May I say first of all that my software appears unable to create proper paragraphs at the moment so I apologise for this.
I’ve seen some strange times but as it draws to a close I must concur that 2016 has been one of the most perplexing and frankly saddening years yet.
I am truly blessed to be a musician as to be immersed in that realm is as to sit at the feet of a great teacher. When we are moved by music we are responding to it’s message that beauty is truth, truth is beauty and that truth will ultimately set us all free.
Let me say now that I am not a great fan of Christmas. I totally understand the desire to immerse oneself in it’s sensory overload as it is to indulge in any other comfort seeking drug. I have taken that journey too and as Yoko Ono said “anything can be a drug”. I have always respected her courage to speak her truth in the face of mass mockery and persecution from ‘authorities’ both political and cultural. We have seen this courage too in the expressions of Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell and indeed John Lennon. Let us never forget the light and hope they have bought into the world. All have shunned the comfort zone of mass approval and acceptance to challenge us and to speak their truth as they experience it.
I am privileged too have experienced this force at close hand through my work with two other great and outspoken artists, Robert Plant and Nigel Kennedy. Make no mistake this is a lonely path indeed and is not driven by ego but but by the need to express a deeper truth that this corrupted world may become more enlightened, liberated and joyful, and for this I salute them.
Make no mistake, all these great artists are/were not perfect. They were deeply flawed as we all are. Shades of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, chemical and behavioural addictions and Cognitive Dissonance plague creatives. Partly existing to carve out the necessary space to create. What truly great artists have found through the crucible of their self examination and the inevitable pain, is courage, discipline and an ultimate purity of aim and thus the very real hope of transcendence.
So let’s look beyond the shallow sentimental tinsel and consumerism of the season to the greater lesson that this year has bought us. There may be struggle ahead but we are all individually responsible and the choice is stark, simple and never more urgent…
We can act out of fear or we can act out of love.
In all that we think, all that we do and in all that we are let us be deeply honest with ourselves as to what is driving us ...
…and for the sake of harmony and peace in this world let 2017 be the year that we act out of love.