Why Music matters
It is Monday in April 2020, sitting on the balcony of my flat in Dresden, enjoying the first warm ray of sunshine this spring.
Two children are playing football in the courtyard, someone is having a barbecue on the balcony opposite.
Not an unusual day, you might think, but if you walk through the normally very busy streets of my quarter in the evening these days, you will notice that something is very different than usual.
Where normally one pub follows the other, people go out to have a good time and drink something, where normally young college students sit on the pavement and drink beer and families picnic in the park, it is surprisingly quiet in the evening.
There seems to be an almost spooky silence on the city and those who walk through the baroque old town these days, which is usually lined by tourists, could get the impression that one is in a museum and missed the announcement that it will close shortly.
The reason for this is far beyond the borders of my city, even of my country and continent.
One country after another is being struck by the global, dangerous pandemic and is fighting with the countless dead and infected. Only a few months ago, the changing living and working conditions triggered by a global state of emergency were difficult for all of us to imagine. All the more painful for many to understand is suddenly the fact that direct contact with our friends and our loved ones shouldn´t be possible in the same way for some time.
Stay at home, the motto is, avoid physical contact, wash your hands! You all know this, you’ve heard it enough lately…
The world has stopped and the time and hectic of the global world seems to stand still. It almost seems, as if our dear planet just wants to pause for a moment, like a gigantic clockwork that after years of endless clicking decides to take a little rest. Yet it is not the earth that has stopped turning, it is the people who stopped to race across the globe, in a never-ending rush and hectic.
The higher-faster-further-principle and the fairy tale of endless and unstoppable growth - for one moment it seems a bit like a myth of a past time. And by all this question arises in my head: What will remain, when this crisis is over?
Some of my fellow musicians are very frustrated and lethargic these days. Many of them are facing serious financial problems, others question the sense of their chosen profession. In the last few days I often read posts in social networks from colleagues and friends question the meaning of being a musician in such a time. Some of them have the feeling, it would be meaningless to even talk or think about music, while so many people are suffering and facing existential troubles all around the world. Others are disappointed by the lack of government support for artists and the fact that the government is abandoning the cultural industry compared to other industries.
I would like to share some personal and certainly naive thoughts that I recently had about the importance of music in my life and why I believe that right now, music is more important than ever.