It's great to be here for the eighth Tallinn Music Week (TMW), an event that has grown from its simple roots as a showcase for exciting lesser known music in the Baltic region and beyond, to an event that draws people from all over Europe and from North America and from further afield.
A conference that brings together musicians and the recording industry is always something special in our part of the world. But this year thanks to the great work of Helen Sildna, who has been involved in all kinds of broader endeavors for the last several years, it is even more. Helen has to come to the conclusion music is not enough and under the title "Creativity for Change" to bring people together to go beyond just music.
Yet from the first TMW, where I spoke about Pussy Riot, who had been arrested only a week earlier, TMW has always been inextricably tied to events around us. At that time I just wished to point out that making music is not something that's always easy and comfortable, that making music can lead to all kinds of other results. So TMW actually has always been inextricably tied to events around us.
This year, I would argue, even more so. And, more than we generally think about when we read the headlines of terrorism, growing populism and the rise of extremist parties in Europe and elsewhere, spewing language and simple solutions that just a few years ago would have led to their being shunned if not ostracised by the public at large.
We think these things don't touch us, or that they touch us in a vague way or perhaps if someone knows someone who has been touched by these events. But to bring home to where we are, who we are, what events mean to us here at TMW, consider the following: Few people, and certainly not the broader media actually noticed who was attacked in the Paris terrorist rampage in November. We perhaps recognize the name of the theater, the Bataclan. We perhaps read it was a rock concert. But most people thought it was just some American band.
But the band that played there that night was one of the more alternative and out there bands making music today, the Eagles of Death Metal, yet another Josh Homme creation. How many people here know who Josh Homme is? Good, I thought this audience would recognize the name. Even the band's name is post-modern ironic, referring to themselves as the formulaic and bland band, mildly country-rocky "Eagles" (mocked already some 35 years ago by Steely Dan). The name, combing the bland Eagles with the teen-age primitive genre "Death Metal" is actually a joke. Nor is the joke hardly surprising given that Josh Homme, who has pushed the limits of modern rock with his Desert Sessions and other records, came to be known more broadly with an equally self-ironically named band, The Queens of the Stone Age.
Today in Kadriorg President Toomas Hendrik Ilves accepted Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kubanychbek Omuraliev, who resides in Minsk; the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Wiwiek Setyawati Firman, who resides in Helsinki, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia, Robert Krmelj, who resides in Warsaw and the Ambassador of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Muhammad Abdul Muhith, who resides in Copenhagen.
The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, and his wife, Jenni Haukio, will pay their first state visit to the Republic of Estonia on 17 and 18 May. In Tallinn, the Finnish Head of State will be met by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves; the guest will also meet with the Speaker of the Parliament, Eiki Nestor, and the Prime Minister, Taavi Rõivas.
Veterans' Day is a reminder and recognition of the bravery of the men and women who have served on foreign missions, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at the charity dinner for the Carolin Illenzeer Fund, stressing that he is proud of the Estonian Defence Forces and the professionalism and dedication of Estonian soldiers.