Am 21. November 2008 findet der vierte »No Music Day« statt. Die Spex-Redaktion unterstützt das Anliegen Bill Drummonds, der sich in einem offenen Brief an die Spex-Leser wendet.
Dear Reader of SPEX,
Imagine not hearing any music for a whole year and then hearing some again for the first time.
Der Aufruf zum »No Music Day 2008«.
Some years ago I started to have this fantasy that I was a hermit living in the Middle Ages. And at some point I decided to leave my solitary life and head for the city. On arriving in the centre of the city the first thing that I did was enter the cathedral. Inside the cathedral the sun was shining through the stained glass windows and the choir was singing. It was the emotions that this fantasy version of me, would be going through, at that precise moment, that were the reasons for me wanting to indulge my imagination in this way. I imagined the music in that cathedral at that particular instant would be more powerful than anything I have as yet experienced in my real life.
This fantasy was something that I returned to time and again and it started to make me think how important time, place and occasion are to the way that we respond to music and how we have experienced music in different ways as history has unfolded. I started to become very aware of how I responded to music in different locations and at different times. When the iPod was first introduced I thought it was brilliant, I could now in theory listen to what ever I wanted to, wherever, whenever, while doing almost whatever. This also in theory seemed to be very liberating. But the more I thought of how liberating this should be the more I fantasised about being that hermit in the cathedral listening to the choir while the sun streamed through the stained glass window.
The trouble is I hate fantasy, I want real life. This inspired me to plan going a year without hearing any music. But this too was going to be an impossibility, there is no way that any body alive in the real world today can escape music for any length of time. Music is almost everywhere that man is. I also have a young family, was I supposed to ban them from listening to music too? There is no way that could happen. I then wondered if I could do a month without hearing music. The answer was no.
Maybe, but which day?
Die aktuelle Spex-CD #81 wird eröffnet von Bill Drummonds fragenden Worten: »Imagine waking up tomorrow, and all music has disappeared.«
Das betreffende Stück stellen wir am »No Music Day 2008« kostenlos als MP3 zur Verfügung.
DOWNLOAD: Bill Drummond - Score 1. Imagine
As a child I remember learning the Saint Cecilia was the patron saint of music. I looked up on Google to find out what her saint’s day was. It turned out to be the 22 November. Instantly I knew that I wanted the day before, the 21st of November to be my »No Music Day«. In that way it would work the same way, but in reverse, as with having Carnival the day before Lent kicks in. Or Halloween the day before All Saints Day.
This was in 2005. Thus my first »No Music Day« was on the 21 November 2005. At that point it was going to be a personal thing. A day just for me to cleanse my ears and mind before celebrating music on the following day. But then I thought why not open it up, there may other people out there that feel the same way as me. I wrote some words that I turned into a poster that I printed and put up on wall around Liverpool. This poster had the word NOTICE in bright red letters at the top. Next I registered the domain name nomusicday.com and went about setting up a very simple web site. The site just existed as a place for people to say how they were going to observe »No Music Day« and why. Instantly the site started to get thousand of hits. A nerve had been touched without me doing any PR to promote it.
The following year the London based experimental radio station Resonance embraced the idea. No music was played throughout the day on the station and there was much debate on all the programmes about the changing place of music in our society.
In 2007, things took a huge step up; BBC Radio Scotland wanted to observe it. This is a national radio station with millions of listeners. To do this they removed all the music from their station idents, there were no jingles, none of the incidental music that even talk radio stations use and of course all the makers of the regular music programmes in that particular 24 hours had to rethink their scheduling for the day. It was at this point that things started to go international with »No Music Day«. Something that I had started as a private thing, something I knew in calling it »No Music Day« was faintly ridiculous. There are already so many days for this, that and the next thing and all for more worthy causes than my personnel problem with music. And no body seemed to be challenging me about the legitimacy of it being an official day.
It was in the lead up to »No Music Day 2007« that I decided that I should put a cap on it and decided that if should only exist for five years. I didn’t want to be lumbered with having to go out and defend and front this »No Music Day« thing for the rest of my life.
Which brings us to »No Music Day 2008«. Some months ago I got an invitation to bring »No Music Day« to Brazil. This seemed wildly implausible, if we have a national stereotype of the Brazilian it is, that if they are not playing football they are dancing, but both are done a none stop soundtrack of samba music. It almost seems impossible to think of Brazil without those rhythms. So for this year Brazil is to be the focus of »No Music Day«. I have had much of the text at the website translated into Portuguese. I will be flying out to Sao Paulo for the week before and taking part in numerous events and doing a lot of interviews. I do not expect that there will be much less music played in Brazil on the day in question but I do hope that I will be able to enjoy the music that Brazil has to offer with cleaner and fresher ears on the 22nd.
Next year 2009, my final »No Music Day«, my dream is that iTunes will close for the day and on the 22nd they will do a special offer, maybe all tracks for a couple of cents less for the day. In reality that may not happen but what will happen is that in the city of Linz in Austria there will be no concerts, no local radio stations playing music, no music in any of the schools or churches, no music played in any of the shops or bars or clubs. The reason for this is, Linz is to be the 2009 European Capital of Culture and they have decided to embrace »No Music Day«.
A while ago I was interviewed in Glasgow by a man from SPEX, he invited me to write some words about »No Music Day« and maybe create a NOTICE specifically for the readers of this magazine. You have now read the words but instead of creating a NOTICE specifically for you I wanted to keep pure to my original NOTICE and just have it translated into German.
I hope you observe »No Music Day« and that on the 22nd you will appreciate the fact that we have music all the more.
Die Spex-Redaktion unterstützt Bill Drummonds Aufruf zum »No Music Day«. Am 21. November 2008 wird kein Artikel korrigiert werden, wird diese Webseite nicht aktualisiert werden, wird keine Promo-CD gespielt werden, wird keine Musik gehört werden. Über Unterstützung des »No Music Days« seitens unserer Leser freuen wir uns – ein eigenes Statement kann man auf www.nomusicday.com hinterlegen.