Lewsberg in defence of the everydayPublished 17 Jun 2020 at 14:48 by We Are Public
The Rotterdam foursome Lewsberg creates raw and wayward music without any fuss, bother or hoo-ha. Their productions bring an ode to the everyday, the discrete and the seemingly mundane. Singer and guitarist Arie van Vliet draws inspiration for the lyrics from the often cynical work of Robert Loesberg, a rebellious Rotterdam writer from the seventies that also happens to be the person whom inspired the band’s name. Whilst stuck at home, Arie wrote the following letter about finding beauty in the everyday. A topic that seems more relevant than ever during this period of stagnation.
In defence of the everyday
Never has a headline on the front page of a newspaper been about something unremarkable. Never has the tv news started with an item about an everyday event. Never has a car accident where the only damage was a dented side door been worthy of writing. Never have sports editors talked about a draw between two average teams in the 5th class. Never has somebody who was offered a job as an administrative assistant after a short application procedure been invited by a talk show to discuss it. Never has an ordinary house in an ordinary street in an ordinary neighbourhood in an ordinary city been highlighted in a travel guide. Never has a humble opinion been the talk of the day.
A few years ago I was hospitalised for a couple of days. I shared the room with an old man. Before he was admitted to the hospital, he spent his days at a bridge in the village where he lived. The bench next to the bridge was where the old men from the village used to meet. They didn’t have much to say to each other, nothing much happened.
The sun shines on the city. Colours show themselves as intended, shadows have sharp edges. There is no wind. You watch the buildings, how they stand out against the blue sky. As you walk, towers slide past each other. The changing perspective creates a new composition.
It seems to be easier to value extraordinary phenomena, than to value everyday things. We don’t seem to be able to designate things that don’t stand out, we cannot seem to write about them. Do we find the everyday too trivial to waste energy on? Why is there so much attention for the exceptional, and so little eye for the normal? Even the normal can only be normal if it’s exceptionally normal, these days. Mundane matters await the choice: whether to be given a striking, polished look or to disappear.
I can no longer bear this tyranny of the special. I avoid everything that screams for attention, and wallow in the careless naturalness of the inconspicuous. And I hope it will never get on TV, never get in the paper, never end up in a travel guide, and never become the talk of the day. A little more appreciation wouldn’t hurt, though.
I come back from grocery shopping. I posted some letters on my way. As I arrive, I put my key in the lock, turn the key to the left (two turns) and push the door open. Inside, I take off my coat and shoes. I close the door. I’m going to make tea.
In Art We Trust Fund
Lewsberg is one of the makers that we selected for our In Art We Trust Fund. In March this year, they self-released their latest album: In this House. The band isn’t performing for a while, but they have just released a new song: Nature. The members of Lewsberg are continuing to write new music and want to keep enriching the Dutch musical landscape with their nostalgic rock music.
Keen to help out? You can! Log in and give them your heart. Read more about our fund.
Note: Arie’s letter featured on this blog post was originally published as a ‘Lockdown Letter’ in Hook Journal.