Andrew Choate's Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen 2014 Recap Radio shows are now available to listen to anytime, on kchungradio. Here is the second one.
Andrew Choate's Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen 2014 Recap Radio shows are now available to listen to anytime, on kchungradio. Here is the first one.
As the title of Gérard Rouy's excellent new book of conversations with Peter Brötzmann, "We Thought We Could Change The World," attests, many people, artists often among them, express the desire to change the world. But if you change one person's experience of the world--through love, hate, camaraderie, acceptance, encouragement, whatever--you do change the world. Hans Falb and his incredible crew at the Jazzgalerie have not only changed the world for me and other fans, but also socially changed who we know, how we interact, and helped us strive toward more genuine living, for both ourselves and those we care about. I've met so many kids and even adults my age or older who grew up in the villages surrounding Nickelsdorf, and though they may not have been fans of this music, they have been inspired by what happens on this stage to lead their lives in a more thoughtful manner. And as far as the musicians that play on this stage are concerned, I can only imagine what it feels like to be so affectionately embraced. The music itself is born in our world, and travels completely beyond it, and that dual nature is probably why it's been such a powerful force for changing, rearranging and upgrading this world.
Saturday's concerts at the Kleylehof took place in the dark but cool hall across from the stone coliseum. I spent a long time in the attached gallery featuring the work of Franz Gyolcs, and was especially moved by the charcoal drawing of this body:
Improvised music, for those of us that really love it and pursue it and listen to it regularly, is often, perhaps surprisingly, a very private music. We often listen to recordings privately, and we have private experiences with the music. But this festival provides the opportunity to experience it publicly, with a large enough amount of people (300-400) to provide the perfect framing of attention and grandeur that the music challenges itself to conjure. Not only that, but enthusiasts like myself are given the opportunity to thank the musicians who make this music and who have devoted so much of themselves to it. That opportunity to give thanks to the people who do things you really care about isn't necessarily bigger than the experience of the music, but it does perfume the air of the Jazzgalerie with another layer of love.
People are the best thing about life. I don't know why it took me so long to learn; it's probably because I'm an only child from a small family and have always valued my independence, and a certain kind of solitude. But I realized that people, just simply interacting with people--sharing silliness and profundity and deep sorrow and ecstatic elation--are what truly make living not just tolerable, but redemptive and satisfying, soul-widening. I had that revelation driving back from the Kleylehof on the afternoon of the second day of the festival this year.