The concert in Ilmenau was fine, though traveling that far, for what turned out to be essentially a last minute gig, cost us just as much in transport costs as what we were paid to play; which means we lost money on the equation because we still needed to fund the next day’s trip to Dachau. After the concert the promoter (who has been presenting adventurous Jazz for many years) and I got in a discussion about if it would be possible to continue to work buy generic seroquel with this music in the future. If the artists demand too much money, as he indicated that some did, it’s not feasible to present them in a place the size of Ilmenau- there just aren’t enough people there to support the concerts financially. In response, I asked him how it was going to be possible for people, like Pandelis and myself, to pay our rent if we play a concert, like we did that night in his town, essentially for free. Is the situation heading for gridlock? If the organizers can no longer afford to present the music, and the musicians (like everyone else) are faced with the financial reality of paying their bills, and therefore need to be paid for their work, how can the circumstances continue? Freedom in music is not free from costs, economic and otherwise. Subsidies for the arts in the European Union are starting to be cut, more and more recorded music is being ripped off the Internet free of charge, audiences are overwhelmed with options, and the media is dealing with overload… If the artists creating the music aren’t somehow financially compensated for their effort how can their work continue? Most musicians I work with have a day job to support themselves, if they leave this to tour and come home with empty pockets they frequently end up in debt. It’s hard enough to play creative music without having to go broke in the process. How is the community associated with underground music- the artists, listeners, programmers, labels, and writers- going to solve this problem? And it needs to be solved if the threads of activity are going to continue over the next decades.
Pandelis and I played in Dachau on the 26th, and it’s an example of a place that’s figured out to organize amazing music performances for many years in a small town. Point of fact, Munich is only half an hour away and even though it’s a major city in Germany almost all of the most interesting artists end up performing on the series in Dachau, not in Munich. It would be interesting to interview the people that work together to make those concerts happen because I think that many of their techniques would be successful in other locations. Part of what makes it such a pleasure to play there is the fact that the audience is always listening, curious, and the space is intimate and definitely packed with people.
© 2021 Ken Vandermark – musician & composer | Disclaimer