MANFRED WAFFENDER LOG 2018

Migration
October 20 - There they go again. Southbound. Time to make travel plans.

 

Walking
October 3  -  Day of German Unity, a day in the Northern Black Forest: Ruhestein, Wilder See, Darmstädter Hütte.

 

Work
September 30 - Retired from teaching at Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf. Thanks for the T-shirt, Micha!

 

Reading
September 29 -  Stoner, a novel by John Williams, published in 1963 - and soon forgotten. It took more than fifty years for the book to become an unexpected bestseller after it was republished in 2006. "William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.” (blurb)


 

Dance
September 19  - A production of Sasha Waltz & Guests in coproduction with Ruhrtriennale at Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum: EXODUS. "‘What would you like to escape from? Where do you think is Utopia?" were the questions with wich Sasha Waltz and the dancers entered into this project.’" (program notes). Original music by Soundwalk Collective!


 

Live Music
September 17 - Another "musicmonday" at sound studio Klangraum in Mainz-Gonsenheim.  With Burkard Schmidl (key) and Jochen Volpert (g). Burkhard Schmidl I remember from the old days, the groovy 70s in Mainz. He was the keyborder of Missus Beastly and than later of Dissidenten (The Rolling Stone called them the "the Godfathers of World-Beat").


 

Reading
September 2 - Marx. Der Unvollendete (The Unfinished One) by Jürgen Neffe. Presently available only in German. “For the bicentennial of Marx’s birthday, Jürgen Neffe explores the causes of this renaissance – in Marx’s writings and in his life story. He portrays the life of a refugee who had become stateless and who was willing to make any sacrifice for his convictions. Neither illness nor poverty, nor marriage troubles nor family tragedies kept him from his committed work. With his analysis of capitalism, Marx anticipated the globalised world of our day and even the recent financial crises.” (Random House)

 

Replay
August 16 -  I was sixteen when - in 1968 - I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time -  a truly mind blowing experience. Today, in a 50th anniversary show at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, I watch Stanley Kubrick′s unrivaled masterpiece again, on a new, unrestored 70 mm print. This time I watch it with my twenty year old son. Similarly mind-blowing. “I′m sorry Dave, I am afraid I can′t do that!” (HAL 9000)


 

Work
August 6 - Preview of John Cousins & The University of the Waves for collaborators, colleagues and friends at Murnau Filmtheater in Wiesbaden. Among the audience are John Cousins and his partner Colleen Anstey (the two protagonists of the film from New Zealand), Armin Riegel (editing), Andreas Radzuweit (5.1 sound mix) and a number of former students from the Institute for Music and Media in Duesseldorf. Thanks for coming, folks!

 

Exhibition
August 4 - James Turrell - The Substance of Light at the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden. "The artist himself constantly emphasizes that his work is best described as «Perceptual Art». In large-scale, atmospheric installations, he makes light materialize and leads onlookers to the limits of perception."(catalog)

 

Concert
August 2 - Rheingau Musik Festival, "Vienna Nights II". In the courtyard of the 800-year old former cistercian Eberbach Monestary, on a very warm summer evening, under a darkening blue sky, we listen to the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra conducted by Matthias Foremny. They play Joseph Haydn (Symphony No. 8 in G major "Le Soir" and the  Cello Concerto in C major, violoncello: Sheku Kanneh-Mason) and Franz Schubert (Five German Dances and the Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major).

 

Cherry Tree
June 24 - Leftover for the birds.

 

Work
June 20 to 22 -  In his 4k grading suite Matthias Kirketerp from die Colorie in Duesseldorf is going through John Cousins & The University of the Waves take by take -  and gives it the perfect look.

 

Work
June 6 to 8 - Mixing the 5.1 surround sound for John Cousins & The University of the Waves at klangBezirk in Wiesbaden. Sound engineer Andreas Razuweit ( an alumnus of the University of Music in Duesseldorf)  and his partner Moritz Corell are very attentive and work highly concentrated. It’s a great pleasure to hear the whole thing come alive.

 

Reading
June 1 - The Rings of Saturn is a book by German writer W.G. Sebald, that was published in 1995 in German and three years later in a translation by Michael Hulse in English. In German it has a subtitle: Eine englische Wallfahrt (An English Pilgrimage). What looks like a travel book at first sight, telling about a walking tour through Suffolk, turns out to be  "a hybrid of a book: fiction, travel, biography, myth, and memoir".  By wandering through a dull landscape the narrator also wanders from topic to topic and comes across some sustainable insights  “From the first smouldering taper to the elegant lanterns whose light reverberated around eighteenth-century courtyards and from the mild radiance of those lanterns to the unearthly glow of the sodium lamps that line the Belgian motorways, it has all been combustion. Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artefact we create. The making of a fish-hook, manufacture of a china cup, or production of a television programme, all depend on the same process of combustion. Like our bodies and like our desires, the machines we have devised are possessed of a heart which is slowly reduced to embers.”

 

Work
May 28 - Done! Picture lock! The editing of the material I shot in New Zealand in 2016 is completed (film editor: Armin Riegel). The portrait of composer / sonic artist John Cousins has a total duration of 76 minutes, the title is: John Cousins & The University of the Waves

 

Cherry Tree
May 26 -  “It is only while in a dreamy, slumbrous, half-mesmerized state that nature’s ancient papyrus roll can be read— only when the mind is at rest, separated from care and labour; when the body is at ease, luxuriating in warmth and delicious languor; when the soul is in accord and sympathy with the sunlight, with the leaf, with the slender blades of grass, and can feel with the tiniest insect which climbs up them as up a mighty tree.” (Richard Jefferies: Nature and Eternity, 1895)

 

Exhibition
May 13 -  At Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Basquiat. "In the late 1970s, Jean-Michel Basquiat teamed up with Al Diaz to write enig­matic graf­fiti state­ments across New York City under the pseu­donym SAMO©. Soon he was collaging base­ball cards, creating his own clothing, and painting on doors, window frames, and enor­mous home-made canvases. Today, Basquiat (1960–1988) is recog­nised as one of the most signif­i­cant painters of the 20th century. Having come of age in the post-punk under­ground art scene in Lower Manhattan, he conquered the art world and gained wide­spread inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, becoming the youngest artist ever to partic­i­pate in docu­menta in Kassel in 1982." (Schirn Kunsthalle)

 

Theater
May 10 - International May Festival  Wiesbaden. Tod eines Handlungsreisenden (Death of a Salesman) by Arthur Miller from Deutsches Theater Berlin. In a staging by Bastian Kraft, with Ulrich Matthes as Willy Loman: “I ’m gonna show you and everyone else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have  - to come out number one man.” (Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman)

 

Cherry Tree
April 30 - Under the (full) Cherry Moon.

 

Reading
April 23 - The God of Small Things, semi-autobiographical novel by Arundhati Roy (published in 1997). It is set in 1969 and tells the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana jam vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother’s pickles factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala.“The book explores how the small things affect people’s behavior and their lives.” (Wikipedia) “...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. - That is their mystery and their magic.” (Arundhati Roy in ‘The God of Small Things’)

 

Personal History
April 20 - In the late 1970s (40 years ago!) I worked at Inter Action in London, a community arts center founded by ED Berman. At the time the Council of Europe described Inter Action Trust as “the most exciting community education/arts organization in Europe”. “Its most dynamic innovation was the Inter-Action Community Media Van. This large van was modified to show video from its side, back projection film viewed from the rear with a theater platform on the roof. It had a copying machine to produce instant leaflets and a sound system to announce its arrival and purposes. Perhaps its most unique feature was one of the first few radiotelephone systems in the UK, which was installed and used to ring mayors and council leaders for the gathered locals to put questions to the usually distant authorities. This was an experiment in doorstep democracy. New methods for public participation were tested and developed.” At present a few of the films and videos are presented with others from that era, as part of the Rebel Video 2018 Tour. “It is a book launch event with screenings and discussion. The aim of the tour is to stimulate discussion about the video movement of the 70s and 80s and its relevance for film/video activism today."

 

Cherry Tree
April 15 -  Hanami.

 

Reading
April 14 - Wolkendienst - Figuren des Flüchtigen (‘Cloud Service’ - at present available only in German) by Klaus Reichert .  A smorgasbord of literary delicacies: all about clouds. The author quotes from his own cloud diary and consults the experts: William Turner, John Ruskin, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Jean Paul, Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Alfred Stieglitz. And - of course - John Constable: “The sky is the source of light in nature, and governs every thing. Even our common observations on the weather of every day, are suggested by them, but it does not occur to us. Their difficulty in painting both as to composition and execution is very great, because, with all their brilliancy and consequence, they ought not to come forward, or be hardly thought about in a picture... I know very well what I am about, and that my skies have not been neglected, though they have often failed in execution, no doubt, from an over-anxiety about them, which will alone destroy that easy appearance which nature always has in all her movements.”

 

Music
April 9 - Tonhalle Duesseldorf: French cellist Gautier Capuçon and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris perform works by Gioachino Rossini, Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel, Jules Massenet and David Popper.

 

Teaching
April 3 - Start of the summer term at the Institute for Music and Media at Robert Schumann University of Music in Duesseldorf.

 

Cherry Tree
March 18 - A gusty northeasterly plays with the fresh snow on the branches - where is spring?

 

Live Music
March 10 - Jazz Initiative Bingen at Binger Buehne: Alvin Mills Project | Looking Past Forward. Michael Quast (keys), Arno Haas (sax), Stefan Hoefele-Dias (drums) and Alvin Mills (bass). Groovy slap bass meets funky singing sax.

 

Seasons
February 25 -  Early signs of spring.

 

Movies
February 23 - At Palatin in Mainz: Die Verlegerin (The Post) by Steven Spielberg. With Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  Historical drama about the publication of the Pentagon Papers by The New York Times and subsequently The Washington Post in 1971. A must see.

 

Live Music
February 9 -  At Frankfurter Hof in Mainz: 30th anniversary concert by Fred Kellner and the famous Soulsisters, featuring The Horny Horny Horns and The SuperSonic Silver Strings. With Fred Kellner (b), Fred Kellner (dr), Fred Kellner (perc), Fred Kellner (g and voc), Fred Kellner (g) and Fred Kellner (kb and voc). Soul and funk at its best on "the holy holy stage in crazy Mainz". Same soul procedure as every year.

 

Listening
February  20 - Der Kunstkopf-Mann - Letzte Reise des Tönefängers Matthias von Spallart nach Amazonien (The Dummy Head Man - Last Journey of the Sound Catcher Matthias von Spallart). Radio feature (54 min) by Helmut Kopetzky, produced by NDR and DLF. The program tells the story of sound artist Matthias von Spallart. In fall 1980 he packed a Nagra IV-S recorder,  120 reels of magnetic tape, a dummy head microphone, and bought an airline ticket to Rio de Janeiro. He started at the Amazon River delta and travelled upstream into the little known refuges of the native people of the Amazon rainforest. His binaural 3D recordings where exceptional. But when he came back to the cold and grey European winter he found himself changed. He listened to the recordings and started to edit. But he did not finish. Eight months after his home coming he hanged himself at a tree not far from his house in Alsace. His friend,  radio man Aldo Gardini, took on the task to finish the ambitious project. In 1982 the one hour radio feature Brasil - A Sound Journey into the Interiors of Brasil went on air. The recordings take the listener (headphones!) into an amazing 3D soundscape. The production received the highest critical acclaim and is - until today - an unriveled standard for aspiring (field-) sound artists.

 

Reading
February 10 - Eliot Weinberger: An Elemental Thing (2007), an anthology of interconnected nonfiction essays. The first essay in the book is called The Wind. It starts: “Wind: what is it? You don’t see it but you hear it, and you feel its force. It brings the rains, the drought, the cold, the heat, the locusts, the dust; it drives them away. It bangs the shutters, rustles the branches, flattens the house, spreads fire; it pushes the boats along or makes the waves that sink them. It’s breezes in spring inspire affection, its howling in winter dread...“ And after two pages it ends: Hear the wind and you will know the wind. Wind blows, and the generations are leaves. There was no higher praise than what was said of Confucius: He knows where the wind comes from.”

 

Documentary
February 1 - At Filmbuehne Caligari in Wiesbaden: Score - A Music Film Documentary by Matt Schrader, featuring more than 50 composers, directors, orchestrators, studio musicians, producers, recording artists, studio executives, agents and journalists. With Hans Zimmer, Qincy Jones, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman, Rachel Portman, John Powell, Mychael Danna, Howard Shore, John Williams and Trent Reznor. The production was financed via crowdfunding.

 

Cherry Tree
January 16 -  To prune or not to prune? An old gardener’s wisdom says: “Prune weak branches strongly and strong branches weakly”. It also says, that you should be able to throw your hat through the tree, as a sign that the branches are not too crowded.

 

New Year
January 6 - A luxurious start into the new year.