Stairway to Heaven: Utopian Musicking in Stockholm

This piece on utopian musicking by Adam Harper at rouges foam is one of the finest things I read last year. It resonates nicely with (and helped me develop) a lot of the arguments I make about the practice of collectively improvising music and nomadic utopianism in my PhD (not to mention in the book I’m currently writing– for the same publisher as Adam, no less).

Anyway, I mention this because I’ve just come across a lovely little video which shows some utopian musicking in a most unlikely location. Isn’t it joyful?

Thanks to my good friend Deirdre for finding this.

(Of course, the fact it’s so joyful makes it even more hateful that it’s been used to sell cars made by a company that’s had some pretty strong claims made against it in recent years (ctrl+f on Volkswagen here is also depressing). In a way I find it less worrying when corporations make adverts promoting worldviews I find abhorrent; when they start appropriating visions of the world I find attractive I get very upset. I find it deceitful and dishonest- as if Volkswagen really care about making the world a more musically utopian place, or adidas really care about making estates look nicer. Of course the people who make visions of the world I find attractive probably need the money far more than, say, Moby- which makes the whole thing even more tragic. But ultimately I think I have to condemn any flirting with advertising for large corporations, despite the undoubted artistic merit of some of these).

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One thought on “Stairway to Heaven: Utopian Musicking in Stockholm

  1. It’s definitely a difficult call. The amount of money that ad agencies just throw at musicians for the right to use bits of their music is obscene. While I can quite happily condemn the whole process, for some people being offered that money it can make the difference between having to work another job or being able to have a few years concentrating solely on their creative work. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns uses Lisa’s recycling advice to dredge the sea clean of animals, and offers her a share in the profits. I know that I’d like to be able to refuse the money in that situation, but I don’t know if I would…

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