An open letter... to everyone 11/11/2022.
It has come to this moment, a moment that I thought would be a choice never made. It has become one of direct reaction to the inaction based on the pretentious and calculated ignorance that plagues much of the world in which I have tried to live in and prosper. Albert Barnes once said and I quote, "The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a house of artistic and intellectual prostitution." I would extend that phrase to much of the art and music world as a whole. For me it has come to pass, that each step of my journey in trying to be free and truthful as an artist and musician, was of course very enlightening and fulfilling. But only in that I was ALLOWED to keep on the journey. NO MATTER how hard, poor, disquieted, and begrudgingly I made my way through "it". "It"… is a four letter word “world”, that to myself and many of my mentors and colleagues is not truthful or dignified or REALLY representative of us all. Each and every day I made changes and advances in my music and my art and in “IT”, only to see that most if not all of the community at large would not and does not care any more about such things. It does not care to see those changes in order to further education. It does not care to see those changes in order to further art and music as a whole. It does not care to see those changes in order to value the people creating, writing, and performing so as to place them in positions to be seen and heard and valued themselves.
It cares deeply about money. It cares deeply about the supposed advancement of a dead art. An art form that actually never died, but transformed into something else, as all art and music has and always will. It cares deeply about keeping “in house” the criteria of being “one of us”, and not a unique thinker that could cause trouble. It cares not about the value of art, music, and/or the people creating the very same. It cares only about a world that can be gained by using a musical language, disguised as a living prophet, in order to advance art and music for us all. BUT, only the art and music that can advance THEIR cause! The others (meaning artists and musicians) have no place, no stage, no audience in their showing. It has even come to pass that artists and musicians now involve themselves in the every day going on of the educational monopoly, the music industry, and very much within the music community itself. These reasons are known. Most have a place in arguing that it would be the artists and musicians themselves that would know best how to help lead the causes of us all, however the opposite is now true. Those very people have become as much the new problem as the old problem was to begin with.
The world is trying to reopen, in what is thought of as a Post-Covid illumination. However in this reopening I don’t see any profound enlightenment. I don’t see change. I don’t see growth. I see a return to an old past but made to look like a new future. I see $65 covers with $20 drink minimums for an hour set of basically 45 minutes of music with a room full of people who’s money buys them a ticket to watch but not the soul to understand or care to even try. And it’s all “Safe” music. “Straight” Music. “Risk-less” Music. Music that does not require questioning one damn thing. Music that is told to be “quiet” and not expose life before or after the plague. Music that is trying to convince you that they are “where it’s at”, yet they are the furthest thing away from that possible truth. This music is not allowed to scream while the world is figuratively and physically on fire. There are exceptions but you will never see them. For they are told not to exist. And even when they DO exist they are lied into believing that they are the lucky, the privileged, the hierarchy that for little or no money, no security and no safety net from Covid Cancellations or Political Inflations or Living Income Constrictions… they need to be quiet and just shut up and play. For there are rents to be paid and incomes to be made and 30 seconds videos to be splayed. All in the name of reopening and retooling the algorithms that force their way into making everyone feel all the better.
Whether it's a jazz club, record company, radio station, art institute, university, educational platform, music streaming website, the entire internet, podcasting, Facebooking, YouTubing, Blogging, TikToking, Spotifying bullshit… each has now been placed under the control of what does not make art and music meaningful in the first place. It is now just another social media commodity buying you and selling you for gain. In fact what is passed off today as something deep, virtuosic, and truly groundbreaking is actually just another commodity disguised in a way that brings you to the next "something" to be seen, found, heard, and or purchased. All of which does not advance the truth, but weakens every intention by great artists all over the world who struggle to understand why it is so hard for everyone else to see that very truth staring at each of us in the face. The stench of this truth is so profound yet can hardly be noticed by the masses or even by the artists and musicians who have become the programed minions themselves. Those minions that dare not tip the “music boat” for fear of being kicked into an ocean of gig-less shame. Albeit a false one at that. They live by a sword and die by a sword… But it’s the same damn sword.
The choice I'm making is to stand for myself. If not for the people who have come before me but who will be here long after I'm gone. It is hard to imagine the infinite number of artists and musicians I have met who were far better than anything I ever knew or could be … but who already gave up trying to live in the four letter word “world”. Many of which could never be found in the institutions that now control everything I previously spoke of, only because it does not serve the purpose of those institutions in any financial or observable way. It does not matter their art or their music. It does not matter the person or the place. It matters only what can be gained by the now "in power" people. I am not one to stop fighting nor think I should look to another truth. But I choose to go around the future some would think is mine to be. I choose to find another way. I choose to believe that somehow the truth that we ALL know already… that we ALL see already… that we ALL realize already… is the real depth of art and music that can be envisioned to show people what the hell is really fucking going on! - C.Crocco