17 July 2010


Third evening of music at Nickelsdorf. Stay up all night Friday, too
much going on and too much interesting conversation; end up at a lake
in Hungary about 20 kilometers outside of town, the atmosphere felt
like something out of a scene in Kusturica’s “Underground.” Had
rehearsal with Christof Kurzmann and Martin
Brandlmayr at noon, they were VERY patient with me. A quick afternoon
nap in my blazing room, then soundcheck at 6pm, and interview with a
Czech magazine, an attempt to eat dinner, then the set with Christof
and Martin- they organized pieces to guide/manipulate open playing, in
two pieces Christof sang texts (one by Joe McPhee, one by John Cage
based on ee cummings). Felt like we got to unique territory, and I felt
fortunate to play in so many different contexts at the festival, really
challenged by the best possible musical circumstances and players. Also
on the bill Saturday night: Andrea Neumann/Clare Cooper/Clayton Thomas
(excellent and subtle sound improvisations), I missed Wildbirds &
Peacedrums in order to eat something finally; and John Lindberg/Ab
Baars performing the music of John Carter (Ab was typically brilliant
and it was great to see John perform again). After the music’s done I’m
asked to do an interview for Austrian radio, inspired by everything
that’s happened it’s easy to talk, but by the time I’m finished a
number of friends have left the club to sleep… Somehow, in the midst
of everything, I get the material finished for the project with Haavard
Wiik and Chad Taylor. Without question, the 3 days in Nickelsdorf
amounnted to one of the best festival experiences I’ve had- as a player
and as a fan- Mats Gustafsson and Hans Falb did an extraordinarly job.
And the social part way dynamite as well- friends from Poland, Romania,
Slovenia, Russia, Austria, Netherlands, Germany. Very hard to leave
on Sunday morning for Berlin! One of many discussions over the weekend
concerned James Joyce; here’s a link to sources of Joyce’s impact on
John Cage: http://www.themodernword.com/Joyce/music/cage.html