Semyon Bychkov: Have we learned nothing from Chernobyl?main
The distinguished conductor has sent us a cri-de-coeur:
We are traversing a very strange and unfamiliar moment in life. Suddenly most of us can’t do what we have always done. While those in the medical profession fight at great risk to save human lives, often lacking the basic tools we, as musicians, are unable to share in the most direct way the medicine of the soul: music.
Nothing can replace live performances which is a form of a human communion, of reaching and connecting the hearts and the minds of fellow humans, where no one is alone and no one feels left out. This is denied to us just now.
And yet can we compare this to the horrors of another kind of war in which one part of humanity engages to destroy the other part? Our parents’ generation experienced that type of war, survived it with the losses beyond anything we can even imagine. Many of our own generation must find a way to survive this kind of war on any given day right now. Many of them won’t.
The threat of Coronavirus is a declaration of war that Nature declared on humanity. It recognizes no borders, no social classes, no races and no colour. It strikes and kills the weakest. It sends all of us a loud and clear message that we must stop alienating the Nature and become conscious once again that we are part of it. Just as it is between us the humans, when we get what we give, so it is between us and Nature. We have been treating it appallingly for so long, using what it offers and forgetting to say thank you. This must change.
Only two decades ago as Berlin Wall came down, we were filled with hope. The enemy was no longer on the other side of the Wall. Where was then the enemy? The answer then as it is now: the enemy is within ourselves, within what we call human nature, capable of both creation and destruction. All at the same time.
Did we learn from the tragedy of Chernobyl?
Did we learn from the change of Climate?
Did we learn from contamination of the soil and oceans?
We all know the answer. Denying the reality will not change it. Refusing to recognize our individual and collective responsibility will bring many more forceful responses from Nature. She/He tells us: you, people, are a part of me. Treat me with respect and I’ll give you prosperity to which you are so attached.
As musicians, when we make music we must listen all the time to the sounds we and our colleagues make.
As humans we must listen to the sounds Nature makes, if we are to find harmony in our existence.