on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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„Mahmoud Darwich war ein großer Dichter, der in der arabischen Welt ungeheuer populär ist. Als Ernest Pignon-Ernest sein Porträt an die Mauern (Palästinas) klebte, entrollte er es langsam von oben nach unten. Als das Gesicht von Mahmoud Darwisch auftauchte, fingen die Leute auf der Straße gleich an, seine Verse zu rezitieren, er ist bei ihnen noch bekannter als bei uns Victor Hugo. Die Leute kennen diese Lyrik, es ist unglaublich. Nur in der arabischen Welt genießen die Lyriker eine solche Popularität, und sie gehören dem ganzen Volk. Momentan spiele ich in Paris in einem Theaterstück von Amos Gitai mit, in dem viele Gedichte von Mahmoud Darwisch vorkommen, die von großer Schönheit und Kraft zeugen. (…)  Diese Texte haben etwas sehr Universelles und vermögen zu allen Zivilisationen zu sprechen.“

(Louis Sclavis, aus dem Gespräch mit Karl Lippegaus)




TEXT EINS mit Mats Eilertsen (OTON) – Musik: Mats Eilertsen‘s new album from Hubro 

TEXT ZWEI – (einführende Worte zu einem Höhepunkt im Schaffen des französischen Musikers, und das führt in diesem Falle u.a. zu dem berühmten palästinensischen Dichter Mahmoud Darwich)

BEITRAG 1: Karl Lippegaus über die neue CD von Louis Sclavis, „Characters on a Wall“, und ein anschliessend komplett ausgespieltes Stück des Albums  – aufgepasst, das Album erscheint erst am 27. September! 

TEXT DREI – Musik: Das Duo Avishai Cohen / Yonathan Avishai  und das Album „Playing The Room“

TEXT VIER – (Gedanken zu einem „lost album“ von Miles Davis aus der Zeit vor „Tutu“) –Musik: Miles Davis

TEXT FÜNF –  (der dritte Trompeter in Folge …. Gedanken zu einem Album randvoll mit Standards, von dem ich nicht dachte, dass es mir dermassen gefallen würde, COMMON PRACTICE erscheint am 20. September) – Musik: Ethan Iverson Quartet w/ Tom Harrell

TEXT SECHS – BEITRAG 2: Karsten Mützelfeldt über ein kleines Buch von und mit Michael Wollny

TEXT SIEBEN mit Mats Eilertsen (OTON) / Musik: Mats Eilertsen: Reveries and Revelations



Recently I exchanged emails with Steve Tibbetts that were, at one point, related to musical revelations once upon a time made at Christmas, or around Christmas time. At young age, meaning when we were fucking greenhorns, 14, 15, 16, 17, and our musical tastes got their primal key experiences. I would like to receive from every Mana who has something to deliver on this topic, a short text (not more than ten lines in our blog at the end), that will be magically designed by Joey, and, in single cases, translated by me into my good old Oxford English.

Our stories will be the icing on the Christmas cake, and it will all be followed by a story told by Steve Tibbetts about one of his musical epiphanies around Christmas time. So write your short short stories to my email address, I think you have some time left to think it over.

Of course, there will be a bit more from the guitar maestro from Minneapolis, f.e. his take on the fabulous, well, amazing, AMAZING GRACE documentary on Aretha Franklin, made by Joe Boyd. Out now on DVD and BLURAY. We all know, consciously or not, some of Joe Boyd‘s musical productions, and some have been reading his wonderful memoir „White Bicycles“. Deadline: November 15.



At Joe Boyd‘s flat in London, the Tibbetts family perusing a menu for Indian take-out with Mr. Boyd


„With its wistful tone, subtle, folky score and confidence in letting dialogue and sentiments breathe, The Detectorists is a show that does not feel the need to shout about its strengths. In fact, the series is not even really about metal-detecting. The hobby could be replaced by trainspotting, bird-watching or just spending too much time in the shed. It’s what these characters are running from, as much as what they are looking for, that lies at its heart.“

(David Renshaw, The Guardian).



Frinton, with its wide sandy beach, has gone out of its way to remain as uncommercialised as possible and maintain its reputation as a quiet resort. Somewhat in contrast to neighbouring Clacton or Walton it has an air of reserved gentility and has been rewarded for its outstanding experimental music scene with a Blue Flag award. Karl Hyde, Rustin Man, and John Surman know this area quite well. And, it’s just one hour away from Brian Eno‘s hometown in Suffolk. The area where W. G. Sebald had been walking around for weeks and weeks, in search of inspiration for  his wonderful book „The Rings of Saturn“.

The gently shelving beach is divided up by a series of timber groynes. Frinton’s sand is of the type that is perfect for making sandcastles – nice and firm. This means it is also ideal for running around and beach games, further asserting its credentials as being a natural playground for young and old. To the rear of the beach is an extensive promenade, much of which is lined with colourful, old-fashioned beach huts. There is also an extensive grassy area, the Greensward, which is an ideal spot for a picnic. So, beach time will soon be starting – see ya again, in thunder, lightnin‘, or in rain. And, by the way, one of the best British comedy TV series ever, three seasons long and utterly brilliant, was made nearby, „The Detectorists“.



Bagels & Beans, cappuccino time. Back home at midnight after another morning and afternoon of heartfelt encounters with friends and other strangers. From the point of view of conversations, this was my best-ever year at the Punktfestival. It was quite a thing to use a little magic trick to make KLM care for two free seats on the last flight to Kristiansand, on a chaos day at Schiphol, five days ago. A bit of hardihood, haha. Christoph owes me one Gosht Chilli Karahi next year (lam med fersk chilli, purre, paprika og løk i en fyldig delikat kryddersaus (minimum styrke 4)). Yesterday: listening to the re-workings of Miles Davis’ „Rubberband Sessions“ on the first flight (to Amsterdam) – oh, well, let me find a way to write a funny let-down of this album that will probably be the most talked about jazz album of the year (the thing with legends). Talking with S. M., the Russian woman besides me, on experiencing Dostojevski as teenagers (and Arvo Pärt as grown-ups), was much more fascinating – the things tomato juice can get started. Listening to Tinariwen‘s new album on the second flight (to Düsseldorf), another pure joy. At home, I put the just released book by David Toop, „Living With Sound“, on the night board. I will write one more article about Punkt 2019, the lectures curated by David dealing with sound and memory. October will be a good time for that. But now, look at the photo, music from the future, with a primordial vibe, the sound of Hardanger Fiddle maestro Nils Okland in the electric wilderness! Do we have a deal?

2019 8 Sep


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Patrick and Björn on a paddle boat trip to the sea. (Hope they will give „Life Of“ and „Lost River“ some deep listening sessions, great guys and music talkers from Sweden.) New companions. From earlier years I know old weathered houses in the hinterland of Kristiansand, the fjord area, that look like 1955, time standing still. Having nice talks with a lot of wonderful old and new faces, and with my journalist hero from the glorious „Melody Maker“ days of old, Richard Williams. Early next year I will read and review his forthcoming book that is time traveling to old Germany. The horrendous Thirties, to be more specific. Sharing stories and memories with Steve Tibbetts and Marc Anderson on a daily basis, like being with friends you didn‘t know you have. Sitting with my soul mate Elin at Mother India and listening to her journey to München around 1967. And on and on and on it went. Small revelation: Nils Petter Molvaer told me that a big inspiration for the music of „Khmer“ (now out on vinyl for the first time) had been passionately reading Borges’ „Labyrinths“. One highlight for my not-so-innocent ears on day three was The Shamisen Concerto, composed by Daj Fujikura and The Trondheim Orchestra at Kilden. An old Japanese instrument shining in a contemporary ambience. Fragile and strong at the same time, it was never overpowered. The orchestra a living thing, no dead fish. Reminded me, slightly leftfield, of my student‘s days in Würzburg, being surprised and captured by the sound of a koto (appearing out of nowhere, on side two of David Bowie‘s Heroes). Different worlds, but two thrilling ways of placing a kind of „exotic“ instrument in an unusual landscape. The notes still lingerin’ in the air, Jan Bang and Sidsel Endresen did the live-remix, all from scratch, wild and beautiful and beyond words. Here we are in the years.



I like a stage scenery after everything has happened. Steve and Mark are always a treat, in their second half they played a fine version of „Threnody“, from their album „Natural Causes“. „You can’t be blamed for perceiving Natural Causes as a „grower“ in the truest sense“, John Garratt once wrote, „listeners need to reconcile the meditative nature of the music with the compositional complexity stirring beneath it all.

Marc played sitting on the floor with a cushion (i think), handling the percussion with a master degree in subtlety, Steve didn‘t risk to take his infamously weathered guitar on the journey, but his „touring instrument“ had a wonderful open sound. Both played with the acoustics of the space, never being trapped by false grandiosity. 

Seeing it from a little distance now, and as being part of his acoustic, non-ecstatic side, I look at „Natural Causes“ as a prequel to their 2019 masterpiece „Life Of“. If you want to go for a wilder ride with Steve, Mark and cohorts, start with „A Man About A Horse“ (2003). 

Look at the photo – psychedelic lights are still on from the inspired live-remix, Arve, Eivind, Jon and Erik did using samples from the performances of Trondheim Voices and the duo from Minnesota. Punkt‘s inner circle should finally publish a collection of this quartet‘s live remixes – it would not stand behind the thrills of „Punkt Crimes“, or the buried treasure of the „encounter“ of Jon Hassell and Sidsel Endresen.  

In regards to the Norwegian vocal music of Trondheim Voices: all took place with an impressive care for microtonal finesse, perfectly balanced with small breaks for turning pages. A minor quibble is (from a guy who has no long and surely no passionate story with choir music – Fiona is the expert here, and I‘m the bloody amateur), that it was a little bit too long in real time, meaning my headspace was drifting off at some occasions. Good thing is, I was always returning. By the way, being a long follower of Jon Balke’s adventures in modern music, I’m curious about his forthcoming collaboration with the ladies.

At the end, the blonde woman (crossing my paths here for years), who reminded me to not forget my petrol rain coat on a that cloudy Kristiansand evening, was entranced and fulfilled by this afternoon‘s musics that started with Stale Storlokken‘s take on church organ music. For someone like me who has a critical attitude towards the historical baggage of big church organs as being (amongst everything else) instruments of intimidation, I must confess: I liked his journey – turning the grey old pathos into a lovely playground, at least most of the time. 

A blue fade-out at the end would have suited better (for me) than the big „brumm brumm“. Anyway, at several moments Stale‘s moods were so light that I could imagine a Bo Hansson tune from „Lord of the Rings“ shining around the corner. From the days of old. I‘m now sitting in my room, totally in the mood for a really cold and sparkling coca cola, honestly. 



Azkadenya is a modern, casual-dining Arabic restaurant chain that offers a wide variety of Middle Eastern cuisine. I don‘t know exactly if there is any other meaning, but the trio‘s work surely offers a broad palette of sounds, flavours, and moods.  Violin, bass, voice. Introduced by Fiona Talkington’s empathetic words, and enhanced, all the way through, by first class imagery and light (shadow) effects. It is always a joy to experience Sidsel, one of the world‘s greatest vocal improvisors, at Kristiansand – the Punktfestival now celebrating without big fuzz its 15th birthday. Records with her unique „singing style“ (the word style seems a bit limiting here) are a rare treat, so normally you have to go see her live exploring an enormous field between the whisper and the cry – all delivered in an awesome melange of sounds free of meaning, and (as it appeared to me, but you easily get lost in the wilderness) remnants of Norwegian and English language that add another element of suspense. As does Vilde and Inga’s searching and finding of holes, exits, solutions, outbursts, wonder, real life ecstasies, never relying on nostalgia or l‘art pour l‘art. This trio is a perfect pairing – and, sorry for that, there‘s no recording available. ECM New Series would be a perfect place for such unrelenting magic. And, let me add this: the pleasure of experiencing such music is slightly undermined by hard floor sitting. Yoga experts might have been able to cope with such inconvenience.






Mein Gott, ist das ein gutes Buch. Ich liebe es, wenn ein Roman  einen scharfen Witz hat, abgründig absurd ist, und zugleich noch eine Geschichte umwerfend klug serviert. Selten geworden in sog. moderner deutscher Literatur, die gerne taumelt zwischen aufgeblasenen Posen der Ergriffenheit, und einem Staccato trister Bestürzungen.

Ja, Keith Richards hat es auch erwischt, nach Cash, Bowie, Cohen undundund. Es gibt Leute, die glauben bis heute nicht, dass Elvis tot ist. Aber Fakt ist Fakt. Der Held dieses Romans, Physiker, Stones-Fan, und Leader einer Cover-Band,  stellt sich den Fakten, und heult Rotz und Wasser.

Hier auf dem Blog wurde vor Tagen, im Kleingedruckten, tatsächlich mal angefragt, ob der eine oder andere an Gott glaube. Es wurde über transzendentale Gewissheiten und karmische Illusionen gesprochen. Linus Reichlin nimmt sich nun  des Themas,  im weiteren, post-existenziellen Sinne, mit der  gebührenden Schärfe an.

Nicht immer funktioniert das mit dem Sterben so, wie man denkt.  Ich hatte, und es ist ja nicht der reine Spass, wirklich nicht, aber ich hatte, vor lauter Lachen, einige Male Tränen in den Augen. Linus Reichlin hat ein kleines Meisterstück abgeliefert, das zwar blendend unterhält, aber doch tiefer dringt als jeder biedere Lesespass, jeder triefende Zeitgeist-Hype. Sollte den Kurt Tucholsky-Preis bekommen, oder gibt‘s den gar nicht?! Ein richtig guter Trip!


Im September, auf Reisen nach Norwegen, vielleicht Sussex, vielleicht Provence, vielleicht Griechenland, leistet das E-Book beste Dienste. Und da ich meine Lieblingsautoren gut kenne, ist die Liste der Bücher zum Sich-Drin-Finden und -Verlieren in jeder Hinsicht leicht zu händeln. Ich bin ja jüngst im Kieser-Training angekommen, und erlebe jedesmal aufs Neue den meditativen flow beim Muskelaufbauprogramm meines Vertrauens; da muss ich nicht noch literarische und gewichtstechnische Hochkaräter wie Greg Iles‘ Verrratenes Land täglich stemmen – sowas liegt nun schwebend in den Händen. Und das ist seit langem so – in jeder Umgebung eine andere Welt (oder mehrere) bei sich zu führen, in Nussschalenform gleichsam, das gibt der Idee von Parallelwelten eine sympathisch im Alltag verankerte Präsenz. Linus Reichlins aberwitziger Roman ist dabei, als einziges „richtiges Buch“, und trifft die Sache mit Parallelwelten noch in einem ganz anderen, gewitzten, Sinn. Und natürlich begleitet mich, wie jeden Sommer, der neue Adrian McKinty, Cold Water – seine Geschichten eines katholischen Bullen zur Zeit der Troubles und danach, humorvoll garniert mit trefflichen Kommentaren zur Musik. Phil Collins und U2 kriegen ihr Fett weg, mir aus der Seele gesprochen, und Richard Wagners „romantische Dudelmusik“ auch. Und immer noch gespannt bin ich auf die Autobiografie von Jeff Tweedy. Vor dem Flug nach Kristiansand jage ich hier noch von  Termin zu Termin, schreibe und produziere die JazzLive-Ausgabe zu Loe Lovanos Auftritt in Bonn, in der Röhre wird meine HWS gecheckt, ich lerne die Atemtechnik des „Ice Man“, um hellwach zu sein, eine Art Yoga für Frühaufsteher und glückliches Kaltduschen. Später dann magische Trüffel in den Niederlanden, vollkommen legal natürlich. – Hey, Alter, du bist so busy, solltest du nicht mal eine Auszeit nehmen, und dich um deine Wehwehchen kümmern. – Klar, Schwester, wenn du ins Heim gehst, nehm ich die Auszeit. Und les dir Jack London vor. Kleiner Spass, hier kommt die manafonistische Auszeit. Mindestens bis Südnorwegen (s. punktfestival 2019 im blogroll). Muss mich sowieso erst von dem Schock erholen, dass der BVB sich gestern als Meisterschaftskandidat verabschiedet hat. Keine dummen Kommentare jetzt, Weihnachten werde ich mir die Scheisstabelle mit Bayern und Leipzig ganz oben sicher nicht in den Tannenbaum hängen. So, gleich wird ein neuer Ventilator im „Tiny House“ angebracht, ein interessanter Gast kommt heute, aus Kanada, in den Achtzigern war er dort Musikjournalist, meine Altersklasse, bin gespannt. Jetzt aber, Honigkuchenpferdegrinsen inklusive, AUSZEIT! Und sie beginnt unter Kopfhörern, Playing The Room, Avishai Cohen und Yonathan Avishai im Duo, in Lugano. Produced by Manfred Eicher.


I listened to it last night, on headphones – all windows directed to the vast nothingness of the universe that possibly hosts no god, no other life. But creepy objects like black holes and brown dwarfs. Heaven seems to be the most lonesome place, where nothing really happens. From the point of view of gardening and Japanese tea ceremonies. Well, of course, we had the moon landing, and we do have the astral space music of Sun Ra. Our dreams anyway. Strange enough, we van still feel peace (in harmony) when looking at the night sky. And here we are in company of Oren Ambarchi‘s „Simian Angel“, two long compositions that, in a sophisticated  way, defy definition, limits, opening a constant feel of joy and wonder, kling and klang. A touch of kosmische music here and there. His guitar sounds like a synth, and an organ, most of the time, and when he plays what sounds like a piano (and is again, made with his guitar – a special treatment really!), you might feel, for a moment, a „Music For Airports“-vibe – just another illusion, up, up, and away, with the blink of an eye. His partner is Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, and when he starts on berimbau at the beginning of vinyl‘s second side, you are in wonderland. Yes, I thought, for another sequence of seconds, of Nana Vasconcelos‘s famous (or not so famous) solo album „Nana Vasconcelos“, the one with violins and violas coming conpletely out   of  nowhere, and knowing about Oren‘s passion for a lot of ECM records, I‘m quite sure he might have had a similar memory, for a moment. The music is crossing area after area, you are not able to, and surely not keen on marking a spot. All exit signs on! The earth is never solid, and even the percussion is an invocation of ego-less drifting in the windmills of your mind. Not all riddles solved, be sure.

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