Music Moves - How Does Attitude Work?

21. Sept. 2017 @ Schmidt Theater (Saal)

Speaker: Michael Fritz (Co-Founder, Viva Con Agua, Germany), Herbert Grönemeyer (Musician, Germany), Michael Schwickart (Crew-Member, Sea Watch, Germany), Fetsum (Musician, Initiator, PxP Festival, Germany), Amadeus von der Oelsnitz (Boardmember, Médecins Sans Frontières / Ärzte ohne Grenzen, Germany) 

Moderator: Christiane Falk (Moderator, radioeins, Germany)

Go to the programme here.

How can musicians show social responsibility in a networked world? How much courage does it take to take risks? How is social engagement in the public perceived nowadays?

Michael Fritz (co-Founder Viva Con Agua), Herbert Grönemeyer (musician), Michael Schwickart (Sea Watch), Fetsum (musician, Initiator PxP Festival), Amadeus von der Oelsnitz (Doctors Without Borders) and host Christiane Falk (radioeins) tackled those questions and more during a panel titled Music Moves - How Does Attitude Work?

Grönemeyer said attitude means to not let oneself become discouraged or mad, and to articulate frustrations. He voiced discontent about the fact that protesting has become almost scoffed-at in Germany as a way of expressing those frustrations, like people who raise their voices against injustice are being told off. Music has, for the most part, ceased to be political, with the occasional exception in hip hop, he added.

“To me, making music is a political process. We are here to make people nervous, to wake them up,” said Grönemeyer, describing the current music scene as “Frau Merkel streamlined”.

Art in general should not shy away from taking up a stance in the current political climate and “heavily annoy established powers”. Grönemeyer pointed towards the gap between rich and poor, old-age poverty and a youth that stumbles from one job to the next in order to keep themselves and the country afloat. Culture has to make a massive shift “to reignite the flame in each and every one of us.”

Fetsum, the other musician on the panel and initiator of Peace x Peace Festival, emphasized the power of music in uniting people. While politics divides the public, people come to a concert to experience the same energy as each other, and live music ignites emotion. In such moments, things like gender, origin or political orientation became utterly meaningless. A concert experience “makes us all equal”.

Fetsum added that debating on a solely intellectual level will never lead to anywhere. One has to stop appealing to the minds and start appealing to the hearts.

Grönemeyer pointed out that, despite their reach, musicians remain limited as far as their influence goes (“we’re merely drummers”). The true heroes are the people on site in the areas of crisis. Fritz, Schwickart and von der Oelsnitz all took note of this remark but refused to be called heroes. Getting involved and caring about the future is part of life, whether on sea, in war zones or as a German teacher at home.

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