“My music never is about knowing, but of questioning the future” (Silvio Rodriguez)
It is the privilege of every musician to share the gift of music, with listeners, with children, and with each other. Imagination, creativity, self-awareness/ self-understanding, generosity of spirit, the very things enshrined in music, is what defines a culture. It is not in our ability to buy and sell, in achieving material prosperity, that lasting culture is determined, important those things may be. The true education of all regardless of gender, colour or creed; the power of art to transform lives; the unique transformative power of music to achieve this – these are the values that Musiko Musika espouses.
Music is a common good, for all human beings, like water, the sun, air, love and kindness. It is exchanged freely through inspiration, shared through creativity, bestowed through the generosity of those that are older, with love, on those that are younger. It is the only language shared by the whole of humanity because it does not need translation. Creating music embodies communication and educating for the purpose of transforming – a moment, an emotion, a life. In music there is no discrimination, there are no divisions, there are no boundaries – cultural, ideological or religious.
Children and young people have the right to enjoy and create music from their own perspective, a child’s point of view, and without the external impositions that would restrict their creativity and the purity of their creative and musical focus. Their teachers are not better human beings than them, merely older, with a teacher’s duty to pass on the shared experience that they have learned and treasured themselves.
London is now one of the great cultural reservoirs for humanity. As such it stands as the keeper of the heritage of musical mankind - and has the possibility of leading the world in a shared multi-culturalism of music, gained and promoted as of right from the musical melting pot of the world. Literally thousands of musical creators are already here, from Latin America to Mali to Mongolia, and everywhere in between – the greatest collection of musical practitioners in the world.
This resource as an educational tool cannot be overstated. As an agent to work against the pernicious effects of nationalism and imperialism, committed multi-cultural, multi-national musicians are in a privileged position to share not just their music, but their cultures, with the children of London and the rest of the country, and to promote the shared values of difference seen as something to be celebrated. These, too, are core values espoused by Musiko Musika.
Music is a fundamental expression of human beings as individuals, and is a natural characteristic of culture, and the community and society in which that culture has developed. Music is the place where all languages meet, become one. Children and young people must invent and create music without fear, and without the inhibition caused by criticism. It is the same to sing in a small bar, or in a school hall as to sing in the Royal Albert Hall because music is made all the time, every day, in all places.
Our role as musicians and as an organisation is to identify and understand the musical needs and potential of those that we work with, within the wider social, cultural and political context within which they live. To channel and enable, empower that musical, social and cultural potential where it already exists and to plant the seed, water it and nurture it where it needs to grow.
MUSIKO MUSIKA, LONDON, JANUARY 2019