So I'd hoped to have my Digital Age album ready and out this year, but then again so I did last year. Perfectionism is a pain sometimes, but hopefully 2006 will be the year. I'd also hoped to do more concerts, but the past five months I've been suffering from some strange infection on and off, rendering me more tired than usual in periods. Hopefully that will get better too in the year to come.
On a positive note 2005 was the year I got to meet Rob Hubbard, the legendary Commodore 64 composer who was visiting Denmark to perform at a concert in Copenhagen. His eight-bit computer game soundtracks from the eighties inspired me tremendously back then and still do today, so finally meeting the man was quite special. Receiving an e-mail a week later with positive response on the music I gave him was even more special and quite an honour.
Now, however, it is early morning and I still have to catch some sleep. I am tired and my thoughts wish to give in to dreaming.
A couple of days ago I performed a concert at System Danmarc, a big cyberpunk roleplay, set in a low priority zone in Copenhagen 2043. The organisers had put up an entire container village, looking like something in between Blade Runner, William Gibson and a worn down, crime-ridden Christiania. I was to perform my concert in a dramatically lit boxing ring, to a crowd of hyped-out technoids, anarchist white-punks, street gangs and low-life types.
Much as expected everything was running late, setting up the instruments and getting the sound right took a couple of hours, but then again musicians are supposed to be late, aren't they? It's called star quality, and as far as that goes I guess it's pretty cool to keep the future waiting for you.
After the show I went for a walk through the container village, visiting ambient bars, Arab food stalls and the local punk den, all part of the setting, before hooking up with a friend and organiser who took me to the roof of a tall building, presenting a view of the entire sector which was quite an impressive sight even from where we stood, looking down on it all like gods, momentarily torn out of the setting. We talked about the project which had been born from the underground and actually ended up as the most ambitious roleplay project yet in this country, then decided to get down from the roof again to be part of it all. Underground is where to be.
So, Mr. Bush, president of the United States, mightiest man on Earth, came to visit Copenhagen, to celebrate his 59th birthday, eat some cake, then leave the day after. That's not much, you might think, but you have to remember this is the guy who can't eat a pretzel without choking on it. He said his mother always told him to swallow, and you can only wonder why exactly he's so against homosexual rights.
I went to Copenhagen for a big anti-Bush demo, walking from the American embassy to the parliament, some 20.000 of us, punks and hippies, blacks and whites, young and old. Even a few idiots. One wore an Osama Bin Laden t-shirt, but why shouldn't he? A demo against stupidity would have stupid people rallying around the flags, and Hitler already proved quite effectively how intelligence decreases drastically in big crowds. And yet I was participating in the anti-Bush demo because complaining and doing nothing is too easy. When you do something you earn the right to complain, for instance in blogs like this which counts for something, though not much. And then, of course, I don't trust the world's most powerful title to a guy who doesn't know how to eat a pretzel. Goes without saying.
fter the demo I joined a smaller punk happening, DJs reclaiming the streets against Bush. Made sense. There was some good electro and then the police showed up and they just can't dance in those armor suits, so naturally they felt outside and decided to ruin the party. Or start their own. Right about the time I had to catch my bus back to Odense which I guess was fine since I prefer electro music to police violence.
Next morning I woke up, literally, to the news of terrorist attacks on London, bombs exploding on trains, many casualties, bleeding faces on TV. Same stuff is happening in Iraq on a more or less daily basis; civilians, medics, journalists - it all seems so meaningless. Yet it's not. This is what it's really all about: Nietzsche killed God but forgot the stake through the heart, and now God is being resurrected, like the Phoenix, from the fires of suicide disciples.
Returned from Prague last week, a city rich on narrow streets, churchyards and, legend would have it, ghosts, most of them a head short, caught in sad tragedies of melodramatic dimensions. After all, I guess it is difficult to find your way to the afterlife without a head. The city is also rich on old churches and synagogues, wonders of architecture, the Hrad Cathedral proof that there's a God, not in the heavens but in the minds of men, architects, painters and craftsmen whose combined efforts gave shape to a structure of such massive proportions, while the Pinkus synagogue is proof the Devil is in the mind of men too, its walls covered with names of Jews systematically killed during the Holocaust.
I also went to see the Mansion Wallenstein, once home to the legendary general who led the Habsburg armies to battle. There was a sign on the wall carrying symbols indicating you were not allowed to bring cameras, dogs and, oddly enough, weapons. Now the dogs, that makes sense, whenever Wallenstein invaded a city, he killed its cats and dogs, the story goes he didn't like the sound of them which makes me wonder, though, why he didn't kill babies too. From the Mansion Wallenstein I went to the Royal Castle which somehow must have inspired the Kafka novel, saw the rooms where courtiers were famously thrown out the window back in the days (kids, do not attempt this at home, thirty bloodstained years of war across Europe might be the result) and paid a visit to the old Jewish cemetery as well where Rabbi L�w is buried. I placed a stone on his monument as is Jewish tradition - after all, this was the guy who created the Golem and thus begat Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and particularly Mister Hyde, Blade Runner and all that jazz. Surely that deserves a little stone.
I wanted to also visit the new Jewish cemetery where Franz Kafka is buried. The cemetery was covered in snow and I was there all alone, reading name after name on tombstones and monuments, some of which towered over me, truly larger than life in death. Kafka's stone was more modest - when you can write like he could you need no massive monument - and I sat down by the grave and read the opening passage of The Trial in the snow, its familiar, quirky, yet humorous absurdity made me chuckle. I guess there's no better laugh than in a cemetery because you're laughing in the face of death and you know it's perfectly ok because death will have its final laugh too, sometime. I placed a stone on Kafka's grave and took one in return. I would have loved to show it to my father, also a great admirer, but now all I can do is place it on his grave.
Copyright: Ras Bolding 2005