I grew up at war with the rest of the world.
Years later, I still fight the same battle.
by Daniel Olert
I think, at heart, I was always a musician. I would always have a tune in my head and would spend my free time messing with an instrument or audio software. My heroes where rock stars. However, as I grew older, I felt pressure on myself – from both myself and from others – to fit into a certain expectation.
I wanted to live up to those expectations, so music became secondary. I pursued a degree in engineering to live up to those expectations, but I never felt like I fit in. I continued my musical development after classes as an outlet, but it wasn’t enough. Upon graduating, I realized that there was a difference between who I was trying to be and who I actually was, so I began a musical journey of finding myself.
I’m a musician. I used to just make and teach music, but lately I have been consumed by climate activism because I love people and nature. I can’t continue living without doing something to prevent it all from disappearing.
E. E. Cummings wrote:
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. That makes it very hard to plan the day.”
This describes pretty much every day of my life now.
We live in funny times.
The Artist writes his best song for seven years, suffers mental breakdowns, heartbreaks, crazy life situations, misunderstandings, self-doubt, rehabs, and other things that people might encounter in 7 long years. The song is finally ready. He records it. It takes a week. He releases it. Nobody buys it.
In the meantime, The Kid makes a beat on his iPhone; it takes him 3 minutes. He drops it. Someone buys it for $50, to rap about „bitches” over the mindless loop. The Kid buys more chewing gum.
Hi, I am Miira. I am living far from YOUR world. I mean far from this patriarchal-smallminded-selfcalled-society. This is a great pool and I am not very sure that I can swim there or if I even want to. So I created my own world, and I am trying to hold its contour above my head.
“Are you gonna be ok speaking to him?” she says.
“Yeah sure, why?” I say.
“It’s just that some people totally freak out when they meet him,” she says.
I’m standing outside of a studio door at BBC 6 music, and the nice girl who is chaperoning me is asking if I’m gonna be ok meeting Bruce Dickinson.
There were a few years there–the late 60’s and early 70’s–when underground FM radio thrived in Chicago. FM was new then, not yet corporate, and it offered, on weak frequencies, some very eclectic and adventurous broadcasting. I’d stay up late at night and record from the radio—musicians I’d never heard, but who fascinated me: Sibelius, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Skip James, Ornette Coleman, Doc Boggs. The tapes had no genre boundaries or even taste parameters, really–half the time I didn’t even know if I exactly liked the stuff I was recording. I didn’t yet have enough musical context to fully appreciate it. But I craved the soundscapes the tapes created. Avant garde and folk musics seemed much the same to me. It was all musical texture—fresh and new, especially the stuff that was old.