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.