There has always been music around, yet there have been few songs. Way back in kindergarten I preferred songs that told stories to clap-your-hand-ditties. Songs made my mind wander far away from our basement flat.

School brought along musical education, which consisted of four years of singing, and an old woman clad in black when I entered secondary education. "Thou, who knoweth not the meaning of the little black dots scattered among five lines, shalt not sing!" Thus she spoke, and for the next years I remained silent whenever music was played.

I was fifteen when I first heard Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War" and it knocked me off my feet. I couldn't believe that a voice, a guitar and some verses were able to raise anger, despair and defiance in everybody who listened carefully.

Some weeks later I bought my first guitar in a second hand store. A friend sat down with me at a nearby fountain and showed me some chords. Cautiously I strummed the first a minor chord of my life. Finally, music had come back to me.



Woman with a mandolin

"It seemed to me, a wonderful place to start was that all human beings had a cultural thread that united them, which was music. That was common to everybody. And that it was a good idea to break down the barriers between performer and audience, and to break down the idea of a virtuoso: those who can play, those who can't play. Try and break away from that, by having a go at playing instruments that one couldn't play at all, to try and create a sort of naive music or an innocent music, like naive painting."
(Robin Williamson)