Meirion Bowen applauds Ben Okri’s stand, while Trevor Jones supports the wake-up call that less is more
Ben Okri (Artists must confront the climate crisis – we must write as if these are the last days, 12 November) is quite right. Artists have often worked during wars and other crises, asserting the importance of positive expression in the face of many events and activities that are depressing and likely to cause disillusionment. This was the case in the 1930s in Nazi Germany, when Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Bertolt Brecht and others created memorable music/theatre pieces that were memorable then, and remain so.
The same was true of Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time, which started as a protest against the persecution of Jews, but was soon adopted around the world as a general statement of support for any people who were oppressed. Lately, it made a big impact in Russia. I myself, as a musician, continue my work as an arranger of existing music.