THE FUCKLE

Beschreibungen der Gegenwart / Descriptions of the Present

Month: November, 2015

Charhizmatic Music – response from Andrew Choate

Thank you so much for your (open) letter Philipp! It’s such a nice thing to write with one person in mind but then share it with many. It’s one reason I so much prefer talking to one person at a time, as opposed to a group, because with each person I would phrase things differently.

You don’t write during the concerts, which is something I should try. It would be hard for me, because if I have a thought while listening, and don’t write it down, it can become the only thing I think about. Contrary to what most people say: I write to forget, not to remember. That way I can forget the thought so I can have another one, pay more attention, listen more alive, etc.

You’re right about thinking about everything during concerts. The music just helps the body process life.

No validation necessary.

You talked about driving slow between the cities so your mind shouldn’t have been traveling too much. But there is a short story called Soulwalker about how your soul can only travel at the speed of walking, so when you go somewhere by car or airplane or train, you are soulless until it catches up.

I am glad you are sensitive to the timing of sets. The fantastic Romanian contingent gives me a hard time about how sensitive I am to it. I still think the Aeter + Olaf Rupp set from the 2001 Konfrontationen could have been absolutely amazing if they had gone on later in the evening.

Don’t worry about the people laughing; I don’t blame the music, but the expectations.

I’m glad you found a spot for your books!

The girl and the longing, especially the longing, have everything to do with the festival, with every festival, with LISTENING.

“Concentration is the real freedom” – so happy to have this formulated.

I cannot believe you missed Sidsel Endresen. I understand though. Festival circumstances are festival circumstances. But the opportunity to see her solo was the one thing I really pined for about missing this festival. The longing!

That whole “clapping early”thing is a strange phenomenon in this music. I think it’s because, while listening, we are forced to be with ourselves, alone, just us and the music. And it gets intense. And some people cannot wait to get back to not being alone. They need assurance. I am sympathetic to the weakness. It is not easy being alone and absorbing the intensity of this music.

But it crosses a line when people are genuinely interrupting the music. We had a problem with a specific audience member who liked to clap early at concerts in Chicago many years ago. Finally, it took a musician having a genuine one-on-one chat with him to get him to stop. And I think he learned a valuable lesson from that conversation, and probably elsewhere in his life.

I think people also do it because they are so enthusiastic they just want to get involved. It’s not the right way to get involved, but, again, I am sympathetic with the impulse.

There are also some egoists out there who think they hear “a good end” and wish to exert their fine hearing on the proceedings. I am not sympathetic to that impulse.

I saw Keith Rowe solo once, and before he started he requested no clapping. People did it anyway, but at least it was slow coming, and tentative.

I am eagerly awaiting my Radu package and -29 is in there!

You wrote: “Within the concerts, between the beginning and the end of the concert, it would be possible to listen to a sound until it is over and you can try to feel what it makes with you, in you, because: if you don’t hear the sound any more it is not gone, it just changed its form.” There is an exhibit in LA at a place called The Museum of Jurassic Technology that features a theoretical treatise on Forgetting and Memory by Geoffrey Sonnabend. He argues that there is no such thing as memory: it is simply the traces of the event still passing through the body. I agree.

http://www.mjt.org/exhibits/delson/oblisci.html

I’ve only seen Anna Högberg twice, once at Mats’ festival at Porgy, solo, and then again with Fire! Orchestra in Berlin; I don’t have any recordings but liked her playing a lot. I think she has learned from Mats but has taken things into a very personal direction. That is to say: she has learned the metaphysics behind the playing, but is focussed on making her own music. That is my impression from everything I have heard.

The time between concerts is important, no doubt. That is why I was always so happy at Nickelsdorf – no stress, plenty of time between concerts, no rush (except for everyone working of course!)

I love the idea of less music at these festivals honestly. This music isn’t the kind of thing where more and more and more is good for it. I want to be able to hear everything, not having to make decisions. Then it starts moving in the direction of giant festivals where you are running from place to place, seeing 20 minutes of this, 5 minutes of that, etc. That doesn’t work for me. I like the idea of a coherent festival that is curated from beginning to end, and the audience is expected to hear everything, and it is programmed with the desire and space between things so that the audience can also live semi-sanely.

A week after you saw the Grisey, I saw his Vortex Temporum performed with dancers (and musicians as dancers) in a piece by the phenomenal choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. That piece of music is one of the most compelling compositions I know. After I heard it, I recorded the first part on my phone and made it my ringtone. Every time my phone rang I heard it, from 2009-2013.

I talked about Keersmaeker with one of your friends in 2014 at the pop fest. If you don’t know Rosas Danst Rosas, an excerpt from the film version (bit different from staged I found out) should be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlLZExpgBOY

She also choreographed a piece to “A Love Supreme” that I saw at ImpulsTanz the night before the 2005 festival.

One thing I want to say about the attacks in Paris that came in the middle of your festival writing: in planning for my radio show, I started listening to every piece of music by French musicians I have. The one that really captures all of my range of emotions about that specific situation––while teaching me what those emotions were––and which also contains within it a method of engagement with our hideous worldly state is “SION” by David Chiesa, Jean Luc Guionnet, Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger, recorded in November, 2001. It makes me thankful, nervous, overwhelmed and so much more.

I am 100% convinced that the theatre and the realm of art is not a seat of vice and that killing people and terrorizing people is not an answer to anything; I am also equally convinced that force-feeding the culture and “values” of the powerful countries in the world to every other country in every other part of the world simply because it’s monetarily beneficial to do so is not a good idea, nor a humane activity.

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Foto: Chelsea

Charhizmatic Music

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this is not a review, it is a letter to Andrew Choate, written during and after the Festival Music Unlimited 29

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Friday, Wels, November 6, 2015

Dear Andrew,

I came very early to Wels, well, in the afternoon because I got a lift from Heidi and Peter. Do you remember Peter? He’s working in the Konfrontationen restaurant and this year he’s going to have a cocktail bar right next to the Unlimited Dancefloor, so we can order our drinks while dancing!

The weather is beautiful, it’s actually hot. I already met a lot of musicians, like Joe Williamson, Han Bennink, Tobias Delius, Tristan Honsinger – the quartet ­– and I was nodding at Christina Vetrone from far. In this very moment I am having a coffee at Café Strassmair, the second one. The first I shared with our Romanian friends George Staicu, Mihai Statulescu and Bogdan the DJ Scoromide who had just arrived from Budapest resp. Bucarest. (Again, Sorin couldn’t make it). ‘Bucarest is the best city for parties,’ Bogdan said, ‘because there are no laws, you can go on for days. Actually right now there is a 100 hours party happening.’ And then he told me about a starlet who became the victim of a gypsy palm reader. Quite reasonably the palm reader told the starlet that money is the devil and in order to get rid of the devil she had to get rid of the money. So they arranged a meeting at a lake where the devil would appear and the starlet would have to throw her money at the devil. Both arrived at the agreed hour at the lake but what the starlet didn’t know was that the palm reader had an accomplice who is a diver and who was waiting under water. When she made signs with her flashlight he slowly emerged from under water and the poor starlet was so afraid that she threw her money at the diver and both, the gypsy woman and the starlet, escaped. The diver collected the money and shared it with the palm reader. This came out months later because the starlet had doubts about what had happened and sued the palm reader. ‘Those are the things that are happening right now in Romania,’ Bogdan said, ‘and of course you might have read about the fire in the club and the protests against our corrupt politicians and did I tell you about Diana Miron?’ ‘No.’ ‘She’s a violin player and she‘s really good. Check her out on Youtube or Soundcloud!’

Now, they’ve just left and I am starting the experiment of writing about the festival. I need you as a reason for writing – you are my occasion but not my excuse – because you are not here. I need you to decorate myself with validity and credibility. And I kindly ask you for a response to my letter in order to complete and verify my humble writings. I am anxious whether I will be able to write about the music. It’s gettig dark outside. The rest, no, rather the majority of the Nickelsdorf-Wanderzirkus should arrive soon. This year we’re seven in the six-bed-room but with all the smoke that will swing and rock through the room very soon, nobody will notice.

This year I will keep to the side, stay on the fringes of the festival, observe soberly until the end and I will not lean into the fest and let myself carry away in its pitiless flow. Not before Sunday night.

A little later: It’s not that easy to stay concentrated on the report. Everywhere I sit down somebody I know passes by, everywhere I go somebody who knows me is already there. Slowly all family members arrive at the Schlachthof. Hugs, etc. Waving. Talking. Now I deserted into the murmuring before the first concert. The bright wooden floor is illuminated, the walls are black, so is the stage, still. On the left wall empty packs of cigarettes form over three meters the two words ‘NO SMOKING’. I am sitting on the floor and am still thinking of what Fabien (Simon), le directeur du Festival Météo in Mulhouse had said. In short: networking, meet musicians, listen to music. What else? Then suddenly the presenter, the MC of the festival was introduced: Reinhard Grölli Stöger. That was a strange feeling to hear his voice from this stage. One familiar thing eclipsed another familiar thing without erasing it. But that is maybe what Christof means when he’s talking about recontextualization. Nickelsdorf and Wels. Nickelsdorf in Wels.

First Concert (Harmolodic Affection: Joe McPhee, saxophones, trumpet; Isabelle Duthoit, clarinet, voice; Michael Zerang, drums; Christof Kurzmann, ppooll): It was a beautiful beginning. Christof, who was only playing deep sounds and Isabelle started as a duo until Joe and Michael came on stage. The music began to flow and I couldn’t stop thinking of her dark vagina, you know, that girl from the restaurant, I wrote you about her. Do such things happen to you during concerts? During first concerts? I am sure it happens to you. My mind may have still been travelling somewhere between Vienna and Wels, although we didn’t drive very fast, 120 on the motorway. Back to the concert: Joe recited a poem that he had written about the cold side of Marseille – Gitchi gitchi ya ya da da / Gitchi gitchi ya ya here – and the music was great! They played some more songs but what should I say? To Fabien I said: ‘It was very beautiful.’ And also the choice of Isabelle was very interesting and it worked very well! Are their schools (Isabelle’s and Joe’s) really as different as Fabien called it? In this instant, in which my pen is forming, almost drawing, these words on the paper, I am missing the first solo, Katharina Klement. Fortunately I saw her playing solo some months ago in brut Wien – it was very good. I am already overwhelmed, it’s too much for me, also all those familiar faces. Maybe I should have a drink? There’s Hans.

Second Concert (Duo Marinare: Enza Prestina, Christina Vetrone): They sang lullabies from Napoli and Sicily. Their voices have the power to put (new) strength into a person who is down and out, I thought, it would have been a good program for Sunday afternoon. And I was thinking of H. C. Artmann, an Austrian poet because recently I read on the facade of Anna Jeller’s bookstore (very close by the yellow and black striped bollard which you surely remember) a very short autobiography and there I read – clumsily translated – ‘I make the Left puke’. I really like this self-description, much more than the following ‘Itching powder of the Right’. But they make only sense when they are mentioned together. Artmann places himself outside of politics but he is not at all unpolitical. In his time, I think, there was still a Left existing, nowadays all of Austrian politics is right-wing.

Pause: Impossible to hear the solo, too many people. I discovered Magda and Daniel from Warsaw. You remember them, I think. They are the owners/organizers of the Club Pardon, To Tu and they have been to Nickelsdorf this summer and their place was with their backs against the kitchen wall, when you leave the restaurant into the yard, on the right on the wooden stairs. I am delighted to see them!

Then: talking, talking, talking. Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy. I am back in the concert room and am trying to prepare myself for the Third Concert (Irène Schweizer, piano; Louis Moholo-Moholo, drums) as silent as possible. This time I am sitting on a chair.

After the concert: What can I tell you? You know how it sounds. How should I describe it with empty phrases? Maybe like this: everything THEY DO happens for a reason. It was South African. I saw Johnny Dyani. Tilo tilo.

As I cannot write about the music, I will try this: Every concert should inspire something – a poem, a dialogue, a question, etc. Because: Can I judge the musicians on stage? I mean, not personally but what they present and represent on stage? Can I say this is good and this is bad? Can I say they failed or they played an impeccable concert? I think, I cannot judge or give notes and I don’t want to. I don’t want to judge the vulnerable or the giving – I think, the artist is vulnerable, always in the liminal sphere. I can say that I didn’t like it. But if I see people trying, even if they fail, I am happy to be part of it because in the end it is very rare that a concert or a performance is really OUTSTANDING and to hear and feel that also depends on yourself. Until now I liked the music. I’m glad to be here, to listen, to experience. I am thankful. Oh, there’s one thing I don’t like but I’ll tell you later because the Fourth Concert (Tobias Delius Quartet with Tobias Delius, saxophones; Tristan Honsinger, cello; Han Bennink, drums; Joe Williamson, bass) is about to begin.

After the concert: It was cool. Except the haha-funny part. Like Radu, who I am seeing quite often lately, said, ‘The Dutch always need something funny, since the 60s.’ Nothing changed, also the tricks remained the same, at least since the 90s. When I closed my eyes, then it was as good as it actually is, but the laughs kept me from listening. During the concert, when they were really playing, the music mixed with and whirled into my tiredness which always comes round about midnight. ‘It’s Jazz,’ I thought and he acts in my first dreams of the night. The jazz that I mean, you know. Riccarda (Kato) said after the concert something I was thinking: ‘The Honsinger is so good!’

What I don’t like: This year there is no non-profit table, usually maintained by the nice guys and girls from Wels, where the artists can place their CDs, records and, in my case, books. On the one side they sell the festival-merchandise and on the other side there is a Trost/Substance stand and they had no space for my theorals. And I hoped to earn enough money to pay the next rent! We may not look like it but we live below the poverty line. Or did things change?

Later I could place the books at Gerhard Busse’s stand, thank you!, but he’s back there in the white chamber where mostly the record-freaks go.

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Saturday, Wels, November 7, 2015

Towards the end of the night I bent over towards the center. I went with Petr (Vrba, you know him, don’t you?), Janek and Katerina to their car. Its trunk is full of beer brewed by Janek. At this hour, the temperature of the beer is perfect. He filled it in small bottles that formerly contained fine Belgian beers – for a moment I had the feeling of being at the Densités festival. Later, on the dancefloor, I took a large Vodka, Russian Standard which Peter, the barkeeper, had refined with vanilla pods (and which was actually prepared for the Moloko+ cocktail). African Jazz and Jive from DJ Lisi and DJ Didi and our friends got to know each other a little closer.

It’s midday and I’m sitting in a café, Café Hoffmann. On the next table old native women are blustering about tents, fences and refugees. L’enfer c’est les autres. Hell, that’s the others. Sartre, isn’t it? Also the music here is a foretaste of hell. I gulp down my coffee and dash out of the café.

Café Konditorei Urbann. Much better, worlds beyond. What I am thinking: It’s a pity that this girl, you know, is not here – yesterday during the dance I was thinking of her as well. But she has nothing to do with the festival, my longing. Or has she? Music can soothe my longing or even heal it (and of course create it, horizonte! madrugada! SAUDADE!). The music can soothe the pain when she’s so good – when I am so good – that in the moment nothing else is necessary, when I do not wish something else. For, concentration is the real freedom. That’s what Paul Lovens said that Romy Schneider had said that Luchino Visconti said it. But, like Virginia Woolf in ‘The Waves’, which I am reading at last, after you recommended it to me last year, says, well, let’s Bernard say, ‘A good phrase, however, seems to me to have an independent existence.’ I worship Virgina Woolf, I admire her, although I have my doubts about Bernard. Nevertheless, concentration is the real freedom. Here in the café as well. And this concentration through the music is very likely to happen to me this afternoon because Klaus Filip is playing a concert with Leonel Kaplan and Klaus nearly all of the times gets me to the point where his sounds, sine waves, fill my whole body – the head is part of it, oh yes, it starts in my head and the concentration pours into my limbs in the rhythm of my heartbeat. It’s particularly the duo with Radu Malfatti that has that effect. Its non-associative listening, they fill me just with music, with sound – that’s how the monks are meditating god, I suppose. The music, my god. Or rather: the meditation of. The concentration, my god. Associative listening as a way to god. I love associative listening as well, that is, my associations which become possible through listening to live music. My thoughts are wandering with the music, when I can use the energy that is produced in the playing, in this ancient situation of a gathering and a performance. Sometimes it’s like sitting with friends in an airplane that has no pilot and we land from where we took off, just a little different, and we find the parachutists again, when we’re dropped off in San Saudade, in our longing. You know what I mean, don’t you? I like this café, I’m sitting in the farthest and most hidden corner near the wintergarden that opens into the yard. It reminds me of Café Vitoria in Porto. Porto, meu amor!

Oh, I was speaking of Radu. But wait, I’ll tell you later. Now I have to hit the trottoir. The First Afternoon Concert (MIR-8: Hilary Jeffery, trombone; Werner Dafeldecker, bass, generator) is starting soon at MKH (media and culture house).

During the concert: It IS actually an ecstatic landing. You know, that’s the name of one of the LYSN records and his, HJs music is like this, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. I am sitting on a chair (which actually became free right next to me when I had the very strong thought, ‘I want to sit.’), like in an airplane, with my hands on my knees, open palms (= ready to give and take) which seems to me like a praying position, a posture in which I can receive the music best. I feel save in this ecstatic landing with Hilary Jeffery, he makes you feel save and sound while Dafeldecker give you a hint of the bleakness of the unkind world outside this landing. It is save and it feels a little non-satisfactory or is it so deeply satisfying that I do not recognize it right away? Outside of this landing means outside of the festival, outside of this unlimited parallel-world, this possible other world and possible better world. We leave society and gather religiously for three days – it’s like a little hadj – and build a new society which is driven by sound and music. It is US who keep this, let’s say ‘counter-culture’ alive, also you who are not here. We are such a small part of society but we won’t let it die, this idea of – an experiment in life.

The Second Afternoon Concert (Leonel Kaplan, trumpet; Klaus Filip, sinus) took place in the Pavillon. It was good, but:

The clapping before the last sound (not the shadow of the sound) has left the room (not the mind of the listener) ended both afternoon concerts. In the Pavillon much more brutal than during/after the MIR-8 concert, which was actually ending and the music was breathing out when the first people already started clapping. The Klaus & Leonel concert was not over, it was a real misunderstanding, I would say. Klaus was playing a real high sinus, Leonel put his trumpet a little to the side (they told me later) and because many cannot hear that high sounds any more, some started clapping and others were following. I raised my head, opened my eyes and looked around me like woken from deep slumber and all I could think was FUCK!

Explanation: Recently Radu gave me a CD (b-boim records 029 – did you order this one as well for your The Unwrinkled Ear radio show portrait?) with his composition shizuka ni furu ame which means the time shortly before and after the rain. It’s a piece for guitar and dedicated to Christián Alevar, a chilian. He also gave me the script and the instructions say:

all sounds are played not too quietly but careful.
let the chords ring, till the shadow of the sound starts to evade your mind.

The shadow of the sound is so vague that a concert usually ends with the stopping of the actual music. It’s a very beautiful thought, the shadow of the sound, but the recognition of it leaving one’s mind is highly individual, if one is even capable of spotting it. Thus, it remains an instruction for playing and not for listening, although it is very inspiring as a thought for a listener.

However, most of the times there is respect for the end of the concert and space left for the sound (not the shadow of the sound) to leave the mind of the listener. Within the concerts, between the beginning and the end of the concert, it would be possible to listen to a sound until it is over and you can try to feel what it makes with you, in you, because: if you don’t hear the sound any more it is not gone, it just changed its form. Didn’t he? It’s like waking up in the morning and your dream is still very near you, you’re still inside of it and you may be able to spin it out – until you move. The movement cuts you off from the dream and it’s gone. Only the most impressive memory remains. In my mind it’s like that also with music.

That’s why I like shizuka ni furu ame so much. You can fall asleep with a sound or its shadow in the confidence that there will be another sound, played with care into the silence of the room, a room that is separated from the city through glass panes. You keep the memory of the sound, also of the light in the room, your position on the couch or the tea that you had prepared. But on a festival this is not possible, that’s only possible in a very small setting, like so many good things are only possible in a very small setting.

I am going to ask Hans, no, I will insist, every time I see him, the he plans less concerts for the next festival! I think, and I heard it from many, that it is too much, especially the solos in the breaks of which I haven’t seen one and wanted to see each. But today I will follow Katerinas advice – ‘you have to push through, put the people aside!’ – because exactly this concentration in the small room is my favorite way of listening to music. I desire a festival with as much time between the concerts as with the concerts. The possibility to keep the music inside should be created, the time to assimilate it should be extended. Everybody should be able to listen to every concert in order to provide a possible shared experience for everybody (each in his own way, of course) in order to stir up solidarity. And the people should have time for each other, the time that they need. This relaxes also the listening.

First Concert (Scanning Grisey: Gerald Preinfalk, saxophon; Ernesto Molinari, clarinet; Uli Fussenegger, bass; Christof Kurzmann, ppooll). Good, but I’m already thinking of the solo and how and when to go to the other room. And also how I can enter THIS present concert. It works from time to time and in the wide black and silent room I recognize Hans coughing, like the dream-visions of violins that are created by the sirens of the firefighters passing by under my apartment and that extract me from my sleep.

A minute before the Second Concert (The Pitch: Michael Thieke, clarinet; Boris Baltschun, harmonium; Koen Nutters, bass; Morten J. Olsen, vibraphone): It was too crowded behind the benches in the solo-room and I couldn’t hear anything. It’s a pity because the room is good. In the main room I found my place, right in front on the floor where I wrote my name with my finger in the dirt.

During the concert: The sounds are merging into each other and into my body. Maybe it is their shadow that is flowing into me, like the pale soul in cartoons that returns into the body of the hero so that he can continue his fighting.

Here, after the half of the festival, ends the real-time report because my discipline changed.

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One week later, Vienna, Saturday, November 14, 2015

Actually I wanted to tell you that I missed the Third Concert (Sidsel Endresen, voice), that Didi’s solo, you know, I just love what he’s doing, was a journey through his rhythms and that the Fourth Concert (Hope: Alfred 23 Harth, saxophones, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, voice, electronics; Kazuisha Uchihashi, electric guitar, daxophon; Mitsuru Nasuno, electric bass; Chris Cutler, drums, vibraphone, electronics) was very 80s, chopped up, it was not for me but about Uchihashi I can say the same as about Didi – maybe I should organize a duo. Ventil was fat and the good thing was that the sound was flawless and the visuals really made sense for me because they were LIKE the music and you could move because the chairs were moved away.

But this day today is going to be another memorable day in the history of our oppression. Actually it happened yesterday, Friday 13th, but only today I stepped into the flow of information. In the morning I was listening two hours to France Info and was startled by the reports because I know these places and every time I was in Paris I had my coffee in those areas but more frightening were the words of the politicians. What François Hollande was saying did not differ from what Nicolas Sarkozy was saying nor from what George W. Bush was saying after 9/11. Macho language. There is a lot of talk about war. France is at war. The attacks have been an act of war, and the most devastating since the Algerian war of independence. When I heard that, I thought about Algeria. In 1830 France occupied cities on the North African coast and started colonizing the land, taking it from the native peasants and giving it into the hands of European settlers. They were teaching them Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité which is in this case comparable to Freedom and Democracy made in USA or the self-defence of the state of Israel. But the people resisted and a long war for independence broke out which ended with a devasted and ideologically diveded country, a lot of refugees were produced and a civil war as a long-term consequence. But this is no history lesson, I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway. It would just be interesting how many more parallels, except the multi-site attack, one can find between the past and the present French and European politics, plus US politics, of course. Hollande declared the terror attacks as an attack on the French values. That is very perfidious because he takes himself, French politics and all the big capitalists, who are exploiting what and who they can around the globe, out of the game or portrays him and them and us as victims of religious fanaticism. But I think this, okay, let’s call it war, is about resources, like every war, ideology comes second – Food is the first thing, moral follows on, says Brecht. So it was them, indirectly, politics and capitalism that brought the terror to Paris, to us. This kind of politics and capitalism cannot save us but the media is creating a narrative which tells us that we are threatened from the outside (and not, as I think, from the inside) and that we have to make sacrifices. But I don’t want to make sacrifices for them but I have to, I cannot change it because I am living in this Western societyand I am taking part in many things that confirms our rulers. As always, I come back to the Foucoultian question about how not to be ruled to SUCH an extent.

Okay, I will continue to tell you about the better world, also because others know much better how to write about world politics. On Sunday I missed the afternoon-film by Luc Ferrari about ‘Cecil Taylor ou la découverte du free jazz’ and the afternoon-concert in the Pavillon of The International Nothing (Michael Thieke and Kai Fagaschinski, clarinet and composition) because of tiredness. Bogdan was dj-ing without pity and I had a little more of the Vanilla Vodka, or it had me, like a shadow of a sound. Additionally to that, our room is actually a pub. At every time people are eating and/or drinking, talking and smoking. You could cut the air, much better than the donkey-sausage that Hans and Ute brought from the market. For two nights we had an extra guest and guess what, they were moaning! And the last night we did not sleep at all.

I stopped taking notes Saturday night. If I think of my resolution from the beginning of the letter which equates with the beginning of the festival, I have to admit that I failed. Menschliches Versagen. I was drawn into the fest, it sucked me in and I found myself on the dance floor. It was so much fun to move to this great dance music. You know that and it reminded me on what you said about PRAED+ last year in Nickelsdorf: you have to dance in order to understand the music better.

So I will relate from my memory and some notes that I took in the dark. The evening started with a solo by Thomas Lehn which I missed, most likely because I was already on my place waiting for the First Concert. I listened to most of the concerts alone, except the solos, that I heard squeezed into a circle of friends or to the feet of the artist, like that of Irena Tomazin, voice on Saturday, and Franz Hautzinger who played the last solo of all on Sunday. Everybody marveled at his shoes which were 40 cm from my eyes – I could have touched them. Instead I was admiring the very slow dynamics of his playing, not many things happened but I had the urge to move my feet – and not because I lost patience. It was like he was holding his trumpet into the wind and in the silence emerged a groove. A requiem for jazz?

First Concert (Sophie Agnel, piano; John Butcher, saxophone). Because of so much music, the many hours that I did not sleep, the dance with my friends and the silky Vanilla Vodka – like you can EASILY imagine – my brain was working quite differently than on arrival at the festival. Immediately I was into it, I felt like being on stage between the two musicians, inside piano, I was drinking the music. They played the first time together. Only some time ago they had an afternoon-rehearsal in Les Instants Chavirés in Montreuil. They left the space I was talking about for the music. ‘The sounds can evolve slowly in my mind,’ I scribbled on a piece of paper. They created silence and in this silence I imagined that the entire building was silent and nobody was making any noise, even upstairs in the bar or in the kitchen the chefs and barmen worked very gently and quietly in these moments.

Then I missed the solo and came the Second Concert (Anna Högberg Attack!: Anna Högberg, alto saxophone; Malin Wättring, tenor saxophone; Elin Larsson, tenor saxophone; Lisa Ullén, piano; Elsa Bergmann, bass; Anna Lund, drums). I heard only a fraction of it. Could it be, or is it only me seeing it, that Anna Högberg incorporated a lot from Mats Gustafsson into her habitus? Can you say something about that? I also missed the following solo, maybe because I was waiting for a coffee. This year you could get good coffee from a guy from Wels, a private coffee roaster, who was preparing coffee for the people, very carefully and as slowly as possible. But the queue was always good company. Or I had to eat in the again lively and noisy restaurant.

Then came the Third Concert (Songs about Love and other Relationships: Michael Zerang, guitar, voice; Carla Bozulich, guitar, voice). These two sets I heard together with friends that you don’t know, I think. Michael was really professional, sovereign, but love, in his songs, was treated humorously, too humorously for my taste, because love is serious, as you know. And Carla Bozulich, what can I say? Her songs were serious but not her appearance, full stop.

The Fourth Concert (Christian Fennesz and Burkhard Stangl, guitar, computer) reminded me on last summer when I was lying in the warm and dry grass and looking into the night sky full of stars. I rarely see stars during a concert but if, it’s always good. The Last Concert was the DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, drums; Kent Kessler, bass; Ken Vandermark, saxophone, clarinet). It was groovy but what I remember very lively, still, is the room for the sound that Hamid created when he was kind of soloing, between two pieces. He played very softly on the cymbals and let the sound ring until it was gone.

I ask myself if I can, here at the end of this letter, sum up something general for you. Somebody told me that I remind him (or her? I don’t remember) on the young Werther. Goethe, you know. Or I can tell you that it was too much music that I could not hear, too much offered. Christof said during the festival that he wants the people to chose. But the solo-room inspired me to think about new forms for a festival. Maybe we should avoid one main stage, maybe not entirely but we could spread the concerts over different smaller places and repeat them so that every person has the possibility to listen to every musician who was invited to the festival, in an (more) intimate setting. The musicians can fail and play a better concert afterwards or they can play a good one and fail then, etc. The program for the main stage, if there is one, should be really fitting for a main stage and bring back together everybody who is at the festival. Is it feasible?

I don’t want to complain too much because we are lucky over here to have such great festivals like exactly this one Unlimited 29 with a lot of Charhizmatic Music! It was great! It was a Reunion, a Meeting and Parting of our possible better world, es war ein Fest!

Yours ever,
Felipe

ps. I just found a note that says ‘Gin/Jean/Djinn’. It was Julia who told me about this conversation she had with Hans and Guiseppe, an Italian who is, I think, from the Area Sismica. Guiseppe was talking about his very special Gin that he had in his room (and once he brought it to the bar and we had a Gin & Tonic – I didn’t taste any difference). While he was talking, Julia thought about jeans, the trousers and Hans thought of Djinns, the spirits.

unlimited29
Foto: Lukas Maul.

https://www.facebook.com/festivalmusicunlimitedwels/photos/a.976909032350680.1073741832.127158530659072/976909059017344/?type=3&theater

Charhizmatic Music

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das ist keine Review, es ist ein Brief an Andrew Choate nach Kalifornien, der während und kurz nach dem Festival Music Unlimited 29 geschrieben wurde

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Wels, Freitag, 6. November 2015

Dear Andrew,

I came early, ich bin sehr früh angekommen in Wels, da ich mit Peter und Heidi im Auto mitfahren konnte. Do you remember Peter? He’s working in the Konfrontationen Restaurant and this year he’s going to have a cocktail bar right next to the Unlimited Dancefloor, so we can order our drinks while dancing.

The weather is beautiful, it’s actually hot. I already met a lot of musicians, like Joe Williamson, Han Bennink, Tobias Delius, Tristan Honsinger – the quartet, qoui – and I was nodding at Christina Vetrone from far. In this very moment I am having a coffee at Café Strassmair, the second one. The first I shared with our Romanian friends George Staicu, Mihai Statulescu and Bogdan the DJ Scoromide who had just arrived from Bukarest and Budapest. (Again, Sorin couldn’t make it). ‘Bucarest is the best city for parties,’ Bogdan said, ‘because there are no laws, you can go on for days. Actually right now there is a 100 hours party happening.’ And then he told me about a starlet who became the victim of a gypsy palm reader. Quite reasonably the palm reader told the starlet that money is the devil and in order to get rid of the devil she had to get rid of the money. So they arranged a meeting at a lake where the devil would appear and the starlet would have to throw the money at the devil. Both arrived at the agreed hour at the lake but what the starlet didn’t know was that the palm reader had an accomplice who is a diver and who was waiting under water. When she made signs with her flashlight he slowly emerged from under water and the poor starlet was so afraid that she threw her money at the diver and both, the gypsy woman and the starlet, escaped. The diver collected the money and shared it with the palm reader. This came out months later because the starlet had doubts about what had happened and sued the palm reader. ‘Those are the things that are happening right now in Romania,’ Bogdan said, ‘and of course you might have read about the fire in the club and the protests against our corrupt politicians and did I tell you about Diana Miron?’ ‘No.’ ‘She’s a violin player and she’s really good. Check her out on Youtube or Soundcloud!’

Now, they’ve just left and I am starting the experiment of writing about the festival, of writing you about the festival. I need you as a reason for writing, als Anlass über das Festival zu schreiben because you are not here. Ich brauche dich um mir so etwas wie Gültigkeit zu verschaffen, Validität. Und ich bitte dich um eine Antwort um meinen Report zu beglaubigen und zu ergänzen. Ich bin gespannt, ob ich über die Musik schreiben kann, hab ich so noch nie gemacht. Es wird gerade dunkel, der Rest, oder besser, der Großteil des Nickelsdorf-Wanderzirkus sollte bald ankommen. Heuer sind wir sieben im Sechserzimmer, aber bei den Rauchschwaden, die bald durch den Raum wogen werden, fällt das gar nicht auf.

Ich werde mich in diesem Jahr eher an den Rand setzen, beobachten, nüchtern bleiben, bis zum Schluss und mich nicht in den Sog des Festes neigen und mich mitreißen lassen, nicht vor Sonntag nacht zumindest.

Etwas später: Es ist gar nicht so einfach, konzentriert zu berichten. Überall wo man sich hinsetzt, kommt jemand vorbei, überall wo man hingeht, ist schon jemand. Langsam trudeln alle Familienmitglieder ein. Hugs, etc. Winken. Sprechen. Nun hab ich mich ins Gemurmel vor dem ersten Konzert abgeseilt. Der helle Holzboden ist erleuchtet, die Wände sind schwarz, die Bühne auch noch. An der linken Wand formen leere Tschikpackerl den drei Meter langen Schriftzug ‘NO SMOKING’. Ich sitze am Boden und denke noch daran, was Fabien (Simon), le directeur du Festival Météo à Mulhouse gesagt hat. Kurz: networking, rencontrer des musiciens, écouter de la musique. Eh. Dann wurde plötzlich der Moderator vorgestellt: Reinhard Stöger, Grölli! Es war ein seltsames Gefühl, seine Stimme hier zu hören, ein Vertrautes überlagerte ein anderes Vertrautes. (Das ist dann wahrscheinlich das was Christof Rekontextualisierung nennt). Nickelsdorf und Wels, Nickelsdorf in Wels.

First Concert, Harmolodic Affection (Joe McPhee, Saxophone, Trompete; Isabelle Duthoit, Klarinette, Stimme; Michael Zerang, Schlagzeug; Christof Kurzmann, ppooll): It was a beautiful beginning, Christof who was playing only deep sounds and Isabelle started as a duo until Joe and Michael came on stage. The music began to flow and I couldn’t stop thinking of her dark vagina, you know, that girl from the restaurant, I wrote you about her. Do such things happen to you during concerts? During first concerts? I am sure it happens to you. My mind may have still been travelling somewhere between Vienna and Wels, although we didn’t drive very fast, 120 on the motorway. Back to the concert: Joe McPhee recited a poem he had written about the cold side of Marseille – Gitchi gitchi ya ya da da / Gitchi gitchi ya ya here – and the music was great! Sie spielten noch ein paar weitere Nummern aber was soll ich sagen? Zu Fabien sagte ich, ‘C’était très beau.’ Und auch die Wahl von Isabelle war interessant und es funktionierte sehr gut. Sind die beiden Schulen (von Isabelle und Joe) wirklich so unterschiedlich, wie es Fabien nannte? In diesem Augenblick, in dem die Kugel meines Kugelschreibers übers Papier rollt und ich diese Worte forme, fast zeichne, versäume ich das erste Solo, Katharina Klement. Gut, dass ich sie vor ein paar Monaten in der brut Wien solo spielen hörte – war sehr gut. Ich bin schon überfordert, auch von den vielen bekannten Gesichtern. Vielleicht sollte ich doch trinken? Da kommt Hans.

Second Concert (Duo Marinare: Enza Prestia, Stimme, Gitarre; Christina Vetrone, Stimme, Akkordeon): Sie sangen lullabies from Napoli and Sicily. Ihre Stimmen können einen wieder aufrichten, wenn man am Boden liegt, dachte ich, wär vielleicht auch für Sonntag Nachmittag ein gutes Programm. Und ich dachte an H. C. Artmann, an Austrian poet. Vor kurzem las ich vor Anna Jeller’s Buchgeschäft (in der Nähe des gelb-schwarz gestreiften Bollers an den du dich sicher erinnerst) eine Kurzautobiographie (Meine Heimat) und da kommt vor, ‘Brechmittel der Linken’. Ich mag diese Selbstbeschreibung, vielmehr noch als das darauf folgende ‘Juckpulver der Rechten’. Aber nur gemeinsam machen sie Sinn. Damit stellt sich Artmann außerhalb der Politik, ist aber nicht unpolitisch. Zu seiner Zeit, denke ich, gab es noch ein Linke, heute ist jegliche österreichische Politik rechts.

Pause: Unmöglich das Solo zu hören, zu viele Leute.

Ich hab Magda und Daniel vom Club Pardon, To Tu aus Warschau entdeckt, du erinnerst dich an sie, oder? Sie waren im Sommer auch in Nickelsdorf und saßen meistens, wenn man aus dem Restaurant in den Hof kommt, gleich rechts auf den Holzstufen. Ich freu mich echt, dass sie gekommen sind! Dann, reden, reden, reden. Mir schwirrt der Schädel. In diesem Moment versuche ich mich so still wie möglich auf das Dritte Konzert (Irène Schweizer, Klavier; Louis Moholo-Moholo, Schlagzeug) vorzubereiten, schon im Konzertraum, diesmal sitze ich auf einem Sessel.
After the concert: What can I tell you? You know how it sounds. How should I describe it with empty phrases? Maybe like this: Everything THEY DO happens for a reason. Es war südafrikanisch. Ich sah Johnny Dyani. Tilo tilo.

As I cannot write about the music I try this: Every concert should inspire something – a poem, a dialogue, a question, etc. Because: Can I judge the musicians on stage? I mean, not personally, but what they present and represent on stage. I think, I cannot. At least, I don’t want to. I don’t want to judge the vulnerable or the giving – I think, the artist is vulnerable, always in the liminal sphere. I can say, ‘I didn’t like it’ but if I see people trying, even if they fail, I am happy to be a part of it because in the end it is very rare that a concert is really outstanding and to hear and feel that also depends on yourself. Until now I liked the music. I am glad to be here, to listen, to experience. I am thankful. Oh, there’s one thing I don’t like, but I’ll tell you later because the Fourth Concert (Tobias Delius Quartet: Tobias Delius, Saxophone; Tristan Honsinger, Cello; Han Bennink, Schlagzeug; Joe Williamson, Bass) is about to begin. Nach dem Konzert: Es war cool. Aber Han Bennink war mir zu ‘lustig’. Ich finde das völlig uninteressant, das Lustige, nicht das Spiel als Spiel. Wie Radu Malfatti, den ich ganz schön oft in letzter Zeit sehe, sagte, ‘Bei den Holländern muss immer etwas Lustiges dabei sein, das war schon in den 60ern so.’ Viel hat sich da nicht geändert scheint’s, auch die Einlagen sind die selben geblieben, zumindest seit den 90ern. Wenn ich meine Augen schließe, ist es dann so gut wie es eigentlich ist, außer den Lachern zwischendurch. Bei diesem Konzert, als hauptsächlich gespielt wurde, hat sich die Musik mit meiner sich in mir ausbreitenden Mitternachtsmüdigkeit gemischt, verstrudelt. It’s jazz, dachte ich mir, der in meiner Eintraumphase agiert. Der Jazz, den ich meine. Riccarda (Kato) sagte nach dem Konzert zu mir was ich mir dachte, ‘Der Honsinger ist so gut!’

Was mir nicht gefällt: Dieses Jahr gibt es keinen allgemeinen, von netten Welsern und Welserinnen betreuten, und nicht profit-orientierten Tisch für die Künstler und Künstlerinnen um ihre CDs, Platten und, in meinem Fall, Bücher aufzulegen. Es werden auf der einen Seite nur die Festival-Jacken und T-Shirts verkauft und auf der anderen gibt es einen Trost/Substance Stand, der leider keinen Platz für die theorals hatte. Und ich hoffte mit dem Verkauf meine nächste Miete reinzukriegen! Ach. Wir sehen vielleicht nicht so aus, aber wir leben unter der Armutsgrenze. Oder hat sich da bei dir schon was geändert?

Später konnte ich die theoral-Bücher dann bei Gerhard Busse – danke – unterbringen, aber der hat seinen Stand hinten im weißen Kammerl, wohin sich meist nur die Plattenfreaks verirren.

Wels, Samstag, 7. November 2015

Gegen Ende der Nacht neigte ich mich vom Rand zur Mitte. Ich ging mit Petr (Vrba, you know him, don’t you?), Janek and Katerina zu ihrem Auto mit Prager Kennzeichen, dessen Kofferaum voll mit von Janek gebrautem Bier ist, das er in leere belgische Bierflaschen gefüllt und wieder zugekapselt hat. Zu dieser Stunde passt auch die Temperatur des Bieres am besten. Später, auf der Tanzfläche, nahm ich noch einen großen Wodka, Russian Standard, den Peter, der Barkeeper, mit Vanilleschoten angesetzt hatte und der eigentlich für den Moloko+ (ohne Messer) gedacht war. African Jazz and Jive von DJ Lisi und DJ Didi und unsere Freunde kamen einander näher.

Es ist Mittag und ich sitze im Café Hoffmann. Am Nebentisch schwadronieren alte Welserinnen über Zelte, Zäune und Flüchtlinge. L’enfer c’est les autres. Die Hölle sind die anderen. Sartre, oder? Auch die Musik, die hier schwadroniert ist die Hölle. In diesem Café sind meine Gedanken wie gelähmt, scheiß Radio Arabella. Konzentration unmöglich. Ich stürze meinen Kaffee hinunter und flüchte aus dem Café.

Café Konditorei Urbann. Um Welten besser. Was ich denke: Schade, dass das Mädchen, you know, nicht hier ist – auch gestern beim Tanzen dachte ich an sie. Aber sie hat nichts mit dem Festival zu tun, meine Sehnsucht. Oder? Die Musik kann die Sehnsucht schon lindern oder sogar vertreiben (und vor allem auch erzeugen, horinzonte! madrugada! SAUDADE! – aber ich hab sie eh schon, die Sehnsucht). Die Musik kann die Schmerzen lindern, wenn sie so gut ist – wenn ich so gut bin – dass im Moment nichts anderes notwendig ist, dass ich mir nichts anderes wünsche. Denn, Konzentration ist die wahre Freiheit. Sei die wahre Freiheit, sagte mir Paul Lovens, habe Romy Schneider gesagt, dass es Luchino Visconti gesagt hätte. Aber, wie Virginia Woolf in The Waves, das ich nun endlich, ein Jahr nachdem du es mir ans Herz gelegt hast, zu lesen begonnen habe, sagt, also Bernard sagen lässt, ‘A good phrase, however, seems to me to have an independent existence.’ Also, Konzentration ist die wahre Freiheit, auch hier im Café, denn Virginia Woolf, ich verehre sie, ich bewundere sie, obwohl ich meine Zweifel an Bernard habe. Und diese Konzentration durch Musik kann mir leicht passieren heute Nachmittag, da Klaus Filip ein Konzert mit Leonel Kaplan spielt und Klaus es oft schafft mit seinen leisen Tönen, sine waves, meinen ganzen Körper auszufüllen – da gehört der Kopf dazu, ja, es beginnt im Kopf und die Konzentration strömt mir in die Glieder im Rhythmus meines Herzschlags. Es ist vor allem das Duo mit Radu Malfatti, mit dem es mir so geht. Das Nichtassoziative Hören gelingt mir mit den beiden sehr gut, sie füllen mich nur mit Musik, mit Sound – so müssen die Mönche Gott meditieren, denke ich mir. Die Musik, mein Gott, oder eher: die Meditation von. Die Konzentration, mein Gott. Das assoziative Hören der Weg zu Gott. Ich liebe auch das assoziative Hören, d.h. meine Assoziationen, die durch das Hören von Musik bei Konzerten, also live, erst möglich werden. Meine Gedanken wandern mit der Musik, wenn ich die Energie, die beim Spielen entsteht, in this ancient situation of a gathering and a performance, für mein Denken nutzen kann. Manchmal ist es wie wenn ich mit Freunden im Flugzeug sitzen würde, das von niemandem gesteuert wird und wir wieder dort landen wo wir abgehoben sind, ganz leicht verändert, und auch die parachutistes wiederfinden, wenn wir wieder in der Sehnsucht abgesetzt werden. You know what I mean, don’t you? Das Café gefällt mir, ich sitze im letzten Eck, fast im Wintergarten zum Hof, es erinnert mich an das Café Vitoria in Porto. Porto, meu amor!

Ach, und ich sprach vorhin von Radu. Aber zu ihm später, denn ich mache nun eine Fliege. Ins MKH zum Ersten Nachmittagskonzert (MIR-8: Werner Dafeldecker, Bass, Generator; Hilary Jeffery, Posaune). Während dem Konzert: It IS actually an ecstatic landing. You know, that’s the name of one of the LYSN record and his, HJ’s music is like this, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. I am sitting on a chair (which actually became free right next to me when I had the very strong thought, ‘I want to sit.’) like in an airplane, with my hands on my knees, open palms (=ready to give and take) which seems to me like a praying-position, eine Haltung, in der ich die Musik am besten aufnehmen kann. I feel save in this ecstatic landing with Hilary Jeffery, he makes you feel save and sound while Dafeldecker gives you a hint of the bleakness of the unkind world outside this landing. It is save and it feels a little non-satisfactory or is it so deeply satisfying that I do not recognize it right away? Outside of this landing means outside of the festival, outside of this unlimited parallel-world, this possible other world and possible better world. We leave society and gather religiously for three days – it’s like a little hadj – and build a new society which is driven by sound and music. It is US who keep this, let’s say ‘counter-culture’ alive, also you who are not here. We are such a small part of society but we won’t let it die, this idea of – an experiment in life.

Das Zweite Nachmittagskonzert (Leonel Kaplan, Klaus Filip) fand im Pavillon statt. Es war gut, aber:
Das Klatschen bevor der letzte Ton (nicht der Schatten des Tons) den Raum (nicht das Bewusstsein des Zuhörers) verlassen hat beendete beide Nachmittagskonzerte. Im Pavillon noch weitaus brutaler als bei MIR-8, wo das Konzert schon zu Ende war und die Musik langsam ausatmete als die ersten schon zu klatschen begannen. Bei Klaus und Leonel war es noch nicht aus, das Ende war ein richtiges Missverständnis, sag ich mal. Klaus spielte einen sehr hohen Sinus, Leonel legte seine Trompete etwas zur Seite (weil es für ihn schon aus war) und da viele diese hohen Töne nicht oder nicht mehr hören können begann jemand zu klatschen und alle anderen folgten. Ich öffnete meine Augen und blickte wie aus dem Tiefschlaf geweckt um mich und dachte nur FUCK!

Erklärung: Unlängst gab mir Radu eine CD (b-boim records 029) mit seiner Komposition shizuka ni furu ame was die Zeit kurz vor und kurz nach dem Regen bedeutet. Ein Stück für Gitarre, für Christián Alevar, aus Chile. Er gab mir auch die Partitur. In der Spielanleitung steht:

all sounds are played not too quietly but careful.
let the chords ring, till the shadow of the sound starts to evade your mind.

Der Schatten des Tons ist aber so ungreifbar, dass ein Konzert mit dem Aufhören der aktuellen Musik endet. Es ist ein schöner Gedanke, the shadow of the sound, aber nur ganz individuell erkennbar wenn er das Bewusstsein verlässt, wenn man es schafft, ihn überhaupt auszumachen. Also bleibt es eine Spielanleitung und wird keine Höranleitung, obwohl die Vorstellung sehr inspirierend ist.

In den meisten Fällen wird das Ende des Konzerts respektiert, dem Sound wird die Möglichkeit gegeben, das Bewusstsein des Hörers zu verlassen bevor applaudiert wird. Innerhalb der Konzerte, also zwischen Anfang und Ende, wäre es möglich, aber es kommt so selten vor, dass ein Sound wirklich zu Ende gehört wird und dass versucht wird zu fühlen, was er mit einem macht, denn: wenn man ihn nicht mehr hört, ist er ja nicht weg, er hat nur seine Form verändert. Nicht? Es ist wie beim Aufwachen in der Früh und dein Traum ist dir noch ganz nahe, du bist noch drinnen und kannst ihn vielleicht weiterspinnen – bis du dich bewegst. Die Bewegung holt dich aus dem Traum und dann ist er weg, es bleibt vielleicht nur die eindrücklichste Erinnerung. So gehts mir auch mit der Musik.

Darum gefällt mir shizuka ni furu ame so gut. Man kann auch einschlafen dabei im Vertrauen, dass ein neuer Ton mit aller Sorgfalt gespielt, kommen wird, in der Stille eines Raumes, der durch Glasscheiben von der Stadt getrennt ist. Und man behält eine Erinnerung an den Ton, auch ans Licht im Raum, an seine Stellung auf der Couch oder an den Tee, den man sich gemacht hat. Aber, auf einem Festival ist das nicht möglich, das geht nur in ganz kleinem Rahmen, wie so viel Gutes nur in ganz kleinem Rahmen möglich ist.

Ich werde Hans bitten, nein, ich werde auf ihn einreden, jedes mal wenn ich ihn sehe, dass er beim nächsten Festival weniger Konzerte programmiert. Vielleicht macht er’s dann beim Übernächsten. Ich glaube, und hab’s auch von vielen gehört, dass es zu viel ist, vor allem die Solos in den Pausen, von denen ich noch keines gesehen habe und die ich alle sehen wollte! Heute aber werde ich den Rat Katerinas befolgen – ‘you have to push through, put the people aside!’ – denn genau diese Konzentration im kleinen Raum ist meine Lieblingsart Musik zu hören. Ich wünsche mir als nächstes ein Festival mit mindestens genauso viel Zeit zwischen den Konzerten wie mit den Konzerten. Die Möglichkeit, die Musik in sich zu behalten soll erhöht, die Zeit verlängert werden sie zu verarbeiten. Alle sollen alles hören können damit sie die gleiche Erfahrung machen können, auf ihre eigene Weise natürlich, um einen ‘Zusammenhalt’ zu schüren, etwas Gemeinsames. Und die Menschen sollen auch Zeit füreinander haben, nämlich die Zeit, die sie brauchen. Das entspannt beim Zuhören.

Erstes Konzert (Scanning Grisey: Gerarld Preinfalk, Saxophon; Ernesto Molinari, Klarinette; Uli Fussenegger, Bass; Christof Kurzmann, ppooll). Gut, aber ich denke schon ans Solo von Elisabeth Harnik, also ans Reinkommen. Und ans Reinkommen in die gegenwärtige Musik. Es gelingt mir von Zeit zu Zeit und in der Ferne mache ich das Husten von Hans aus, so wie mich manchmal Traumvisionen von Violinen, die durch die Feuerwehrsirenen auf der Wienzeile (Wien) erzeugt werden, aus dem Schlaf holen.

Kurz vorm Zweiten Konzert (The Pitch: Michael Thieke, Klarinette; Boris Baltschun, Harmonium; Koen Nutters, Bass; Morten J. Olsen, Vibraphon). Es war mir zu gedrängt hinter den Bänken im Soloraum und ich konnte nichts hören, leider, denn der Raum ist gut. Mittlerweile habe ich im Hauptraum meinen Stammplatz gefunden, rechts vorne am Boden, wo ich meinen Namen mit dem Finger in den Staub geschrieben habe.

Während dem Konzert: Die Töne gehen ineinander über und teilweise in mich. Vielleicht ist es ihr Schatten, der in mich einströmt, wie die blasse Seele in Zeichentrickfilmen, die wieder in den Helden zurückkehrt, damit er weiterkämpfen kann.

Hier, nach der Hälfte des Festivals endet der Echtzeitbericht da sich meine Disziplin veränderte.

eine Woche später, Wien, Samstag, 14. November 2015

Ich wollte dir eigentlich weiter berichten heute, dass ich das Dritte Konzert von Sidsel Endresen versäumt habe, dass Didis Solo, you know, I just love what he’s doing, eine Reise durch sein Rhythmen war und dass das Vierte Konzert (Hope: Alfred 23 Harth, Saxophone, Klarinette, Trompete, Posaune, Stimme, Electronics; Uchihashi Kazuhisa, E-Gitarre, Daxophon; Nasuno Mitsuru, E-Bass; Chris Cutler, Schlagzeug, Vibraphon, Electronics) sehr 80er Jahre war, ein bisschen zerhackt, nicht so für mich, aber mit Uchihashi geht es mir wie mit Didi – vielleicht sollt’ ich mal ein Duo organisieren. Ventil war fett und das Gute war, dass der Sound einwandfrei war, die Visuals fand ich wirklich gut weil sie wie die Musik waren und nicht nebenher liefen, und man konnte vor der Bühne stehen weil die Stühle weggeräumt worden waren.

Aber, dieser Tag heute wird ein (weiterer) Stichtag in der Geschichte unserer Unterdrückung werden. Eigentlich passierte es ja gestern, Freitag der 13., nur ist es mir erst heute wirklich bewusst geworden. Am Vormittag hab ich zwei Stunden France Info gehört und erschrak über den Berichten, da ich, wenn ich in Paris war, auch immer in dieser Gegend meinen Café getrunken habe, aber viel erschreckender waren die Worte der Politik. Was François Hollande sagte unterschied sich nicht von dem was Nicolas Sarkozy sagte und nicht von dem was George W. Bush nach 9/11 sagte. Macho language. Es wird sehr viel über Krieg gesprochen. Frankreich sei im Krieg, die Anschläge seien ein ‘acte de guerre’ gewesen, die seit dem Algerienkrieg nicht mehr in einer solchen Intensität passiert sind. Als ich das hörte, dachte ich mir, ja, Algerien. 1830 besetzt Frankreich die nordafrikanische Küste und kolonisiert das Land, nimmt es den ansässigen Bauern und gibt es in die Hände europäischer Siedler. Sie lehrten Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité, das in diesem Fall mit Freedom and Democracy made in USA vergleichbar ist bzw. mit der Selbstverteidigung des Staates Israel. Die Menschen wehrten sich aber und und Mitte des XX. Jahrhunderts brach ein jahrelanger Unabhängigkeitskrieg aus, der mit einem zerstörten und ideologisch geteilten Land, vielen Flüchtlingen und einem Bürgerkrieg als Spätfolge endete. Aber ich möchte dir keine Geschichtsstunde halten, kann ich auch nicht. Es wäre nur interessant, wie viele Parallelen, außer dem multi-site Attentat, noch zu finden sind zwischen der heutigen und der damaligen französischen bzw. europäischen und US-amerikanischen Politik. Hollande erklärte den Terror als Anschlag auf die französischen Werte. Das ist sehr perfide, er nimmt sich, Europa und jeglichen Großkapitalismus, dessen Ausbeutungsmethoden vor nichts und niemanden zurückschrecken, aus dem Spiel (= aus der Schuld) und portraitiert sich, sie und uns als Opfer von religiösem Fanatismus. Aber ich denke dieser, okay nennen wir ihn Krieg, ist ein Krieg um Ressourcen, wie jeder Krieg, Ideologie kommt später. Oder: Zuerst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral, sagt Brecht. Also waren auch sie es, Politik und Kapitalismus, die den Terror nach Paris brachten, zu uns. Aber die Medien kreieren ein Narrativ das uns vermittelt, dass wir von außen bedroht sind (und nicht, wie ich glaube, von innen) und dass wir Opfer bringen müssen. Aber ich möchte für sie keine Opfer bringen, ich muss aber, ich kann nicht anders da ich in dieser ‘westlichen Gesellschaft’ lebe und vieles mitmache, das unsere Herrscher bestätigt. Wie immer komme ich dann auf die Foucault’sche Frage zurück und ich frage mich wie ich es schaffen könnte nicht DERMAßEN regiert zu werden.

Okay, ich werde dir nun weiter erzählen, andere können viel besser über Weltpolitik schreiben als ich. Am Sonntag des Festivals ließ ich das Nachmittagsprogramm (Film: Cecil Taylor ou la découverte du free jazz; The International Nothing: Kai Fagaschinski und Michael Thieke, Klarinette, Komposition) aufgrund von Müdigkeit sausen. Bogdan legte die Nacht davor gnadenlos auf und ich erwischte etwas mehr vom Vanillewodka oder er erwische mich, wie der Schatten eines Sounds. Dazu kam, dass unser Zimmer einem Wirtshaus glich. Es wurde zu allen Zeiten gegessen und getrunken, geredet und geraucht. Die Luft war zum Schneiden, besser als die Eselswurst, die Hans und Ute vom Markt mitgebracht hatten. Zwei Nächte hatten wir noch einen zusätzlichen Schlafgast – sie stöhnten, imagine ! – und von Sonntag auf Montag schliefen wir gar nicht mehr.

Aber nun zum Sonntag. Ich hab nicht mehr mitgeschrieben und fast nichts mitnotiert. Wenn ich mich an meinen, zu Beginn des Briefes angekündigten, Vorsatz erinnere, muss ich sagen, dass ich versagt habe. Menschliches Versagen, möchte ich es nennen. Denn ich wurde ins Fest hineingezogen und hineingesogen. Es saugte mich an und plötzlich fand ich mich auf der Tanzfläche wieder. Es machte so viel Spaß, sich zu der unglaublich guten Tanzmusik zu bewegen. Du kennst das. Und es erinnert mich daran was du über PRAED+ letztes Jahr in Nickelsdorf gesagt hast: ‘Du musst tanzen um die Musik besser aufnehmen zu können und zu verstehen’.

Ich werde dir nun aus meinem Gedächtnis, mit dem ich mich nur auf minimale Notizen, die ich im Dunkeln gemacht habe, stützen kann, versuchen zu berichten.

Es begann mit einem Solo von Thomas Lehn, das ich nicht hörte, wahrscheinlich weil ich mich schon für das Erste Konzert an meinen Platz begeben hatte. Ich hörte die Konzerte fast immer alleine, bis auf die Solos, die ich unter Freunde gedrängt oder zu Füßen des oder der Spielenden wahrnahm, wie das von Irena Tomazin, Stimme am Samstag – Was soll ich sagen? Mir gefällt das. – und das letzte am Sonntag von Franz Hautzinger. Alle bewunderten seine Schuhe, die ich in vierzigcentimetriger Entfernung vor mir hatte. Ich bewunderte aber viel mehr die langsame Dynamik seines Spiels, es passierte nicht viel, dennoch hatte ich den Drang – und zwar nicht aus Ungeduld! – mit dem Fuß zu wippen. Es war, wie wenn er seine Trompete einfach nur in den Wind hielte und in der Stille entstand ein Groove. Ein Requiem für den Jazz?

Aber nun zum Ersten Konzert mit Sophie Agnel und John Butcher (Klavier, Saxophone). Wegen der vielen Musik, der vielen nicht geschlafenen Stunden, dem Tanz mit den Freunden und Freundinnen und dem seidenen Vanillewodka, arbeitete – wie du dir sicher vorstellen kannst – mein Gehirn schon ganz anders als bei der Anreise. Ich war sofort drinnen, ich fühlte mich, wie wenn ich zwischen den beiden auf der Bühne sitzen würde und ich trank die Musik. Sie spielten das erste mal miteinander. Es gab nur einmal vor einiger Zeit eine Nachmittagsprobe im Les Instants Chavirés in Montreuil. Sie ließen den space für die Musik, den ich meine – the sounds can evolve slowly in my mind, kritzelte ich mir auf meinen Notizzettel. Sie kreierten eine Stille, in der, wie ich mir vorstellte, das ganze Haus ruhig war und niemand einen Laut von sich gab, sogar oben in der Bar und in der Küche wurde ganz leise gearbeitet in diesen Momenten.

Danach kam das Zweite Konzert (Anna Högberg Attack!: Anna Högberg, Altsaxophon; Malin Wättring, Tenorsaxophon; Elin Larsson, Tenorsaxophon; Lisa Ullén, Klavier; Elsa Bergmann, Bass; Anna Lund, Schlagzeug) das ich nur zu einem Bruchteil hörte. Kann es sein, oder bilde ich mir das ein, dass Anna in ihren Habitus viel von Mats Gustafsson aufgenommen hat? Ist dir das auch schon aufgefallen oder kannst du dazu überhaupt etwas sagen? Auch beim Solo war ich nicht. Vielleicht hab ich auf einen Kaffee gewartet – es gab dieses Jahr besonderen Kaffee von einem, ich glaube Welser, Privatkaffeeröster, der sehr sorgfältig und so langsam wie möglich die kleinen Braunen für die Leute zubereitete. Aber in der Schlange war man meist in guter Gesellschaft. Oder ich war essen im wieder laut arbeitenden Restaurant. Danach kam das Dritte Konzert (Songs about Love and other Relationships: Michael Zerang, Gitarre, Stimme; Carla Bozulich, Gitarre, Stimme). Diese beiden Sets hörte ich in freundschaftlicher Runde. Michael war richtig professional, souverän, aber love, in seinen Songs, war mir zu nahe am Lustigen. Und love ist ernst, wie du weißt. Carla Bozulich, was soll ich sagen? Ihre Songs sind ernst, aber ihr Auftreten war es nicht, punkt.

Das Vierte Konzert mit Christian Fennesz und Burkhard Stangl (Gitarre und Computer) erinnerte mich an letzten Sommer als ich am Kleylehof in der warmen, trockenen Wiese lag und in die Sternenkuppel blickte. Sterne sehe ich selten beim Konzert hören und wenn, ist es immer gut!

Als Letztes Konzert kam das DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, Schlagzeug; Kent Kessler, Bass; Ken Vandermark, Saxophone, Klarinette). Es war groovy aber woran ich micht très vivant erinnere, ist, dass Hamid, als er zwischen zwei Stücken alleine spielte, dem Sound den Raum gab, den ich meine. Er spielte leise auf den Becken und ließ sie manchmal ganz ausschwingen.

Ich frage mich hier, am Ende des Briefes, ob ich dir etwas zusammenfassen kann. Jemand sagte zu mir ich erinnere ihn (oder war es eine Sie?) an den jungen Werther. Goethe, you know. Oder vielleicht, dass es mir zu viel Musik war und dass Christof während dem Festival mal sagte, dass die Leute wählen sollen. Dass aber vor allem der Solo-Raum mich inspirierte und zum Nachdenken über neue Formen von Festivals anregte. Vielleicht sollten wir überhaupt weggehen von einer großen Hauptbühne, nicht ganz vielleicht, aber die Konzerte auf mehrere, kleinere Orte verteilen und wiederholen, so, dass der/die Einzelne die Möglichkeit hat, sich alle Musikerinnen und Musiker, die zum Festival eingeladen wurden, in einem vertraulichen Rahmen anzuhören. Die MusikerInnen können auch scheitern und es wieder gut machen oder es gut machen und dann scheitern. Auf der Hauptbühne, wenn es dann noch eine gibt, sollen nur die für die Hauptbühne geeigneten Konzerte, was auch immer das heißt, stattfinden und alle wieder zusammenbringen. Ist das machbar?

Ich will mich nicht beschweren, denn es gibt viele, viele gute Festivals over here, wie eben dieses Unlimited 29 mit so viel Charhizmatic Music! Es ist gelungen. Es war eine Reunion, a Meeting and Parting unserer möglichen besseren Welt, es war ein Fest!

Yours ever,
Felipe

ps. I just found a note that says ‘Gin/Jean/Djinn’. It was Julia who told me about this conversation she had with Hans and Guiseppe, an Italian who is, I think, from the Area Sismica. Guiseppe was talking about his very special Gin that he had in his room (and once he brought it to the bar and we had a Gin & Tonic – I didn’t taste any difference). While he was talking, Julia thought about jeans, the trousers and Hans thought of Djinns, the spirits.

unlimited29

Foto: Lukas Maul. https://www.facebook.com/festivalmusicunlimitedwels/photos/a.976909032350680.1073741832.127158530659072/976909059017344/?type=3&theater