Manafonistas

on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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Guten Abend,

mein Name ist Ingo Biermann, und falls Sie jetzt eine kunsttheoretische Einführung erwarten, muss ich Sie enttäuschen: Ich bin kein Kunstwissenschaftler oder Galerist, sondern Filmemacher, in den letzten Jahren vorrangig im Dokumentarfilm; in dieser Tätigkeit habe ich eine ganze Reihe von Filmen und Videos für Ausstellungen und über Künstlerinnen und zeitgenössische Kunst gemacht – weshalb man vielleicht sagen kann, dass ich als Fachfremder dennoch etwas zu diesem [hier gezeigten] Werk bzw. diesen den hier zu sehenden Werken sagen kann.

Nun begleite ich die Arbeit von Frau Scharp schon seit einigen Jahren, seit ihrer Studienzeit an der [Universität der Künste], um genau zu sein, und ich konnte somit einige Entwicklungen und Veränderungen unmittelbar mitbekommen. Nachdem die Arbeiten aus dem früheren Multimedialen und deutlich Gegenständlicherem nun über die Jahre hinweg sehr viel minimalistischer und grafischer geworden sind, sind sie auf der anderen Seite eigentlich sogar noch erzählerischer, erzählender geworden.

Auf den ersten Blick denkt man womöglich, da sei nicht viel zu sehen. … Schaut man schnell hin und hat’s erfasst und begriffen. Aber wie das Beobachten der Betrachter zeigt (wie gesagt, ich bin Dokumentarfilmer, das heißt ich bestreite meine Berufstätigkeit im Beobachten von Leuten – und darin, das Beobachtete in eine Erzählung zu transformieren), sieht man – also ich – doch, dass jene, die sich nicht mit dem schnellen Blick begnügen, eben auch mehr sehen, mehr erleben. Wir sehen nicht nur Grafik und Muster und Raster und Form … reduzierte Form … minimalistische Bilder… sondern wir sehen Erzählungen in den Bildern.

 
 
 


 
 
 

Und wenn ich „Bilder“ sage, dann meine ich natürlich nicht nur diese [→Punktezeichnungen] zweidimensionalen, diese Zeichnungen und Grafiken, sondern auch das Objekthafte; das sind Bilder im Raum, die weit mehr erzählen, als eine flächige, grafische Zeichnung es tut. Einer der wesentlichen Reize dieser Arbeiten liegt darin, dass sie sich den Raum nehmen, also hier [→Schnittzeichnungen] z.B. ganz offensichtlich: Die einst zweidimensionale Papierfläche wird durch Bearbeitung, d.h. das feine Ausschneiden aus Papier, und natürlich auch durch die Präsentation [hier in Holzrahmen] zu einem Zeichnungsobjekt, zu einer Zeichnung im Raum, – diese Zeichnungen gibt es, nebenbei bemerkt, in leichter Abwandlung auch ohne den Holzrahmen, da wird das noch deutlicher – zu einer Zeichnung, die den Raum ergreift und sich so ihre Umgebung aneignet, sich selbst zu mehr erweitert, als das eine (gerahmte) Zeichnung könnte.

Und wenn ich eingangs gesagt habe, dass die früheren Arbeiten – die der Studienjahre, die schon damals in Ausstellungen sehr positiv aufgenommen wurden, eben weil sie – etwa als Videos oder Objekte… da gab es z.B. eine Zitrone, aus der Haare zu wachsen schienen, oder ein Stück Butter mit herauswachsenden Haaren… – offenkundig, also multimedial, erzählten, dann sehen Sie, dass diese Multimedialität heute noch immer Teil der Arbeiten ist, nur eben souveräner und feinsinniger, auf andere Weise überraschender als früher.

Stellen Sie sich vor diese Arbeiten versuchen Sie, hinzuschauen: Das sind keine abstrakten Grafiken, die reine Formspielerei betreiben, sondern jede für sich kleine Erzählungen. Und wenn sie zusammengeführt werden zu einem größeren, mehrteiligen Werk wie hier [→ 7-teilige Punktezeichnungen] oder dort [→ 6er Reihe aus Schnittzeichnungen], dann entsteht auch eine größere und entsprechend vielgestaltigere Erzählung.

Diese Arbeiten erzählen zwar von Materialität, die sich zusammensetzt aus „Cuts“ und „Pieces“, aber zugleich erzählen sie uns über diese Fragmentierung und Neuzusammensetzung auch etwas über uns selbst, die wir davorstehen und unsere eigene Erfahrung darin widergespiegelt sehen, erleben. Das Material wird also sowohl als solches offenkundig – und ohne Umwege thematisiert, aber nichts hier erschöpft sich in rein abstrakter Materialspielerei. Denn die Arbeiten streben an, das „kaum Wahrnehmbare erfahrbar zu machen“:

Schauen Sie hier [→ Graphitschnitte]: Die Grafik geht in den Raum über; das nehmen wir wahr. Die Grafik ist aber selbst schon dreidimensional, genau genommen in dreifacher Hinsicht und im doppelbödigen Sinne:

Das Papier wurde [erstens] ganz geometrisch seiner Flächigkeit entledigt, indem diese Kästchen sorgfältig mit dem Skalpell entlang der gedruckten Linien herausgeschnitten wurden. Das passierte auf eine mühsame Art und Weise, die nicht mechanisch, sondern organisch die Geometrien nutzt (eben weil sie von Hand ausgeführt wurde und auf diese Weise ausschließlich Einzelstücke entstehen), erzählt also durch diesen Prozess von der Künstlerin selbst, nicht zuletzt schon dadurch, dass der Entstehungsprozess sichtbar bleibt, die strengen Geometrien der gedruckten Linien nie rein erhalten bleiben, sondern bspw. Leerstellen und Brüche entstehen, wenn etwas abbricht oder nicht 100% perfekt herausgeschnitten wurde. Oder hier bei den Punktezeichungen, wo die verschiedenen Zeiträume, über die hinweg diese großen Arbeiten entstehen, sichtbar bleiben.

Dann [zweitens] wurde das subtil dreidimensionale Bild mit Hilfe von Graphit weiter ins Objekthafte geführt und noch individualisierter (→ jedes einzelne wird also zu einem für sich stehenden Objekt). Ganz besonders spannend finde ich hier, dass durch die Wahl des Materials ein unmittelbarer Bezug zur Zeichnung hergestellt wird (mit Graphit wird nicht auf das Papier gezeichnet, wie wir das an sich von Zeichnungen kennen, sondern mit Hilfe von Graphitstaub wird das komplette Papier vom Material Graphit vereinnahmt, es gibt sozusagen mehr Graphit als Papier – was wir auf ähnliche und verwandte Weise auch hier nebendran sehen können [→bei solchen Arbeiten, die sich aus unzähligen Graphitminen zusammensetzen, welche zu zu Strukturen und Reliefs angeordnet und auf den Untergrund aufgetragen werden] und dort drüben, wo ganze Graphitblöcke, ebenfalls in klaren Strukturen auf dem Untergrund angeordnet wurden, aber die Geometrie sich in Auflösung befindet, weil es eben nie um ein mechanisch perfektes Ergebnis geht, sondern die Irritiationen und organische Unperfektion wichtiger Teil der Arbeit sind; in beiden Fällen bleibt der Vorgang der Zeichnung gewissermaßen erhalten.

Nun hängt [die Grafik] hier und wird auf der dritten Ebene raumgreifend, verhält sich zur Oberfläche und der Materialität der Wand, der Tapete und des Raums, reagiert auf die Lichtverhältnisse [sie sehen hier ganz klar den Schattenwurf, der Teil der Arbeit ist], bei Tag den Verlauf des Sonnenlichts oder den Schatten der Betrachter, die davorstehen…

 
 
 


 
 
 

Also es geht nicht nur um die Materialität, nicht nur um die raffinierte, ungewöhnliche Räumlichkeit der Zeichnung selbst, nicht nur um die reine Attraktivität dieser ansprechenden Bilder, und um ihre metaphorische Ebene (Stichwort: Graphit auf Papier, Stichwort: antiquarisches Papier) und die damit verbundenen Assoziationen, sondern es spielt auch die Zeit eine wesentliche Rolle, und das sehen wir, das erleben wir, das macht die Arbeiten zu kleinen Erzählungen, die in diesem Raum (bzw. welchem Raum auch immer sie hängen) – und natürlich auch im Gesamtwerk und im größeren Kontext – Teil von größeren Erzählungen sind – und die zudem miteinander kommunizieren, wie sie hier klar an den sich [im Raum] gegenüberliegenden Arbeiten – hier die Schnittzeichungen, dort die Graphitbilder – erleben können.

Und die Frage: Kommunizieren sie auch mit Ihnen? Ich meine: Ja. Aber zuhören müssen sie natürlich selbst.

 

[Galerie Kuckei+Kuckei // bei der Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst und Design Ingolstadt erwerbliche Unikate // Ausstellungskatalog Rasterfahndung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart // Dokumentarfilm „Neun Frauen“ (2011)]

ijb: Hello Leonie, last year I had seen the SWR documentary about you, which was impressive with its balance between personal, yet not private, insights on the one hand and the more professional and performance-oriented chapters as well as the highly supportive and appreciative interview contributions from your teachers, among others, on the other. After all, it’s not common for a student or beginner to be honoured with such a detailed television portrait. How did this documentary come about?

 

Leonie Klein: In 2015 I had a scholarship from the Zukunftsinitiative Rheinland-Pfalz (ZIRP). As part of this scholarship, I played concerts in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) throughout the year, including at SWRlive! at Funkhaus Mainz. So I drove off with a sprinter full of instruments and was very happy to be allowed to give a concert at this kind of broadcaster. And this concert evening was simply wonderful: And not only due to the fact that they provided people to carry my instruments … ;) On this day I could see for the first time a station like the SWR from within and could experience for one day how work is done in this kind of media house. And I was so fascinated by that very experience that in the summer I did an internship in the editorial department of „Landesart“ and then went on to study „Music Journalism for Broadcasting and Multimedia“ at the Karlsruhe University of Music alongside my drum studies. Naturally, during the internship everyone always saw me as the drummer and not as the journalist, so on the last day I said goodbye with a small office concert. That was my first contact with SWR. And then about a year later I played a concert in Neuwied, where SWR2 editor Sabine Fallenstein became aware of me and offered to produce a CD a little later. And then everything came together: I produced the CD with SWR, and the editor Julia Melan was so excited about „The sound worlds of Leonie Klein“ that she wanted to make a film to accompany the CD production.

 
 
 

© Charlotte Oswald

 
 
 

You appear very natural in your demeanor and your statements – anything but youngstar-like affected. How much do you think about presenting yourself as an artist, as a musician in this competitive and ego-populated professional environment, or about, well, „orchestrating“ the accurate career steps?

 

I try to think about it as little as possible and just do what I think is the right thing to do. And fortunately, I’m usually so busy that I don’t have time to think about it. The worst thing is when you have to pretend just to be competitive, since you only want to make music.

 

I can easily relate to that. My studies in film directing were essentially art studies, free of market-oriented courses and lessons. That can be as good as it can be disadvantageous, depending on how you look at it. Did your teachers or mentors prepare you for all the non-artistic stuff you have to fight with when you want to stand your ground as a soloist in the „business“?

 

I really had to work out most of it myself and simply learn from my own experience. I was on the road a lot during my studies, gave a lot of concerts, was able to make a lot of contacts and very quickly understood that it was not enough to play well as a soloist. Thomas Höfs, my teacher for orchestral percussion at the music college (Hochschule für Musik, HfM) in Karlsruhe, has always made it clear to me that this business is very hard and that as a soloist you can not only rely on your musical skills, but you have to be always ready for anything. Yet to find the right way and then go it, I was on my own.

 

You’ve mentioned music journalism. Have you, during the years of your percussion music studies, been thinking about a „plan b“? Considering that solo percussion doesn’t exactly convey the glamour image often attributed to soloists on the violin or piano, one cannot avoid the question: What does one do if it proves impossible to „survive“ on what one has studied for years?

 

I have been working on a „plan b“ since my bachelor’s degree. Since then I have been studying not only percussion but also „music journalism for radio and multimedia“ at the HfM Karlsruhe. I will graduate in this August and I can see myself working in this profession alongside practical music making.

 

In addition, of course, the selection of pieces or composers offered on your first album are not exactly catchy pop tunes. For drums there is nothing like Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata or Sibelius solo concerts, all of which will always win the audience over, even if they are only played in a mediocre way. First of all: I feel that your career path is highly impressive and deserves respect. In the documentary we can see the passion and commitment you put into this music, a music that is rather odd for most listeners, even those who like „classical“ music or rhythmic music such as groovy jazz or contemporary electronic music. Stockhausen and Lachenmann, for example, are not exactly considered Germany’s most popular composers. Can you recall what it was like for you to discover these composers‘ works? Was it more a fascination with the formal or the technical – or did you immediately get emotionally involved?

 

Before I entered the music college, I had only a very limited set of instruments at my disposal and the pieces by Stockhausen or Lachenmann were unthinkable for me at that time. But then I arrived at a college which opened all possibilities for me. At that time I had no idea at all about contemporary music and had to find my very own connection to it. For a year, I intensively studied Stockhausen and his work Zyklus. I read a series of books about serial music, about Musique concrète instrumentale and got to learn about the most renowned composers since the 1950s and their music. So it was more the historical/scientific approach that introduced me to this music. Then work began on the instrument: How is this music supposed to sound? As a performer, how much freedom do I have? How do I phrase this music? And that was the beginning of a very long journey, on which I myself had to understand and get to know a kind of music that somehow intrigued me, but at the same time was so difficult to play that it took a lot of discipline and perseverance to follow this route. And I have to add that deliberately I only rarely worked with a teacher because I wanted to discover music independently and not just walk in someone else’s footsteps.

 
 
 

 
 
 

The repertoire featured on your CD comprises almost entirely „big names“ – from the great master Xenakis to Stockhausen, who is often seen as a somewhat crazy megalomaniac, to Lachenmann, whose influence many contemporary composers have described as formative, to Nicolaus Huber and Peter Eötvös, who may not be known to everyone, but who are also highly esteemed among music lovers. Was there a certain narrative arc or a kind of principle of order why you chose these five composers and works – or are they simply „favourite pieces“?

 

Stockhausen was actually the bedrock for this CD. It was the first contemporary drum solo I have ever practiced. Next up was Lachenmann, who in Intérieur I uses a similar set of instruments, but the music is entirely different. I was fortunate to get to work with Lachenmann in person which is one of the reasons why I have a very special relation to this piece. And Psappha by Xenakis is one of the three milestones of percussion solo literature. These three works have taught me to understand contemporary music and how to perform it. They have been with me for a very long time and they mean a lot to me personally. At the same time these three works in combination are also a part of music history.

 

Nicolaus A. Huber’s work stands in contrast to Lachenmann: Both studied with Luigi Nono, and I wanted to juxtapose these two composer personalities on the CD. One teacher – two students – two different ideas of music. And then there is Peter Eötvös: his work should prove that, in comparison to the previous pieces, you don’t always need a large set of instruments to keep a percussion soloist busy and bring the instrument to full fruition – at times even a single timpani will do. The CD presents a cross-section of 50 years of percussion solo literature and the individual pieces could not be more different. The CD covers the whole scope of percussion solo literature and it has to be said that all these pieces have never been played by one female performer before. Obviously, they are something like my „favourite pieces“, but that’s partly due to the fact that I myself got to know percussion as a solo instrument in contemporary music from a a perspective of music history.

 

And what about the new work by Johannes Fischer (born 1981)? Did he write it especially for you, even for this CD – or how did the contact come about?

 

Johannes Fischer had already been thinking about writing a solo for a prepared vibraphone for a long time and he picked up this idea for the CD and wrote the piece down. Back then I had been looking for a new piece for the CD with a tonal reference (a piece for mallet instruments) and since there was very little time to commission a composer and I knew that Johannes Fischer was composing very accessible music for percussion, I got in touch with him.

 

Not being a musician myself (but having always on the lookout for new musical discoveries in all genres), I would be very curious to know what kind of music you like to listen to besides the music that is your job.

 

I am very much at home in classical and contemporary music. If I listen to music consciously in my spare time, it is usually in concert. When I do, I go to concert halls, theatres or contemporary music festivals. Occasionally I listen to other music such as rock, pop or jazz.

 

So, having finished and released the album, which direction are you heading in? Are you deliberately on the lookout for new styles, new directions – or are you going to delve even further into this direction?

 

I will continue to explore this direction for now. From a musical point of view it is certainly rewarding and because of the CD my name is immediately being linked to this style of music, a fact I can of course make good use of.

 

Which other composers‘ works do you perform currently or would you like to perform in the future?

 

I am currently working on a work by Joachim Krebs, Rhizom II, which is based on Steve Reich’s Minimal Music. Later this year I am going to perform Peter Eötvös‘ work Speaking Drums for percussion and orchestra, which he will conduct himself.

 

How about going more towards improvisation, towards playing in ensembles, towards jazz perhaps?

 

I must say, I do enjoy improvising. But I am well aware that improvisation entails a whole new musical world, you need time to get immersed in it, which I am currently short of.

 
 
 

© Andreas Orban

 
 
 

What preconceptions are you confronted with occasionally – or repeatedly – when it comes to your artistic activity?

 

I am often told „But this is not music you are playing“ or „Can’t you just play something nice?“ or „One can study something like that?“ But I also have to mention that I receive a lot of reactions in concerts and also now with the CD, proving that it is well worth continuing, even if there are people who disagree and don’t really understand what I am doing.

 

Finally, what does the album title mean to you – is this more than a play on words, simply a result of the works‘ titles?

 

Of course, on the one hand, it’s a word play made for the titles. On the other hand, I do like the title very much as it highlights that every single piece on the CD has a unique significance and value. Each piece has its unique character and has to be re-discovered through the listening process. Thunder is associated with a loud, noisy event at first, but it is also the quiet moments that follow the rumble. They often exist in such an unspectacular way and we rarely take notice of them. The CD is supposed to show that drums don’t always need to be fast and loud, but that the gentle sounds are just as worth listening to and with their intensity and energy can outshine the loud ones.

 

 
 

Ich weiß nicht, bei wie vielen Berufsgruppen die Leute sagen können: „Ich bin am glücklichsten, wenn ich arbeite.“

I don’t know for how many professions people can say, „I am happiest when I work“.

 

Here’s the video.

 

 
 

Video: Der Mann im Fahrstuhl

 
 

© Hans Kumpf

 
 

2019 3 Feb

Kurze Grüße von unterwegs

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2019 27 Jan

ECM in 2013

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This week’s episode:
 
 

ECM50 | 2013 Thomas Wunsch

 
 

 
 

„Ich mache die Fotos, die ich für mich selbst machen will und an denen mein Herzblut hängt.“

 

2019 20 Jan

A New Video in the ECM 50 Series

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ECM50 | 2009 “Song of Songs”

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 

New Video:

 

Frieder Grindler on his work for ECM

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

Video ECM50 | 2010  –  La notte (ECM 2300)

 
 

For me, the film’s key scene is when at the end Marcello Mastroianni reads the letter that Jeanne Moreau has handed to him. He reads it out and doesn’t realize that he himself wrote it at the beginning of the relationship. And in my short film Heute letzter Tag (Last Day Today) I wanted to do the same thing: Someone reads a letter that he wrote himself and fails to remember what significance it used to have. I also liked how the film reaches this kind of endpoint there. The fact that someone in a film would read an entire letter was completely new to me as a teenager – I saw the film for the first time at the age of 15 or 16.

I was immediately captivated by the movie’s imagery [and] the way in which the two characters are being placed in relation – or rather without a relation — to each other. When I was a teenager, it was the perfect puberty flick, because, among other things, it’s also about finding out why love doesn’t work — or at least not in the long run. That really hit my attitude to life very well back then.

Whenever I see La notte, I’m astonished what’s in it. It’s a film you never remember in its entirety, but only certain parts of it, and then perhaps the very parts that are relevant to you right then. The film is like a sort of mine from which each viewer pulls out different aspects.

For example, there is a scene at a party, where people play some party game, and I was enthralled by the director’s concept to use the characters more like in a kind of game and less like in a psychological constellation, and thus [the whole movie] works more like a kind of laboratory set-up, while [it] is still highly emotional. Antonioni is indeed a big hero. You have to remember that many of his directing colleagues in Italy hated him for that. Orson Welles always spoke of the ’sin of Antonioni‘, which consists of the fact that you treat your characters in such a cold-hearted way – as Welles put it. You know, [Michael] Haneke talks about the ‚glaciation of emotions‘, which Antonioni detected already in the sixties and also linked it very closely to the industrial age. From this viewpoint I find him very visionary.

What is certain is that at the time he made La notte, he was a kind of ’navel‘ of European film culture, and he certainly had already understood a lot of things with foresight at the time. And when you watch the movie today, it still appears very modern with its camera perspectives and visual ideas, and not antiquated in terms of imagery.

In comparison with Antonioni’s other films, I even find La notte a bit conciliatory, because it allows at least some kind of catharsis. There is a lot of beauty in the film – aesthetic beauty like the music… and these moods you can revel in, which is not the case with Antonioni’s other movies. L’Avventura, for example, is a big nature movie among other aspects, but it actually ends in great frustration – the main character disappears and then doesn’t show up anymore… and the movie ends with an image of a wall. As a viewer, you also feel as if you have been driven against the wall.

What remains a mystery to me today, however, is why Antonioni’s late films enjoy so little recognition. Many of them are not even available. The Mystery of Oberwald (Il mistero di Oberwald), for example, is a technically very experimental Jean Cocteau adaptation, shot on video. It’s not available. And it’s also odd why with his later films Antonioni has been so placed into an ‚old boys corner‘.

Ralf Stadler is a filmmaker and managing director of the „Randfilmfest“ in Kassel. His film Zigarettenpause (Cigarette Break), a Daniil Charms adaptation, was awarded the German Short Film Award 2006. 

 
 
 

 
 
 

La notte is for me a very wonderful gift. It was a kind of collaboration with Manfred Eicher. For so many years he had been using some of my music for the different settings for the Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville [films]. And then I was trying to make music inspired by film. I had the early films by Antonioni in my mind and asked Manfred if that could be something for him, and he was very positive. Then I got a chance to make a big concert at the Molde Jazz Festival that year. And I like live recordings. I was very happy that Manfred opened for that possibility. One never knows — it can be awful, but if you succeed, it can also have a special energy. So we had the Rainbow Studio coming up to deconstruct the material and find a CD format for it; of course [we could not include] the whole concert, but more than half of it. It was not much we took away, perhaps one fourth [of it].

How did you choose the ensemble of rather unique musicians?

That was a collaboration with Manfred. Manfred is very strong in finding solutions and new musicians. I had been working with Andy Sheppard before. We were on tour all over Great Britain in 2006, so I knew him quite well. Anja Lechner was a fantastic experience; I had not been working with her before. Arild Andersen is the ’safe man‘ in my life, a bass player I have been working a lot with. With Marilyn [Mazur] I made a trio recording, together with Palle Danielsson, Floating. And with Eivind Aarset I had also been working with for many years. We never had that ensemble collected together again. 

So why Antonioni, why La notte?

Antonioni is one of the most important for me. I saw everything he did in the sixties and I have had him as a favourite for many years. It [could have been] many other choices, but I am still very happy that we ended up with Antonioni.

Where can we find Antonioni or La notte in the music?

It is a kind of feeling. I think it has to do with the rhythm of his films, [among other things]. He has a slow intensity. I was thinking about that — that it’s not always about tempo to be intense. [It was about] finding a language for the music that is more or less inspired by it. One shouldn’t overload the inspiration either, one should just put Antonioni as a frame for something. I have some different scenes in my head. I also had that when I wrote the music. I had something from La notte and from other films that inspired me for the compositions.

If one thinks about music that is inspired by old films, one usually associates rather slow or nostalgic music, instead of this kind of energetic jazz music.

I haven’t been very conscious about that… But what is interesting is that my grandmother was a silent movie piano player in a small city in Norway in the twenties and thirties. At that time, the music was often very stormy, because those weren’t high-quality movies, but [rather very simple] dramatic films. And then they picked up different music for that. I [made the music for] a silent movie by Victor Sjöström, Terje Vigen (1917). I played it in many places around the world. And that is quite stormy music, because so much is happening. I am thinking that some of Antonioni’s scenes are very intense. But I hope there are also some moments of contemplation and silence on the album.

2018 28 Dez

The Last Great Washington State

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Never be sorry for the lack of response
Your hand on my arm before we were lost
The horizon just laughed to see us fall off
Your face in a jar I constantly dropped
You have him now but I’ll have you later
The phone is a gossip
The clock is a murderer
My time is her burden
Your voice is his slumber
How long have we been here?
I can’t quite remember my name

I had you pegged as one who would throw me
Away from your shoreline
Into the galaxy
Where moons are a fool
Stars climb eternity
Long after voids
And handwritten destiny
Long after voices return from the telephone
Cut off from color
Leave everyone you know
They’ll let you down
I’ll let you talk into the sky
That he keeps turning off like a light

Praises fall short from the hands of the choir
Who all stand in judgement and funerals pyre
Now that you’re dead
They wait for the symphonies
Conductors retire to the bed of our sympathy
Losing our minds on yesterday’s tragedy
Are you surprised they’re singing in harmony?
Flooding the hallways
I notice the exit signs pointing the way out
I knew they were onto us along

Your suitcase fits well in the room you are living in
Quick to leave town
Is it how you imagined it?
Alone with your ghosts, and the question mark protagonist
Leaving you in deserts in search of the answers
To all of the questions that lead to more questions
Afraid to stand up or lose your salvation
Stop and rewind
They all change the station
The story hits home too close for their liking
„Stick to the script where your lovers are dying“
Bored and annoyed
„You’re not even trying to turn us on“

And the building was on fire
When I saw you step out*
Afraid of your ghosts, and highly in doubt
When you knew along
Not even your cloud
Would ever withstand the song from your mouth
So they took all your scripts
And the rain from your eyes
They’re cashing it in for the next passing ride
To some other city you made up in your mind
They missed when you died
So they’re hitting rewind
What good is living if you can’t write your ending?
You’re always in doubt of the truths you’re defending
Seeing yourself in others‘ ideas
I’ll write you from somewhere
And call you from later on
I’ll need a good time
You’ll need a daydream
Helplessly helpless
„I am alive, can you hear me?“
Sleeping in motion
I love you Washington State

 

Damien Jurado spoke at length about this song at a recent show. This is a farewell song at its core, and Damien realized after he wrote it as he was singing it and listening to it that he was speaking to himself. He was struggling with whether or not to end his career or end his life, and in some ways this song plays as a farewell to both. He also talked about leaving Washington after 30+ years and how that was so crazy to so many people. In some ways it could be compared to actually dying. Thankfully he said he got healthy and did not end his life, and has yet to end his career, so we’re left with this gorgeous farewell to Washington State. (found on genius.com)

*One analogy often used to explain why a depressed person would kill themselves is the burning building. Someone doesn’t necessarily want to die, but the pain from being in a burning building is so intense that death seems like a better alternative


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