Music Crosses Cultural Boundaries

This week I had the pleasure to meet a lovely man from Nigeria. He made a delivery to my home, and he stepped back due to COVID. I told him not to worry, that I trusted my immune system if he did, and that I would greatly appreciate his help if we could lift a large package together into my studio, because it was too heavy for me by myself. He was very gracious and happy to help me. I asked him if he was from West Africa, Nigeria? He wondered how I knew, and I told him that I had several friends from his country, how beautiful the food and music of his country were, and that I had never known such a hard-working, gracious people. He asked me about what kind of music I played, and I invited him to see my studio and chat for a minute. It turns out that he wanted to play the violin as a child, but he did not have the opportunity. We had a wonderful conversation. He was surprised that I knew about pepper soup and that I could sing songs from his country. He loves living in Indianapolis, might take some violin lessons as an adult, and pointed out that people are dying all over Africa all of the time, and people still go to work, to the markets, and to get water, if they are lucky. COVID has divided us, and to no end, except to generate profit for large corporations and businesses, who do not care about people, as well as for very well endowed universities. Small private schools and colleges, small businesses, people who free-lance or who are self-employed have undoubtedly been hit the hardest. I care about people, and not just the right to assemble, the basic value for humans to interact, make friends, learn, and find joy in the small things in life. Fear, isolation, distance, lockdown will never bring us to a better place, and the “laws” that have been put in place fundamentally violate constitutional rights and often human rights. Love, community, respect, and unity, appreciation of life and beauty will bring us to a wonderful place, and we have all that we need to do it. Enjoy some music from a wonderful string quartet who dared to be innovative, embracing the idea that music crosses all boundaries!

Karine Stone