It seems it is an ongoing question and again I was asked it last week for the piece for the Herald covering Counterflows by Kate Molleson. “Is it a good time for this kind of music?” Kate phrased it a bit better than that of course. My simple and possibly flippant answer is that it is always a good time to make creative and challenging work, there is no good time, the time is always right to stretch out and blow off some of the cobwebs of our accepted understandings. Counterflows for me is a continuation of my interest in working with artists to do just that. But yes there are others doing some amazing things in their own pursuit of the challenge. I have been attending Arika happenings and festivals for over 10 years now and it is a real joy to see that Barry and Bryony are still pushing there wonderful thought provoking work out into the world. Their Episodes series has reached Episode 4 now and they have put together another bunch of razor sharp scenarios for us all to grapple with. With William Parker, Daniel Carter, Wada Leo Smith, Mattin, M. NourbeSe Philip and so much more, engaged with the notion Freedom is a Constant Struggle. Can art produce freedom in expression? I for one will be in the front row.

Another new development in Glasgow this year which I have been involved with is the brain child of conductor/musician/curator Ilan Volkov, Tectonics. Ilan has been pushing the notion of what an Orchestra can do ever since he took up the mantle of conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra 10 years ago and Tectonics brings a whole bunch of groundbreaking composers and musicians together. This is another piece of the puzzle to explore.

So yes it is a good time for the music. With Cry Parrot, Braw Gigs doing their thing and Monorail and Volcanic Tongue selling it all to us and so many more people willing and wanting to hear, play and just bombard the listener with interesting things what more is there to say. Is there any money in it, well surely that isn’t really the reason but there should be. Get out there and write the manifesto!


Cry Parrot