To whom it may concern.

Dear reader,

in this blog you will find, over time, a growing variety of (mostly) music-related topics.

As a professional bass 
player, i have been active in pop, rock, opera, symphony, ancient music... Well, almost everything where a string bass can be used, with the exception of jazz (although i had a jazz trio when i was much younger, but my affinity for this music seems to be rather minimal. Still, one never knows what the future has in store).

Recently, after thirty-odd years as a professional musician in the classical field, i have started to listen a little better to my inner voice. I have re-discovered ancient music, gut strings and viennese tuning, violone and viola da gamba, and even rock music, and for some reason this evolution has led me to a very different approach to music in general. 

But more importantly, living in a post-Fukushima era where we are all victims of the crime against humanity that is called Nuclear Power, we know that nothing will ever be like before and that our priorities will have to change drastically. 

How can an artist today, in any art discipline, use his or her talent to help make that urgent change? Surely we can't dwell any longer in the imaginary safety of our ivory towers pretending the world around us doesn't exist.

As i will certainly explain in the posts and columns that will be forthcoming, i feel that in today's world a musician can and must contribute actively to a better world. And although i don't really like the "must", i'm afraid there is no other way. Every artist will have to find his or her personal way to accomplish this. In my case, it is an endeavor to bring music closer to people, or to bring people closer through music, or to build bridges of all sorts and shapes with music as a gently driving force.

Just a few friendly warnings: 

All the things i write should be read as if they were preceded by the words: "in my (not always so) modest opinion". Nobody owns the truth. I certainly don't. Sometimes i get carried away. I guess it's the passion for this incredible art of communication that is music. So don't get mad if i become a bit over-enthousiastic now and then, or if from time to time i seem "Rechthaberisch im Ausdruck", as i once saw in a piano piece. 

Another caveat ("caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware): i am an artist. Not a scientist. Which means that for me the artistic element will always have precedence over the measurable facts. I will shamelessly use scientific knowledge whenever it suits the artistic expression, but i might ignore it alltogether if i feel that it doesn't contribute to what i see as a more important calling. Never let science get in the way of a good story. And anyway, scientific "fact" is often short-lived. Today's certainties are tomorrow's jokes. Good stories live longer.

In the same spirit, i won't always mention the exact sources where i have found my material. Sometimes i will, sometimes i won't. Just like a painter can't or won't always reveal exactly where he has found his inspiration, if indeed he remembers such things. I don't see the need to pretend that this blog is a work of academic research. It is not. Sometimes i will mention the titles of books i have read or the authors of quotes. (Beware of quotes, especially those that take the form of one-liners. Quotes are fast-food for the mind. And you can quote me on that). 

To those readers who are really interested in what i write, and who want to know more, i can only say that it's more interesting to read the whole book rather than to look up the exact fragments i'm using. There's not much point in that anyway, is there? By reading the whole book, you will stumble upon other aspects, you will follow your own path instead of mine, and if all goes well you will discover other things and reach different conclusions than i did.
Once again, i consider my blog as a personal quest and as a form of art in itself. Not as a scientific reference work. There are enough (self-declared) specialists out there already.

Also, some of my writings will be in other languages than English. Unfortunately i will rarely have the time to translate it all. I do apologize. There will be plenty to read in English, though, since - like it or not - it is the Lingua Franca in this present-day world. (At least for now. In future that might change. A few decades from now, keneng women dou shuo zhongwen - maybe we'll all speak Chinese). Still, wherever i feel that the original language conveys the message better than any translation, i will stick to the original.

You will certainly find plenty of contradictions in my ideas and writings. Personally, i'm fond of contradictions and i embrace them. Our whole world is one big paradox. Wonderful, isn't it?
As a child, i remember reading, in one of Godfried Bomans's books: "Whenever i think or say something, i could just as well say the exact opposite, with the same conviction", or words to that effect. 

I will leave many questions unanswered. But isn't that one of the differences between science and art? Science looks for answers. Art looks for questions. Often the answers spoil the fun.

I hope to be able to write more or less regularly. In the meantime, i kindly invite you to check out my other blog for information on my music ensembles, Duo Sweet 17 and Ensemble Per Questa Bella Mano, and my concert activities.

P.S.  As a computer dilettante, i'm still discovering the tricks and (especially) the pitfalls of blogging. You may notice sudden changes of font size, strange lay-out, big white spaces and more such things. Some of those (not all) are unwanted. Unfortunately i can't spare the time to do it all perfectly. Then again i don't believe in perfection. How convenient :-)

Thank you for visiting.

Korneel Le Compte
Principal Bass, National Opera 
Brussels, Belgium

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