Copied for our band myspace.

read this. Then this. Discuss.

Please keep in mind that I can only pretend to speak for myself, and not for the sum of the falling trees collective:
Perhaps civilisation moulds us more than we care to admit. Perhaps the role of the subculture 'other' is just as important as that of the preacher, politician, or police. In activist circles, the following is a common observation: 'what if we threw a protest, and nobody came?' The alternative would be, of course, 'what if we threw a war, and nobody came?'

What we're getting at here is that our commonalities and our identities are to a great extent forged in opposition to an existing social force. Left wing/right wing dichotomies are pretty much meaningless: pure socialists and pure libertarians have much more in common than libertarians with the corporatists who claim to be 'laissez faire' to further their own profits.

I guess the real question is: is real freedom even possible in a society like ours anymore? Oh yes, it is true we have consumer choice. But true freedom demands opportunities for autonomy, for spontaneous action and self-actualisation, and not just a choice between two compromises. Our highly-developed and industrialised society offers us nothing but preconceived 'identities' to be filled at our leisure: worker or parasite, politician or activist, businessman or artist.

All these dichotomies are artificial. For example: before mass production, any worker who was producing a commodity was considered an 'artisan', in that they were producing something with the help of their skills and creativity. Every piece of furniture, to a certain extent, was a work of art, and its creator could enjoy the satisfaction that is now reserved for an elitist class of 'artist.'

Consider our band name, 'the falling trees.' The zen koan goes like this: 'if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?' This is absolutely the wrong question. It suggests that the natural world has no essence outside of society's attempts to define it. The real question is: 'if a society falls, and there is no tree to hear it, does it make a sound?' And that, for me at least, is a far more interesting question. Another interesting question (trying to link this post together in a somewhat coherent manner) is this: 'if you fall, and society isn't there to catch you, what grows in your absence? Who do you become? Here it is, friends. We are defined by our site within society, for better or for worse. But this is not a natural or an inevitable state of affairs. We are defined by what we do, not by the pre-packaged identities that wait for our allegiance. 'The falling trees' exists to try and answer that question, for us and maybe for you. We seek to define ourselves by who truly are, by our essence and not merely by our social context.

We will most surely fail, because it is a massive undertaking, and because we, all of us, are prisoners of history. There is nothing special about the products of music-making; in a better world, the satisfaction that we feel making our songs would be felt by any worker who produces a similar commodity. Musically, and politically, we define ourselves by what has come before us. We are not especially talented or disciplined or anything else. We don't possess the unlikely genius to break free of our world. We are just like you. But the glory is in the attempt, and in nothing else.

All power to the people! Humanity forever!


At 1:05 p.m., Blogger Robert said...

good rant, sir

good rant!


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