Ghaeth Almaghoot, a Syrian clarinetist
My name is Ghaeth Almaghoot, a Syrian clarinetist aged 27 and this is a little insight into my journey as a musician and my involvement with the Stichting Toverfluit organisation. I started playing the clarinet when I was 21 years old and based in Homs city, Syria. After one year of playing the clarinet things rapidly changed for me and I could no longer stay in Syria. I had only the option of leaving to a safer country where I could begin new life with more hope and trust in the future, this brought me to the Netherlands.
When I arrived to the Netherlands in 2015, I was unable to speak English or Dutch which presented a big difficulty for me but the moment I played the clarinet I was able to express myself and connect with others, regardless of language. It was here that I realised playing the clarinet gave me a key that could open the closed doors I faced in front of me.
During the years that followed, I focused on playing the clarinet and developing the necessary skill set of a musician. With the support of some friends and my teacher, Alex Simu, I was able to pass the entrance exam of the music school in Rotterdam and began my Bachelor studies in 2016.
Up until my fourth year, 2019/2020, I was able to improve my musicianship, technique and understanding of the clarinet on a beginners instrument, which pleased me greatly. I was very content but as I grew academically and professionally, I began to feel hindered by that current instrument, realising that I could only reach so much of my potential. I sought after finding something to enable my music making and help me grow instead of limiting me, but financing this was a challenge. I did begin to feel that I had reached the limits of what I could learn from this instrument and needed to seek out a higher quality clarinet and other necessary equipment in order to accommodate my ever growing musical desires and opportunities and to aid my journey into professional musicianship.
Alongside an improved instrument I felt at my stage of education that having access to recording studio equipment and being able to record my music at home would act as a huge advantage and really support my career. As is commonly known, recording at a professional studio costs a lot of money which is not favourable to a student. Additionally, having equipment based at home in a studio space would expand my knowledge of music from a new perspective.
I was fortunate enough to become aware of Stichting Toverfluit and I eagerly sent them my application in order to get their support. Just as I had hoped, they replied to my application shortly after and they showed a lot of interest and excitement about helping me get my home recording studio in place and partly financing my new clarinet.
At present, the new instrument has enabled me to reach my desired sound and express music in a way I could only have imagined before. I am delighted that this is now my reality and that with a new instrument I am able to do the music justice and perform to the best of my abilities. As with all musicians, we are ever growing and developing so I am very excited to begin just new journey of development with my new Bb clarinet.
With my home recording studio I have learned so many new things which lend themselves into new skills which is shaping me into better musician. The timing of having this home recording studio was really a blessing as it all came together just before the global pandemic started. The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 with there being an inability to perform allowed for a new appreciation of music making. The studio space gave me the opportunity to continue making music and sharing it with the world on social media.
After the funding from Stichting Toverfluit I have graduated from the conservatory as a Bachelor of Music with Honours. The usual final performance was replaced with a portfolio which I completedfrom my little home studio by recording the music and taking my final exams from home, I alsoauditioned for the masters studies from this studio and I have been accepted.I am so very thankful and grateful for Stichting Toverfluit for making all of this possible and for helping me graduate from my Bachelors degree and enter into the Masters programme.