I have just got back from the More Ohr Less Festival … feeling a good deal more inspired and exhilarated than I did when I set off last week.
Why that is, I’ll describe in installment #17. Today, to start with, the backstory: In November 2007 my close friend, Olaf Zimmerman, asked me if I didn’t want to come with him to a one-off concert of the legendary group, “Harmonia” in the Haus der Welt. There I met Hans Joachim Roedelius in person, someone who I have long really admired.
As I frequently do, because the alternative would be too exciting, I used the opportunity to write him a letter that I could hand him in person…
Berlin, 27 March 2007
Dear Mr. Roedelius,
When I first heard the piece “Es war einmal”, I was studying piano at the conservatory. I was suffering terribly from the authoritarian and sclerotic structures which were robbing me more and more of the way I envisioned music should be, namely, sheer joy at playing, experimenting, discovering and transporting inner moods to the outer world.
Then I heard “Es war einmal” (and thereafter “Sowiesoso” and the Cluster/Eno productions) and immediately had this wonderful feeling that someone else had hit exactly the right note, “my” note… This aroused my curiosity and I began to discover new worlds in music and was able to leave the conservatory highly motivated to realise my musical ideas without any controls from above.
I followed your musical evolution over the years, sometimes more closely, sometimes less so, but always with great interest, respect and admiration.
Some of your pieces are among my personal set of musical treasures that I associate directly with most inner self, in a wonderful, open exchange.
In September I was at your concert with Moebius and felt happy like a little kid. The concert was deeply moving for me. The emotional highlight was the encore, after the actual concert had finished. You played a spontaneous improvisation spanning thirty years of your work.
As I sat there watching and listening, I suddenly had tears in my eyes realising that it was possible to be spontaneous, full of life, authentic, relaxed and full of esprit. Here was someone who, without any vanity, dramatic emphasis or stylization was showing me in the most awesome way what it meant to be a person at peace with themselves: concentrated, totally into the music, yet simultaneously light, easy and radiating joy.
I want to close this letter with a huge request: the piece “Zerrissen zwischen Illusionen” is one of the most beautiful songs I know … would you be able to send me the “Lieder vom Steinfeld”???
My warmest regards and all the best for your future.