News about the 4th edition of the Festival that will take place in Berlin all through the year 2008. The information about the former editions that were held on 22-26 november 2006, 13-22 february 2007 and 1-29 august, 2007 are still to be found somewhere in the jungle of this blop.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

vulgus vs. bombast

Bombast needs brassbands and uniforms. World war one was once considered the fresh and joyfull war. Marching soldiers caused much enthusiasm on their farewell parade. Young girls threw flowers, the masses cheered; Nietszche got a hard-on when he saw the young guys in uniform. It was such a nice world. The war got lost by both sides. Next folkloristic festivities resulted in the same behaviour, from which you can draw a straight line to the kids queing up at the door of MTV's studios, or waiting at a redcarpetted entrance to a cinema. Yesterday's bombast is on sale as a postcard.

Words are like paper ships sailing off for a sure shipwreck. All the words you choose for a critical interpretation of today's society will disappear in a Ruther Hauers quote, used in Blade Runner - yes the one with the tears. Bombast, Potemkin's village, vulgairity will be swallowed by the ocean of information. Bye-bye.

But sometimes there are eyewittnesses, like yesterday at the Gallery Takt. And when someone likes to expose himself, he is bound to go under in conceptualism. Jeff Gburek at sunday's performance must have known, or intuited that his performance would go beyond. He grew into a situation that as a whole could have served as a field recording, if only somebody would have pointed his microphone to him.

The evening of the archived sound set off as an installation. Somebody pretended he was participating at the festival. But the lights were for his video camera; light and video both on insectlike tripods. Lightning and situation way too big, and thus too intimidating. No intimacy was possible. I was witnessing someone who pretended to talk to an audience, but was in fact acting in front of a camera.

Lasse Marc Riek changed the situation with one elegant gesture. He made me turn off all the lights, because he had seen there was enough light from outside coming in through the windows. He sat down on the floor, and in a very modest way brought everyone back to the place I had intended for this festival: the no-budget side of life, far away from the vulgarity of sponsorships.

Lasse's action, that was followed by his sobre presentation of church recordings, was an initiation into wonder and marvel. Nicolas, also in the dark, guided the listener into the fascinating world of a jesuit priest and his recordings from 1975, compositions based on field recordings made by reel-to-reel manipulations. Nicolas explained that his ex-jesuit neighbour never wanted to publish this compositions: he used them as "acoustic furniture." He could have continued for hours, and probably I will ask him to do so on an other occasion.

Rob Curgenven finished the evening. Also he was seated on the floor. And luckily he felt like talking about his adventures in Australia, especcially in the Northren Territory. In the best tradition of storytelling he visualised a world of dust storms and heavy rainfall, broke tension with a recording of an asthmatic dog, and made everybody loose their sense of time. His set ended at 2.40.

To be continued in the Electronic Church this evening with Berlin Soundscapes,
see you there.

The performces of the Day of the Archived Sounds will be transmitted by this sunday evening.


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