by Michael Wollny /world première
January 16, Berlin, Akademie der Künste
A production by 100 jahre bauhaus in co-operation with Tambour Music Management
Concept, piano & composition Michael Wollny (D)
Soprano saxophone Emile Parisien (F)
Phonola Wolfgang Heisig (D)
Electronics Leafcutter John (UK)
Drums Max Stadtfeld (D)
What does the Bauhaus sound like?
Beginning with this question, German jazz pianist Michael Wollny has conceived a piece of music for the festival opening that focuses on the manifold references between the protagonists of the Bauhaus and the sounds and compositions that surround them. In addition to the historical perspectives (“What did the Bauhaus sound like?”) of strict Baroque fascination and twelve-tone enthusiasm on one side and the exuberance of the Bauhaus nights on the other, a more basic question is also formulated here: How can the ideas of the Bauhaus be translated today by jazz improvisers and other sound artists into previously “unheard” music? Entirely in the spirit of Gropius, who demanded of the Bauhaus Theatre as early as 1923: “A clear new formulation of the entangled overall problem of the stage! Search for now possibilities!”
At the core of the performance is a counterposing of two fundamentally different viewpoints of the classic grand piano. The improvisational fantasy of a jazz pianist versus the mechanics of the “phonola”, a music machine from the twenties that operates a second grand piano with hand-punched punch cards. Intuition versus composition, organic versus structural.
Beginning with this field of tension between improvisation and composition the musicians research the most diverse sound spaces and scenarios, as they “play” both the materials of the Bauhaus – wood, glass, metal, clay, stone and fabric – and the wild dance music of the legendary Bauhaus Orchestra, still the best jazz band I have ever heard blow it away.” (Kole Kokk, Berliner 8-Uhr-Abendblatt, 18 February 1924).
The concert is sold out but will be recorded and broadcasted by ARTE concert aufgezeichnet (livestream and video on demand): https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/086298-001-A/100-jahre-bauhaus-das-eroeffnungskonzert/.
More about Bauhaus100 on www.bauhaus100.com .