With a big smile I open a new issue, one year after publishing the very first issue on MOUNT DELA magazine. I’m smiling, because within this year many vague, yet passionate thoughts formed into a valid concept; were given words, images, sounds; became what I have always dreamt of (even before I could pronounce it in words) – an alternative stage for classical musicians. It seems natural that the first year of such a project, would be a long long path of development. Indeed, in the course of 23 issues, the magazine had changed on a daily basis, transformed endlessly in terms of content, visuals, means of communication and more. Honestly, so much had happened, that it is hard to believe that only one year had passed.
I wish to share with you some stories and bits of thoughts from behind the scenes:
• MOUNT DELA was first intended to be a record label. The idea came to my mind while listening to a concert in Austin, Texas, some years ago. I wanted to have a record label which features classical musicians with their interpretations of traditional repertoire, alongside with their own compositions. For a long time I fantasized about having a label which seeks unique individuals within the classical music scene – a line of artists, who basically do music in an old-fashioned way, like Bach, Mozart and Rachmaninoff: musicians who are not defined by one ultra-professionalised skill, but rather by their musicianship and activities in various disciplines. Why it didn’t turn into a record label – that is a story for another time, but who knows? Maybe in the future, MOUNT DELA will also have the sources to produce albums by some of the fantastic artists I met along the way.
• One day, as I was walking on a street near by my former apartment in Frankfurt, I saw a broken piano right at the middle of the pavement. It was standing there, as if someone just tossed it out the window (which is exactly what happened – as I later learned) looking quite surreal on the background of a very normal, even boring urban street. Just as we met (the piano and I), at that very moment and after long weeks of searching for the perfect name, the name MOUNT DELA magically popped in my head. True story.
• I crown this magazine “alternative” because of simple things: how it looks – the choice of colours, fonts, layouts and images; the people who write it – mostly classical musicians who “sin” with other stuff on a regular basis. Basically, when I say “alternative”, I mean “cool”. That is, all musicians, famous or completely unknown, who succeed in being curious, creative and courages, while never compromising quality.
• There is an ever-growing discussion around classical music lovers, about whether or not this music has a future.I’m sure you hear such questions often: “is the classical concert dead?”, “how to bring more young listeners to concerts?”, “where are we going with classical music?” etc’. Though these questions are more or less those which brought me to write these posts to begin with, and though I believe they have immense importance, I am not going to try and give my answers just now. Let me just say, that I believe that quality changes the rules of the game: whether we are talking about posts on Facebook, classical music or avant-garde installations – we shouldn’t be allowed to sacrifice quality, no matter for which cause, definitely not for the cause of attracting more public. I believe high-quality content is, at most, a question of integrity and honesty. Approaching the subject from another angle: different arts are going to have different audiences, and that is a natural and blessed result of our ultra-artistic world and its never-ending flow of content.
• I never intended to write words. But now that I do, I must admit there is something soothing in the logic and simplicity of a verbal expression. That is to say – after years of expressing myself through sounds only, being used to the lack of tangible substance, I enjoy these simple letters; these black words lining up to form a sentence. Nonetheless, every time I sit down to write, I begin with the knowledge that I have no idea what I’m doing. But this ignorance is also calming, being very different from the knowledgeable, educated way I do music.
• As a musician, and especially as an editor of an online magazine, I often feel guilty: for not helping the world with its “real” problems; for adding more content to a world that is basically drowning under heavy waves of information. I constantly feel the pressure of responsibility to add only useful, enjoyable, good content: fragile definitions to begin with. But at times, when I’m happy with something I have made, or when exposed to great art made by others – I am confident that without good content, without culture and art, we are left with a world dominated by great confusion. “Confusion will be my epitaph […]“
• I am sure there is a secret place, maybe even a huge sanded desert, from which come all great pieces of art.Because so often I see miraculous, yet obvious connections between works of art that were given completely unrelated definitions and descriptions. They might be scattered all over the world; they might be named very differently (painting, dance, electronic, classical, Dada, haute couture), but when I listen carefully, I hear they speak the same mother-tongue.
• For the future of MOUNT DELA, I wish that more and more people will reveal their secrets through the magazine. I wish to have an outrageous celebration for those who are safely fastened to an intellectual, self invented bubble.
• A lifesaving quote: “Make what’s perfect more human” [Brian Eno].
And now some questions to you, the people who read these words, the people who follow this magazine, the people to whom I am so so thankful – I limited myself to 10:
1. To which music are you listening nowadays?
2. Can you read a book and listen to music at the same time?
3. Do you like thick green forests or boundless yellow deserts?
4. Do you play an instrument?
5. Which languages do you speak?
6. Ever changed your mind drastically about a certain work of art?
7. What do you think is more important: knowledge or fantasy?
8. Considering the environmental state of planet earth: can you enjoy reading a book on a digital device?
9. What makes you feel overwhelmed?
10. What is your name?
I would love to hear back from you – let’s stay in touch?