Shadows is a beautiful movie, it dances away from the prisoners, and underlines that in other caves the women spoke french and the music was called jazz. You need a lot of spiral reasoning to discover that a smile is a shadow casted over the face of your true self. The truth of the true self got buried in moralism. Try to put that on tape when you are out there recording.
On the day that my face got digitally damaged by anger and lack of sleep I had an appointment at Tiergarten. I called C. at twenty past noon. My telephone never sounded more clear, and so was the day. I stood right under the Alex, the needletower on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, and I was in an extremely good mood, as if I had just left the barber shop with a freshly shaved face.
In fact it was the lightheartedness I had encountered at the Dutch Embassy when applying for my passport. All the take this and take that-scheinen, which makes life sometimes so dustfully bureaucratic, the fact that I was way overtime with the request for a new passport, encountered an enchanting 'no problem' attitude, that made me remember my friends Pati Oliva's words, when she said she couldn't understand why I didn't live in The Netherlands. Well, maybe it is because I had left the Netherlands and my moral self behind somewhere in the early nineties.
I walked towards the museuminsel form where echoes of a concert by the Einstürzende Neubauten arrived. The destruction of the Palast der Republic produces those sounds. I walked with my dictaphone on record and met playing children at a dried out fountain. Don't leave a philosopher or a dried out poet with that image. Then I slowly walked back, resisting the smell of grilled würstel. Back at the station I got my pictures for my passport.
And got transferred to a cave.
It took a long way to cycle to Tiergarten. And after some twenty minutes of walking under still naked trees, but amidst a green wealth of plants and surrounded by the constant calling of birds, she insisted on seeing my picture. And I said no, I didn't want to show her the moralistic twofacedness of someone who intellectually grew up in the eighties, caught in a battle between ridicule and judgement. It was in those years that I started to reach for the smiles and rainbows and tried to leave opinion makers behind.
She reached for the picture and some birds fell stone dead from their trees, a cloud obscured her heart. We walked and I heard echoes of footsteps. Yes, if this was one of my concerts it would have taken you in a warm world of long lost welcomes. She had heard the radio. I asked what it was like, wondered how Tobias had cut my words. “Very down to earth” she said. It was short.
Then we went on to discuss other things. But I also told her that it took some time to realise that the initial inspiration to organise this festival came from her. She had told me one day that having a bar where people could listen to field recordings could be a good idea. She would go there. But we were in Tiergarten. You could listen to birds and people passing by, distant voices and cars. I told her of a colleague who recorded birds. A bit boring, was her comment.
Maybe. But also very understandable. The birds carry your thoughts away.