Thursday, June 30, 2011

composition and all that jazz

so i just got home from a little excursion into jazz-land, which on my map still has a bunch of "here there be dragons" warnings as well as lots of blank space.

apparently, every thursday from 9pm there is a free jazz concert in the "film bar" upstairs in essen's lovely "lichtburg" cinema, organized by a group called JOE - jazz offensive essen ("offensive" here being a noun, in german, and meaning offense, as in taking action). how did i even find out about this, since i don't read the newspaper, you ask? well... one of the musicians stopped me in the street a few days ago and invited me. :)

lichtburg, essen (image source)

tonight's performance was by the marc brenken / jean-yves braun quartet (their myspace page is here: albeit with a different bass player. it was good! :) here's an example:

A Great First Year With Agusia (this will take you to myspace, to that particular song)

there were a bunch of titles i really enjoyed but they are not online, or i'd share. there was a camera at the concert, so maybe it's just a matter of time. if they become available as videos, i'll update here. :)

now, this was instrumental music, and the "voices" of the two composers (brenken and braun) were quite different from each other, with braun's pieces more dreamy and melodic ("a great first year", see link above) and brenken's more percussion-driven, energetic and experimental (for example, parts of "the long-nosed magician"). this may or may not be a representative overview of their repertoire but i thought it was interesting.

music is something that has fascinated me for as long as i can think, and while i can "understand" how a painter or a sculptor or a writer may come up with new work, how people can imagine / create new music is beyond me. i have no musical imagination - i have never woken up with a new melody in my head, or a motif for a composition. i have, however, woken up with words and images. i wonder how much like or unlike writing the musical creation process is.

also, music is much more subject to time than any of the other arts (except performance / dance, of course, but that's connected). music is time / marks time / needs time. it is a process. one day, when i was studying at reading uni (in england), a friend came back from one of her typography lectures and was thrilled with the realization that time is to music as blank space is to print. i just had to think of that.

and, while i already knew i like piano music, and from the open mic nights at the windsor girls' house in salt lake knew that a bass could be very cool, sitting on the floor i got a good view of the drummer and his many tricks, and i do like percussion too! mind you, this guy knew what he was doing. :)

an evening well spent.

Monday, June 6, 2011

rosemarie johnen: offenes atelier / a painter's open house

"natürlicher einklang" (natural harmony)

hier einige impressionen von rosemarie johnens "offenem atelier" letzte woche. rosi ist malerin und experimentiert mit verschiedenen techniken und materialien. zur zeit interessiert sie sich für in holzplatten verborgene bilder und figuren, die sie mit farbe und stift herauslockt.

zum genaueren hinsehen einfach auf die bilder klicken für eine größere version.

some impressions from rosemarie johnen's open house last week. rosi paints and enjoys experimenting with different techniques and materials. at the moment, she is particularly interested in images that hide in the texture of pieces processed wood. these, she teases out of the material with the help of paint and pen.

want to take a closer look? click on the picture for a larger version.

"lebensraum" (habitat)

das schöne an solch einem offenen atelier ist, daß man - wenn man glück hat - einen weiteren überblick über die arbeit bekommt. rosi zeigte sowohl ältere als auch neue arbeiten, vom aquarell über acryl bis zur zeichnung. selbst unfertige arbeiten waren zu sehen. diese hier hat es mir besonders angetan:

the nice thing about an artist's open house is that, if you're lucky, you get a broader view of the artist's work. rosi shared older as well as new works, from watercolours (her first paintings) and acrylic paint to drawings. even unfinished projects were on display, in the workshop. this one is a particular favorite of mine:

noch in arbeit, ohne titel
(unfinished, untitled)
ein weiteres lieblingsbild muss dieses hier sein - "mohn-tage", ein großformatiges gemälde mit echten riesenmohnblättern (siehe zb rechte obere ecke):

another favorite has to be this one - poppy days - a large painting with real poppy petals (see top right corner for example):

"mohn-tage" (poppy days)

pablo picassos motto, nicht zu suchen sondern zu finden hat sich die malerin zu herzen genommen. alles in allem war ich von der bandbreite der verschiedenen techniken überrascht (im positiven sinne!)

in her work, rosi took pablo picasso's suggestion to find, not search, to heart. overall, i was surprised and impressed by the variety of styles in this exhibit. 

"Verbundenheit" (connectedness)
"grenz-nah 2" (near the borders/limits)