When AAB briefed the small group of inspiration absorbing tentacles for this section of the blog, there was as much an emphasis on ‘what surrounds you’ as on ‘Amsterdam pride’. So for this post, I really had no other options than to bring last week’s Amsterdam Dance Festival (ADE) to the table. There is so much to say about this 5 day EDM festival (EDM: a new term I believe coined for the Americans to take on the battle with their beloved and may I say persistent Urban and Hip Hop habitus). One can argue that there is not much inspiration to be found in the pale looking, jaw chattering herds that deflate the clubs after the crack of dawn. But there’s a huge argument to be made for the way this festival puts Amsterdam, its supposedly feeble-existing club life, and both mainstream and underground dance music scene on the global map. I could sum up the statistics here, or share with you my personal ADE memoires, but both are rather boring. Instead I’d like to direct you to a nice write up from music blog xlr8r.com where we are being served the outsiders perspective on last week’s event and our beloved city. Their biggest downturn seems to be that Amsterdam is infested with….. tall people: “We have never felt so short in our lives. Maybe it’s genetic, maybe it’s the food, but people are fucking tall in Amsterdam…“
What inspires us in art is often the pain, suffering, dedication and manic sacrifice of the artist. It’s the path we do not dare to take, since the consequences are usually too remote from comfort. We appreciate and sometimes reward the ones who choose to live a more risk filled life then we see fit for ourselves. They show us what it looks like on the other side and that is intriguing to us. It’s mind-candy. I have vaguely known Pablo for a long time. He is an energetic, frantic and radical character. Almost to the point of being scary. He was into visual arts first and I got to know him as a film maker. Even worked with him a couple of years ago. And then he decided to make music. At first I was hopeful but sceptic, blinded by conventions. But then I was blown away by a track he did, I believe it was last year. Unconventional and rudimentary. Coming from a remarkable place I long for and search in my attempts to be a poetic human being myself. This is it. There’s imperfection surrounded by beauty. The way it should be. Then today I saw a new song and video Pablo did. This post is to pay tribute to the unrelentless passion and living of Pablo. In my books he has done an amazing job with this video that he stars in, directed and of course wrote the music for. I believe he even got the tattoo. My chicken bones bow in awe of this compelling display of artsmanship. Here’s his new song and self-made video.
I was intrigued by the picture on this lamppost. The instrument looks exotic. Most likely self-build. And the software being used to record the audio also didn’t look familiar. Quite an unconventional set up, that made me curious to hear the sound. This guerrilla-type self-advertising endeavor seemed effective. At least for me. But I’m an easy victim where it comes to grabbing my attention by using vintage or otherwise quirky looking electronic instruments. I checked out his band camp page and tumbled into this story of a guy named Brandon, who is from Sant Fe, but lives in Berlin now. He gave up everything in the quest to make it as an artist. Going to his website, there’s a letter to his fans, in which Brando apologizes for almost dying, being suicidal and some more intense stuff. But he concludes with a thank you to everyone who believes in him and with renewed energy he continues his journey to survive as an artist. I guess Brandon wanted me to know this when he put up his ad on the lamppost. Well now you know too.
Inspiration is a stimulus. A catalyst for greatness in the world of ideas that may or may not be transformed into the tangible or physical world. It let’s us create things that are beautiful and meaningful. But what is truly inspiring to me is that we ourselves are a creation. Stuck in our 3-dimensional earthly reality. We aspire to transcend this reality with our art, inventions and religions. But perhaps the key to unlock this transient realm and find true meaning is already within all of us. Some say it goes by the name of DMT, The Spirit Molecule – see documentary trailer here. In a nutshell: “What we achieve inwardly, will change outer reality” (Plutarch). Full documentary here.