The background for this blog, Part 2: Can playing music be of help to the world?

22. November 2016

Many people would be surprised to hear about how the musical world is a microcosmos, a mini version of the real world, where there is a lot of bad attitude.

The most interesting thing about concerts is who wins the performance. YOU are a loser if someone is playing better than you. If you are not playing perfectly, you should feel ashamed. I can not play with you. Go to your practise room and don’t come out again. Do not play with people unless they are as good as you. Unless they can conquer the stage themselves, don’t give it to them. If they play a mistake, punish them.

For non-musicians who read this, try to swich “concert”, “stage” or “performance” with “work”, playing with “working” etc, use words that fit with your own lifestyle, and I think you will get my point. It is about pain, fear, discomfort. The pain of being separated from other people. Being an outsider. We retreat behind the boundaries and tensions of prefabricated borders that divide us. In the real world as well as in the musical world. Academic, political, social, racial, cultural, musical borders. Sometimes I feel these things quite strongly. I am an introvert and thin-skinned person. I don’t like being asked about my job. You would not respect it. Is what I have learned.

I am an improvising musician. I have practised blocking out bad vibes, because I couldn’t play much if I thought about that. And I need to play. Playing is entering into a different room where people listen to each other. A different room where we enjoy relating to other human beings as equals. People should be connected, not separated. Separation hurts. When you open up, you are vulnerable, and that hurts too. But you need to do it.

The later years I have understood that the world was in a much worse condition than I thought. Because of that, I need to go in a different direction than before. I want to contribute, not hide in my practise room. Can playing improv music be of help to the world? Some people seem to think so. This is not a new idea, far from it. To open myself – and my music – to more people, shouldn’t that be something positive? I will play with more people, and more diverse people than before. I want to have a hands-on experience of creating connections. Making music is a way of speaking together. I feel uncomfortable if speaking to people who have opinions that I don’t like. But I need to try and confront that. That is my project.

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