11 October 2010


I arrive with Brotzmann, Pliakas,
Wertmuller and Thomas Heberer in Baden-Baden on Sunday to set up the
group in the SWR studios (last here to work with the Territory Band
several years ago, also for the Donaueschingen Festival). Monday the
band rehearses Michael Wertmuller’s score- a type of “concerto” for
Peter…’s improvisations and themes- for 9 hours. New
Music percussionist, Dirk Rothbrust, arrives mid afternoon to join the
group, playing a set up featuring 5 tympanis, snare, large bass drum.
Thomas Heberer is superb, reading the charts and digging me out of some
of the most difficult parts I’ve ever had to execute (of course mostly
on Bb clarinet). Things progress as the day goes on, ensemble passages
coming together and into focus, Rothbrust is a incredible addition to
the sound and intensity of the music; at first I thought the tympani
would turn things into a low frequency wash, but his playing has amazing
clarity. A challenging but exciting day- not surprising since it was
the birthday of Art Blakey, Billy Higgins and Lester Bowie!