Culture Club

world music“Without music life would be a mistake.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

So, you may ask yourself, not “well, what is the point of art, culture, creativity?”

You may ask yourself, “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

But, if I had to look back upon my life without music, I would venture to say it would be utterly different, because my experience of it would have been, and will continue to be, filtered, absorbed, interpreted, processed, revisited, and remembered via certain songs, a soundtrack.

Consider this.”

I recently had the great good fortune (thank you, The Husband xx) of attending a salon hosted by Janne Ryan at, of, ABC Radio. What an inspiring individual! What a creative cluster she amassed!!

The salon’s thrust, broadly speaking, was, as above, “what is the point of art, culture, creativity?” And … IS IT WORTH FUNDING?

Why do, should, we fund “the arts”? What is it we are being asked to fund, exactly?

At the salon’s outset, Janne herself emphasised that there were no expected answers from the evening, just a raising and discussing of issues and ideas. Its first speaker, Andrew Batt-Rawden, claimed boldly that “music provides spiritual renewal”. My almost-but-not-quite tar-black soul thrilled to this.

But then the direction of the discussion lurched to the murky waters of corporate sponsorship of cultural ventures, and if ever the twain can meet sans artistic compromise?

My personal feeling is that compromise and corruption are everywhere. Every individual grapples with notions of truth, honesty, value, sincerity, be they artists or advertisers, composers or CEOs, poets or PAs. Every “evil” corporation is made up of individuals. Every artist is not pure as the driven snow. If art is about the interconnectedness of humanity and the human experience, then corporate funding need not be necessarily perceived as a “sell-out”.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

But, the world as ever, is changing. There will be new ways of making art, and new ways of making money, and both at the same time. Rather than become bogged down by notions of the compromising of artistic integrity, perhaps it is better to focus on the fact that art matters, and will continue to do so, and will continue to reflect, and reflect upon, the reality we exist in at the time it is created?


– Without poetry, “the centre cannot hold” – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

– Without literature, I know how I would feel – “I’m sick to death of this particular self. I want another.” – Virginia Woolf, Orlando

– Without painting, this would never have become this – Claude Monet, Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge

– Without music, I would not have burst into rapturous tears at the Opera House – Antonin Dvorak, New World Symphony

Art is the proper task of life. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

2 responses to “Culture Club

  1. “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

    ― Albert Einstein

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