Marina Speaks Out on Violence in Kosovo and Serbia

March 19, 2004

I’m only a pianist but I know that violence leads to revenge and revenge leads to more violence and then suddenly we are all caught up in a vicious cycle that begins to consume us all in a fiery storm of hate, fear and sorrow. This vicious cycle will only grow larger and consume more and more of us, unless we consciously and deliberately refocus our rage for revenge and hate.

As a pianist, the only way I know how to do this is through my music where I can hear the blended sounds of ethnic differences and realize that these melodies are common to us all and they can’t help but remind us of our common humanity. At a fundamental level, we are all the same. Do we not love our children the same? Do we not love our mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and sweethearts all the same? Do we not all cry the same over the loss of our loved ones? Do we not all die the same when we are fatally wounded? We must all be protected and allowed in peace to cherish the people that we love most dearly. We must be secure in the expectation that our loved ones will not be taken away from us by crazed hateful violence. In any given situation, the majority must never forget that it has the greater responsibility for protecting the minority. This responsibility always grows proportionately with the strength of the majority. The strong must always remember to protect the weak. When that happens, then and only then will the cycle of hate and violence be broken.

That’s what I hear in the diverse music of our tortured heritage and you can hear the same thing if you listen carefully for the sounds that emanate from the souls of the loved ones that we have all lost. All I am is a pianist and that’s all I know. I can only continue to play my music and hope that we will take the time to understand what the music is telling us about ourselves.