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Two Songs About War
Last post Tue, Oct 05 2021 by Andreas S., 6 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Sep 29 2021 19:37
by jsg
Joined on Thu, Jan 19 2006, San Francisco, CA USA, Posts 326

The first song, Dulce et Decorum Est, is based on a poem by the English poet Wilfred Owen. He was killed in World War I after returning to the front from previous injuries.

The second song is based on a poem by Enheduanna, who was the daughter of a wealthy political leader in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) about 2000 years ago. I wrote this piece as a response to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Listen

Posted on Sat, Oct 02 2021 21:33
by Andreas S.
Joined on Sat, Nov 29 2003, Cologne & Bleialf, Germany, Posts 149

Awesome and impressive!

Yet, instead of listening to the sadness and horrors of war I would rather listen to the sweetness and promises of peace, about how to achive peace and about humans, who live(d) for that.

Cause to me it seems, as long as we deal in some way with war - which somehow seems much more attractive than dealing with peace - our minds, words and actions are focused on war.

And talking about the horrors of war or wishing it's absence hasn't the same effect as wondering and experimenting how to make peace.

Do my words meet your need for feedback?
Andreas

Posted on Sat, Oct 02 2021 21:51
by jsg
Joined on Thu, Jan 19 2006, San Francisco, CA USA, Posts 326

Originally Posted by: Andreas S. Go to Quoted Post
Awesome and impressive! Yet, instead of listening to the sadness and horrors of war I would rather listen to the sweetness and promises of peace, about how to achive peace and about humans, who live(d) for that. Cause to me it seems, as long as we deal in some way with war - which somehow seems much more attractive than dealing with peace - our minds, words and actions are focused on war. And talking about the horrors of war or wishing it's absence hasn't the same effect as wondering and experimenting how to make peace. Do my words meet your need for feedback?Andreas

Yes, of course your feedback is valuable; l feel the same as you do, the sweetness and beauty of peace is far greater than anything violence can "accomplish".  

I fervently hope that at some future point there will be no need for anti-war songs, paintings about war, and photojournalism that reveals the horrors, cruelty and uselessness of war.  But that day hasn't arrived and I think artists have some moral culpability to act against war propaganda and lies by creating art that reveals the truth about war.  Unfortunately for humankind, there are far too many people in our confused world who justify violence to solve their problems and far too much sentimentality about militarism, war and nationalism. And as long as people are vulnerable to the idea that war is necessary and that their particular nation is "in the right", their leaders will be able to dupe them into starting yet another war.

I work with an organization called World Beyond War, (https://worldbeyondwar.org/) whose ultimate goal is the abolition of war and to replace it with global law that not only works towards the goal that nations resolve their conflicts and disputes peacefully in courts of law, but also helps young people to practice non-violent conflict resolution.  One day our world will gain the necessary legal and moral force to hold presidents, prime ministers, generals and senators--from every nation--accountable for their violence. I don't believe the opposite of war is peace, I believe it is law, and peace is the consequence of both enforceable global law and the "still, small voice" within ourselves that honors and respects the rights of others.  One day in the future war will be no more than a historical collective memory of how primitive and bellicose human beings attempted to resolve their political, economic and social differences.  Then there will be no need for artistic works to show us the stupidity and cruelty that we humans continue to inflict on each other.

Posted on Sun, Oct 03 2021 21:40
by Andreas S.
Joined on Sat, Nov 29 2003, Cologne & Bleialf, Germany, Posts 149

Jerry,

what you write sounds to me like a deep yearning for change.
As to my part: I have a deep yearning for change (too).
Maybe our strategies for meeting our need for change differ.

I'd like to invest as much energy as possible into enabling things. Into enabling things I consider beeing valuable to empower people to solve their conflicts on their own and in a way that meets everybody's needs.

Maybe you are familiar with Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Comunication and Scott Peck's Community building?
Both can be powerful means to connect people in a way that the desire to contribute to each other's wellbeing overcomes every obstacle and enemy image.

I am aware, that my musical abilities barely match what you and others are presenting in this forum.

Yet I hope my assessment of the communication-tools I developed to enable people to connect and decide something in harmony with all parties' needs*) - I hope that assessment of the value of my tools has the same level of clarity and accuracy as my awareness of my place in the musical arena.

So I am wondering whether you were interested to hear more about these tools - the best and easiest way would be learning by doing: beeing introduced to the communication rules and practicing them right away - possibly on the phone.

best wishes,
Andreas

 

*) a possible definition of peace: actions that are in harmony with everbody's needs involved

Posted on Mon, Oct 04 2021 03:04
by jsg
Joined on Thu, Jan 19 2006, San Francisco, CA USA, Posts 326

Originally Posted by: Andreas S. Go to Quoted Post

Jerry,

what you write sounds to me like a deep yearning for change.
As to my part: I have a deep yearning for change (too).
Maybe our strategies for meeting our need for change differ.

I'd like to invest as much energy as possible into enabling things. Into enabling things I consider beeing valuable to empower people to solve their conflicts on their own and in a way that meets everybody's needs.

Maybe you are familiar with Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Comunication and Scott Peck's Community building?
Both can be powerful means to connect people in a way that the desire to contribute to each other's wellbeing overcomes every obstacle and enemy image.

I am aware, that my musical abilities barely match what you and others are presenting in this forum.

Yet I hope my assessment of the communication-tools I developed to enable people to connect and decide something in harmony with all parties' needs*) - I hope that assessment of the value of my tools has the same level of clarity and accuracy as my awareness of my place in the musical arena.

So I am wondering whether you were interested to hear more about these tools - the best and easiest way would be learning by doing: beeing introduced to the communication rules and practicing them right away - possibly on the phone.

best wishes,
Andreas

 

*) a possible definition of peace: actions that are in harmony with everbody's needs involved

 

Hi Andreas,

I think the two achievable levels of peace are 1) peace within one's self, which means a radical acceptance of life and all the joy and pain, success and failure, happiness and disappointment and gains and losses that comes with it, and 2) peace on a global scale which requires the abolition of warfare and global laws to prevent and prosecute those who would employ violence to solve economic, political and social conflict.  Peace in various communities would be greatly enhanced if these two primary levels were achieved.  The problem for us idealists is that there are many in this world who are not idealists, they don't give a rat's ass about their impact on the world, or they do harm and cause suffering in the name of some abstract "good".  It's sometimes unfathomable to consider what a wide dynamic range human nature has; after all there's the nature of Jesus, Buddha and Martin Luther King Jr., and then there's the nature of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.    As for the rest of us in the middle, a wise Native American man was once asked about which aspect of his nature was winning--the light or the darkness--and he answered, "Whichever one I feed".

Thanks for the consideration as to communication tools you're working with.  I've had a daily meditation practice for 50 years now and that really helps me to neutralize stress, communicate better and not let anxiety get the better of me.  It's not perfect but it's very helpful.  Between music, family and the two organizations I work with I can't take anything new on at the moment, particularly because on Tuesday I have to go into the hospital to have heart valve repair surgery, and then I'll need several weeks of recovery time. 

Best Wishes,

Jerry

Posted on Tue, Oct 05 2021 03:42
by Andreas S.
Joined on Sat, Nov 29 2003, Cologne & Bleialf, Germany, Posts 149

Hello Jerry,

was it Strawinsky who said "The best answer to a piece of music is a piece of music."?

To synthesize our longing for and the idea of focusing on peace I try in words an answer to your two songs.  It's my second attempt to write a poem in english, inspired by our conversation and some loss a had to cope with recently:


Closing doors and op'ning ones,
that seems to be a part of life.
Sometimes I'd wish - and more than once -
to say for what I long and strive.

To say what is alive in me,
what I do feel and what I need
in relation to what I hear and see.
... that would come close to bravery...

Cause I bear painful memories
of unsuccess, of failure, shame.
When I just look at all of these,
I crumble, hide, forget my name.

When I recall the other side,  
When I remember: yes, I spoke!
My inner wings again spread wide,
rememb'ring how the light awoke!

Life, please, give me friends and wit,
and let me what I care about care for,
And push me, that I fin'lly fit,
through some bold unfamiliar door!


I wish you a good course of your recovery,
Andreas

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