Guitarist's vision sees music as international bridge-building tool
Guitarist Jason Carter has been travelling across the world for many years using music as a way of sharing faith across cultures. He talks to Russ Bravo about his new initiative Building Bridges Through Music ...
Guitarist and cultural ambassador Jason Carter has been travelling across the world for many years using music as a way of bringing people together and sharing faith across cultures. He talks to Russ Bravo about his new initiative Building Bridges Through Music ...
What is Building Bridges Through Music?
This is something that happens naturally whenever at least two musicians play together. But the significance of this increases once the cultural divide becomes greater, especially in conflict areas of the world. Music is a magical language which is understood by all, regardless of race, religion or social status.
What sort of impact have you seen by using music as a bridge-building tool?
Bahrain would be a great example of how Shia and Sunni Muslims came together for the first time in years, at Bahrain Arts centre, for a concert I gave with some old Pearl Divers. The minister of culture described the concert as a 'miracle'.
Afghanistan was also incredible, from the audience perspective, as they saw a different side of the British 'occupation' in Afghanistan. I worked with a group of old Afghan musicians whose instruments were burned in Taliban times, but now have flourishing arts centres in Kabul and Kandahar.
My Christian faith is at the core of my existence, therefore has everything to do with my motivations. I cannot separate it. Some Christians have asked me why I like to work extensively in the Muslim world, and is it my intention to spread the 'Gospel' there. I would answer like this: Jesus' example, as far as I can see, was that we are all equal under God, and the Kingdom of God is open to all, through Christ.
So my motivation is more about engaging in culture and in people, and to try, to the best of my understanding and behaviour, to show God's love wherever possible.
Personally, relationships are far more crucial than ultimatums, and it is through personal relationships that truths are discovered, and living by example. Also, we have much to learn from other cultures generally, and I have to say, I am richer because of all these experiences.
What are your hopes for the future of the project?
I would like to see the next two years as a time of gathering more secure ongoing funding for the Jesser Al Wadi project, and a platform for myself, and others, to actively engage in cross-cultural dialogue through music, as the world is crying out for it.
How can others get involved?
I hope to be in the position in the next year or so to include others in activities throughout the Middle East, but also in the political arenas of the world, through music. Anyone interested in either funding, or being involved artistically, please get in touch through the Jesser Al Wadi website.
Read our interview with Jason back in 2007.
Get more inspiring reading
You can order our printed INSPIRE magazine in bundles of 10 for your church. Get encouraged by stories of God at work in the UK and around the world – and it's great for giving away to those on the edge of church, too! Order FREE* for your church (*we welcome an annual donation towards our costs).