About a month ago I began to diligently listen to podcasts of radio station France Culture. One of the best programs of radio - L'actualité du disque classique, or news in the world of recording classical music. This transmission sounds on radio for two hours every working day, allowing you to quickly get an idea of her typical content. The time allocated for Latvian music, was about one-tenth part of the program. During this time I heard the Iveta Apkalna, Mariss Jansons, Elina Garanca, Andrew Osokin, Andris Nelsons, Gidon Kremers, maybe someone forgot. As for composers, the program was music of Peteris Vasks. For comparison, the share of residents of Latvia in relation to the total population of the planet is 0,027%.
The first couple of times I reacted like – well, okay, clearly, these we have, like always, and came out as better. Then came the surprise, the admiration, joy, even fun, and intrigue – who will be next? Some of my classmates are themselves world-known musicians. In this program I have not heard, but I think it's only a matter of time.
I do not want to say that everything in the world is determined by economic factors, although wisely managed greed is undoubtedly a wonderful way of motivating people. But these factors affect the likelihood of outstanding music.
For example, if all children from the age of seven went to the shepherds, they would not have musicians. But on the other hand a good choice might be a hindrance. Sounding today, the music of the XVII-XIX centuries, mostly written in the economically strong countries of the time (England or the Netherlands), in Germany, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. The French contribution is also not so great when you consider then the proportion of the population and high General cultural level. So many outstanding runners represent Jamaica, because those (usually) poor children and their parents see in sports is the ability to reach the top. The economist will hear are there Parallels with the so – called principle of convergence in countries that are not yet very rich, people have the motivation to work harder. Outstanding music, apparently, is in the specialization of middle-income countries.
Here we come to a possible explanation of why Latvia has given the world so many outstanding musicians. Career artist was one of the few possibilities to give life to colors in the gray Soviet everyday life. So, in our case, the effect of average income supplemented and limitations of expression because of the peculiarities of the political regime. A portion of said artists studied mainly in the post-Soviet era, but impetus in the form of a certain state of mind persists for some time after the change of system, in this case – in a positive sense.
I heard the version that the outstanding level of Latvian music is also due to the location of the country where geographically adjoin the musical traditions of two major cultural Nations (German and Russian), the appropriate understanding of principles of teaching. If you add this idea to my interpretation, in such places, if to be freed from the hierarchical burden of geniuses countries of origin and traditions of drinking, the best manifestations of history can uniquely intertwined with the local flavor.
Also incredibly high in proportion to the representation of Latvian musicians (especially the young) in the world elite could contribute to the high fertility of the 1980-ies. Here between the lines you can hear a heavy sigh – it is unlikely that in the future things will go as well. The number of children is smaller, so there is less and basis for selection of talents. In our days people have more opportunities for self-expression, which in itself is fine. However, this means that motivation is very hard to study the music a little. However, as the prestige of the profession. Another reason for pessimism – or maybe he just very lucky? All of the above is of course very important, but so is a striking achievement could be associated with a luck factor. As the athletes, the ball is round. Why is it so bright there are no results in Estonia and Lithuania? During this period in Paris, the airwaves, I've only heard of one Estonian composers (Arvo pärt, who else) and Lithuanian pianist (can not remember name).
However, there is reason to maintain hope. Musicians grow up, go out into the world, come back, leave again and come back to exchange knowledge, experience and creative intuition. The concentration of the special achievements are often located there because they were there before. For example, how would the other countries of Europe tried to pick up the crumbs from the table of London's financial centre, it is likely to continue. The importance of a large concentration of professionals in one place. And since they can't all be parting, for each individual departure means the loss of important opportunities. If you can't leave, not leaving (almost) no one. In the economy, such circumstances are called cluster.
For a successful cluster, you need advanced production, education, science, knowledgeable and demanding consumer, reputation, inertia. Moreover, the production must represent a network structure with many complementary parts. In the field of music in Latvia all is more or less there. There is no doubt that the star era of the first half of the XXI century (and maybe the whole century?) this cluster will further strengthen. For example, this could attract more students. Foreigners are interested in, something they teach in the field of music. Foreign students bring their own experience and creative nerve, co-finances the teaching of local music. Export of higher education is a the rapidly growing sector of the economy (over 10% per year), but so far it has mainly to do with medicine and technical Sciences. Maybe a Music Academy, too, could increase the number of foreign students? In this sphere language could be a particular barrier. These students not only co-financed cultural education in Latvia, but also become ambassadors of our music in the world.
To the music economy in Latvia in the future developed successfully, it is necessary to maintain good old and develop new. Taxpayers must continue to support a large network to capture talent, which is a broad system of art education. If we have inherited something good from the Soviet era, should be preserved. Definitely need a modern concert hall in the capital. A very important favorable factor is tourism. The development of this industry after accession to the EU was amazingly quick and stable. Hardly anyone was able to count on it. The potential is great.
We are still very far from a situation where too many tourists (never attempt to visit the leaning tower in July, except early in the morning, when the average owner of photographic equipment still sleeping sweetly). On the contrary, the arrival of each additional camper financing the common factors that are important for the further development of tourism, and a greater variety of hotels and restaurants, and good music. Unlikely concerts ever will be possible to pay only with tickets, but more spiritually unlimited number of tourists reduces the burden of subsidies on the state budget. Besides, due to the influence on other channels, the process could become cost-effective. Achievements in the field of music give the image of the country, the gloss and glamour that will never appear at the expense of other ways of "polishing". Can't prove it, but I believe that there is a positive correlation between export music and IT, at least in the long term. People like to simplify and label, so it's easier to perceive the nation living beyond the mountains, beyond the seas, as rather clever or rather stupid, not going into details.
If you consider that most of the world's cash flow is spent on the content media, copyright, inspiration and feeling, the role of music in the economy and the export of Latvia will increase. When producing the goods will be robots, which also will make robots, humanity will face a difficult life, almost endless entertainment. Unlike other industries, the music one and the same product can be re-created. Music first you can write, then execute. None of these functions will not be able to execute robots.
Economists are people who all know the price, but don't know anything of value. But if you calculate the price values, it will not create problems, at least from the point of view of other people. The cynicism of economists may reduce their quality of life, making it difficult to enjoy all the nuances of beauty, but it helps to make decisions, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of others.
The translation of the DELFI. The original here.