Just realised I haven't posted anything here in 2021, since publishing Chaos Crop.
I first set foot in London back on 3 September 2003. I remember my two-leg flight ("~" on Scateren), then the kind person at Heathrow who let me use their cellphone (because of course my restricted Bulgarian phone refused to connect), I remember the crazy remainder of that year. London was surprising, unusual, there was low fidelity about it, and a new high quality about it too. I got to learn things about the UK over the next year. Then, after a break, from 2008, more things yet again, over the next decade.
And, I'm afraid, it's fair to say over what is now 18 years, the UK, where I've now settled, has improved in some regards and seems to have massively regressed in others. For a certain group of people, I don't think it ever recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Add Brexit to that. Then Covid-19. While from abroad the visible stuff is big things like those, and like the recent pulling out of Afghanistan, inside the UK there are some really hard issues like home ownership, building safety, in-work poverty, culture wars, travel and access to nature. Those things weren't "in the brochure" so to speak.
Bulgaria, where I recently spent a month, is a whole other kind of crazy, not worth enumerating its issues, but it reminded me of the comparatively strange profile of social contact in the UK, London especially, compared to the warmth and openness in the Balkans (with caveats of course); also that for all the conspiracy theories, mysticism, and general distrust shaping Eastern European life, there's much herd mentality and media theatre in the West. That, combined with the issues above, and that there's a (brutally and unashamedly divisive and evasive) Conservative government in charge, which at times exhibits incompetence the UK isn't generally known for, it really made me think about the directions taken by these radically different countries and their visions of life.
Same or similar thoughts for years now.
As it happens, me and my friends often ask ourselves variants of the same question: "If not here, where?". At times like this, I have to remind myself that I cannot solve such large scale problems, plus I lack the social power required to raise awareness, and anyway my mission is art, music specifically, and that's worth sticking to, and focussing on. And while this site isn't about my political or societal or general views on life, I felt like getting this off my chest, so that you know, while I focus on the carrot that is art, sometimes it's therapeutic, against the stick described above, and really out of necessity.
I don't know where it goes from here. I'll keep thinking.
Afraid I don't have any new music to offer this time, so here's a sound-related anecdote: The last day before travelling back to London, we went to the beach in Burgas. The air was cold, there was a new north-easterly wind. The late morning sun was at a lower, end-of-summery, angle. But the sea water was still warm. With my eyes closed, just laying there on the sand, the gentle waves sounded nothing like a beach, but like a strange little river sloshing in its bed. Completely, utterly different from just one day before. 🤷🏼♂️