Asian Guitar Music

Blog | Hucky Eichelmann

Some thoughts about democracy…

‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’ These are the words of Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

I had the pleasure of growing up and enjoying childhood and free education in Germany, reportedly one of the world’s most prominent democracies and I am most grateful for that.
Since age 22 I have had the great opportunity of living in Asia, mainly in Thailand, so when I say “us” or “our” in this text I mean us and I very much feel of being part thereof and I am most grateful for that as well, krub.

Let me point out expressly that I am in no way an expert on social science, economics, politics or political systems whatsoever, I am just an artist who would love to see our world and its inhabitants in good shape. Having said that, let me share a few experiences on the subject.

Since things went sort of shaky in Thailand during the early 21st century, mainly due to the predominance of growing material greed and because of certain individuals and groups pursuing certain social, political and economic interests, I hear many screaming for “democracy” as if that was the simple almighty overall remedy for our problems. I have since been asking folks throughout the country what they think democracy is all about. I was told many interesting things but most commonly I was told that “it is a system of freedom and equality where everybody can do what he/she want/s”….. urrrghhh…. that is quite new to me….. and as far as I was taught back home in the German land that is what we, in fact, call “Anarchy”….. ok, never mind the tiny difference. I only worry that too many people may have similarly distorted ideas what democracy is all about.

Lets remember that we are born into a world of different continents, different climate zones, different ethnic backgrounds, different cultures with different political systems hence different values, different ways of thinking and different ways of doing things. So I think we should ask ourselves, why certain forces try so hard to install their tailor-made “democratic” system upon on all of us regardless of our needs, our culture, our values, our thinking, our way of doing things? Is that perhaps because if we would all live in the same system, it would be much easier to control us all? There were earlier attempts to achieve such worldwide control during the colonial times when western forces conquered upon the East and beyond. Luckily that did not really work mainly due to our strong cultures, our values and our ways of thinking which were our main assets at the time. Cultures, values and ways of thinking were possibly not reason enough to pursue and maintain further control during those days but today we can add economy and trade to the list of valuable interests which make the issue a far more complex one.

The evolution of the world has always been dynamic with cultures i.e. countries being on top or at bottom of things in certain intervals, the best recent example for that perhaps being China. The present situation (still) has some western countries on top of economy, trade and science etc. However, their system is running into an obvious deadlock within their own territories hence they desperately need new territories to sell their produce and ideologies, territories which will do what they want them to do. What would be easier to manipulate than economically weaker places which have been looking up to them for their material supremacy for quite a while. With places like Asia having their very own strong and diversified cultures, values and ways of thinking that is not such an easy task. Hence their hidden and persistent promotions for democracy, the system they play best, which they are good at and which would enable them to control and dominate the entire continent in no time.

Everybody likes freedom and good life but that does not mean that we have to trade it with a system which would exploit us and have us down on our knees, eventually extinguish our cultures and values and ways of doing things. We do not really want that to happen, do we?

We have our own strong culture, our own values, our own ways of thinking and we can build these into an economic and social system which will benefit us and not some alien Desperados. Such a system might well have similarities or use elements of western democracies but it should always and primarily be our system, serve us first and prevent us from being exploited by others.

#democracy #thoughts #thailand #thaidemocracy #politics #thaipolitics

.... greedy is ugly

What if other countries decided to charge all Thais 10 times the local's price for all sorts of things? We would not like that, would we? Let's just don't be greedy, .... greedy is ugly.

referring to Bangkok Post article on 11-07-2020
Foreigners take aim at dual pricing
The timing is particularly appropriate since the country is still closed to foreign travellers. Consequently, the tourism industry is relying on domestic travellers for survival. That includes tens of thousands of expatriates who live in the country year-round and pay taxes.
Link URL:…/foreigners-take-aim-at-dual-p…

#greedy #greedyisugly #dualpricing
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About being a musician

The dilemma of the classical guitar and how to be a musician

One of the main dilemmas of the classical guitar is that many players attempt to copy other (famous) players rather than developing their own musical signature.   

It is true that unlike in jazz, classical music has many rules and regulations but there is still plenty of room for individuality within that framework of rules. Besides that the guitar has the advantage of being at home in almost every thinkable musical culture and style; we should make full use of that great opportunity.

To develop our own musical personality, language and interpretations it is utmostly important that we fully explore those spaces and possibilities as without our very own personal musical message our playing will be meaningless. 

We ought to strive to develop ourselves as meaningful and cultured people, as people who got something to say and contribute towards society, people who have a meaningful message to convey. While trying to achieve that we should be aware that tradition is something highly valuable to our past, present and future but that getting stuck with it would prevent us from developing further and hence prevent tradition from growing and retaining itself as such.

As performing musicians we should listen to others and study their way of playing but in the end we will have to think and create ourselves and develop our very own style of playing, our own signature to what we do. Shallowness and copying is a sure killer of good music and it surely won't travel far. Without offering a genuine message nobody will be interested in listening to us.

Firstly we MUST understand the music we are playing. That requires thorough studies of music theory and music history. Furthermore, it is very important to listen to different styles and genres of music, to other instruments and other musical cultures besides just the classical guitar repertoire which, unfortunately, is very limited compared to other instruments such as the piano etc. 

As guitarists (and pianists) we tend to think vertically (in chords rather than in lines) whereas the singers, woodwind players and violin players think horizontally (melody lines, phrasing etc.). Both approaches are very important in music and we need to learn these different approaches from each other and combine them in order to become accomplished musicians.

However, most of all, we always have to play "honestly", from the depth of our hearts. In common language, if we do not tell the truth our listeners will realize that and consider our words a lie; this is the same in music.

Our performance reflects our personality and that makes music such a wonderful thing!

#dilemma #classicalguitar #musician #beingamusician
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