Mudcat Café message #3544704 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151690   Message #3544704
Posted By: Will Fly
02-Aug-13 - 11:32 AM
Thread Name: Balcombe Protest Asking For Musicians
Subject: RE: Balcombe Protest Asking For Musicians
Think of the sort of group of musicians that would be most likely to turn up to play in support of the sort of protests that we are seeing in our county; would it be more likely to be a chamber ensemble, a string quartet or would it be the sort of small folk or jazz group of the sort that you have been playing with for decades?

I'm not so sure of that, Vic - I know plenty of "classical" musicians who are far more political and left-wing in their activities outside music than I am, and I've known some jazz musicians who were very much to the right of Genghis Khan. A bit like Mudcat, really! I've played all sorts of music over the years - including in orchestras - as well as the stuff I've done in other areas. I'm currently working my way through a project to catalogue a 3,000+ archive of sheet music which I've been given - everything from classical pieces to jazz standards to revue from the 1910s, to operettas from Vienna, popular songs by Porter, Coward, etc., etc. - all wonderful stuff. Nearly all the product of the "mainstream music industry", by the way. It's a common saying that all of life is political, whether you choose it to be or not, but my love of what I play is driven first and foremost by beautiful melodies and harmonic progressions from any source. The "mainstream music industry", whatever you might think of it, is also capable of producing music which is as moving and exciting and as beautiful as material from the traditional world - and a lot of it is played by jazz musicians.

The point I'm making is that I don't consciously mix the act of making music with political action - I never have done - and I'm dubious of "unconscious" motives as well. By the way my personal political actions in years long ago included, among other things, 2 Aldermaston marches and getting mixed up with the Grosvenor Square squabbles, so I'm not exactly apolitical. I - like you - also don't want to see the county I've lived in for the last 45+ years being buggered about by an unscrupulous oil industry. As I said earlier, I've actually been up to Balcombe to see what's going on, but I have doubts about the value of playing folk music there as a real deterrent. I think a large load of mud and cowshit piled across the door of a Cuadrilla director might make more of an impact!