Februar 2011 Archive

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Achim Tang, the new improviser in residence, is the kind of person that I would call a "colourful character". t's almost impossible not to become infected by his enthusiasm when you listen to him: talking about music or making music. 

Tang, who was born in West Berlin, is not from a family of musicians. He played the trumpet for a while in his childhood, and could strum a few chords on the guitar round a campfire, but apart from that, until he took up the bass, he lived a different life and had several jobs before starting a career as a musician.

The bass thing just happened by chance. A uncle who collected violins gave me a double bass. At first it stood around, unused in a corner. But then, after a few years, it was still standing there, so I started to play it.

 It would still be a while before Tang developed a passion for improvised music. Initially, he played only classical music, sought out classical teachers and practiced his classical technique. But then realised what other kinds of music there were out there. 

In the mid-80s I began to listen to jazz rock. That led me to jazz, and from there I made the leap to improvised music. I absorbed everything I could find, read all the jazz biographies and stuff. And then I went to university.

Although he originally liked the idea of Cologne, fate took him to Graz, where he studied for 5 years and remained for several more. Eventually he moved to Vienna, made contacts and lived as a successful freelance musician before moving to Cologne in 2004 to continue his career.

Achim Tang has now been playing the double bass for 30 years, and says the instrument gives him everything he needs and more. He loves the many things that it can do, from colouring the music from underneath in classic jazz ensembles to exploring frequencies and tones in an experimental context. 

Tang sees being improviser in residence as a chance to take his musical development further. He wants to build on existing contacts and to make music with the people here, but would also like to work on his own compositions. He knows Moers already thanks to his 4 ½ year collaboration with the Moers Improvised Music Network and has long been involved in the Network's orchestra project for children where the instruments are made of everyday objects. 

So how does Achim Tang think he will go about teaching other people about improvised music? 

It's not so much about teaching others but about taking away the barriers that the children or young people may face. Letting them see what's possible, what they can do. It's about perception. If you're open enough, you hear interesting noises everywhere and can discover music just about wherever. It's about perceiving the things that you hear in a different way.

The bassist also thinks that one of the reasons he can make improvised music accessible to others is that he's good at highlighting the connections between things. 

Sure, it's important not to trivialise improvised music by saying that anyone can drum on something and that that is music. But if I can manage just to make people listen, it doesn't matter if what happens and if it then takes place on an intellectual or analytical level or an emotional level. It's the opening up to the experience in the first place, that's the big chance. 

Achim Tang is blogging about his life as improviser in residence. I'd recommend to anyone that they spend some time with him. It's rare to come across such energy, openness and curiosity, and a musical encounter with him is bound to be a hugely exciting experience. We're looking forward to what the future might bring! 

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Welcome back

It's almost the end of February and things are kicking off again. It started with the unveiling of the poster, and now the blog is back online.
So, nice to see you again. What do you think of our new website? We think it is uber-modern and wonderfully clear, just as websites ought to be nowadays ;) 
There have been some other changes too - what was the fourth day of the festival is now all about Helge's Heimatabend. Although that promises to be a fantastic event, it means, of course, that the moers festival is only three days long this year...
We're hoping that the poster design will spark the same amount of discussion as it usually does. What does it remind you of? The impressions of the team ranged from a hunting club to a scene in a Berlin pub. At least we hope it´s irritating and as facebook discussion shows, we were right! But rather than reveal the consensus we eventually came to I will let the deer speak for itself, but I would like to share the story behind the photo (which, incidentally, is a true story). 
The photo on the poster was taken by the Swiss photographer Olivier Metzger, who now lives in France. Metzger, who was born in 1973, has had a successful career and his work is now shown by all the most important galleries and art shows in France, including the Château d'Eau Gallery in Toulouse and the S.L.I.C.K. art fair in Paris. 
The picture of the deer was taken on the way to Las Vegas. The photographer writes: "It was standing quite still at the edge of the road, so I stopped and quickly got my camera. I was able to capture it once before it ran into the woods, startled by the flash of the camera. Although it's a snapshot, the light and the position of the deer are perfect. A real lucky strike!"  
If you want to see more of Olivier Metzger's work, go to http://www.oliviermetzger.com/


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Improviser in Residence

Moers' Improviser in Residence 2011 is the bassist, composer and "sonic researcher" Achim Tang. Achim will be the fourth musician to come to Moers to live and work for a year as the town's "Improviser in Residence". He was already involved in the "Network of Improvised Music Moers - n!mm". See here how he work with children at local school for "Klangorchester" project 2008. 

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Take a look back

If you would like to take a look at older blogs, click here to see the blog that featured moers festival 2009 and 2010.

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Über dieses Archiv

Diese Seite enthält alle Einträge von moers festival von neu nach alt.

April 2011 ist das nächste Archiv.

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