Samstag, 27. Juni 2020

You must be almost be getting as fed up as we are?

Dear lovers of live acoustic music, if it is of any consolation we are pretty cheesed off too!

So here's a shimmer of light opening in the armour of contagion suffocation. People are not the only ones suffering. There has been not one Folk Club Bonn meet since March 

There is nevertheless at least an undercurrent if not a veritable "wind of change" afoot. Here is a small, but not insignificant example:

On this coming Sunday 28.06.20 from 14:00 hrs to 15:30 hrs in Bonn-Bad Godesberg, there will be the possibility to hear some live acoustic music, albeit in a somewhat different setting to what you are normally accustomed in Folk Club Bonn.

Apparently, there is a two-century-old copper beech tree in need of some immediate liquid resuscitation.
The request came via and as I also live in this area, and as Andreas, who sent out this request for communal community help, has visited the Bonn folk club on several occasions.  I thought, this is a good cause, what can we do?

The case in question is the rescue of this individual copper beech tree. 

Can it make a difference? Who knows? but in the words of President Trump in much more dangerous circumstances,  "What have we got to lose"?

It takes place in "Park Haus Castanjen", not to be confused with Parkhaus Castanjen, This is a house called "Castanjen" which happens to be located in a wonderful arboretum park, which is unfortunately and inevitably, slowly coming of age, and is adjacent to the River Rhine. So it is certainly not about a public garage or parking space, which happens to have something to do with chestnuts.

The exact address is Kennedyallee 150, 53175 Bonn- Bad Godesberg, in the American Siedlung not far from either the international school or the American Church.

If you are thinking of coming, by car, one can normally find sufficient parking opportunities along the Kennedyallee. If you are cycling, this world is your oyster, without the shadow of a doubt, either before, or after. Just ride along the Rhine without Carbon Monoxide fumes from vehicles sharing the same lane.

We would love to see you all again.

Perhaps we can all re-discover a common human affinity with the Green Man?
Something that survives so many thousands of years of sometimes dedicated exclusion is perhaps something that we should all finally embrace, as the solitary potential saviour of the whole human race?

"Wo laufen Sie dann? Wo laufen sie dann hin???

With apologies to Loriot!

He sometimes gave "hope" to mankind.

You are all cordially invited to come along and share the joy of the "Green Man"

Do bring a bucket and a mask and remember to distance oneself from fellow tree lovers/huggers.

Samstag, 20. Juni 2020

Richard de Bastion

A man who played several times at Bonn folk club and who sadly passed away last year,
would have normally been celebrating his birthday today.

His daughter Roxanne who now lives in London and is a distinguished singer/songwriter in her own right has organised a tribute concert on FaceBook for her father. If you follow the link below you can link to the stream beginning 17:00 hrs CET in Germany

Bild könnte enthalten: 1 Person, Nahaufnahme und Text


For those of who did participate many will have realised that when many different people watch a live stream with many different internet connections simultaneously there is often some unexpected outages and a general reduction of sound quality. It really was a wonderful idea of Roxanne de Bastion to arrange this belated birthday party for her late father Richard de Bastion. She managed to put together a wonderful musical collage of interpretations from many of Richard's friends from along his long and illustrious musical career. Now Roxanne has followed through and put all the musical inputs from the evening onto a separate YouTube channel in Richard's name so that you can now re-listen to it at leisure, or listen to it for the first time, in much better sound quality than the original live stream:

There is a contribution from Folk Club Bonn included which was organised by Daniel Bongart and recorded at Lothar Prünte's now sadly deceased live music venue his "Hinterzimmer" in Bad Godesberg, at which many Folk Clubbers have performed in previous, somewhat happier years. Thanks, Lothar for allowing us to be some of the last people to tread these hallowed boards one last time in order to produce these recordings to celebrate Richard de Bastion's posthumous Birthday. Special thanks to you Roxanne and we hope to see you sometime in the future when times are better, and simply more normal, as a featured artist in Folk Club Bonn. Pencil us in for 2021 and let us know when you plan to tour Germany.

Many of you may have been scratching your heads wondering what this painting by Salvador Dalí of "Swans Reflecting Elephants" has been doing here. The art historians amongst you will be aware that this was a very significant painting, and I admit to rather liking it. Dalí, the Catalonian surrealist painter, he with the proud eccentric flamboyant moustache, painted it in 1937 and he was famous for creating double images in his paintings.

Swans Reflecting Elephants

Dalí's double images were within the same genre of art, painting. Richard de Bastion's song "Bully The Kid" was a work of even greater genius in that the reflected double images in this song transcend three different genres of art. Initially, the Hollywood western movie "Shane"  from 1953 showing the struggle between the new U.S. homesteaders and the old cattlemen on the open range. Jack Palance plays the "bully" Jack Wilson a gunslinger hired by the ranchers as a "legal killer" under the frontier law. Bill Hicks, arguable the best post-WW II U.S. stand-up comedian/philosopher took this idea too represent U.S.  foreign policy in the 1990s and early 2000s, heavily arming countries like Iraq and then challenging them to a fight and invading them. Richard de Bastion saw the potential opportunity here and wrote a song about it thus reflecting a triple image in the genres of cinema, stand-up comedy and music. It would have been an impossible enormous task for most people, but Richard de Bastion, being the man he was, simply took it in his stride, and quietly made it work, very well indeed. Here is a video of Richard playing this song at Bonn folk club in 2013 on his first visit to us:

Thanks to Janeiro del Rosario for creating the video back then.

You can deduce from the video how much Richard enjoyed playing in Bonn folk club.
Furthermore, now you know what Dalí's wonderful painting was doing here. It reminds me very much of this song. A work of equal genius.

Montag, 1. Juni 2020

What do folk clubbers do during Coronavirus COVID-19?

Bonn folk club did not meet at all in April, and we met in a rather eccentric virtual sense in May, thanks to Steve's initial idea and a bit of local "blood, sweat and tears" on the part of Barry and John and a wonderful sophisticated input from our featured artist David Blair, a professional in so many senses, who deigns to regularly bless our old-fashioned and fundamentally amateur venue, with his regular presence and superior grasp of modern technology and social media. While the "virtual" May folk club was not quite at the cutting edge of modern technology, it did manage to take many of our viewers down a trip along "folk music memory lane", back to some of our Halcyon days in Grau Rheindorf with many thanks to our amazing resident videographer in Haus Mühlestumpfe back in those days, Janero del Rosario. Anyway, to cut to the chase, there will be no Folk Club Bonn in June, but fingers crossed, and all cross your thumbs and press them most vigorously, there just might be a sort of "FCB light" in July, all other things being equal, which they very seldom are, and with good luck, God's grace and a very fair wind. 

I shall have to confer with my good friend "The Doctor". "Doctor Who?" you might well counter? Indeed, la meme chose, Doctor Who managed to not only imagine, but also successfully design a Time Machine with the external dimensions of a London police blue telephone box, comfortably situated, without actually blocking a pavement, but with the internal dimensions of Wembly Stadion. Our task is somewhat similar if we manage to allow each member of the audience 10 square metres of space at a folk club. To quote the Governor of New York, Antony Cuomo "People in NYC just don't get that amount of real estate in their daily lives." Neither is a popular live music venue able to offer such a spatial luxury.
Steve, thought it would be a good idea to ask the members of the virtual and invisible FCB committee to explain what they were doing during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown time and Mario Dompke an FCB stalwart from the earliest days in Grau Rheindorf in the Schützenhaus who contributes so much to FCB, one of our great unsung heroes, was one of the first to respond, and here's his six penneth and two cents' worth:

Please enjoy :

Corona Probe
Jeder weiß, es ist nicht leicht mit der momentanen Situation umzugehen. Natürlich gibt es harte Einschnitte für viele, aber auch doch eher sanfte Veränderungen für einige. Natürlich gibt es viele Verlierer, aber tatsächlich auch einige Gewinner (die Umwelt zum Beispiel).
Wenn wir uns in dem Rahmen des Folkclubs umschauen, stoßen wir sofort auf eine riesige Gruppe von Extremverlierern – ja von Menschen, die in ihrem sonst so selbstverständlich higenommenen Gesellschaftsbeitrag schlicht von breiten Teilen der Gesellschaft im Stich gelassen worden sind.
Es ist die Gruppe der Künstler, die bewusst in der Regel als Selbstständige arbeiten, um alle Freiheitsgrade ihres Schaffens ausnutzen zu können. Die als Selbstständige aber auch keine Absicherung durch andere haben. In Corona Zeiten mussten und durften selbst feste Verträge von Veranstaltern gekündigt werden, mit der Folge, dass Künstler ohne Einkommen da stehen – und sofern sie keine Geschäftsräume oder andere Infrastrukturen betreiben auch aus dem Netz der Soforthilfe fallen.

Nun will ich hier gar keinen gesellschaftliche Diskurs anzetteln, trotzdem sollte es immer wieder gesagt werden, damit die Sensibilität jedes Einzelnen auch in „Normalzeiten“ zu der Situation der Künstler geschärft wird. Nehmen wir es nicht alle als selbstverständlich hin, dass wir uns künstlerisch berieseln lassen, ohne ein wirklich entsprechenden Obulus zu leisten? Nehmen wir es nicht als natürlich hin, wenn eine CD gekauft wird und die Musik mit 3 oder mehr Freunden geteilt wird? Würden wir es nicht als unverschämt ansehen, wenn ein Musiker einen Stundenlohn z. B. eines Waschmaschinentechnikers für seine Auftrittszeiten incl. Vor- und Nachbereitung, Fahrzeiten und Fahrtkosten nehmen würde und sich nicht mit im Hut gesammelten 80,-- € zugfrieden gäbe?

Wir alle nehmen Kunst als selbstverständliches Gut des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenlebens an. Aber wir (oder viele von uns) bereichern dieses Gut auch durch eigene Beiträge, die häufig auch aus dem Amateurbereich kommend sehr professionell sind. Auch diese Gruppe der „Hobbymusiker“ kommt in Corona Zeiten zu neuen Herausforderungen. Spiele ich alleine, kann ich weiterhin wie auch sonst proben. Spiele ich mit mehreren, muss ich mir überlegen, wie Proben gestaltet werden können. Einige sind auf die Idee gekommen virtuelle Proben zu gestalten – ich habe es auch ausprobiert, komme damit aber nicht gut klar - weder über zeitgleiche Videokonferenzen, noch über zeitverschobenen Austausch von Audiofiles kommt das normale Gruppengefühl auf.

Glücklicherweis gehen wir auf den Sommer zu und so konnten wir – die Gruppe Fomiander (Folk, Mittelaltermusik und andere schöne Lieder) die neue Lockerung, dass sich wieder kleine Gruppen bei Einhaltung eines gehörigen Sicherheitsabstandes im freien treffen können, für open air Proben nutzen (nun zugegeben – ganz open air sind die Proben nicht, sondern sie finden in einem Gartenpavillon statt.