Kulturkirche in Köln
Kleiner Musiksaal in Hamburg
Frankfurter Hof in Mainz
Worldchanging: The Last Viridian Note
Rather than “thinking globally and acting locally,” as in the old futurist theme, I now live and think glocally. I once had a stable, settled life within a single city, state and nation. Nowadays, I divide my time between three different polities: the United States, the European Union and the Balkans. With various junkets elsewhere.
The 400-year-old Westphalian System doesn’t approve of my lifestyle, although it’s increasingly common, especially among people half my age. It’s stressful to live glocally. Not that I myself feel stressed by this. As long as I’ve got broadband, I’m perfectly at ease with the fact that my position on the planet’s surface is arbitrary. It’s the nation-state system that is visibly stressed by these changes – it’s freaking out over currency flows, migration through airports, offshoring, and similar phenomena.
Wikipedia link to Westphalian System:
Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on two principles: territoriality and the exclusion of external actors from domestic authority structures.
It’s not just the music business that is changing so fast that it’s hard to get a new foot-hold in the wall of time… As Sterling points out the basic system of nation-states is evaporating. Transcend and include. Families to tribes to alliences of tribes to cities to states to nations… and now the step(s) to a world-culture of some sort, with people moving between states and countries and continents with as much ease as salesmen used to move from village to village, city to city.
But, at the same time we have to find a way to honor and value the here and now, which starts with the location, the sense of place, querencia, heimat, home – even if home is where you lay your hat, or home is where my guitar sleeps… (((the working title for my next album might be “Querencia/Heimat”. But that’s all I am going to say now. If I were to describe my inspiration to you, you might think I am carzy…))) In other words, I feel we need to expand in two directions at the opposit ends of this double-sided arrow: a new structural layer above (but including) nations that allows us to move freely between countries, and at the same time a reclaiming of the local sphere: oral history, local foods etc.
One can only hope that nations slip into the future with more agility and wisdom than the music business, but that is most likely not possible…
Water-tower pierced by artillery during the last battle of the Spanish Civil war.
It’s Tuesday Morning in Freiburg. Really enjoyed performing at the Jazzhaus last night. I should have taken some photos of the vaulted ceilings. In a little while we will drive to Köln and right now I’ll go to find coffee…
Enjoyed the coffee at Caffè Nero, not far from the hotel, but at Fernandez & Wells on Lexington Street the coffee was really excellent, especially the “Stumpy”!!
Showed up at the club at 15:00 sharp as noted in our tourbook (((the book of lies!!!))), but the doors were locked, the place was dark and nobody answered the doorbell. Called the contact number we had, but there was only an answering machine. Called our manager, who called my U.S. agent, who called my European agent. No news by 16:15. Not worried, because it will only take us 30 minutes to set up the sound, and since they don’t have a vid projector we won’t need time to set that up, but inconvenient as it is a nice afternoon and one would have enjoyed walking about. Walked back to the hotel, which was conveniently down the street.
At 16:45 the doors were still locked. London completely dark by now.
Finally got in around 18:00. Nice club and good food. Enjoyed playing guitar for the audience… it’s how most of my music is born anyway: just me and my guitar in a room. Even nicer when it’s a room full of people.
Sneaked out through the back entrance of the Pigalle right after the show and started packing, but could not fall asleep until after midnight. At 04:30 we left for the airport still dead tired.
Didn’t buy coffee at Heathrow, because we hoped to sleep on the plane. I guess that worked, sort of… lots of micro-sleep.
The German tour manager picked us up and drove us to Freiburg.
Long journey. Bumpy ride over the Atlantic. Read this marvel of an insightful poem by Gary Snyder:
As the crickets’ soft Autumn hum
is to us,
So are we to the trees
As are they
To the rocks and hills.
Arrived in Barcelona, where my friends picked me up at the airport and drove 1 1/2 hours in a South-Western direction. The Priorat is contained in a large bowl of granite, a handful of small towns – some with less than a hundred residents – that produce grapes, almonds and hazelnuts. Because there is only dry-farming, meaning that there is no irrigation, and the ground is not rich dirt, not even dirt really, just rock into which the vines drop roots up to 30 feet down to obtain water, the fruit is very concentrated and intense. Similarly the nut-trees are small, but with very flavorful almonds and hazelnuts.
On my last day in the area we drove to Corbera D’Ebre, a town which was the location of the last and deciding battle of the civil war. We took the long route and briefly visited a cave that served as a makeshift hospital. Coming to Corbera we crossed a river in which many of the retreating forces drowned because they could not swim. The town abandoned the buildings bombed during the civil war, which recently have become an art project, the alphabet of liberty.
Here is a link to a Flickr slideshow I put together. I first read about the history of this town here:
Route to Peace – LIME
Like most medieval towns, Pinyeres is situated on the highest point of land in its valley, the better to see danger approaching. Throughout the centuries, the more modern town of Batea grew up around it. When destruction came in the 20th century, it came not by land but from the air, delivered not by invading foreigners but by Spanish countrymen.