Last year, the Haus der Kunst in Munich presented FMP: The Living Music, an exhibition detailing the work of the renowned German record label from its establishment in the late 1960's to its end in 2010. The imposing three room floor of the building was filled with posters, videos, display cases of letters, record covers, the famous Cecil Taylor box set and much more. In addition, there were two nights of music from artists with strong FMP connections, like Peter Brötzmann and Alexander von Schlippenbach. This spring, the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin has reprised the exhibit with a slightly annotated and updated version and with a corresponding concert series.
In Munich, one room, off to the far side of the galley was covered with covers of every one of the FMP and related LP covers that were released, along with iPad listening stations offering a huge portion of the discography now available through Destination-Out. In Berlin, this has been converted to the central theme of the exhibit. Working with essentially a giant exhibition hall that doubles as the concert venue, a temporary half-wall serves as the division between the live music and the living history. Display cases showcase the special albums like the aforementioned Taylor box set, the Workshop Freie set from 1978, musical collaborations with musicians from the DDR, women musicians, and more. Listening stations are incorporated throughout the exhibit as well as video stations (with too short headphone cables sometimes). Some new video material has been added since the Munich show as well.
|Total Music Meeting posters through the years|
In his review of the Munich exhibit and concerts, my colleague Martin Schray provided some foreshadowing: "when the exhibition will be presented in Berlin next year, there are rumors of a larger festival (maybe three days) and at the old homestead the spirit might be even more alive than in Munich." Well, as it happens, there is actually three months worth of programming being held at the Akademie der Kunst, albeit with more of a set agenda than the workshop format that Martin described. The festivities kicked off on Wednesday March 14th with an introduction with the event curators, Jeanine Meerapfel, Markus Müller, and Jarosław Suchan. Attendees of the talk were then led up the stairs into the expansive exhibit rooms upstairs, the same hall where the famous Workshop Freie meetings had been held.
|Rüdiger Carl and Sven-Åke Johansson. Photo by Susanne Baltes.|
|Michael Wermuller and Olaf Rupp. Photo by Cristina Marx.|
|jasper Stadouders and John Dikeman. Photo by Susanne Baltes.|
|Andrea Neumann, Axel Dörner, and Sven-Åke Johansson|
|Sten Sandell, Matilda Rolfsson, and Marcela Giesche|
|Matilda Rolfsson, and Marcela Giesche. Photo by Susanne Baltes|
|Hamid Drake, Connie Bauer, and William Parker. Photo by Cristina Marx.|
Their second tune began as an exploration. The musical search party was led by Parker who gingerly extracted notes from his bass via bow as Bauer employed some short staccato phrases and Drake switched to sticks, then eventually to hand drum. Finding the most human sounding cries he could make on the bass, Parker dove head first into a long, introspective, and haunting solo, completely shifting the energy of the hall. Parker worked his way back to the group and together they brought the improvisation to a fiery completion - and it did feel as if a journey had been completed. A third improvisation began between Drake and Parker, the latter playing a melody on wood flute and the former on hand drum, eventually adding some vocalization, and after a few aborted attempts to cut in, Bauer decided to let the duo run their course. The final tune of the night kicked off with a strong melodic statement from Bauer and a powerful push from Drake's drum kit. This trio has an album, Tender Explorations on Jazzwerkstatt from 2013 and if we're lucky, this show was taped for a future release.
The first set of shows for the FMP exhibit at the Akademie der Kunst was both a look back at the important history of the label and concert series, but also a look forward with musicians like Dikeman and Mendoza along side Rupp and Wertmüller, along side Rüdiger Carl and percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson, and so on.
The exhibition runs through May 6th.
Upcoming FMP exhibit shows at the Akademie der Kunst
Brötzmann plus… Peter Brötzmann saxophone
Heather Leigh steel guitar
Han Bennink percussion
Alexander Schlippenbach piano
Andrew Cyrille percussion
Keiji Haino electric guitar
Marino Pliakas bass
Michael Wertmüller percussion
Speak Low Lucia Cadotsch vocals
Otis Sandsjö tenor saxophone
Frans Petter Eldh double-bass
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & SKRAP
Anja Lauvdal, Heida Karine Jóhannesdóttir Mobeck, Rohey Taalah, Marianna Sangita, Adrian Løseth Waade, Mette Rasmussen, Hanna Paulsberg, Christian Winther, Lars Ove Fossheim, Julie Rokseth, Ida Løvli Hidle, Peder Simonsen, Hans Hulbækmo, Eivind Helgerød, Kyrre Laastad, Espen Husby, Ingrid Skanke Høsøien
Joëlle Léandre double bass
HEARTH Konzert Kaja Draksler piano
Susana Santos Silva trumpet
Mette Rasmussen alto saxophone
Ada Rave tenor saxophone
Steve Noble drums
Stephen O’Malley electric guitar
Ken Vandermark saxophones, clarinets, arrang.
Mette Rasmussen alto saxophone
Nate Wooley trumpet
Mats Äleklint trombone
Jasper Stadhouders electric guitar
Emilio Gordoa vibraphone
Magda Mayas piano
Steve Heather drums