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.
"In Narva, just like any other place in Estonia, entrepreneurship and enterprises are important, as these translate into jobs and the ability of people to have a livelihood," said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves who yesterday and today visited several different companies in various fields of business in the border town.
"Narva has now become one of the most modern and most technologically advanced border crossing points with the biggest and fastest capacity," acknowledged the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who today inspected the border crossing and customs point in Narva with Ieva Ilves.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ieva Ilves will make a working visit to Ida-Viru County today and tomorrow.