“I then began to compose a music dealing precisely with ‘inbetweenness’: creating a confusion of material and construction, and a fusion of method and application, by concentrating on how they could be directed toward ‘that which is difficult to categorize.’”
– Morton Feldman
from “The New York Schools of Music and Visual Arts,” (Routledge: 2002), edited by Steven Johnson, pg. 180.
Part 2 – The EX Anniversary
The EX Anniversary (25 years of music and counting) at the Paradiso in Amsterdam was a celebration of what’s right with music now, a 21st century festival the way it should be- no limits or boundaries on style/volume/sound – everything from John Butcher solo to the Ethiopean trio with Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed to ZU. I arrived with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Haavard Wiik on Friday the 19th after five days of travel and performances with FREE FALL in preparation for our next album. I think we averaged about 4 1/2 hours of sleep a night during the trip and were quite exhausted when Roze and Kat of the EX picked us up at the train station that afternoon.
From that moment on, and for the next 36 hours, we were thrown head first into (if not chaos) a slice of the EX’s world. Our first stop was to pick up the chef and food for the musicians – enough for 100 people. After that we were dropped off at the Paradiso, me for a soundcheck with a sextet – Terrie and Andy from the EX on guitars, Paul Lovens and Tony Buck on drums, Mats Gustafsson and myself on reeds; Ingebrigt and Haavard to find their rooms for the weekend. The plan was for me to borrow the baritone sax of Luca from ZU, but the band got stranded in Rome due to a massive car accident in the city. No one from the group was hurt, but no baritone. Since I was on tour with FREE FALL I only had my clarinets with me. The only possible option at this point was to play the bass clarinet. Facing two drummers, two guitarists, and Mats’ baritone on the main stage of the Paradiso with a bass clarinet felt a bit hopeless, however. That is until the soundtech put the instrument through the P.A., then the damn thing sounded about fourty feet tall. Tony Buck couldn’t make the check so the whole thing ended up being a near guess. I grabbed some coffee with Mats and Lotta Melin, then back to the club where more and more musicians and friends of the EX were piling in for dinner – a who’s who of the indie rock and improvised music scenes, plus some of the greatest presenters of this music in Europe.
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