Editorial Issue n°13

Dear reader, Do you know the moment during a show when you distance yourself from the music? It’s usually after you’ve recognized the main beat or rhythm and before the trance takes over. Three possible scenarios: a) You can’t resist the music and the show is super good. Nodding heads, maybe a mosh pit. Raving reviews. b) You go to the bar for a beer or join the smoking pack outside. “I didn’t feel the vibe”. c) You’re not convinced, but you dive back into the music until the end of the show or until the next pivot point.
05 December 2018 | AG 13

In economics a pivot point is a technical analysis indicator used to determine the overall trend of the market during different time frames. The pivot point itself is the average of the high, low and closing prices from the previous trading day.* The pivot point is a marker. It can go up- or downhill from here on. An economic trend is a continuous line of pivot points. In sports, I learned about pivoting from the gym teacher during korfball. “PIVOT, PIVOT, PASS!” is what she yelled every game. During the pivoting movement, using your body as a lever, you scan the playfield and determine who should receive the ball next. A good game means that your fellow players think ahead and run towards an unobstructed position. Pivoting contains stillness and movement, the individual and the collective at once. 

I digress. This is the fifth edition of the Eastern Daze festival. In 2014, for the first edition, I wrote a text for the accompanying Avant-Guardian. It made me think about exotism. Can we organize a festival celebrating the influence of Eastern music on western music without appropriation? Doesn’t “borrowing from the east” sound like an echo from colonial times? In 2018, these questions are more familiar than they were in 2014. Decolonization is a narrative in mainstream media. Luckily for us, the answers concerning music are much simpler than for the visual arts. Unlike visual artist, and it’s museums filled with stolen objects, music can be used as an exchange value between cultures. You give us sufi music, we give you Beethoven (wait, wasn’t he black?*). Music doesn’t take up space like stolen property. You can listen and enter a different world outside of your own cultural framework. Music can trigger a pivotal moment in itself, from not knowing to understanding and feeling. We find each other in trance and dance. The ifs and buts lie in the organization of concerts, in paying correct fees, in crediting samples and attributing royalties, but not in the music itself.

Dear reader, we invite you to turn this year’s Eastern Daze festival into a wildly rotating, trance-inducing moment. Let’s celebrate music as an exchange value. The line-up is diverse and bonkers. Let’s make it a vacuum moment in time and space, a stretched, trippy version of standing still and wondering where to go next. Or maybe all this dancing in the dark spins us in the right direction anyway. So. I look forward to pivot, pivot, pass with all of you.

See you in the pit,

Claire Stragier