BackStage

Musicians in Action

Musicians in Action

Nov 8, 2011

"It's been said that musicians should not meddle in politics. It is significantly less dangerous to engage in pure art." - Gidon Kremer
 
When musicians step beyond the role of artist and into the role of activist, they bring attention to themselves in a way that almost certainly alienates some part of their audience. Matt Haimovitz supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. Does that impact your decision to listen or not listen to his music?
 
Musicians have the monumental task of learning how to effectively reach people with their art. This requires a great deal of introspection and strong sense of identity unique to them based on their life experiences. With such developed means of communication and defined awareness of self, it makes sense that they use their talent to overtly express more than strictly musical content.
 
In the article attached, Gidon Kremer appeals to the artistic community calling for action and response to one's conscience. Do artists have a duty to be politically charged? It's a slippery slope and most musicians don't mess around with it. People often turn to music as an escape. The last thing they want to see in a concert hall is another reminder of what's wrong in the world. Right?
 
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-05/opinion/kremer.musician.russian.prisoner_1_khodorkovsky-and-lebedev-russian-poet-richest-man?_s=PM:OPINION

Comments

Arts vs. Politics

Allegra,

A truly interesting topic worthy of many comments and arguments. One of the most interesting examples of an artist taking a crazy political stand was Leni Reifenstiel, Hitler's documentary film maker. An amazing talent who used her skills to promote the Nazis. I also can't help but think about the Dixie Chick's controversy that essentially ended their country music careers. On the other side of the ledger is Yo-Yo's Citizen Musician contributions and the hundreds of other causes he has supported.

Bottom line, artists are people too and entitled to their opinions....and whatever fallout happens as a result of expressing them.

Jim

Musicians meddling in politics

It is up to the relevant musician's conscience to "meddle"

The question is, whether his/or her conscience is honest, or politically, financially, nepotistically, or otherwise is corrupted.

For example to achieve some kind of a dictatorship is not ethical at all. There are plenty of liars, provocateurs and demagogues to confuse the public opinions, but let us leave that to the professional politicians, they know how (and they do) spin the stories according to their agenda.

A human visitor :-)

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