Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, México, 14 de Enero 2018;
guitarras, violín y voces
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, México, 14 de Enero 2018;
guitarras, violín y voces
Festival UMBRAL, MACO, Oaxaca, México. 7 de diciembre 2017.
–piedra, botella (sol), grabaciónes
NORBERT FLAUBERTs Kolumne
TRIPS AUND FESTIVALS
KONFRONTATIONEN 2016 by Andrew Choate
April in Beirut https://thefuckle.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/april-in-beirut/
Reisebericht, Irtijal Festival
Versuch über die Wellen. Teil II – Marokko
FOCUS INEXPECTATUS in Dala-Floda
FOCUS INEXPECTATUS in Dala-Floda ENGLISH
Charhizmatic Music, Brief an Andrew Choate
über Music Unlimited 29
Charhizmatic Music, letter to Andrew Choate
about Music Unlimited 29
Response from Andrew Choate
August in Wien oder Auf der Suche nach Ingeborg Bachmann https://thefuckle.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/august-in-wien/
Liquid Nights, über Maja Osojniks Let Them Grow
english version http://the-attic.net/reports/1625/liquid-nights.html
live performance with Radu Malfatti
A Song. For Hamid.
EL PUEBLO VENCIDO (jamás será unido)
William Parker on Billy Bang
schmickl [at] socialanthropology [dot] net
by Andrew Choate
Anxiety makes a noise like a string quartet/ Rehearsing in my ribcage
– Robert Kelly
Romantic relationships aren’t equal. Equality implies measurability––two centimeters of chocolate equals the same length as two centimeters of licorice––and the kind of love I’m talking about doesn’t bother with measurement. Not to mention differences in taste…
Romantic relationships are not exclusive to people: we love books, foods, pets, activities, places, etc. We develop our capacity to give our love away, and if you love a place like I love Nickelsdorf, you shouldn’t expect the place to love you back. It can give you feelings that encourage more love to grow from within you, but a place doesn’t generate, articulate and deliver the kind of love that blooms between people. The place just exists. It is up to the people in that place to fill it with love.
The 2016 Konfrontationen began for me in the Sound Art exhibit across the street from the Jazzgalerie. When Beirut was bombed in 2006, Mazen Kerbaj began making drawings and audio recordings documenting what he could hear and see. All of his notebooks and recordings from this time were on display as “Before the war, it was the war. After the war, it is still the war.” The cumulative effect of this material puts the audience into the space of Kerbaj’s perceptions, physicalizing the intimate experience of recording a war, being trapped and creative. Humor and pain, love and fear, sanity and irrationality – all intermingle in these documents. Kerbaj is an artist unafraid to showcase difficult and conflicted emotions, none perhaps so revelatory as the notion that refusal, resistance, and even cowardice can be strength when turned towards bullshit warmongers.
I didn’t understand Yan Jun’s “Grappa Variation,” four speakers arranged around a dinner table, all facing the center like a family mid-meal. It seemed to consist solely of banal field recordings (park sounds of kids playing, static-y feedback, public transportation announcements, restaurant-utensil clinking) along with him and his friends saying or trying to say “grappa” in various languages. If this was cultural expansion, it felt like notes on psychological imperialism as experienced via linguistics, manifested.
For the first of four performances of “ce qui dure dans ce qui dure,” by Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto saxophone) and Lotus Eddé Khoure (dance), the pair gathered in front of a burgundy curtain in an empty room with a wooden floor. The piece depends on their negotiation of a non-simultaneous but concomitant exploration of “OFF” and “ON.” Khoure’s movements focussed on casual repetitions of simple gestures that she filled with increasing tension: a fist closing, a foot lifting, a back crouching, etc. Guionnet held his tones or stood silently, always looking straight ahead. Khoure mimicked his fingering positions on the saxophone once, and then stopped moving.
I also went to see this duo perform this piece on Friday afternoon, this time in the garden outside the Sound Art exhibit. The crowd was much thinner than the previous night, and I noticed the patterns of muscles moving in his arms because of her. I heard the whoosh of the swoop of her arms because of him. She took more dramatic poses and strained to hold them. He bent over. I thought about all the people in the neighborhood that could hear the sound inadvertently as they proceeded through their day. I thought about the confidence it takes to make a sound in the world that people who aren’t expecting it will hear. More people heard Guionnet’s sounds accidentally than intentionally. She sighed and took a half-step forward with one foot and held it in the air, to the accompaniment of a diagonal arm splash into the wind.
I missed their Saturday performance, but on SundayI heard Guionnet make a tone within a tone on the alto sax that was unlike anything I have ever heard: like a seed and a shell finally adequately entwined as both inner and outer. Khoure had been gathering tension in these performances for days, and on Sunday she used trembling to inaugurate a way of saying both “Shoo! Get away!” and “What do I have to do to keep you?” She danced underneath her shirt, using tense stomach muscles to zoom in on the giant difficulty of what it might mean to turn away from our core.
Opening things up on the Jazzgalerie main stage was the Italian quartet Roots Magic (Alberto Popolla – clarinets; Errico De Fabritiis – alto sax; Gianfranco Tedeschi – double bass; Fabrizio Spera – drums). They got things started with a gravelly baritone swagger from De Fabritiis on Charlie Patton’s “Down the Dirt Road Blues” from 1929. I appreciated the combination of the darkness and the celebration, as if the worst experiences can still somehow be commemorated as long as we have other people to share the sentiment with. They also did a version of Julius Hemphill’s “The Hard Blues,” and somehow De Fabritiis’ alto was even more gritty than his baritone: he’s got a growl that could cook a mean steak. This was their first gig playing outside Italy, and they didn’t extend these pieces too much beyond the nut of the original, just lovingly embraced the tunes and put them to bed. But when you choose a set list of tunes by Blind Willie Johnson, Phil Cohran, Olu Dara, John Carter, Pee Wee Russell and Sun Ra, that’s the right strategy. A great choice to open the festival as the breadth of the historical context for a lot of the music that was to come later was acknowledged and rejoiced.
A string quartet called Strinquantet (Simon Frick – violin; Judith Reiter – viola; Maria Frodl – cello; Thomas Stempkowski – double bass) followed with a set of mostly improvised pieces that made me think of abstract lace patterns being crafted in remote parts of the world to be used as traditional fireside blankets. The band had a visual splendor deeply colored by the physical movements of the players: long arco stretches, vibrato wobbles, bows shaking and waving. I discovered that scraping a bass with a thin stick can sound like a bow splooshed through the air. This music weaved a fine line between intellectual intensity and relaxed barn-dance party, the success of which could be attributed to the musicians’ comfort onstage playing a music that hasn’t yet had a place in the world carved out for it. This fresh territory that Strinquantet mapped thus made a perfect compliment to the overt historical underpinnings that Roots Magic’s set opened with.
Pointillist abstraction––like looking at dots just before they’re connected––mingled with squeals of fun and the carefree joy of letting go in their final piece, and the rhythmic regularity of tapping a fingernail on a cello sounded like cold water dripping into a bucket. The distinguished tonality of a whine from the violin made me think someone was singing before a meteor fell out of the viola and a folky turnip sprouted outside the back of the barn, where the dance continued.
There was a lot of anticipation from my friends for The Elks (Liz Allbee – trumpet, electronics; Kai Fagaschinski – clarinet; Billy Roisz – electronics, electric bass; Marta Zapparoli – tape recorders, self-made devices) so it was nice when they started with a howling rumblefuck of dirge-as-destiny to get going. Zapparoli’s turntables led the ensemble with the voice of a demon satellite orbiting the inner ear. Roisz had a bass on the ground she plucked inaudibly; stealing its waveform for processing, harvesting oil from a nap. The electronics were too dominant in this opening portion until Fagaschinski stopped playing harsh high-pitched blistering tones and Albee put her trumpet perpendicular to the ground, removed the mouthpiece and made “Bawk-Bawk” chicken whistles. These breath instrumentalists took over for a moment. Roisz and Zapparoli quickly heard what was happening and adroitly shifted gears to supplement the new lick of momentum and these four were suddenly sounded like A WORKING BAND.
Buzzing electronic breaths hovered over the stage like ungrounded hum as Kai and Liz pierced the foam with shouting sprouts. Unfortunately a lighting tech got fidgety and started changing the lights every thirty seconds, distracting from the jam. By the time someone told him to stop, the band had cruised into a steady course toward more and more activity, and it sounded like free jazz machismo suffused with contemporary techniques. Sometimes adding more layers doesn’t increase density: it makes everything more diffuse. Overall a good ride on a roller coaster, with Zapparoli exerting the most energy to direct the riddle.
Don’t confuse caring for weakness
– Willie Nelson
I was really looking forward to Manfred Hofer’s set with Peter Kutin and Lampenshirm at the Kleylehof because Hofer’s trio set at the 2005 fest with Tony Buck and Hannes Löschel was deeply revelatory for me. His technique on bass––including other assorted implements for attacking it and adding effects––generated total eye-and-ear-opening awe in me. I picked up his solo CD but hadn’t been able to find anything at all in the interim, so was eager to see what he was up to now. Unfortunately this combination of Lampenshirm’s mostly black-and-white visuals with he and Kutin’s guitar/ bass/ electronics/ sound rig took me to places I felt like I had been before, and with less drastic effect. Admittedly, the narrative voice in German at the introduction was totally lost on me. The pitter-patter of scurrying electronics mixed with architectural visuals of stairwells, windows and wires reinforced a shallow notion of alienation amidst the brutal omnipresence of urban structures. Hofer’s bass played radio static dream flange. When the visuals switched to color images of insects, space and the moon, I felt even less connected. Life pulsing over the forest floor or water rippling on top of a clear stream felt like thinly-veiled and obvious desires made manifest when accompanied by clackety loops and turntable samples skipping on purpose. Maybe this is ennui in its pure state and I just don’t want to join in the bitter celebration.
Celebrating 40+ years as a Swedish juggernaut of free jazz, Lokomotiv Konkret blasted off from the Jazzgalerie stage in a rage of contrabass saxophone (Dror Feiler), guitar (Sören Runolf) and drums (Tommy Björk). Try to chew gum with a pair of scissors instead of your mouth. A full rumbling thrush of drums pervaded underneath Feiler moving from squealing sopranino to soprano to an alto with some sort of extended mouthpiece connector, sometimes with two of these at a time. A melody he played on tenor saxophone sounded more fractured than purely free blowing: a kaleidoscope, still, operates based on logic.
Their second number started with a drumstick-on-cymbal rub, with Feiler back on contrabass saxophone, and was much sparser than the first piece, totally different stylistically. Like a hard bellow to say hello followed by a calm rapport to have a conversation. Björk’s drumming felt more like he was building a pattern than creating a rhythm while the addition of Feiler’s electronics and shaking bells added a force-field of intension. Runolf’s guitar seemed to emit a stream of scalding fizz, though it was hard to hear cleanly through the mix of pitches coming from Feiler. Nothing static about it.
Speakeasy (Ute Wassermann – voice; Phil Minton – voice; Thomas Lehn – analogue synthesizer; Martin Blume – drums, percussion) put a great combination of instruments on stage, but I was disappointed in their set because they didn’t seem to get out of any territory that could have been expected. I’m not addicted to surprise in improvisation, but I do like to feel like a deep exploration is taking place. And while I have loved all of these performers in multiple contexts over the years, this performance was lackluster, with each player trying to find a place to make a sound in the overall vortex: listening for room to contribute, but not considering what might be worthwhile to contribute.
That being said, there were things I enjoyed: a combination of bird whistle and dog bark from Wassermann and Minton; ballooning synthesizer glows from Lehn; the steadiness of Blume’s lightsaber battle strikes toward the cymbals.
The trio of Sophie Agnel (piano), John Edwards (double bass) and Steve Noble (drums) was my favorite set that took place on the Jazzgalerie stage of this year’s fest. Agnel is a hero to me, a fact which I discovered listening to this performance. Things she did that I loved: screams of scraped strings; tuning fork reverberations melted down on skin; fishing line tug-of-wars making a giant V through the piano. Noble was ready for every sound and layer, adding accents and beds for each turn in the music, whether with wood blocks or gongs. Edwards, as always, equally in tune with both where the music was and where it might want to go, frequently studding the music with premonitions of sounds that later unfolded into foundations. Lovely and unsettling at once – just how I like it.
Where is the Sun (Isabelle Duthoit – clarinet, voice; Franz Hautzinger – quarter-tone trumpet; dieb13 – turntables; Martin Tétreault – turntables) had already played a small number of gigs together, but this was my first exposure to them as a quartet, and it’s a lineup that combines two of my favorite turntablists, Tétreault and dieb13. They delivered an astonishing quantity of frizzle-frying laser bombs and I thought about what it would be like to live in a habitat manufactured for another creature, a Polar bear’s environment, in an exhibit at the zoo, for example.
Whether guttural spelunking with the unscrewed bell of her clarinet or groaning with accusatory force, Duthoit’s presence onstage shaped the overall sound into a kind of cartoon demonic. Karate-chopping with her arms to coincide with screeches from her mouth elicited haunting but satisfying breathwork from Hautzinger, that seemed to elevate off the ground. The shape of her mouth, whether a smile or a frown, completely determines the kind of sound that can come out – an obvious fact about the physicality and gesturality of sound that she amplifies with poise.
Der Lange, der Junge und der Dicke (The Tall, the Young and the Fat: Rudi Mahall – bass clarinet; Flo Stoffner – guitar; Paul Lovens – selected and unselected percussion) played without the PA in a tight space on a corner of the stage. I had never heard Stoffner before, and he sounded like he translated Derek Bailey through Thelonious Monk: all intervals,. Funky funky intervals. Which fit perfectly with Mahall, whose Dolphyisms have always been about quick melodic shimmying between the top and bottom of the bass clarinet’s range. Stoffner’s playful use of harmonics pinned the spirit on the night, as Lovens responded with micro-echoes on tuned cymbals. “When I talk to my girlfriend, I feel like I’m on the edge of a body of water.” A deft slurring of instrumental boundaries with hints of straight-ahead jamming.
The moon’s/ been hanging around/ an awful lot lately – Sam Hunt
It was hot in the church for Rdeča Raketa (Maja Osojnik – live sampling, DJ CD player and other lo-fi electronics, Paetzold bass recorder; Matija Schellander – modular synthesizer, double bass) and Jean-Luc Guionnet (church organ). The air was deathly still, with the audience’s asses and backs supported only by hard wood pews, benches connected at oblique angles made to keep you attentive during descriptions of fantastic demises. It was hot in the church.
Many held their hungover heads in their hands. I picked a seat as far from the stage as possible, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to watch rather than hear. At first I wasn’t sure if the sonic worlds between Rdeča Raketa’s electronics––which were being played from the altar, at the front of the church, though a PA––and Jean-Luc Guionnet’s organ––which was being played on the second floor, from the back of the church, through the pipes––were meeting. The electronics were hyper and the organ was humming. Eventually I sunk into it with my sticky flesh and slippery mind and could hear the whistling thunderfall on both sides of the story. A controlled apocalyptic throb took over until the building itself felt like one single tremble stuck in orbit back and forth between existence and oblivion. Schellander––optimistically, atavistically, desperately––picked up his doublebass and bow and deposited more hum into the already-quivering space. Cricket helicoptering. A major highlight of the festival; I’d be very curious to hear if the recordings captured the hot, thick, heady presence of that sound.
I went back to the Sound Art exhibit again and spent more time with Noid’s “el paraisofono,” a steel-mesh grid hanging parallel to the ground with multiple objects on it: glass, tin, woodblocks, photographs, plastic cups, etc. The audience is invited to arrange the objects at any time so it is always changing. The grid vibrates and shakes with three different sounds––sine waves, feedback, noise––according to a pattern that Noid programmed. The vibrations reference the earthquakes in the city of Valpairaso where he conceived and developed the piece. I was mesmerized by the subtle depth of the sonics it emitted, and so spent a solid hour listening and tweaking the arrangement on the grid. A simple idea executed to be both inviting and challenging, an orchestra of objects.
The next room contained “hotspots” by Klaus Filip: “a map [on the wall] that indicates where thousands of refugees are located in camps and hotspots. The visitor of the exhibition can point to them with laser pointers thus producing an abstract image that will be made audible by a sonification.” You could also choose to shine the laser pointer/s through any of a series of crystal glasses, thus refracting the laser into hundreds of light shards across the map, producing an even more explosive sonification. The pitches seemed to be determined pretty simply based on North and South/East and West, but the result was wildly riveting, especially when multiple people helmed the different pointers. Considering the dire human migrations that were factored into the generation of the sounds, there was also something despotic about the positioning of the audience, who are pointing all over the world while remaining safely in one place, a little like a general planning a war. It was discomfiting and invigorating at the same time, which seemed like a valuable position to inhabit.
A small alcove off of Klaus Filip’s installation held Lisbeth Kovacic & Juri Schaden’s “Eu-fence,” a video documenting the cleaning of the truck that had been discovered between Nickelsdorf and Hegeshalom to be harboring 71 dead bodies that had been suffocated during one of the heights––August, 2015; will they end?––of the refugee crisis. The international news story/scandal of finding these bodies was counterpoised by a short-lived opening of borders. The static video shot of hazard-suited employees laying out the bodies and going through their apocalyptic duties behind a hastily-constructed fence emphasized the quotidian trauma of living within a reality wherein the awareness of heinous crime flows amidst a sea of inter-political “negotiations” that make awareness a protest against health.
Another room in this section of the exhibit was empty on Saturday, but had been full when I visited on Thursday. Christine Schörkhuber’s “We arrived on the dark side of Europe – the tents of Idomeni” had upset the building’s owner, so had been removed from the exhibit and placed outside in front of the Jazzgalerie. Schörkhuber had visited the Greek-Macedonian border and taken photographs and notes of the messages––“you do not own future”––that stranded refugees had written (in a variety of languages) on the exterior surfaces of their tents. Schörkhuber then rewrote the phrases and demands on another series of tents pitched in the gallery space. Once forcibly relocated, they looked much better on the street in front of the Jazzgalerie, and the displacement at the heart of the project took on another level.
Martin Siewert (guitar, electronics) and Katharina Ernst (drums) kicked off the action on the main stage and I was instantly reminded why I like Siewert’s live presence so much: he just looks so damn relaxed with an axe! Playing calm little notes like a bird passing overhead set a nice meditative tone before the duo launched into a howling glitter-filled aurora shower. Think of The Ruins (with guitar instead of bass) and add Jimi Hendrix funk with tripped-out David Gilmour rambling. There is so much sky in his sound. And Ernst has no problem anchoring this new age/hard rock hybrid they’ve developed. Their sound goes in all directions, like ambient light, but they make dark rock. Ernst played with the guts of a punk rock polka dot. Hair is naturally shaped like fire for a reason.
Trio Now! (Tanja Feichtmair – alto sax, voice; Uli Winter – cello; Fredi Pröll – drums) played the only set that I’ve had the benefit of listening to again after the fact, since it was released by Leo Records in the spring. In my memory the band played free jazz that sounded like standards, albeit Braxton-ized standards. Based on the recording, I still hear a strong Braxtonian presence in Feichtmair’s tone, but I hear less nods to standards than an experimentation with abstraction-cum-expression: the moment when self meets representation. I hear the band as if they are unconsciously covering stuff from the era of Braxton’s quartet: in and out/push and pull/ up equals down (if you turn sideways). Pröll had a Hemingway-ishness about his playing as well, reinforcing the connection: using quick juxtapositions between cymbal strikes and tiny clicks––like a nickel on a tuning peg––to wade through the deep end of Winter’s jagged arco. He literally whipped towels like drumsticks as Feichtmair aired out soft vocalic prayers.
Georg Gräwe’s solo piano set went like this: a dandelion in headlights; a lemon with a painted red dot on the rind; the gasp of a shooting star; running in a field and hiding and never being caught. If YOU had 88 fingers, how would YOU play piano? Little sprinkles of water clouds don’t break when they encounter an object – they just engulf it. This was the second time I had seen Gräwe solo on this stage, and it reminded me of that saying about stepping in the same river twice: don’t hit your head on the splash.
The Red Trio (Rodrigo Pinheiro – piano; Hernâni Faustino – double bass; Gabriel Ferrandini – drums) have been collaborating with John Butcher (tenor sax, soprano sax) since 2007 and he makes a poignant, pointed addition to the band. I got the feeling that with any other saxophonist they would have veered too far astray from the intention to make room for both post-65 Coltrane and pre-65 Giuffre. Pinheiro got inside the piano for a duo with Butcher on soprano saxophone, and I saw a girl put her hand on her neck to listen while holding her breath: great idea: less oxygen, more improv. Pinheiro also used an ebow to embellish the rippling swirl of echoes, and when things got really quiet, letting him advance, I realized that it’s the quiet that lets us know it’s time to listen.
Muggy, stagnant air is best experienced in combination with either pinpoint focus or diffuse indifference. His piano solo later in the set was infused with exhilirating ideas taken too far and over-explained. I have a hard time understanding improvisation that feels compelled to fill space with so much sound; it feels less like “improvisation” than like a statement of purpose – a demonstration of abstract flying things rather than an example of ideal aesthetic and social conditions.
Karkhana (Mazen Kerbaj – trumpet, mezmar; Umut Çağlar – reeds, flutes; Sam Shalabi – oud, electric guitar; Sharif Sehnaoui – electric guitar; Maurice Louca – synthesizer, electronics; Tony Elieh – electric bass; Michael Zerang – drums, percussion) finished the evening and something fell from the sky in front of me right as they started – a bug or a birdwing or a castle remnant. The set went: drone – pause – groove – freakout – repeat – breakdown. Warped pop synth from Louca on top could have been taken advantage of earlier. I love all these musicians so much I desperately wanted this set to be tuned in and turned on much higher than it was. Eventually a deep bass riff from Elieh triggered a double-reed clutch from Çağlar and Zerang laid down figures on his drum kit like he was playing hand drums: physicality always wins in terms of the human experience.
During the next groove, a traditional melody whirl like something off of Sami Rageb’s “Hyetti” got corrugated with Kerbaj playing drumstick-against-balloon in-between the mouthpiece and body of the trumpet until Shalabi took an oud solo that felt like the cherry on top of a sundae that you only got a couple bites of because you were sharing it with a lover you were trying to court. A sultry slow jam dissolution dissolved us into the night.
Every time he spoke in the dripping silence, his voice sounded so brutal and obscene that it stabbed our stomachs with a sour flood of adrenalin. – Mirceau Cărtărescu
Phil Minton’s Feral Choir––made up of anyone who wanted to join in and saw the signs posted for Sunday morning rehearsal––took off in a tribute to beloved trombonist Johannes Bauer to start the day.
dein klang wird diese bühne nie verlassen
auch wenn die vielen höhenflüge gezählt sind
nicht die tiefenschärfe nicht die leichtfüßigen wendungen
deine freude am spiel
und herzlichkeit in der begegnung
wir werden sie vermissen.
Your sound will never leave this stage
Even if the many heights are counted
Not the deep focus not the light-footed turns
Your joy at the game
And warmth in the encounter
we will miss you.
– Vera Gersak
This choir of friends and fans followed Minton’s conduction through bagpipe wheezing and carnival shouting to simply say, however ecstatically or solemnly, “thank you,” over and over again, to the dearly-missed presence of Johannes Bauer. A cascading waterfall of voices in a church on a hot Sunday afternoon made the kind of mourning that is mixed inextricably with gratitude, and heart-wrenchingly present. Like a watercolor that inevitably dries into hard contours of form and tone, his life was invoked and celebrated while his presence was allowed free reign to augur and manifest.
I was in a contemplative mood by the time the afternoon concert of Michel Doneda (soprano saxophone) and Lê Quan Ninh (percussion) got started at the Hesser Gstettn, a carved terrace in the land a couple kilometers from the Jazzgalerie. The audience positioned themselves across a wide swath of terrain – some making for the shade provided by the terrace wall, others inside the small shadows poking out from under scruffy scrub-bushes. The stoics adamantly stood in the brunt of the bracing sun.
Despite the inhospitality of the environment, this was my favorite performance of the festival, as Ninh and Doneda each traversed the landscape seemingly unconcerned about what their partner was up to, but deeply aware of what the entire environment offered, from snoring dipsomaniacs with sun exhaustion to frittering dogs with paws causing rocks to tumble and scatter.
In what might have been the most amazingly counterintuitive series of actions I’ve ever seen performed acoustically, Ninh rubbed loose cymbals across the rocks and foliage in the landscape, often semi-inaudibly from where I was standing, and then dragged those cymbals––resonating from their contact with weeds and scrub-brush––into his upright bass drum, effectively turning what should have been the decay of a sound into its amplification.
Slow steps on loose rocks from performers and audience alike punctuated this extraordinary concert where the breaths of dogs panting and the give-way of stones that folks were leaning on sent people and sound shivering across the arena.
The breezeless air of heat can’t be over-emphasized, with everyone hunting for shade yet also wanting to be close to the sound. Doneda played his soprano looking straight into the sun like he was thirstily sucking for relief; Ninh blew gusts of breath through the center-hole of cymbals brought to the edge of his face.
They ended with a long walk away from the audience, down a dirt road, and it seemed like the seal on a long-worn friendship finally made epic, ahistoric.
The trio of Keir Neuringer (alto sax), Simone Weißenfels (piano) and Willi Kellers (drums, percussion) on the Jazzgalerie main stage got off to a bad start with Neuringer’s introduction featuring a trite poem about “staring into the abyss” in relation to contemporary American politics. (Yes, the election turned out abysmally, but I have a problem with thinking that American politics and policy have ever been anything but a bastion of horror.) Thankfully, this band chose to investigate a more nuanced form of interaction. Even though I’ve become extremely agitated by most styles of improvised saxophone playing lately, my ears really embraced Neuringer’s tone and decision-making. (When I heard a record he made at Philipp Schmickl’s apartment a couple days later, I became even more impressed by his restrained-yet-determined sound.)
Weißenfels’ cascades mixed with Kellers’ delightful mbira pluckery and Neuringer’s squelchily constricted alto; everything perfectly creaking like the wooden benches we were all sitting on. Bird sounds and wind-chime whistling with soft mallets on piano strings gave a cheek-puckering fadeout to an already deceptively accomplished piece of improv. I wondered about the dangers lurking in children subjected to recordings of Dylan’s harmonica at a young age.
Talibam! (Matt Mottel – electronics, keyboard; Kevin Shea – drums) + Alan Wilkinson (tenor and baritone saxophone) felt like a well-pitched “I” screamed while jumping off a building: terrible yet comforting to the practitioner. Spacey, cheesey sci-fi synth from Mottel reminded me of early Deep Purple––back when they were an organ-based band––without the pop hooks, like Talibam! were making the theme to a TV show that is crazy but still accessible. He had his keytar slung over his shoulder with Wilkinson vocalizing through his free blowing: back and forth in front of the reed, hitting his lips and moving away like an acoustic wah-wah horn. Shea was flopping around on drums and I never could discern his perspective on the music they were making: was he just a willing participant of thrashing clank or the one controlling the accelerator?
Wilkinson gurgled into the bell of his alto and added vocalics to his baritone playing, with a brief solo to start their second piece, and I thought of a third eye with a cataract: extrasensory vision distorted magnificently. His cries melded into Mottel’s doomy keys and Shea’s black metal hyperdrive drums to audience cheers. Birds in flight would never think of asking for respite.
The trio of John Butcher (tenor sax, soprano sax), Thomas Lehn (analogue synthesizer) and Matthew Shipp (piano) was marred by bad sound tech and poor chemistry. Shipp’s playing was spry but overly-conciliatory, almost hippie-inflected, resulting in an incoherent romanticism that balanced poorly with the crackling distortion of Lehn’s synth. Butcher played electronics too, and had one mic focussed exclusively on the sounds of his fingers on the keys, which momentarily added a rich layer. Unfortunately, the equipment wasn’t cooperating, and Lehn fell in and out of the mix multiple times. Frustration and disappointment with technical issues were compounded by a lack of expansive camaraderie. Since this gig, they’ve released a CD on Fataka that probes more aggressive stances between the improvisors, a more invigorating tack for sure.
I wasn’t the only one who thought Fire! (Mats Gustafsson – tenor sax, baritone sax, flutophone, electronics; Johan Berthling – double bass; Andreas Werliin – drums) with Oren Ambarchi (guitar, electronics) did a loose cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” during this set, as Bogdan Scoromide’s interview with Alan Wilkinson and Talibam! revealed that they all started singing it in the bar while the band was onstage – awesome!
Ambarchi’s playing seems to divide people into fans or haters, and I’m certainly in the former category. Despite the myriad styles of attack he can display, his tone is instantly recognizable, and I find it warm and inviting even when ostensibly harsh: heavens rising from heavens or hells sinking into hells. Alas, he was mixed too low in the group sound and I had to strain to make out what he was doing for most of the set. By the time the soulful encore with Gustafsson on baritone saxophone began, the crusty torn edges of feedback in Ambarchi’s overtones came blissfully to the fore, making a comfy bed for Gustafsson to lay some finely-wriggled electronics on top of, putting this year’s fest to rest.
all photos by AC except the pale fox (George Staicu)
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Giradella kam wie immer 25 Minuten zu spät. Das hatte sie sich angelernt, denn ihr Schweizer Sinn für Präzision war ihr etwas peinlich geworden. Aber das machte mir nichts, mir gefällt es ja im Café Korb und außerdem hatte ich ein Buch mit und konnte den Discurso de Estocolmo, Pablo Nerudas Nobelpreisrede, nachlesen: “Digo que los enemigos de la poesía no están entre quienes la profesan o resguardan, sino en la falta de concordancia del poeta. De ahí que ningún poeta tanga más enemigo esencial que su propia incapacidad para entenderse con los más ignorados y explotados de sus contemporáneos; y esto rige para todas las épocas y para todas las tierras.” (Explico algunas cosas. 2007. Reclam. Stuttgart). Ich übersetze zum besseren Verständnis ins Deutsche: “Die Feinde der Poesie sind nicht unter jenen, die sie ausüben oder bewahren sondern in der fehlenden Konkordanz des Poeten. Daher gibt es für den Poeten keinen essenzielleren Feind als seine eigene Unfähigkeit, sich mit den Ausgestoßenen und Ausgebeuteten seiner Zeitgenossen zu verständigen; und das gilt für alle Epochen und alle Gegenden.”
Ich und viele andere auch bemerkten Giradella sofort als sie das Café betrat. Wie immer tat sie, als sei sie im Streß und als hätte sie lauter wichtige Dinge in ihrer viel zu großen Tasche. Ich vermute, das Brauchbarste darin war ihr Schweizer Messer. Ich stand auf, wir küssten uns auf beide Wange, ich schmatzte dabei laut und genussvoll, sie fragte mich warum ich das tue. Ich fragte sie, wie es ihr gehe.
– Gut. Danke. Und dir?
– Blendend. Hast du was von Frederyk gehört?
– Ja, wir haben uns letzte Woche getroffen. Er hat sich zwei Finger verstaucht, aber sonst scheint es ihm gut zu gehen. Er arbeitet jetzt für die Kunsthalle. Ein Bekannter von ihm kennt da jemanden. Und mir ist er auch nicht mehr böse.
– Das ist gut. Was macht er denn in der Kunsthalle?
– Ich weiß nicht genau. Darüber hat er sich nicht so ausgelassen. Aber er hat mich wieder einmal beschimpft. Weil ich noch immer für Foodora arbeite.
– Echt? Was hat er gesagt?
– Er hat gesagt, ich sei eine Streikbrecherin.
– Aha. Ich glaube zu verstehen. Aber erzähl, was hat er gemeint?
– Na, er sagt, dass alle, die solch unterbezahlte Arbeit machen, Streikbrecher seien. Alle die sich ausbeuten ließen und sich selbst ausbeuteten. Denn der Normalzustand diesem System gegenüber, dem wir alle gemeinsam ausgeliefert seien, wäre der Streik. Durch das Mitmachen würden die Verhältnisse weiterhin legitimiert und es würde nie zu einer Veränderung kommen. Höchstens zu einem Crash. Und er warf mir auch vor, dass ich diese Arbeit nur machen könne, weil ich noch einen Zuschuss von meinen Eltern bekomme, sonst würde ich nicht davon leben können, oder nur sehr schlecht.
– Da hat er ja recht.
– Ja, schon. Aber ich muss mich doch beschäftigen und mir gefällt der rosa Anzug. Und immerhin ist es positiv für die Umwelt, weil wir ja alle mit dem Rad fahren.
– Ihr seid Kellner auf Rädern. Wieviel kriegst du auf die Stunde? Ein Kellner kriegt laut Kollektiv 7 Euro auf die Stunde und der muss nicht kilometerweit servieren. Schau, der hier hat einen schönen Anzug an, darf manchmal einen anschnauzen und kriegt gutes Trinkgeld.
– Ja. Ich hab jetzt einen neuen Freund. Der sieht zwar nicht so gut aus wie der Freddy und ist auch nicht so gescheit, aber er passt besser zu mir.
– Arbeitet der auch bei Foodora?
– Nein, er studiert noch.
In dem Moment kam der Kellner und nahm Giradellas Bestellung auf. Ich blickte durchs Fenster auf die Straße und sah einen Radfahrer mit einem rosa Würfel auf dem Rücken in die Brandstätte einbiegen.
Gestern hatte ich einen Streit mit meinem Freund Frederyk. Als wir dabei waren uns wieder zu versöhnen, sagte er zu mir: “Ich weiß, meine Armut ist hässlich. Sie stinkt zwar noch nicht und sie hat noch keine Löcher im Pullover oder in den Zähnen – nur in den Schuhen und in der Hosentasche – meine Armut ist nicht schön, meine Haare hab’ ich mir selber geschnitten, mich mit stumpfer Klinge rasiert und geschnitten, weil meine Mundwinkel so weit runterhängen. Ich bin wirklich unfähig, in dieser Welt zu leben.”
“Du irrst dich,” sagte ich zu ihm, “du stinkst schon.” Konfrontiert mit seiner Weinerlichkeit loderte die Streitlust wieder in mir auf. Folgende Worte entflohen meinem Munde: “Der faulige Hauch der Armut, der sich langsam im Magen der Menschen zusammenbraut, vergärte Ablehnung und Erniedrigung unter Zusatz von etwas Hefe sowie Erfolglosigkeit und Neid – diese Gase steigen dir schon den Rachen hoch. Wenn du den Mund aufmachst, muss ich mir die Nase zuhalten. Deine Worte stinken nach Unfähigkeit.”
Frederyk blickte zu Boden, er nahm meine Beurteilung geduldig auf. Er hat vielleicht schon Schlimmeres gehört, denke ich jetzt beim Schreiben dieser Zeilen. Ich fuhr fort: “Dir fehlt der Humor, Freddy,” und klopfte ihm dabei auf die Schulter. Dabei löste sich eine kleine Staubwolke aus seinem Jäckchen und schwebte durch den Raum, “aber ihr Deutschen ward ja noch nie gut darin.”
“Das ist nicht lustig,” antwortete Frederyk.
“Such dir eine Arbeit, Freddy! Denk positiv. – Okay, das war jetzt ein Witz. Aber eine Arbeit könntest du dir schon suchen.”
“Tu ich ja. Und es ist genau das, was mich so frustriert, dass ich mir manchmal aus Protest die Zähne nicht putze. Es ist die reine Folter. In der Schule wurde uns die Fähigkeit gegeben – zumindest in Deutschland, ich weiß nicht was ihr hier unten am Balkan in der Schule gelernt habt außer “Schmäh zu führen” – also uns wurde beigebracht, Zusammenhänge und Ungleichheiten zu verstehen. Und jetzt können wir genau beobachten, wie wir Opfer dieser Ungleichheiten werden und können nichts dagegen tun. Gar nichts. Wir sind machtlos. Du sagst, ich solle mir eine Arbeit suchen. Ich scheiße schön langsam auf diese blöden Job-Suchmaschinen. Man wird in jeder einzelnen Annonce erniedrigt. Die Anforderungsprofile für die angebotenen Posten sind alle so formuliert, dass NIEMAND sie erfüllen kann. Noch dazu wird so viel sinnlose Arbeit angeboten und einem gleichzeitig vermittelt, dass man nicht gut genug dafür ist. Man wird als unzulänglich erklärt. Ich will diesen ganzen Scheiß ja gar nicht, ich will weder ein Social-Media-Fritzchen sein noch irgendjemandem Schrott verkaufen, aber ich muss doch von irgendetwas leben. In der Politik sagen sie, dass Arbeitsplätze die Lösung seien und dass sie welche schaffen wollen, aber ich glaube, Arbeit ist das Problem. Die Menschen leiden unter der Arbeit, sie leiden an ihrer Sinnlosigkeit und unter dem Druck, der in vielen Betrieben herrscht. Verdreh’ nicht die Augen, ich weiß das, ich hab ja auch schon gearbeitet. Der Druck schwappt über ins Private und die Geborgenheit mit der Freundin ist auch nicht mehr so. Du, hast du eigentlich wieder einmal was von Giradella gehört?”
Ich sagte nichts. Gut, dass Frederyk so in Fahrt war. Es ging weiter: “Würdevolle Arbeit unter würdevollen Bedingungen, die anständig abgegolten wird, gibt es so etwas? Nein! Ich muss meine Freunde, auch dich, lieber Bertl, als Konkurrenten sehen. Sie dividieren uns auseinander. Und du redest von Humor.”
Obwohl ich meinem Freund zustimmen wollte, sagte ich in meinem besten Falco-Slang: “Heast, Freddy, scheiß dir nicht ins Hemd,” worauf er ausholte und mir mit seiner Faust mit voller Wucht ein blaues Auge schlug und sich dabei zwei Finger verstauchte.
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, ich möchte Ihnen meinen neuen Mitarbeiter Norbert Flaubert präsentieren.
Er wird mich in Zukunft in meinen administrativen Pflichten entlasten sowie meine Korrespondenz übernehmen. Es kann deshalb des öfteren zu Verzögerungen in meinem E-Mail-Verkehr kommen. Dafür habe ich ihm eine Kolumne in THEFUCKLE zugeschanzt. Ich halte sehr viel von seinen Fähigkeiten. Seine Gedanken und Formulierungen sind manchmal vielleicht etwas seltsam aber ich glaube, er meint es ehrlich. Er ist die Stimme des Volkes.
Norbert Flaubert am 15. März 2017 Café Rüdigerhof, Nachmittag
U4 : Ich erhob meine Augen aus Joseph Roths Radetzkymarsch in dem ich folgendes gelesen hatte: “Die Armut stand immer noch vor der Zukunft, eine schwarze Wand, an der man zerschellte. Man sank der Armee geradezu in die Arme. Sieben Jahre Essen, sieben Jahre Trinken, sieben Jahre Kleidung, sieben Jahre Obdach, sieben, sieben lange Jahre.”
Mein erhobener Blick haftete sich an ein Mädchen, das auf mich zuzukommen schien. Dunkelgrüne Jacke, rosa Haare, weißes Gesicht. Mit klaren Augen und fester Stimme fragte sie mich um Kleingeld. Ich verneinte. Der junge Mann neben mir starrte angestrengt aus dem Fenster, er sah sie nicht an als sie ihn ansprach. Ich dachte, ich könne sie fragen, ob ich sie auf ein Bier einladen dürfe. Aber es war noch zu früh und sie wäre vielleicht wirklich mitgegangen.
Als sie uns weiter sitzen ließ, dachte ich an den Russen, der mich damals auf dem Boulevard de Magenta in Paris aufgehalten hatte um Geld von mir zu verlangen. Es war kurz vor Weihnachten im Jahre 2005, als ganz Frankreich von den Unruhen in den Banlieues erfasst wurde. Ganz Frankreich? Nein! In der Auvergne, in der ich seit September an einer Schule arbeitete passierte nichts dergleichen. Nicht einmal ein Mistkübel brannte. Aber nun war ich in Paris, mein Zug nach Wien ging am darauffolgenden Morgen, und ich flanierte den Boulevard hinunter Richtung République, Ausschau haltend nach einem geeigneten Bistrot in dem ich zu Abend essen wollte. Es war sehr kalt, obwohl der Winter gerade erst begonnen hatte. Der Wind pfiff durch die kahlen Kronen der mächtigen Platanen, die ihre Blätter wirklich erst Mitte Dezember verlieren. Vor mir ging eine Menschengruppe, vier, fünf junge Männer und Frauen. Sie unterhielten sich wie sich die Pariser und Pariserinnen so unterhalten. Links aus einem Hauseingang trat plötzlich eine imposante Gestalt hervor, kräftig gebaut und dick angezogen. Sie wendete sich an die Gruppe, die aber keine Reaktion zeigte, sondern nur auswich, wie ein Bienenschwarm der Bärenfaust. Der Mann blieb mitten am Gehsteig stehen und wartete auf mich. Ich wollte an ihm vorbei, er aber packte mich an meinem Schal, zog mich zu ihm hin und sein Gesicht sehr nahe an meinem, presste er mit russischen Akzent hervor: “Donnes-moi deux Euros.” Ich griff in meine Tasche, holte das Kleingeld heraus und gab ihm einen Zweier. Er ließ mich gehen. Ob er sich bedankte, weiß ich nicht mehr. Während ich im Bistrot saß, Wein trank und auf mein Entrecôte wartete, dachte ich: “Ja, er hat eigentlich recht. So muss man es machen.” Und ich notierte mir auf das feine und weiche Papier meines neuen Pariser Notizblocks, dass man in einer Gesellschaft, in der alle letztendlich nur nach Profit und Sicherheit streben, oder glauben, Sicherheit durch Profit herstellen zu können, man oft nur ein bisschen Gewalt anwenden muss, um dieses Kartenhaus zum Einsturz zu bringen.
Das wollte ich der jungen Frau noch sagen, aber sie war längst schon viele Enttäuschungen weiter am Ende des Waggons angelangt. Also senkte ich meine Augen wieder in das Buch und las: “Das Leben schien schneller dahinzulaufen als die Gedanken. Und ehe man einen Entschluß gefaßt hatte, war man ein alter Mann.”
This is not a review. My texts are like music, they have no (real) beginning and no (real) end. They do not only have one topic, or one main-topic, because all topics are related to all other topics. One idea consists of all ideas. One thought contains all thoughts. There are only occasions for writing. This time it’s the Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda to where I followed the invitation to give expression to my music.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016, Stockholm, Arlanda Central Station, 9.28 am
Que faire? (What is to be done?) It’s cold and I am waiting for the train. It will depart at 10.06 am to Borlänge where I am going to take the bus to Dala-Floda. There will be a festival and its programme is secret.
‘The focus on the unexpected is first a focus on one’s self and on one’s own will,’ I wrote into my notebook as a preparation for the journey. Because one has to be prepared in order to take the unexpected. One has to be free – or freer – from fear and open to stand the unexpected or to even look for it. One needs the confidence that the expected is going to be ‘good’ – or one needs the patience to go through it when it turns out badly. If there will be something really unexpected at the festival, I will find out in the next days.
In front of me, a policeman is controlling the passengers with his eyes. Gun, club, back pain, judging from his way of moving.
Last Friday I spent a hot and lazy afternoon in the Augarten park (Vienna) and was reading Eric Wolfs ‘Europe And The People Without History’. When my concentration wore off, I started looking after the women that were passing by instead of trying to get back my concentration. Sometimes I lose my focus. Soon I felt stupid turning my head around so much, so I decided to concentrate on my concentration – à la recherche de la concentration perdue – in search of lost concentration, and she came back and I read (and understood). That way the right people walk into you. Out of the focus on myself the unexpected happened and it set the mood, my mood for the festen and the journey. Saudade!
This morning around six at the Vienna International Airport I had to say goodbye to Andrew Choate with whom I spent the few days of coming down after the Konfrontationen Festival (Nickelsdorf; http://www.konfrontationen.at/ko16/). We parted from each other in front of the artificial turf where Andrew stayed jamming a square and I left to catch my flight.
I read : ‘Desire and life cannot be postponed. Sunsets, ripe strawberries, the singing of the birds, goodbye-kisses want to be savoured now. Spontaneity is a commandment for every pleasure; and what is spontaneity other than the ability to let one self be surprised, to be able to marvel at things?’
(Original : ‘Lust wie Leben lassen sich nicht aufschieben. Sonnenuntergänge, reife Erdbeeren, Vogelgesang und Abschiedsküsse wollen jetzt genossen sein. Spontaneität ist das Gebot für allen Genuss; und was ist Spontaneität im Wesen anderes, als die Fähigkeit, sich überraschen zu lassen, staunen zu können?’)
Severin Heilmann, Probe entfällt wegen Auftritt. Streifzüge 55
They picked me up at the Dala-Floda station and now I am here in the northern South of Sweden, two days before the festival is going to start with the revealing of the secret of the first band. Im am sitting alone at a table, listening to the French boys and girls talking English – about movies. Everything seems a little smaller than last time. I must have grown. Ah, food is ready.
After lunch : During lunch I got to know some of the volunteers. Many of them did not come for the music in the first place, they rather came for the community-experience and/or because they are friends of the regular Hagenfesten volunteers. From Great Britain, from France, some Germans, Swiss and even Swedish. In this very moment they are lying in the sun, scattered on the lawn.
‘The shift work-shop starts in half an hour,’ Jens Linell said, who is taking care of the volunteers, to make them acquainted with the tasks they will have to fulfil during the festival. The French boys and girls are now speaking in French – about cinéma. During lunch I was also talking about myself – I said that I was going to write about the festival and that I am an editor of books – and about Nickelsdorf. When I related bits of the Konfrontationen festival, I realized that I said, that in our festival the focus lies on improvisation – meanwhile it got the subtitle ‘An Improvised Festival’ – and that the focus on improvisation is analogous to the focus on the unexpected, it’s just a gradual difference. Because improvisation is a method that wants to provoke the unexpected as well as a method à faire la musique politiquement (to make music politically). Here we’re back at cinéma, because this last thought has got to do with Jean-Luc Godard. Karin, my theoral-accomplice, gave me a booklet which I brought with me. It is called Que faire and contains thoughts and ideas about the making of movies, that Jean-Luc Godard united in a manifesto that contains 39 declarations. More on that subject later.
Everything is still here at the Hagen : the river (when I arrived I thought, ‘Ah, down there the music is flowing‘), the clouds, the house, the winter garden kitchen, the floating sauna,
the barns, the pavillion-tents (again), the wind, the serenity, as well as al the small wooden stools, the chairs, all the different benches and sofas, the Hollywood garden swing, the fauteuils, the candlesticks, the cups and little cups, ornamented with flowers and little flowers and hearts, wine glasses in all beautiful forms (respecting the cosmic harmonies of all the shapes and sizes), the tablecloths, the ashtrays, the bowls, the lamps and small lamps (lamparitos), stars and lampions, the garlands, the flower pots, the ribbons, curtains, blankets – probably all from the Loppis (second/third-hand dealer in Dala-Floda). The lawn was mowed very recently and where the high grass with its flowers doesn’t disturb, they let it be. The slope down to the river, the pontoon from where you jump into the water, the wooden buoy to hold on to, the Nils Holgersson geese, the bell, Lena and Jon, mother and father of Joel Grip
who had invited me, the field nearby, the raspberries, the campsite and again the serenity. Particularly when looking into the water, one can get the impression to be on an island. But the atmosphere and the mood that is spreading all over Europe, is inside us and we brought it to this island. We take our thoughts with us everywhere we go. We try to soothe our worries with the music, I try to soothe my worries with the music.
Two weeks ago our festival took place, Konfrontationen in Nickelsdorf. Andrew the square-jammer Choate and I, without having to discuss it, agreed that in this year’s edition we felt a kind of uncertainty, a political uncertainty. Many concerts were good, some very good, one was OUTSTANDING – they played with stones and flowers, the wind and the heat (Ninh Lê Quan, percussion; Michel Doneda, reeds).
Other concerts were not interesting at all. A usual combination. The uncertainty – maybe it was only us who felt it – had its point of departure at the threshold of the Jazzgalerie, at the isthmus that divides the fest from the village Nickelsdorf. In May this year the Austrian presidential elections took place and two thirds of the inhabitants of the village voted for the extreme-right candidate. I have the feeling that the ignorance changes into active rejection of the festival. Around the year 2000, when the right-wing/conservative government took power in Austria, some young drunk youths from the village attacked festival-guests on the campsite. I hope, this does not happen again, but I feel the potential. This year, a part of the sound-art exhibition was evicted, because the owner of the house where it took place, didn’t want to have any refugees in his house, as he said. He didn’t know that it was just tents. About this particular part of the exhibition :
Christine Schörkhuber: “We arrived on the dark side of Europe – the tents of Idomeni”
in collaboration with Amir Zada, Bachir Abdulahad, Mahdir Nadir Hussain.
After the closure of the “Balkan route” a few months ago, thousands of people stranded at the greek/macedonian border. To overcome their speechlessness, their only possibility was to write their demands on their tents, hoping this lines would be transported and read. And they have been carried on to Nickelsdorf. Transfered, displaced and out of context they reappear as a relict of european history on trembling tarpaulin.
The tents had to go again. So they were put up right in front of the Jazzgalerie and that had a much stronger effect.
Foto: Micke Keysendal
At the same time the military is patroulling, carrying their weapons through the village. A friend, who was staying just accross the former former border in Hegyeshalom, and who was cycling back and forth every day, told me that he had seen Austrian soldiers, guns in their hands and people kneeling in front of them in the gravel with their hands behind their head. Dror Feiler made photos and was threatened and chased away.
Foto: Dror Feiler
All this is alienating. You can feel the “new self-assurance” of the military and the police. They are still hoping that their candidate is going to win in the repetition of the presidential election. Also in Vienna, since some time I see much more police in the streets, they’re everywhere with their fresh haircuts and ugly cars.
After a nap in the sun I woke up again on the island. The preparations are progressing, the volunteers are diligently doing their thing, although I heard Tilly say, ‘I feel more like sleeping.’ The peaceful atmosphere that lies on the Hagen was just startled by a cover of a pot falling on the tiles of the kitchen floor. Niklas Barnö walks past (organizer). I am going to jump into the water.
Lisa Grip, Joels sister, came over and asked me if she could take a picture of me. She and her partner Erik Viklund make portraits with an old camera (Wista 4×5) of those present at the Hagenfesten during daytime and develop the photos in the night. Over the next days they will create an exhibition up in the gallery above the Stallet.
Next to me a French boy and an American girl are talking about the police. ‘When you see the police in the street (in Baltimore) you don’t think that they gonna protect you,’ she said. ‘Yeah,’ said he, ‘in France it’s the same now. There was a law enforcement, so they can take you in the street and bring you to the police station and hold you for two days without any reason.’
Dinner time is approaching and French noises are coming out of the kitchen, Cumbia on the boombox. Heaven is thundering. I fancy 1 beer.
Second day, one day before the festival, Wednesday, August 3rd
She came to me in my dream and referring to what I wrote into my small notebook – ‘she’s a woman with whom I can flee from the Nazis when their time is ripe again’ –, she said : ‘No, you must fight.’
Yesterday evening I got acquainted with Paul Abbott who told me about CESURA//ACCESO (http://cesura-acceso.org) About : ‘Cesura//Acceso is a print and online journal for music politics and poetics.‘
Or how they put it in the editorial :
‘This journal explores—through music, politics and language—the means we have, in spite of limitations, to be part of an ecology of resistance and learning that includes skin, organs, ideas, imagination, flight, asylum and history. It is also a project of unmasking both the roots and reproductions of increasingly opaque and complex malignant factors that sustain our oppressions, and the “unspent” political potential of music.’
I had breakfast with Marc,
who is a wine-dealer and concert-organizer (Atelier Tampon Nomade) in Paris (https://www.facebook.com/marc.fevre.39). In plain French he commented on the music coming out of the kitchen radio, ‘Je déteste les Beatles (I hate the Beatles).’ Already in his youth, the music everybody was listening to, was a real pain in his ass : Dire Straits, Supertramp (which he pronounced Supertrump). So he went to the public library, bibliothèque (discothèque) municipale, and asked the librarian if she had something else to recommend. She gave him a Cecil Taylor record and Alan Silva and The Celestial Communication Orchestra, Byg Actuel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoMwVrNT2Cs. This had changed his life. I told him about Hauna (Hans Falb, who made the Jazzgalerie to what it is now) who, when I was still a youth, gave me a lot of music (and literature) that formed me. With regard to this Marc pointed out to me the meaning of the word ‘repère’ in the langage Lacanien : repère = point of reference; père = father. This was followed by more profane word-plays like ‘petit-daesh’ or ‘touches pas à ma compote!’ Marc also told me about the ‘chinoises sur les quaies qui te font une pipe pour cinq Euro.’ (Chinese women on the quais in Paris who give you a blow-job for five Euros.) Female friends of his once approached these Chinese women and told them that they could charge more but all they replied was, ‘Bon prix! Bon prix!’ (good price). They assumed that those were they only words they knew in French. But how did we come to this point? Yeah, I remember. I told Marc about a journey home I once made by coach from the Auvergne via Italy. In Lyon roughly ten Poles boarded the coach, they were also on their way home. Final destination Warszawa. They were drinking vodka, each one had his own bottle but they were drinking from tiny plastic cups. At almost every stop one or two of them jumped out to get more vodka from the gas station. They invited me to drink with them and explained me that finally they could go home again. They had spent months in southern France renovating an old castle. They were payed four Euros per hour and on Saturday they had to work without payment in order to bear the costs of food and accommodation. This is the world we are living in, the exploitation is happening in the midst of our free and open societies and tacitly we agree. These are our values.
The impression, that Dala-Floda is an island was reinforced by the fact that since my arrival the internet is not working. A lightning hit. But the idea of isolated or quasi-isolated societies – although this idea is advocated by our rulers and those who want to rule – is obsolete since a long time, in Anthropology since at least Eric Wolf‘s ‘Europe And The People Without History’ was published in 1982.
Introduction : ‘We have been taught, inside the classroom and outside of it, that there exists an entity called the West, and that one can think of this West as a society and civilization independent of and in opposition to other societies and civilizations. Many of us even grew up believing that this West has a genealogy, according to which ancient Greece begat Rome, Rome begat Christian Europe, Christian Europe begat the Renaissance, the Renaissance the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment political democracy and the industrial revolution.’ (p. 5)
About sociology and the way of analysing societies or nations, after the advent of capitalism, that gave way to the idea of societies or nation-states as ‘islands’ that follow an ‘inner clock-work’, he writes : ‘Since social relations have been severed from their economic, political, or ideological context, it is easy to conceive of the nation-state as a structure of social ties informed by moral consensus rather than as a nexus of economic, political, and ideological relationships connected to other nexuses. Contentless social relations, rather than economic, political, or ideological forces, thus become the prime movers of sociological theory.’ (p. 9)
At another place Nikolaus Dimmel comes to a similar conclusion when talking about the analysis of violence in sociology :
‘The mainstream in sociology is not capable of explaining the power relations other than through personal relation(ship)s. Violence is generally seen as physical or psychological damage and/or the threatening by others.
(‘Deshalb vermag etwa der Mainstream der Soziologie als einer sozialtechnologischen Disziplin, das Gewaltverhältnis nicht anders als über personale Beziehungen zu erschließen. Gewalt wird hier gemeinhin als körperliche (physische) und/oder seelische (psychische) Schädigung eines Anderen oder von Anderen oder/und deren Androhungen verstanden.’) Gewalt – Ein Verhältnis, Streifzüge 63.
The global economical, political and ideological violences that are governing our microcosms are neither included in mainstream-sociological analysis nor in other mainstream media political analysis. Thus these ways of explaining the world do not have – or should not have – any significance, but it is exactly them who fuel the ideas of our rulers and those who want to rule.
Eric Wolf in his Afterword :
‘This book has asked what difference it would make to our understanding if we looked at the world as a whole, a totality, a system, instead of as a sum of self-contained societies and cultures; if we understood better how this totality developed over time: if we took seriously the admonition to think of human aggregates as “inextricably involved with other aggregates, near and far, in weblike, netlike connections” (Lesser 1961: 42). As we unraveled the chains of causes and effects at work in the lives of particular populations, we saw them extend beyond any one population to embrace the trajectories of others – all others.’ (p. 385)
In his book Wolf describes the history of and the connections between groups, societies, nations, &c. in América, Asia, Africa, Australia before the Europeans discovered (for them) the new continents; then follows an account of the advent of the European explorers and their greed and hunger for natural resources which entailed the transformation of the societies through mercantilism. In the last chapter he speaks about the Industrial Revolution and the crisis of capitalism. Wolf makes it clear that everything is connected and that everything was connected already before our current phase of (digital) globalization. Reading ‘Europe And The People Without History’ I realized that we as people and societies are absolutely helpless, we have absolutely no power opposite capitalistic imperatives. The principles of the decisive decisions have nothing to do with the people, neither with the life of communities nor with states or state-unions. These decisions are not taken by a man or a woman or a group of people, they just materialize out of capitalistic imperatives. We are living in (violent) structures that are shaped by these decisions. Resistance is incorporated and sold back to us.
We can vote and even when the “good” win, we can be sure that they are going to be corrupted by these capitalistic imperatives. We cannot do anything against that. We just have to wait. So I asked myself, what else can I do than surfing through world history as decent as possible, nonchalantly unimpressed, and keep trying not to be governed to such an extent. Michel Foucault again. We have to build our own world, in spite of all the police. A Merz-world. Because
‘[w]ithout indulging one’s delights you cannot overcome the reality which prevents us from indulging our delights.’
(‘[p]rofan gesagt: Ohne der Lust zu frönen lässt sich die Realität nicht überwinden, die uns der Lust nicht fröhnen lässt.’)
Lorenz Glatz, Meer der Lust. In: Streifzüge 51
This is what we are trying here in Dala-Floda. Our society is temporary – she has to vanish because we have no resources, and those who have resources keep them for themselves – but many ideas and feelings how everything could be better, are coming up. And they can’t exorcise these ideas and feelings.
It’s raining time and again, sometimes only for five minutes, sometimes for half an hour, sometimes heavily sometimes only in drops. The water from heaven hits my open notebook and it ripples the paper. Is it the primordial quality of water to ripple. The rain breathes the oceanic of the water into the paper. I asked Ella, student of literature in Glasgow, if she had read Virginia Woolf, The Waves. ‘No, just To The Lighthouse and Orlando.’ Not bad either. Also the wine, which I spill while I’m writing, ripples. There are oceanic waves in my flower-ornamented wine glass.
Un essay de Faire 2 – Thoughts about Jean-Luc Godards ‘Que faire?’
Overlapping and similarities in the methods of Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Wolf, improvisers and this text in relation to the manifesto ‘Que faire?’ (What is to be done?).
Some points from ‘Que faire?’:
• 1 – Il faut faire des films politiques. – We must make political films.
• 2 – Il faut faire politiquement des films. – We must make films politically.
• 13 – Faire 1, c’est faire des descriptions de situations. – To carry out 1 is to make descriptions of situations.
• 14 – Faire 2, c’est faire une analyse concrète d’une situation concrète. – To carry out 2 is to make a concrete analysis of a concrete situation.
• 19 – Faire 1, c’est décrire la misère du monde. – To carry out 1 is to describe the wretchedness of the world.
• 20 – Faire 2, c’est montrer le peuple en lutte. – To carry out 2 is to show the people in struggle.
• 23 – Faire 2, c’est de ne pas fabriquer des images du monde trop complètes au nom de la verité relative. – To carry out 2 is not to fabricate over-complete images of the world in the name of relative truth.
Translated by Mo Teitelbaum
What is relative truth? In my thinking the strive for relative truth is the attempt to reveal the relations between people resp. social groups and the conditions they are living in, thus FAIRE 2, defined by • 14, to make a concrete analysis of a concrete situation. As well as in terms of Eric Wolf who wrote in ‘Europe And The People Without History’ : ‘To demonstrate the global interconnections of human aggregates is one task; to explain the development and nature of these connections, however, is another‘ (p. 385). The second task that Wolf addresses here, is the explanation of the development and the characteristics of the living conditions (ie. economic, religious and ideologic constraints) of the social groups and this can be seen analogous to Godards FAIRE 2. Therefore ‘Europe And The People Without History’ is not a political book but Eric Wolf wrote this book politically (• 2) and this is the reason why it is much easier for us to draw conclusions for ourselves and the way we are governed than from usual political books, articles, news – the mainstream – which assume the island-myth and who do not concentrate on the explanation of the Connections, ie the relative truth.
This matches with the spirit of many improvising musicians in how they present the music. It is more about a search for possible ways of expressing the music and much less
a demonstration of something perfect or accomplished, in other words something which is isolated from influences. If you speak to the musicians, you will very quickly realize that they let all possible influences in, from all arts from all over the world, they reflect on political, religious and economic constraints, their own momentary condition, &c. All this has its effect upon the music which is played/let through during a concert. Like Christof Kurzmann once said on the radio, ‘Yesterday I watched the news, this morning I read the newspapers and this is what I play.’
And the artists show themselves on stage in their struggle to let the music come into being (• 20 is to show the people in struggle) because this kind of concerts often have the character of a public experiment.
• 24 – Faire 1, c’est dire comment sont les choses vraies. (Brecht). – To carry out 1 is to say how things are real. (Brecht).
• 25 – Faire 2, c’est dire comment sont vraiment les choses. (Brecht) – To carry out 2 is to say how things really are. (Brecht).
• 30 – Faire 2, c’est savoir que l’unité est une lutte des contraires (Lénin), savoir que deux est dans un. – To carry out 2 is to know that unity is a struggle of opposites (Lenin) to know that the two are in one.
I found that • 30 also has a more universal aspect, like : one thought contains all thoughts. As a parallel to this, that unity not only consists of two opposites but of innumerable elements, like a society consists of all things, influences and Connections that have an effect on her.
Another thought : two is in one, like the body is the mind is the body.
• 37 – Faire 2, c’est se servi[r] des images et des sons comme les dents et les lèvres pour mordre. – To carry out 2 is to use images and sounds as teeth and lips to bite with.
• 38 – Faire 1, c’est seulement ouvrir les yeux et les oreilles. – To carry out 1 is only to open the eyes and the ears.
Who is it that carries out 1 and uses images and sounds – and I would add words – not as teeth and lips to bite? Godard calls it the Bourgeoisie (• 11 – To carry out 1 is to remain a being of the bourgeois class.) And FAIRE 1 also means to stay within the realm of description (• 13) and to not search for relative truth, thus the relation between the phenomenons – the truth of the relations. The true description of the relations mirrors the power relations we are living in. And only when we understand the power relations we can try to not let us govern to such an extent.
Not many texts about music festivals transcend description, they rather content themselves with a portrayal of what happened on stage. Some journalists even write about concerts without having been part of it.
Here I am trying, in terms of FAIRE 2, to show the music, the how of the presentation, the place and the people of the festival, as well as the political and social conditions, observing-juxtaposing and poetic-political, in the context that I’m seeing them in.
Apart from the so called Feuilleton or cultural journalism (= cultural industry) – which is in itself tame like a Golden Retriever who brings back the stick EVERY fucking time, because it is only reporting on harmless contents (harmless towards those who exercise power) – there are many in the media (newspapers, radio, television, private or state-owned) who are not conscious of their fundamental task. The way of working of a conventional journalist is not more than self-legitimization, in order to be able to keep his or her place and to have an existence in the system. They either earn too much or too little – most of the time too little, I suppose – and so they can never be independent. And before they take a risk and write about a delicate matter, they rather stay inside and fulfill their task as cog of legitimization and satisfy the rulers. Their way of working entails the legitimization of the empty phrases of politicians and their so called experts as well as the so called experts of media itself. Our journalists take seriously what they are told by our rulers resp. just copy and paste press releases from political parties and corporations and they do not ask questions, or not the right questions. And if sometimes they do, they swallow the non-answers and maybe think of their family. Another “dangerous“ thing for the media-workers/owners is the putting into relation of their reports because this could be unpleasant for the rulers and this can fall back on the journalist/newspaper &c. This is the reason why they reduce themselves to taking sides with the most powerful and the legitimization of empty phrases. They conceal the Connections, if they even try to find them.
Politicians, Journalists, nous irons cracher sur vos tombes !
(We will spit on your graves)
Third day; first day of the festival, August 4
First concert, church. Pat Thomas, piano; Daichi Yoshikawa, feedback; Seymour Wright, saxophone; Joel Grip, double-bass; Paul Abbott, drums; Antonin Gerbal, drums; Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, saxophone. Before everything began, Lena, Joels mother and the heart of the kitchen, said two things to the audience : ‘We are doing this for the fun.’ And : ‘Food is also music.’
The concert once again reminded me that the music has no beginning and no end. The music, as ever existing current, is always there, or here, she just has to be made heard through the musicians, through their concentration, and pulled to the surface or brought inside these old walls of the church, leaks are torn into the atmosphere. The music flows through the musicians, through the room where she becomes audible, into our bodies. Sometimes she descends like a flash of lightning. She moves inside us and produces waves with the water of our bodies. Some players try to control this flow, others let it move as free as possible through their bodies and lend it their vocabulary, concentrated and détaché en même temps.
I thought : such a festival is an audibilisation of music, a joint effort – because the concentration of the listeners is necessary – to experience music as a connection between humans, and each one does it in his or her own way. There is no conductor, no so called creator who tells the individuals what to do. The music is not abused.
I kept on thinking : I try to open as many ports as possible, socially and artistically.
Second concert, church. It was a big surprise, totally unexpected, to see Jens Linnel (tambourine, amplifier, cymbals) on stage, the guy who took so much care of the volunteers and the assembling of the festival (and my tent). He had changed, wore a bright shirt and his long blond hair was falling on his shoulders and not covered by a cap. The people went quiet and contented baby-noises were filling the cold air of the church. Could I see them breathing? Jens started slowly to play his tambourine and soon found the concentration to bring Swedish folk music to a more abstract level. At the end of the concert it stopped raining outside and the sun shone through the church windows. The madonna was crying tears of blood, somewhere in Italy.
In the afternoon we all came back to the Hagen. At four I had to choose between movies and a concert. I was so keen on music that I went to the Härbre where Susana Santos Silva, trumpet; Paul Abbott, drums; Wilhelm Bromander, double-bass played a short set. Ten, fifteen minutes I sat at their feet, then it was over and I threw myself into the river.
In the evening, before it went dark, but the light bulbs were already on, Aimi La Friseuse – une coiffeuse qui bosse dans la mode à Paris, like she said – opened her hairdressing salon, pay as you wish. I was her first client (and paid two glasses of vin naturel).
My fourth concert took place in the Ladan with John Holmström, piano; Anna Lund, drums; Emil Skogh, double-bass; swing in supernice, not in an antiquated way, more in a half-antiquated way. But, what is old and what is new? It is about bringing the music to the surface, bringing her in or bringing her out, bringing her up or bringing her down. And this in itself is an honourable activity. Only the question about the HOW remains, but the answer to this is up to yourself. I, for myself, try to avoid judging. Which is sometimes impossible because some things are just – I don’t want to say bad, because bad can be good as well – but hypocrite.
After that Evie Scarlett Ward, voice and cassette recorder played in the Stallet. Poetry. I found space in her words, only when she turned off the recorder that was broadcasting a babble of her voice : concrete unconcrete Londonian metro; I found concentration when as spoke her poetry into the silence.
Fourth day, August 4
Little exhaustion. But the good food and the constantly fresh bread, that everybody (artists, audience, volunteers) shares three times a day, is immensely strengthening. Also the French vin naturel and the Swedish craft beer, which tastes a little like toothpaste, are like medicine against fatigue.
The last two concerts of the last night I heard from far, they were loud enough. The next-to-last concert : Jonathan Larsson, dragspel; Oskar Reuter, guitar, nyckelharpa.
Last concert : Ständernas Svall – Finn Loxbo, guitar, singing; Vegard Lauvdal, drums.
I went to the bar and talked to the people. I got acquainted with Lucas Maia, a Brazilian from São Paulo who is living in Berlin and who, together with Léa Lanoë and Pierre Borel, is making a film, 16 mm, at the Hagenfesten. I talked to some volunteers and to some guests and I heard many stories, that are easily told to strangers. Justine told me, that she had heard from Mélody
who I told about my book-making and writing, that an écrivain (writer) is at the festival. She didn’t know how he looked liked, but judging from how I moved and looked, she thought it was me. So, I am identified and recognized as a writer. But am I really a writer?
The rain disregards any agenda
Under the stars
The instability of the cloudy. Today in the early afternoon I went to the gallery and saw Anna Högberg, saxophones; Susana Santos Silva, trumpet. The room was really bright compared to the general conditions. I sat down and closed my eyes until the end of the concert. I felt like being inside their instruments and I could have stayed longer. When I opened my eyes I saw two young elephants standing in front of me and I applauded.
It is half past three, 2016, I am 36 years old. The festival folks are speaking in different languages. Aimie has already opened the bar and put on Radio Nostalgie. Since days she didn’t remove her pink sun glasses which fits very well to her Moroccan face and her brazilian hairdo. She just stepped out of the bar and shouted, ‘The bar is open!’ and then she danced some steps in front of the entrance. Buenaonda. I am thinking about getting hold of a glass of rosé pettillant.
with Itaru Oki
Later : Instead to the bar I went to the movies in the Ladan. The programme is curated by Pierre Borel and Léa Lanoë. This afternoon the films were accompanied by live music from Joel, Susana, Niklas, Linda, Antonin, Pierre-Antoine und Franziska, who were only introduced by their first names.
Voilà, the film-programme of the festival :
23H / Séance 1: Moullet/Smith
– Essai d’ouverture, de Luc Moullet – 14 ‘
– The Girl Chewing gum, de John Smith – 12′
– Gargantuan, de John Smith – 1′
– Barres, de Luc Moullet – 14′
– Associations, de John Smith – 7′
– Om, de John Smith – 4′
16H / Séance 2 : Jean Painlevé
–Le Bernard l’hermite, 14′
–La quatrième dimension, 10′
–Les amours de la pieuvre, 14′
–Le Vampire, 8′
01H / Séance 3 : Jean Rouch
–Cocorico Monsieur Poulet, de Jean Rouch – 92′
16H / Séance 4 : Ciné Konzert Bruce Lacey
– The Battle of New Orleans, 5′
– How to take a Bath 8′
– The Running and Stumbling and dumping Still, 10′
– The Kiss 8′
+ La Croissance des Végétaux, Institut Pasteur – 12′
01H / Séance 5 : Djibril Diop Mambety
– Badou Boy, de Djibril Diop Mambety – 56′
16H / Séance 6 : 16mm
– Studie Zur Farbe, Lucas Maia, digital ton, 8′
– In the Traveller’s Heart, Distruktur, Optical ton, 20′
01H / Séance 7 :
–Dreaminimalist, de Marie Losier – 23′
–Germans taste the best , de Rosa von Praunheim – 26′
–Double Exposure, de Bruce Lacey – 3′
Léa and Pierre run the KK19. http://daskkdixneuf.tumblr.com. A space in Berlin for extraordinary musics, exhibitions, films, lectures, dancings, foods, and so forth, says the website. I have to visit them. With their choice of films, they pointed to a whole new world – there is so much that I don’t know and they added another dimension to that! Every film I saw during the festival I would watch again, but I don’t want to write about them. If I would, I would like to create a space wide as this text in order to show Connections and conditions but you know. What I want to say is that every festival that engages in experimenting, should provide a space for movies like on the list above. Live-accompanying is okay, but not necessary.
A man, an old Swede, is walking around the Hagen. He looks like Jean-François Pauvros with a radical haircut. (Unfortunately no photo).
A concert starts in the Stallet. I hope, I am going to hear it over to where I am sitting right now, still thinking of the two young elephants. Applause in the Stallet. Greta (three years old, fair-haired, like every Swedish child) is hiding from her mother (Franziska). I know where she is. Franziska does not.
The other child is wearing a mask upside down. In they kitchen dinner is being prepared. I can’t hear anything from the Stallet. The sun is shining on my black jacket.
Later : It was Martin Küchen, saxophones; Joel Bremer, violin who I finally went to listen to in the Stallet.
What is very frequent at the Hagen is a mixing of sounds, a mixing of the inside and the outside in the mind of the listener. The more quiet the concert, claro, the more you hear the sound of the surroundings. I thought : There is no will (and no possibility) to create an artificial/affectedly pureté (purity), ie to cut the music off from what is around. Thus, to let (in an anti-fascist manner) the mixing happen between music, humans, animals, machines, creaking wooden doors, le vent qui passe. One is relaxed and knows in what kind of world we live/love.
Half past eight, the sun is still shining. I am sitting by the river, most people are at the concert with Eva Rune, sång; Maria Misgeld, sång; Karin Ericsson Back, sång. Between the water and myself high grass and wild flowers are growing. Some mosquitos are circling round my ears. I will not write about every concert. I don’t have to say that much about music and I can’t listen to everything. And I won’t analyze any musical thing, but I will try to observe and find out what she does to people, what THIS music does to people and what effect she has on me. I am more interested in the relation between music and humans/societies than in the relation music to music or music to music history. I think like Andrew,
‘Really often, when the mind just wanders and lets the music do its thing, I mean, I keep coming back to really the primal things. (…) Because it’s really those things of life and death and food and animals and the stars and relationships with other people that I keep coming back to and then I think, those were the things that I’m thinking about in living, so of course those are the things that are going to come when I listen to the music.’
Fifth day, Saturday or Lördag, August 6
Et puis, la pluie.
Everything is rippeling. Waves everywhere. The rain is falling onto the roofs of the tents and blurs the perception. I got to know Margarida Guia via Marc already in the first days of my stay and she told me many things about the recording of the environment (she also made under-water-recordings in the river, where the music flows), she told me about the sound design of films, the conservatism of the TV station arte and about Roy Anderson and his movies among many other things. When I came to the Stallet Joel was doing the announcement. I stood next to Margarida who said I could have her place in a second.
Her performance comprised poetry, her voice, poésie sonore, samples of every kind – musical instruments, humans, animals, machines, in short, the world outside – signs, paper rolls, &c. &c. She became a sorcière who cast her spell over me. Never before had I seen something like this and although she did not say it, I heard in my head the words paradis sonore.
Pourquoi chantent-ils en pleine nuit les oiseaux ? Sur la place, il y a quinze arbres encore un banc pour reposer la journée. Que sont les bancs publics devenus ? Voilà les jardins bétonnés pour que Reine voiture puisse trouver domicile fixe et symétriquement au millimètre près clonés les arbres sont enfermés dans un cage afin que les racines rebelles ne défigurent le paysage.
TOUT EST SI CALME
Les rues vidées de leurs piétons. Que sont les hommes devenus ?
Margarida Guia, Pour Votre Sécurité
And Margarida a mis le chien (she played the dog). The day before we met by chance on the way home from the church (kyrka). I was walking along the street and she came on the wooden footbridge over the Vesterdalälven. We continued to walk together and passed by a house where a grey dog was barking, tied to a tree. A beautiful bark, Margarida said. She crossed the street and went over to the fence where she recorded him until he stopped barking and looked away. We went on towards the Hagen and she told me that barking sounds were her signature. When she does sound design, she always tries to place a bark. In the next days – both of us went past the house several times – there was no trace of the dog, the phantom dog. I am not sure if he really existed. Nonetheless he is on Margaridas recorder. Maybe the dog was me or it was an assistant of Professor Voland.
Margarida spoke about the memories that are triggered by a single sound or recording and how a tic-tac, the coming on of neon lights, or the barking of a dog, even made by humans, can bring back or evoke a whole world. I related an experience I had somewhere in France or Morocco. I came into a room and switched on the light and the click of the switch clicked exactly like in my room when I was a child. I can see myself in front of me writing into my notebook : Lichtschalter der Kindheit. Light switch of childhood. Hearing the click I felt transported into that time – until I put my backpack and bag on the only chair of the hotel room.
Eshu threw a stone yesterday; he killed a bird today.
Yoruba Proverb, in Pelton 1980
Then I saw the movie Badou Boy by Djibril Diop Mambety, in which a fat cop (like the clumsy but violent arm of the corrupt state) was chasing a slim gangster (the embodiment of the drive for survival). Very fine, almost invisible humor. For this reason I missed the concert in the Stallet with Jonas Kullhammar, saxophone; Marcelo Gabar Pazos, saxophone; Elsa Bergman, double-bass; Magnus Vikberg, drums.
After a short break the dance band came on stage. With Pat Thomas, computer, ipad;
Daichi Yoshikawa, feedback; Seymour Wright, saxophone, Joel Grip, guimbri; Paul Abbott, drums, electronics; Antonin Gerbal, drums; Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, synthesizer, saxophone. And the people started to dance immediately, on-the-spot, and the dance floor got crowded until the Ladan was full. I got myself a craft beer and sat down outside in order to look into the sky. The cooking dance floor in my back, about 15 metres away. Focus inexpectatus – Félix came over and gave me a massage, neck and shoulders, very professional, like my haircut. I closed my eyes, surrendered my arms to gravity so that the bottle slipped out of my fingers. This kind of situation attracted other Hagenfolks, like Emma, who came to sit and talk with us. I went dancing. Movement. Merci, Félix.
This, Saturday, morning there were two concerts in the church. Two solos + satisfied babies. First one was Sofia Jernberg, voice. Since a long time I hadn’t heard her so clear, so solo, because when I had the chance to listen to her, it was always in groups or orchestras that swallowed large parts of her voice. But here, she was clear as ever. I just listened.
The second concert was a violin (fiol) solo by Joel Bremer. He played traditional Swedish tunes and in between he had a lot to say but in Swedish. I couldn’t even hear his voice from my bench, so I lay down and from time to time I fell asleep only to be woken up by the heavenly sound of the violin and marvelled at the church ceiling. It’s also these moments of seemingly lesser importance that make a festival, especially when they give you the freedom to sleep outstretched in a church.
Afternoon, cinema : Lucas Maia projected a 16 mm film that was made by two friends of his, Distruktur : In the Traveller’s Heart – very Jodorowsky – and two films made by himself – ‘they are the same but different,’ he said. Studie zur Farbe.
Sixth day, Sunday, August 7 – The Parting
Ahmed played yesterday : Seymour Wright, saxophone; Joel Grip, double-bass; Antonin Gerbal, drums; Pat Thomas, piano. A variation on a theme, 40 minutes, nothing new but good and it was fun.
In the evening I went to the movies : Dreaminimalist with Tony Conrad by Marie Losier. There is so much to discover.
And to miss – what I did not hear during the film was Alberto Pinton Noi Siamo – Alberto Pinton, saxophone, clarinet; Konrad Agnas, drums; Nikals Barnö, trumpet; Torbjörn Zetterberg, double-bass.
In the meantime, on the square under the bell (see illustration above), we projected the film that Léa, Pierre and Lukas shot during the festival. Léa and Pablo were holding the screen, Pierre and some others the film, Lucas was operating on the projector, I was holding the lamp. To be honest, we couldn’t see much.
After that the final dance concert took place with The Joe Davolaz – Vilhelm Bromander, elbas; Oscar Carls, singing, saxophone, flute; Dennis Egberth, drums; Joel Danell, synth; Linus Hillborg, guitar; Anders Af Klintberg, organ, lapsteel. Good rock show, white painted faces, two encores. The people danced and celebrated. Lena and Jon, Joel’s parents, were carried over the dancefloor by the crowd. We stayed up very long.
Seventh day, Monday, August 8, Stockholm, Arlanda Airport, 19.20 pm
I just payed € 8,50 for a small beer.
I got the Airport Blues.
A car ride (with Linda and Jon) of three hours ejected me from our small scale society in Dala-Floda, our tribe, like David Meier said, who was with us in the car, and I arrived in the loneliness of the airport.
I got the Airport Blues.
We were driving in a red Saab, Swedisch quality – a crown jewel! Nowadays they don’t produce cars any more, only military equipment. I asked myself if the pilots of the fighter jets also can enjoy such nice leather seats.
‘Sweden has become a major world supplier of weapons counting a number of regimes criticised for human rights abuses among its customers, while at the same time enjoying a global reputation for peacemaking and generous foreign aid.’
It is a loneliness that is only possible after this kind of unity we had at the Hagenfesten. In front of me, a young couple is kissing and caressing each other and they make it all so concise and so clear that she (G.) is not here, I am thinking in the words of Bob Dylan. Soon I am going to be in Vienna, my plane leaves tomorrow at ten in the morning. Our community in Dala-Floda is dispersed. Very soon all the different individuals will be scattered all over (Western) Europe, they go back home or they keep on travelling, as artists, from one society to the other, as Minnesingers.
I got the Airport Blues.
In the last days we created a situation, a temporary society we wish to be lasting. This is how life feels right, this is how it makes sense. Our society was very open and everywhere we found friendliness. The Hagenfesten made it (again) clear that a festival is made by EVERYBODY who is there – organizers, artists, volunteers, audience – and that it needs the small scale. The bigger a festival becomes the more the individual is reduced to his or her function and becomes invisible. Here, the ones who actually made the festival work, were not invisible and those who were, maybe chose to be so or just to be seen less in doing their work. To some I talked more, to some I didn’t talk at all. Everybody brought his or her history, claro! like every human being and every animal and tree, &c. has one, but here the stories were part of the festival. Of course, less than the stories of the musicians and poets but quand-même. Most of the volunteers are in their early twenties. Some keep coming back for every edition and bring their friends and many who came for the first time, said that it was a unique experience. They never had experienced a community like this one.
This is EDUCATION.
I got the Airport Blues.
Some days later : Reading Emma Goldman’s Living My Life I learned the important word tyrannicide.
Choate, Andrew 2015. In: theoral no. 11. Nickelsdorf.
Godard, Jean-Luc 2016. Österreichisches Filmmuseum. Wien.
Goldman, Emma 2008. Living My Life. Volume 1. Cosimo. New York.
Lesser, Alexander 1961. Social Fields and the Evolution of Society. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 17: 40-48
Pelton, Robert 1980. The Trickster in West Africa. A Study of Mythic Irony and Sacred Delight. University of California Press.
Wolf, Eric 1982. Europe And The People Without History. University of California Press.
Illustrations: Mélody Maitre
We who create this exhibition is Lisa Grip and Erik Viklund. In here we try to make photographs of the movement, people and moods that we meet during the festival. We see them as splinters in the jumble of Hagenfesten. Together they are as unpredictable as the rest of the program. In the beginning of the week the gallery is empty and then grows hand in hand with the festival. Everyday we take photographs, every night we develop them and hang them on the walls of the gallery.
Ich saß mit meinem Freund Hans im Café Bräunerhof beim zweiten kleinen Mocca und wir besprachen einen Artikel von Andre Vltchek, als draußen ein trampelndes und mit verwüstendem Schritt durchpreschendes Nashorn unsere Aufmerksamkeit erregte. Touristen und Passanten liefen durcheinander, ließen ihre Kameras und Telefone fallen, suchten Schutz im Café. Der Vorfall währte nicht länger als der Kellner durchschnittlich dazu braucht, das pourboire in seine Tasche gleiten zu lassen. So blitzartig das Nashorn herangestürmt war, so plötzlich war es auch wieder verschwunden. Nur die Scherben der eingeschlagenen Scheibe des Teppichgeschäftes gegenüber blieben am Trottoir liegen. Der Besitzer stand bestürzt im Eingang.
Aber nein, ich wollte ja etwas anderes erzählen. Wo hab’ ich nur meinen Kopf? Anfang Oktober, an einem Sonntagvormittag, machte ich mit G. einen Spaziergang in den Phantomweingärten (und dem Phantompfirsichhain!) zwischen Nickelsdorf und der rauschenden Autobahn. Wir verließen die Straße und stapften über die Stechapfelbrachen zu den Nussbäumen, die heuer alle nur schwarze Nüsse abgeworfen haben. Schlechtes Jahr. Die Luft war noch warm, der Boden aber schon kalt. Die hohen Halme gelblich braun, die Blumen vertrocknet, ergraut die Schafgarben, aber die Haltung aufrecht, der Hanf am Wegesrand verblüht, ausgeblüht und wie fermentiert, die niedere Wiese noch vital am Weg zu den Mandelbäumen, deren Früchte vereinzelt auf dem bereits flachgeackerten Felde lagen. Wir taten sie in die Tasche.
Ein Stück weiter fanden wir einen halb verwesten Hasenkopf. Kein Körper weit und breit. G. photographierte ihn aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven. Von links betrachtet erinnerte der Kopf an einen schlafenden Engel und der ihm verbliebene Löffel an einen Flügel. Von der anderen Seite glich er dem Kopf eines (des?) Teufels beziehungsweise dem Bild, das uns von ihm eingkatechiert wurde. Etwas verwesendes Fleisch am Wangenknochen, dunkelrotes, getrocknetes Blut, die Zähne lang und freiliegend, schwarze Augenhöhlen, Fliegen, bunte Schmetterlinge. Leider gibt es davon keine Aufnahmen, da kein Film in der Kamera war. Wir betrachteten den Schädel sehr lange, sahen zu, wie die Fliegen durch die Augenhöhlen unter seinen Schädel krochen, wie sie wieder herauskamen, eine kleine Runde flogen und sich am Fleisch an der Wange niederließen. Die Schmetterlinge, gelb und hellblau, schienen pietätvoller. Nicht weit entfernt, in Griffweite, standen trockene, silbrige Disteln, alle Dornen noch intakt. Sie waren feiner gealtert als die Schafgarben und schimmerten so betörend wie der verwesende Schädel. Daneben eine seidige Fasanenfeder, braun, schwarz, silbrig, womöglich vor Schreck verloren. Wir waren die einzigen Menschen. Solch beinah stille Schönheit und die Eltern und die Freunde, die Musik und der Wein am Tag davor, wiegten uns in Sicherheit.
Am Rückweg, beim Einbiegen in unsere Gasse, wurde das Rätsel des Vortags gelöst, nämlich warum die Bahnstrecke zwischen Zurndorf und Nickelsdorf den ganzen Nachmittag und Abend gesperrt gewesen war. Der Polizist, der in derselben Gasse wohnt, parkte gerade sein großes Auto vor seinem großen Haus und stieg in dem Moment aus, als wir vorbeikamen. Er erzählte uns, was passiert war : Eine junge, unbekannte Frau habe sich vor den Zug geworfen. Lange, schwarze Haare – sonst konnten die Beamten nicht viel erkennen. Ihr Name und ihr Geschlecht wurden anhand eines Flugtickets festgestellt, das sie bei sich hatte. From Dubai, mehr habe ich nicht in Erinnerung. Der Lokführer solle gesagt haben, dass er sie neben den Schienen gehen sah und als er dachte, an ihr vorbeizufahren, habe sie sich vor seinen Zug geworfen. Die silbrigen Disteln neben den Schienen waren schöne, stumme Zeugen, bekamen ein paar Spritzer Blut ab.
In der Verzweiflung, so weit gekommen zu sein und nichts erreicht zu haben, nimmt der Gedanke, sich umzubringen, vielleicht überhand. Wenn kein Mensch mehr da ist, der um einen trauert, wenn man ganz allein ist, ist es vielleicht einfacher, sich vor einen Zug zu werfen. Obwohl neben den Schienen die silbrigen Disteln stehen und einem dabei zusehen. Oder halbreife Hagebutten an einem perfekt (natürlich) gebogenen Zweig hängen. Oder die Hasen wie wahnsinnig über die Felder laufen. Wenn man die Geduld, aufs nächste Frühjahr zu warten, verloren hat, wenn man die Beherrschung verliert, schreitet man zur Tat.
El horizonte sirve para caminar.
Sich vor einen Zug zu werfen, ist eine Lösung. Es gibt aber auch noch andere Wege, um seine Beherrschung zu verlieren beziehungsweise um unbeherrscht zu sein. Oder besser : nicht dermaßen beherrscht, also regiert (gouverniert, Foucault) zu werden. Ich stelle mir vor, wie diese Frau – absolut alleine in einem Land, in dem ihr die Menschen als Masse und oft auch als Einzelne feindlich gegenüberstehen – die Schienen entlang ging und immer, wenn sie ihren Kopf erhob, auf den silbernen Horizont blickte, der in dem flachen Land allgegenwärtig ist. Aber welche Bedeutung hatte dieser Horizont für sie? Was dachte sie? In einem Interview brachte Eduardo Galeano den Horizont mit Utopie in Verbindung und sagte : ‘La utopía sirve para caminar.’ Die Utopie helfe beim Gehen, beim Weitergehen. Denn sie sei im Horizont, ‘ella está en el horizonte.’ Man nähere sich ihr ein paar Schritte und sie entferne sich ein paar Schritte. Man werde sie nie erreichen. Aber ohne Utopien würden wir aufhören zu gehen und uns fügen (heißt lügen, sagt Erich Mühsam). Wir müssen uns aber alle jeden Tag fügen. Die ökonomischen und ideologischen Zwänge, die unser Leben strukturieren, sind zu stark. Wir akzeptieren und wir reproduzieren sie um zu überleben. Unsere Utopien, oder unsere Ideen von Utopien, werden verschüttet, vom Müll, der täglich über uns hereinbricht und uns schwächen und verängstigen soll. Wir leben nicht in einer postfaktischen Ära – sich mit diesem Begriff auseinanderzusetzen ähnelte einer Diskussion darüber, ob das gesichtete Nashorn aus Afrika oder aus Asien stammte –, denn wirft man nur einen flüchtigen Blick in die Geschichte, wird einem klar, dass Propaganda schon immer existiert hat. Wir leben in einem Zeitalter des Mülls. Es werden Menschen dafür bezahlt oder dazu versklavt, Unrat (Produkte, Nachrichten und Bedürfnisse in allen ihren Formen), herzustellen und bis in die letzten Winkel der Welt (auch mit Gewalt) zu verbreiten. Wir selbst produzieren und reproduzieren ihn, wir leben in ihm und wir brauchen ihn, so wie ich diesen Computer brauche, auf dem ich gerade tippe.
Die Utopie von, sagen wir ganz pathetisch, einer besseren Gesellschaft, kann dabei helfen, sich dem zu entziehen und einer anderen Marschzahl zu folgen (die man sich in die Hand ritzen muss, wenn es geht, um sie nicht zu vergessen). Ich glaube, die erste und natürlichste Form von Widerstand ist das Nein, oder die Intuition zum Nein, die in uns allen schlummert (eine Schläferin), der aber viel zu wenig nachgegangen wird. Das Nein ist die Geburt des Widerstandes! Das Nein dazu, dermaßen regiert zu werden.
Die junge Frau mit den langen schwarzen Haaren war alleine in einer Einöde von meist verschlossenen Einfamilienhäusern an der österreichisch-ungarischen Grenze unterwegs. Alle ihre Träume hingen in den Sträuchern, Bäumen und Stacheldrähten des Balkans, und als sie nach Österreich kam, wo es genau so aussieht wie in Ungarn, verließ sie vielleicht ihr Glaube an den Horizont. Ich denke mir, wenn sie nur durch Zufall in Nickelsdorf in die Jazzgalerie gestolpert wäre, sie hätte sich an einem Feuer wärmen können. Und sie hätte wie vorherbestimmt, junge Männer aus Syrien kennengelernt, die dort ein und aus gehen. Sie hätte sich vielleicht austauschen können, in welcher Sprache auch immer.
Es gibt unterschiedliche Utopien. Sie können sich zum Beispiel so anhören :
Wo man zum Fischfang lauthals Lieder singt,
Und wo ein Sänger sogar fette Fische fängt,
Möcht’ ich Poet und Fischer sein.
Wo man zum Frühstück Lämmer brät
Und da, wo nie ein Wanst entsteht,
möcht’ ich Vielfraß und Dressman sein.
Gelobtes Land. Franz-Josef Degenhardt
Dieses theoral no. 13 ist nun keine Utopie mehr. Es war in den letzten Monaten unser Horizont und die Publikation der Schritt hin zu ihm, dem Unerreichbaren. Die Utopie einer gerechten Welt bleibt bestehen.
Das Buch enthält drei Gespräche. Eines mit Angélica Castelló, aufgenommen in meiner Wohnung, eines mit Burkhard Stangl im Gasthaus Quell und eines mit beiden in ihrer gemeinsamen Wohnung.
Angélica Castelló : Composer, Sound Artist. Her sound work and compositions concentrate on fragility, dreamworld and the subconscious.
Burkhard Stangl : Guitarist and composer. Works in the fields of improvisation, electronica and contemporary classical.
Die beiden sind sehr wichtig für jene zeitgenössische Musik in Wien, die alle Genres umfasst, aber keines bedient. Ich kenne ihre Namen schon relativ lange. Ihre Musik ist ganz langsam, peu à peu oder pas à pas, in meine Wahrnehmung eingedrungen und ab einem unbestimmten Moment habe ich begonnen, mit den Namen Personen, Persönlichkeiten, ein Gefühl, einen Sound zu verbinden. Ich sah und hörte sie in den unterschiedlichsten Formationen unterschiedlichste Musik spielen, ich war bei Performances dabei und ab und zu auch danach, in der Bar oder im Restaurant, hörte zu, redete mit, patzte mir die fette Pizza auf die neue Hose. Vor ein, zwei Jahren habe ich Burkhards Buch Hommage à moi gegen ein paar Theorals eingetauscht und kreuz und quer darin gelesen, mir die CDs angehört, die mir einen ganz neuen Aspekt, nämlich den kompositorischen, in seinem Schaffen eröffnet haben. Diese Archäologie einer Person, so Burkhard, die ich schließlich ganz gelesen habe, ist ein Dokument Wiener Musikgeschichte, in dem es nicht nur um Burkhard Stangl geht. Es ist gewissermaßen ein Nachschlagewerk, in dem auch Stücke, Bands, Aufführungen, Alben etc. von Musikerinnen und Musikern aus seinem Umfeld konzis und genau beschrieben werden. Dieser Hinweis soll als Erklärung dienen, warum viele musikalische Projekte der beiden in den Interviews nicht so intensiv besprochen worden sind.
Ich hatte also die Eingebung, wieder ein Buch über Musiker und Musikerinnen, die in Wien leben, zu machen. Die Geschichte(n) sollte(n) durch mündliche Erzählungen von zentralen Akteuren verdichtet und angereichert werden. Hilfreich dabei war ein Wissenschaftsstipendium der Stadt Wien über einmalig € 1.500, das mir zu diesem Zweck gewährt wurde1. Neben dem Sammeln von Geschichten und Gedanken über mehr als weniger selbstbestimmte Lebensläufe, geht es mir darum, die Tiefe und Weite der zeitgenössischen Musikszene zugänglicher zu machen. Jedoch nicht als historische Autorität, sondern als Medium, als Übersetzer. Diese Haltung gründet sich unter anderem auf eine Überlegung von Henry Threadgill, auf die ich in George Lewis’ großem Buch über die AACM [Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians], A Power Stronger Than Itself [The AACM and American Experimental Music. 2008. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago and London. p. 191], gestoßen bin : ‘Who else in this Aquarian Age would be better suited to speak about this product than the instrument through which it appears? Surely, if such highly creative music can come from such minds, the same minds can give some insight about it and themselves in relationship.’
Der Besitzer des Teppichgeschäftes kehrte die Scherben weg um die sich eine Menschengruppe gesammelt hatte. Ein Wachmann : ‘Bitte links. Bitte links.’ Die Schaulustigen zerstreuten sich in den Gassen und die, die im Café Schutz gesucht hatten, nahmen eine Melange. Ich wandte meinen Kopf wieder Hans zu und sagte : ‘Weißt du, woran mich das gerade erinnert?’ – ‘An die letzten Tage der Menschheit?’– ‘Ja, daran auch. Aber vielmehr an eine Erzählung, die ich unlängst gelesen habe. Eugène Ionesco, Die Nashörner. Darin sitzt der Erzähler mit seinem Freund Jean auf der Terrasse eines Cafés und sie reden über dieses und jenes, und plötzlich läuft ein Nashorn über den Platz, die Leute stieben auseinander, eine Flasche Wein fällt zu Boden und zerbricht, eine Katze wird totgetrampelt. In den darauffolgenden Tagen werden immer mehr Nashörner in der Stadt gesichtet und die Leute lenken sich mit der Frage ab, ob es sich um asiatische oder afrikanische Nashörner handle, bis es so viele werden, dass sich alle, die noch Menschen geblieben sind, an ihre plumpe und brutale Herrschaft anpassen müssen und schließlich auch Nashörner werden.’ – ‘Ah, eine Allegorie auf den Faschismus. Am Anfang will es keiner glauben.’ – ‘Genau, und dann werden sie alle selber Nashörner.’
Sie kommen immer wieder, die Nashörner, und man muss sie immer wieder zurückschlagen. Wir müssen unsere Faschisten, ebenso wie unsere Unterdrücker in jeder Generation aufs Neue bekämpfen. In unseren wahrlich finsteren Zeiten, wenn ich die Umstände rein verstandesmäßig auf der Waage der Gerechtigkeit betrachte, sind es jene hypokriten Feinde der Utopie, die glauben, uns dermaßen regieren (und informieren) zu dürfen, gegen die wir uns – wollen wir der Utopie einer gerechten Gesellschaft entgegengehen – generationen-übergreifend erheben müssen.
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
1 Zum Vergleich : Die Ausgaben der Stadt Wien für Museen, Archive, Wissenschaft betrugen 2015 € 32.531.275,04 und für Theater, Musiktheater, Tanz € 90.581.221,–. Die Ausgaben des Bundeskanzleramts für Museen, Archive, Wissenschaft betrugen € 112.626.709,85 und allein für die Bundestheater wurden € 148.936.000,– ausgegeben. Musikförderung des BKA für 2015 gesamt : € 8.108.753,26
13. Jänner 2017