Monday, October 13, 2008

Berlin 10/3/08

Fri night it was time for some experimental music. What sparked the desire to go to Berlin in the first place was hearing it's the other place for experimental, along with NYC. I was thrilled when it was pretty close to our place, and an easy walk. The place is called Kulturhaus Mitte. You walk through a courtyard and get to a really nice small concert space. There were about 80-100 people there. We got some of the last seats and it looked better to sit even though I couldn't see everything. The performance was the Theremin Song Projekt. I've had an interest in the theremin for quite a while, and now I will make more of an effort to get to the Thermin society's gigs in NYC.

This was stellar! The guitar kept making me think of Marc Ribot. It was awesome and he had that rootsy sound at times. The piano was also phenomenal. How do I describe the theremin? Barbara Buchholz looked kind of like she was playing the air piano very very slowly. Here's her home page with a picture. It made such awesome sounds. It started with her, the guitar, and piano. After a couple of pieces a singer came up and was another instrument. She sang familiar pop tunes in her own way. I think there were 2 song with her. I think they went back to the trio then, but I'm not quite sure. A bandoleon player came up. And I think the guitar took a break. It was about an hour and stellar from start to finish. Actually, it looks like the myspace pages says it was an accordion. I thought it looked more like a bandoleon, but probably not.

Barbara Buchholz (Theremin)
Anna-Katariina Holmerús (voc)
Christian Beckers (p)
Andreas Hermeyer (acc)
Jan Krause (sampling, live-electronic)

Then I kept thinking I wanted more experimental and might take a chance on Lenin On Tour at the Jazzdor. As we started making our way there, I kept thinking I wasn't really in the mood for a bunch of Lenin stuff, there was even going to be a film. We also started realizing it wasn't as close as I thought. We switched to Plan B, which was b-flat. When I looked up the address, it turned out we were standing very close to it, so it was definitely meant to be.

I love this place! It looks like a small warehouse, but a much better vibe. There are lots of tables and a nice bar in the back. I found a dancing spot behind the tables. The band was the Big Bazaar Orchestra. I had been resisting it because it was another big band. I was happy to see that just like the night before, it was more modern than I expected and completely different from the night before. This had a tenor, alto/soprano, vibes, drummer/percussionist, guitar, vocalist, and contrabass. Now I remember I almost didn't go because it had a vocalist. She was good and fit right in. It was awesome. The drummer didn't have any of the traditional kit. It was his own kit with congas and bongos and a cymbal and a bunch of other stuff. This show was awesome and I danced my butt off. We got about 1.5 sets.

Katharina Debus (Vocals) Jorgos Psirakis (Soprano-, Altosax, Composition, Arrangement) Oli Bott (Vibraphone) Alfred Mehnert (Percussion) Adonis Bloomfield (Percussion) Roland Fidezius (Bass) Andreas Dormann (Baritonesax, Bassclarinet)

Modern Jazz, Weltmusik aus Berlin
Jorgos Psirakis (ss, as, comp, arrang), Katharina Debus (voc), Oli Bott (vib), Alfred Mehnert (perc, lyrics), Andreas Dormann (bs, b-cl), Roland Fidezius (b).
Diese drei Städte verkörpern den musikalischen Mix des Big Bazaar Orchestra. Deutsche und englische Texte treffen auf mediterrane Melodien und Afro-Kubanische Beats. Die Besetzung der Band orientiert sich am Sound des Jazz. Dafür sorgen Saxophon, Bassklarinette, Vibraphon und Kontrabass. Die Percussion führt uns in die Klangwelt Kubas, Afrikas aber auch in die Berliner Clubs. Aber über allem liegt die Alt-Stimme der charismatischen Sängerin Katharina Debus.

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