If you’re really listening, then some of the barriers can dissolve or change. — Pauline Oliveros

When reality shows so much cruelty and suffering, encouragement can open a passage for change. Music is the emotional analogy to our everyday lives, and it encourages passion, love and diversity. Music can encourage to stand up and stand out. It may be the soundtrack of your political protest or the sonic confession of your heart. Music is multisensory processes. Musical training affects oscillatory networks in the brain associated with executive functioning which enhances learning and performance in many cognitive domains.

Music has the ability to open up pathways to creative thinking, and musical training sharpens qualities such as collaboration, the ability to listen, a way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas, the power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously. To the majority of listeners, music functions as an intuitive non-verbal language. A language that enhances the ability to connect unknown structures or contradictory ideologies. Music channels different types of creative impulses, and even encourages to look beyond what currently exists in social cohesion and express new visions of what society could look like.

Critique is often being mistaken for pessimism. If you criticize a system of action you can criticize any given sets of rules and still be optimistic about the future. That is the core of what encouragement is about. Encouragement seeks something greater for a common good. It is the action of giving someone support, confidence or hope. It is the quality of a mind or a spirit that enables a person to face difficulties, danger and pain without fear. It is to have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

All this leads to one unturned question: what’s next?

PHONO17 encourages you to listen closely. To be open minded. And take action. Through this theme, PHONO aims to explore music qualities with encouragement as a tool to achieve a higher purpose.