String quartet sacks violinist after child porn trial

The Silo String Quartet has dismissed violinist Aaron Barnden, 43, after he pleaded guilty in an Australian court to producing and possessing child pornography.

Other members of the quartet were caught completely unawares by the case and are stunned by its revelations about a colleague they thought they knew extremely well. Sentencing has yet to be pronounced.

The quartet’s founder, Caerwen Martin, isssued the following dignified statement.

SiloSQ is my life’s work but behind this there is a deeper purpose that drives my core ethics and strongly influences how I am in the world. This is to make the community a safer place for children so that they may grow to be adults without experiencing the horror of child abuse.

Child abuse, paedophillia, and the pornography rings that feed these behaviours destroy lives from the ground up. I know this as a truth. Child abuse is a product of a broken society and as caring adults, we have a duty to fix this in any way we can.

In my life I have made painful sacrifices to uphold this belief and today I am called upon to do so again. With a heavy heart I release Aaron Barnden from the SiloSQ family. We will not be working with him again.

Thank you for all of the messages of support I have received from people who know of my close personal and professional ties with Aaron and understand how hard it is for me to break a loyalty. I am unable to reconcile his admission of guilt with my core values and purpose in life.

Please understand that members of the Silo family are deeply hurt by this revelation of which we knew nothing about until yesterday through the press. We deeply value your support and love, but also your sensitivity to our varying needs for privacy at this time. The emotions we are experiencing are painful and complex but the sadness I feel at releasing a friend is overwhelming. I know that many of you are grappling with this as well.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

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  • If they were created images instead of photos of real children in poses would it still be child pornography?

    If real children were involved I hope that the person who created the images was caught.

    How was this man caught? Were police staking out a shop or monitoring internet sites that sold it or was it a plea bargain– which is very common in the US. In other words, was this man pleading guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid a trial on a more serious charge?

      • I just know that in the US when anyone pleads guilty generally he/she is usually guilty of a more serious charge and wants a lighter sentence; we call it “plea bargaining”. Also in a democracy such as Australia law enforcement does not usually concern itself about people’s private reading matter, and does not routinely monitor it. Someone or something must have brought Barnden to law enforcement’s attention.

    • “…was this man pleading guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid a trial on a more serious charge?”

      What “more serious charge” than producing child pornography did you have in mind, Sharon?

  • What has become of forgiveness in our society, once the punishment has been served? Where are the Christian values about the need to forgive? Given that the West is becoming Islamic, what does Islam say about all this? Maybe it does not contemplate forgiveness in the style of classical Western culture. I certainly don’t know, hence all the questions.

    • “Given that the West is becoming Islamic “ ????
      “Classical Western Culture “ ????

      What are you on man ???? Stop taking it.

    • Darrel, It is for the individual victim to forgive, or not. Some can, some cannot. Nor is it to do with the severity or longevity of the abuse, one instance can traumatize; I was a victim for fifteen or so years, from boy to man, as it were. It is often as much to do with the reaction of those around one, or the fear of same or causing distress to others. I refuse to say ‘my own’ abuse. I refuse to ‘own’ it, but that which affected me, cannot be totally forgiven. If you were similarly affected I admire your compassion, if not, then perhaps it is too easy for you to expect others to do so. I wish you strength! tho!, expect all kinds of insincere, S.J.W responses and the rest.(Of course, some are sincere and have a good cause, but too many love to bang the drum, til something else comes along! Difficult enough being a man nowadays, I know 🙂 Well sisters and brothers, be kind to each other 🙂

      • I really appreciate your response and insights, beautifully written and with care, I have read it more than once. Nothing to argue with your words. Thank you.

        • Thank you Darell, You have a good soul and humanity for all and wish only for peace and courtesy. It is a shame that some ‘ego’ saw fit to mark down my response. I do not have much ego; it does not hurt me. I am worried tho, that some here might want to express their own experiences, but are afraid of the response, which then, could have helped others. Prick some of these activists and all they reveal is ego, no humanity, at all. We marched for many things in the seventies, when many things were worse. We have moved on. In some things, we need that drum, but often it only serves to drown out real issues. Depends on who is doing the beating. If we could, each and all, remember a kindness.

          • “GIVEN ??? That the West is becoming Islamic ? “
            What sort of closet racism and latent intolerance of Muslims is this ?
            You are using the flimsy excuse of “forgiveness” to peddle your thinly veiled bigotry.

            Waiting to see how you will incorporate
            “Sharia, Halal, and mosques” into your next comment here

          • #islamophobia trending……
            Don’t forget Barenboim is the only Jewish Israeli to hold a Palestinian Passport.
            The EastWest Arab/Jewish Divan Orchestra.

          • Some “ego” thumbed down ???
            This is an open forum for public opinion. “I don’t have much ego “ ?

            Trumpian Dichotomy

          • Well, Jimmy Levine is a prescient example. He is obviously a criminal and his privilege a la white can’t even grant him his old job back of 40 years.

            And all the young boys with no recourse and Levine/met sycophants who won’t even listen to any of their pain; what about them?

            Obviously by your vague standards, Levine was a Hillary supporter. Glad she went down in flames then.

          • Violin Accordion
            ‘Some “ego” thumbed down’ Is a fact.
            In this context, I would suggest an ego bigger than his/her capacity for empathy. Not that I sought it. My opinion is: You are shameful.
            I would also be concerned for your moral health. I suggest that in such a response you expose something of yourself you might want to address. To me child molestation is abbhorent, I have counselled many people enough to see the suffering it has caused.
            I have little ego, is a fact known to my friends, you are not qualified to say; otherwise, I would feel enabled to write how you did, on a civilized public forum, without a care for anyone.
            But I forgive your trolling, just for you to show us how witty you are. “Trumpian Dichotemy” I am sure you must bring lots of joy to people.

          • Mr Violin Accordian, I begin to glean that you think I am an American. I am not, which, of course might be my loss. Also I suspect that you are from a culture which, I suggest finds acceptable such perverted, evil behaviour, and exports it. Please forgive me, I ought not to have expected more. Be careful when grinding your axe.

          • This is stupid. You’re sounding more paranoid in your writing. “ I have little ego, a FACT Known to my friends” “sounds more like the opposite to me.
            Personal insults fly over my head like hemidemisemiquavers. You obviously completely ignored my comment about Islamophobia, anti semitism and the very antithesis of those which Barenboim has created. You can prod and poke as much as you want and accuse me of being a foreigner, a dreaded brown person, or even worse, a Muslim or a Jew.

            Strangely enough to your suspicious neurotic mind, I don’t condone any crime, from shoplifting to murder

          • I apologise for the comment regarding what you call your ego. And I understand what you mean is actually “self-esteem “, which is quite different from. ego, Which in your circumstances is quite understandable

    • Darrel, Society will always need a scapegoat. People who commit such acts need to be treated in as humanely as possible, yet the punishment be a just one. Not retribution. PLease remember, Many Victims are given life sentences.

    • I’ve seen this sentiment before, regarding every crime short of murder (and even then for the survivors), and I always wonder why people seem to think that offenders are owed forgiveness.

      It’s as if, once the person has expressed contrition (no idea if this guy has or not), the harm they caused is magically undone, and now their victims have a duty to say everything is OK. As if this guy’s having admitted guilt and presumably going to jail for some period, erases the harm he did and his victims are now undamaged people.

      Surely that’s not what people mean (I hope), but this talk of the “need” to forgive, and the idea that the perpetrator somehow deserves forgiveness, sure looks that way.

      • This forgiveness bs is asking too much of abuse victims who are always expected to get themselves together and stop bothering others with their problems.

        It ends up emboldening perpetrators and normalizing their acts as legitimate since they will be simply forgiven by the sheepish.

        • Thank you no grey area. A victim of such shame, is made to feel to be an embarrassment. Yet, when people band together to beat a drum, it is a noble cause, worthy of sympathy, So many souls out there with crushing issues, hidden in all the fire and noise. I wish you good health.

          • I am sorry for my muddleheadidness. What I wanted to say is that such victims are often alone in their struggle and often ignored and have no drums banged for them, as their cause is not a popular one. Be blessed.

        • Forgiveness of any wrong or crime is up to the individual, and the best possible outcome is that both people can feel liberated. It doesn’t condone it. Didn’t Jesus say once, “forgive them Lord for they know not what they do “

      • OK. But still, it’s not the victims’ duty to do it. They deal with it as they want, and as they can, on their own terms and on their own schedule.

    • Forgiveness can only come from within, Darrell.
      Aaron Barnden will have to take his court-ordered punishment, then he’ll have to look deeply inward.
      It’s not our place to forgive or to not forgive – he’ll have to do that himself, if he can.
      Some people never forgive themselves…. some people are able to do so.
      All the rest of can do is look on.

  • I think Ms Martin’s statement is beautifully worded and reflects exactly how most decent people of whatever religion or none would feel in such a dreadful situation. Forgiveness? Maybe, down the line. But with this kind of betrayal on so many levels, it can only be damnably difficult.

  • Those black and white photos on their website, have a brooding atmosphere.

    Ugly.

    The right thing to do, would be to break up the string quartet. You cannot seriously go on performing with the name Silo String Quartet.
    This is absolutely obvious.
    PS: I’m critical of string quartet’s that have a socalled “artistic director”.

    • Agreed also, might be that the world doesn’t need even one more string quartet… and definitely not that child abuse string quartet… just my opinion, of course

  • This is a life-changing episode for this musician; any person actually. Child pornography; if ever there was a deserving oxymoron this is it. Beyond appalling. I agree that child abuse is the product of a broken society – but it’s also one about the personal choices of the offenders.

    Having said that, I have zero faith in the law enforcing appropriate sanctions. And that, of course, is another paradigm in this equation; the offender in question may already have been known to police (as they so often are).

    Serious sanctioning by the law would send stronger messages but, no, judges are now social workers. As has been said, “broken society”.

  • “In my life I have made painful sacrifices to uphold this belief and today I am called upon to do so again. With a heavy heart I release Aaron Barnden from the SiloSQ family.”

    This is an odd context to write such a self glorifying statement. Sacking a paedophile is not a painful sacrifice. Employing a paedophile by accident must be pretty devastating, but this person is clearly above all that, only to be ‘called upon’ from his lofty heights to ‘release’ said offender to the law. How benevolent of him to allow his resident child abuser to be prosecuted.

    • The Metropolitan Opera allowed for the enabling of sexual abuse of young males and boys over Jimmy Levine’s 40 year career. While they are only one institution to do so, they paved the way for so many others. With #metoo there are so very many others that have come to light around the globe encompassing numerous groups.

      For those sick of merely hearing about this yet again, you’re barreling over ALL of the victims.

      As a male, I’ve lived with the enforced attitude that I’m not even worth talking about when it comes to reporting my own abuse. That’s still a reality no mater what money is wasted on ads to the contrary. Nobody cares. I don’t want counseling or medication. I want what others take for granted in the form of open access to the legal system including laws that put criminals behind bars for a meaningful period. I’m not even asking for respect since I’ve been derided and told to not bother others about my pain too many times. I simply keep to myself and have cut off my emotions. I’m also white so some of you may relate in your own way. It’s different for us not to minimize others suffering.

      People like myself who continue to read both articles and comments such as in this forum see a pattern. Headline, article then mostly comments beginning with disbelief, defensiveness and sarcasm hence my stance. I have no use for pity and self-help, action speaks louder than words for each of us as it’s become an awfully large group now.

  • Justice has not been served by the judiciary, this type of evidence cannot be refuted. The punishment did not fit the crime; in this case, it never could; but, I am certain that another type of justice will be served to him in prison, which, by law, are meant to be humane places, though prison warders are fathers and he will meet many other men, some of whom are fathers who might take an unfriendly interest in him. Bruises, burns, scalds and broken bones heal. Children? Their wounds are on the inside. It can take a lifetime for them, if they allow themselves the normal span. It makes on weep.

  • I Apologize to Violin Accordian. I was rude and discourteous to you.
    I am dismayed that because of the topic of this particular page. I suggest that it was tactless and gratuitous to make a p.c., statement regarding racism and Islam. Tactless because of the proven cases of grooming gangs and child abuse from particular groups of men of a particular community. (not, of course perpetrated by all members of that community who are as appalled as any other decent member of the U.K society) I suggest that considering the topic of this page, here was not the space for such a statement. It was insensitive and in my opinion only demonstrates that despite all this heart-on-sleeve sabre rattling and beating the drum that one cause is more relevant than another, there remain those children who are being abused and lives ruined. There are, too, so many other marginalized groups, which do not cause violence to life, limb and property. There is an agenda at large, which cares for nothing but its own power to manipulate and survive, not unlike a virus. It is rabble-rousing, at best, and sinister manipulation, at worst. One has seen it throughout history, but its outcome seems not to be remembered and is as dangerous as any virus. Ultimately, there are no winners or losers. Please be kind to each other, and again my apologies to Violin Accordion.

    • Islam is not a race .

      And you still have to drag up British Pakistani and other Muslims. If they have committed such crimes they are no,different from Priests public schools sports, and especially music teachers .

      You just can’t leave it alone.

      SD is about music, so leave islamophobia or any others out of it.

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