|FORUM Merzhausen. Photo from Merzhausen.de|
“Music is the centre of my life,” writes Manfred Eicher in the programme to an ECM Festival, being held this year in Merzhausen, just south of Freiburg im Breisgau in Southern Germany. “It is the nexus, and everything branches out from it. It is where I keep coming back to: into the concert halls, churches and studios. Music is my work. At recordings, what should happen is that that unique atmosphere should come in to being, in which the desire emerges to change things, and if necessary to make them better, closer to perfection.” (original German below*)
There has been an exhibition of ECM cover art at the festival venue, the FORUM Merzhausen, for the past month, and the festival itself runs from April 15th-17th.
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The FORUM Merzhausen was built in 2012 and the main hall – apparently with a fabulous acoustic – seats 450. In past years ECM has hosted showcases at the Jazzahead conference in Bremen, and also festivals in San Francisco (March 2015), and New York (January 2016). By comparison, this programme veers more towards the classical performers of the ECM New Series. Freiburg im Breisgau, a university town with a renowned conservatoire, is a small conurbation, but tends to punch well above its weight. It has just attracted some international stars of the classical piano to a highly successful Emil Gilels Piano Festival.
ECM FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
Friday April 15th
Opening Concert Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile
Nik Bärtsch – piano
Kaspar Rast – drums
Sha – alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Nicolas Stocker – percussion
Saturday April 16th
Listening Session with Manfred Eicher :
“a journey through the musical present, past and future of the ECM label.”.
Spark of life
Marcin Wasilewski – piano
Sławomir Kurkiewicz – double bass
Michał Miśkiewicz – drums
Joakim Milder – tenor saxophone
ECM Night En otra parte
Zsófia Boros – classical guitar
Sunday 17th April
Natascia Gazzana – violin
Raffaella Gazzana – piano
Closing Concert Moderato cantabile
Anja Lechner – violoncello
François Couturier – piano
LINK: Download the full programme in German
(*) „Musik ist der Mittelpunkt meines Lebens. Sie ist das Zentrum, und alles verzweigt sich von hier aus, hierher kehre ich immer wieder zurück: in die Konzertsäle, Kirchen und Studios. Musik ist meine Arbeit: Bei Musikaufnahmen sollte jene unverwechselbare Atmosphäre entstehen, die den Wunsch weckt, etwas zu verändern oder, wenn notwendig, besser, vollkommener zu machen.“
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