Trance music is from all places, and from all times. Actually, when you think about it, it’s the very core of music. It bends space-time and makes you chasing your own tail. It makes you forget your highly individual attitude, whereas the ‘we’ embraces the ’I’.
Before you call me a fascist, which I completely understand because the ideas lined out above relate to both fascism as communism. Nowadays those ideas seem to be stored in the dark corners of history, recalling ghost from dark times. The anti-rational and the collective, remember?
But let’s explore some thoughts:
1st: there is something happening at the borders of Europe.
2nd: our mental and sociological frame is centred around the ‘I’.
3rd: transcendental music in the biggest art centre of Ghent might be a delusion.
4th: The drone brings the four statements above together.
You might have seen images or rumours about strangers invading Europe, in herds of thousands and thousands. There is something happening at the borders of our well-faring, preciously cared and nourished Europe
It reminds me of the end of the Roman empire, when the Germanic tribes were pushed (back) into the territory of the Roman Empire. The Huns were expanding their part of the world, because they needed more space for their herds. Maybe it was straight up imperialism. The consequences were profound: an empire collapsed and got divided. Dark ages turned up in which Catholicism got a grip on Europe.
What to think about the the so-called refugees in the early 21st century. The newspapers are full of ideas how to handle the crisis. Although, it seems everyone forgets to ask this question: why are these people coming here? Possible answers that could be questions in themselves: do they come to destroy our system? Do they want to take our daughters and wives? Will they drink all our well earned beer?
Easy answers: I think they run away from countries with a destroyed system, so I don’t think they want to destroy ours. Most of them are running together with their families, so why taking something you already have? And about our beers, well, most of them are muslim…
Knowledge is traveling faster around the globe then ever. Young people born in the rich West have a whole world lying wide open for them. Artists do residencies and present their music everywhere. There are two words for those phenomonae: expats or refugees. But when to apply one of those synonyms depends on where you have been born and if you are been considered as the ‘other’. Food for thought.
The second idea is related to the above paragraph: our mental-social mindframe is centred around the ‘I’. In the West the highest value of all is individuality. Everything is ‘I’, and succes, failure and all depends if I work hard enough. The ‘I’ can realize everything what it want, and if I fail, it is my own fault.
A Parallel, deep underlying motive in our society is transcendental living. There’s no place in the world where so many people take drugs, and dope themselves with natural highs generated by sports. Music is a perfect catalysator, as the ‘I’ is submerged in collective while dancing, watching a concert, or getting drunk at a festival. Transcendentalism is closely related to the idea of the ‘Other’.
Although the ‘Other’ can be considered as the very core of a collective humanism, you see everywhere that the Other and the Collective are being marginalized. They are seen as things we have to fear. Drugs are illegal, the idea that the ‘I’ is just a pinball played by bigger social and economic forces is denied and put away as leftist, outdated thinking.
In Ghent there is this giant building, standing fierce close to the highest point of the City. It’s the Art Centre Vooruit, where this festival is taking place. It’s located in a nice area, on a stone’s throw away from the famous Book Tower — on actually the highest point, the top of Mount Blandijn. The Tower is an old and beautiful modernist building containing almost all knowledge owned by the university. It was designed by the famous architect Henry Van De Velde. Despite it’s rotten condition, the tower still stands as a beacon for Western civilization, progress and culture. Both buildings once embodied old European values.
The book tower is slowly disintegrating, due to lack of budget. In this process it’s becoming a symbol for the cultural shift from the collective towards the individual. From the socialist, in which budget is a means, towards the neo-liberal, in which budget is the main goal. Knowledge is found on your personal computer, not in a public and collectively institute. It has it good side, as knowledge is build up horizontal through a giant network, but this decline feels strange.
A more hidden, but parallel shift you’ll see in the Art Centre. It was once a cooperative and socialist place to educate and lift the worker’s class culturally. Nowadays you can call it a leftist hub for higher educated middle class. It embodies creativity, individual expression and exploring so-called new ideas for society. Also here comes in the important rol for the ‘I’ — a focal thought in the neo-liberal mind — the art centre produces and empowers the hyper individual visions of the 21st artist.
In this hub for the individual expression people will gather on November 28th. They will share collectively the transcendental visions of the artists invited to perform at the Eastern Daze festival. There is an old expression which is probably outdated: ‘contradictio in terminis’.
The seven artists playing on this edition of Eastern Daze use a similar, ancient old technique in their music — e.i. The Drone. It’s an acoustic phenomon which reveals itself out of long pitched tones, harmonically positioned in a way that the frequencies start interacting, and open up endless possibilities to beautiful over- and subtones. You might know this, or not, but overtones are actually an acoustic illusion. A bit like the effect when you look long at two black points on a white background, they start moving. Or more concrete: the drawing of the portrait of Freud, in which you see a naked woman in his hair. The drone connects individual sound phenomonae, resulting in more than the sum of its parts.
Let’s connect some dots. The Drone, when well done, creates an immersive effect in which you feel embraced by the collective. You finally get rid of this annoying hyper self-aware state of being. As I reasoned, this state of being is induced and enhanced by the neo-liberal mind frame, centered around the ‘I’. The ‘I’ takes a central rol in an art centre which is the Vooruit. Which is strange, because in past times Vooruit symbolized old European values — social well being and the collective. When you look at what’s happening at the borders of the Old Europe, you see this massive fear for the ‘Other’, which, as I pointed out, is actually the very core of humanism.
By the way: a drone refers also to a certain type of character in Star Trek. It’s a human being, assimilated by the dangerous robot species called the Borg. Again the Collective to be immersed in.
I would say, think about this all when you enjoy the festival.