Philip Glass: "In tough times, artists get busy."
David Lang: "For me, the interesting thing about music is, especially live music, is it's something that's an opportunity offered to the world to come together...to build something together..."
Regardless of your political views, we can probably agree these are tough times – perhaps we’re in a bit of turmoil.
“It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams.” (Leonard Bernstein)
"The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art cannot change events. But it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed...because people are changed by art - enriched, ennobled, encouraged - they then act in a way that may affect the course of events...by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think." (Leonard Bernstein - John Gruen interview, Los Angeles Times, December 31, 1972)
With Pablo Salazar, I started a weekly program on SiriusXM: “Living American,” a show by and about living American composers, including immigrants-who-have-become-citizens. Pianist Lara Downes was a big help at the beginning.
“Living American” was based on the foundation that in the times in which we currently live, American music and American musicians have never been as important as they are right now.
“Now, more than ever, I know that American music has the power to bring us together, to remind us of the diversity and scope of our collective history, and to move us forward towards the enduring promise of our American Dream.” (Lara Downes)
So, with the thoughts of Mr. Glass, Mr. Lang, Mr. Bernstein and Ms. Downes ringing out loudly, now is the time to make your art louder, bigger, badder, riskier, bolder, and more beautiful than ever before.
The world needs you.