One World…

blogAs our free societies enter a new era (most centuries historically begin in the second decade, as the first one often remains part of the “fin the siecle”) we’re forced to look back and see what we’ve got so far. Democratic capitalism is under a strain: we’ve grown accustomed to translate “freedom” in terms of consumption and possessions. That perception is slowly shifting. Now that the prospect of “growing out of our problems by increasing production” becomes dimmer and dimmer, the world has to find new ways of growth, within the parameters of ecological and economical justice. Lately we’ve seen a tendency to “socialize” consumption. You see this in the ongoing discussion about illegal downloads or music streaming on the internet. “Keep the internet free!” warn the illegal downloaders. For some of them the battle consists in a holy war against ‘greedy’ content creators (like us, poor musicians!) and legal content providers. In itself there seems to be nothing wrong with ‘free’ artistic creations. In the Sovjet era the ‘non-capitalist’ Sovjet art system created musical giants like Sjostakovitsj and Prokofjev. Without their state-subsidised assignments it is doubtful whether their masterworks would have seen the light of day so easily. But of course we also know the darker flipside of that coin. The real price these masters had to pay was a terrible limitation of their personal freedoms. So I fear that’s not the best way to go for us right now…Yet I do foresee that there will be a whole lot of rightful, bottom-up pressure to ‘socialize’ certain aspects of our free society. Public transport, government regulated health care and education will become increasingly important in the coming years, as personal income growth stagnates and the world’s population keeps expanding. The important thing for our free democracies will be to make people on this planet (and by that I mean the whole planet and not just part of it!) ‘more equal’ economically, while still securing the right of each individual to pursue their own personal dreams – and thereby create their own personal fragment of our common destiny.

JP – April 2016


Music Is The Art Of Loving

Inblog troubled times like these music has a special part to play. Our consumption driven economic system is about to collapse, the ice at the poles is melting and sea levels are steadily rising. The decay of the middle class, rising poverty in our urban ghettos, food shortages in the third world, the world-wide migrant crisis and fears of a new cold war between east and west. Being just a few of the looming dangers: to top it all of, Donald Trump has recently entered the stage …
Now here’s the good news. In times of chaos musicians can act like medieval troubadours, giving the audience their sideline take on what’s happening, be it as Shakespearian jokers, or as utopian harbingers of hope. Or anything in between… But always without betraying the eternal promise of beauty and harmony to which they are intrinsically bound. As the (so called) Music Industry has turned the art of music into a an exclusively commercial business over the last twenty years, it’s hight time the musicians themselves took up the challenge and started mending the dream. Let’s face it, Fame & Riches are so 2016: let’s reopen the gates of truthfulness and hope, give people a glimpse of better days ahead. And restore the true art of loving…
JP – November 2016