Music con­nects our hearts

«The point is, art nev­er stopped a war and nev­er got any­body a job. That was nev­er its func­tion. Art can­not change events. But it can change peo­ple. It can affect peo­ple so that they are changed… because peo­ple are changed by art – enriched, enno­bled, encour­aged – they then act in a way that may affect the course of events… by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.»

Leonard Bern­stein

Com­poser, Con­duc­tor, John Gru­en inter­view in Los Ange­les Times, Decem­ber 31, 1972

Sum­mer 1996, Boston MA, USA. Almost done with my four years study­ing at Berklee Col­lege of Music. A won­der­ful time. I learned more about myself and even more impor­tant I was able to con­nect with peo­ple around the world through music. Why can’t peo­ple around the world find a con­nec­tion like this?
Might it be that we don’t under­stand each oth­er because we don’t know how to con­nect? Could such an con­nec­tion be cre­at­ed?

In my imag­i­na­tion an art project start­ed to evolve that would serve as a frame­work. From far you would see the world, and if you move closer, you would see the words „I love you“ in all writ­ten lan­guages. Sug­gest­ing that love is a glob­al con­nec­tion and at the same time very indi­vid­u­al.

If this could be under­stood, felt and embraced by the world, may­be we would think dif­fer­ent­ly about each oth­er and start solv­ing prob­lems togeth­er. I imag­ined this art­work going viral into the world, and inspir­ing peo­ple world­wide to exter­nal­ize their wish for love and peace, and help to expe­ri­ence this glob­al con­nec­tion. For musi­cians this is not real­ly new. That love is impor­tant is adressed in many per­for­mances.

A childlike wish for peace

Since ear­ly child­hood I had this strong wish for a world in peace. It might have come through my par­ents, who were born in Ger­many right before and dur­ing the begin­ning of World War II. At the age of 6, my moth­er was a Ger­man refugee with­in her own coun­try. She had to escape with the last train from a Vil­lage that now belongs to Poland. She nev­er talked much about her rough escape. It’s said that the expe­ri­ence of war chil­dren is passed on to their own chil­dren, and that the­se chil­dren also some­how emo­tion­al­ly become chil­dren of war. My moth­er always told me not to be vio­lent, and it became one of my core prin­ci­ples. May­be that’s where my deep­est wish for peace came from and my strong oppo­si­tion again­st every­thing vio­lent.

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When I got old­er I learned about adver­tise­ment and its pow­er to influ­ence peo­ple. I thought this could may­be also be used to pro­mote peace. I also learned that adver­tise­ment is lim­it­ed to wish­es that are already dor­mant inside of us. Could adver­tise­ment adver­tise to an inner wish for peace? I want­ed to fig­ure it out.

Ear­ly Draft of the Love­poster