be fully here, to enjoy life and bring things forward. Music is the only place where I feel whole.
I invited Midist/Wasim to share their music and stories at Fruittuin van West during one of the 3 x 3 = 9 performance evenings: