POINTING THE FINGER

Anton Maskeliade | Electronic Musician, Producer, Educator | Moscow, Russia

This essay is taken from ONEBEAT ZINE Vol. 1: The Golden Record

Anton Maskeliade

С детства меня били по рукам и говорили “не показывай пальцем!”,“не принято тыкать на людей”. А я очень хотел тыкать, ведь это так просто — указать на то, о чем ты говrоришь, показать того, о ком ты думаешь. Но длявсех остальных это было неприличным…

Ever since my childhood they have shouted at me: ‘Don’t point your finger! You can’t point your finger at people!’ They would slap me on the hands. But, of course, I wanted to point my finger. It’s so simple, to just point at the person or thing you’re talking about. But everybody else thought it wasn’t polite.

Two years ago, I gave my first course on writing music with computer software (Ableton Live), and for the first time in my life people liked it when I pointed my finger. I immediately enjoyed teaching. I like to talk about what I know, to explain in simple terms how easy it is to create your own music.

Rhodes Skate Park, Boise, ID | Photo: Alexia Webster, 2017

When I started composing, I realized how important creative process was. If you take care of your creative spark at the right time, it can grow into a huge star, warming a thousand planets. As soon as I got an opportunity to show other people how to create music, I told them: music is not a sport or mathematics, so it’s not about being faster or more precise than others. Music is a therapy for souls, and you can transform it into moments of happiness shared between artist and audience. But most of my peers hate music schools. Many tell similar stories about how they were corrected by their teachers when they, for example, held their hands in a wrong way, instilling an aversion to one of the purest and most beautiful of the arts: music.

In August 2017, I opened the Maskeliade Music School. The main goal of my school is to build a community, so that students become friends and communicate outside of classroom. I want to create a friendly atmosphere in which nothing stands in the way of putting that creative spark into action, via constant support and acceptance.

Maskeliade Music School

The initial course is intensive, consisting of long 5-hour classes in which students dive into a whole new world. Right after the first class, most students walk away with a completely different view of music. You can immediately discover a new ear and you start to hear other people’s music differently. I teach that the most intimate and important process in a person’s life is the process of creation. This process is an extension of your personality. It’s is the way you manifest yourself as a person and it’s important to drive home the following point: music is not only about having an artistic career or crowds of fans. Music is about dancing to your own home-beats, having a musical picnic with friends; music is the answer to the question: ‘What do you live for?’ because the output of this most abstract expression brings us a very real-tangible-concrete smile.

In a world full of clones, it is very important to stick to your own vision, which many will find weird or downright wrong. As a teacher, I try to help students preserve and develop their original vision of the world through music, to make it more mature while keeping its original essence. I have always been inspired by mavericks that follow their own path against all odds and feel excited about it. This passion is their internal compass that navigates them through difficult times.

From my experience at OneBeat, I clearly see that the language of music is the most universal on Earth. When dozens of artists from all over the world find a common language, often without even speaking the same language, it is very powerful. Music unites the world, making stadium crowds jump to a common beat and helping to go through difficult periods in life, because there is a clear feeling that you are not alone.

Sometimes now I want to point my finger at people and say, “Hey you, people! Do you know that you can install a free program on your home computers and start writing your own music today?” And I don’t consider it ‘electronica’ or ‘EDM’ or any narrowly defined genre; it’s the new folk music of the entire planet.