MANFRED WAFFENDER LOG 2018

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”. “Arguably, 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 with 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.