Donnerstag, 16. März 2023

Mario's Report from FCB # 133 on 03.03.2023

 Dear Folkies,

 As many of you know,  Folk Club Bonn started off as an anglophile folk club in the northernmost enclave, Graurheindorf, of a small town in Germany, Bonn, in 2010. Geography insisted that we would have strong bilingual content on the Folk Club Bonn Blog here. 

Perhaps some of you are not quite aware of the ever-increasing significant effect that AI (artificial intelligence) is having on all of our lives. One of the success stories has been the tremendous improvement in the quality of machine translation and perhaps the most successful of these success stories is a company that is situated literally just up the road or just downstream on the river Rhine from the Bonn folk club in the nearby city of Cologne and that is DeepL Translate which currently employs 300 people. DeepL rates itself as "The world's most accurate translator" and currently translates into and out of 29 different languages, including such exotic ones (seen from European eyes) as Japanese and Indonesian. Jaroslaw Kutylowski is the co-founder and CEO of DeepL. He was born in Poland to a father who was a professor in computer science and as a child when his parents moved to Germany Jaroslaw had the potential disadvantage, which he managed to turn into a resounding advantage, of attending school without the ability to speak its language of tuition, German. 

One of the reasons for DeepL's success is that it uses neural networks to closely replicate the learning process which occurs in the human brain itself, which starts as an empty vessel after childbirth and slowly develops an intense understanding of the world surrounding it, constantly "learning by doing". At the Bonn folk club, we hope to break down barriers with the aid of music. Most wars start with misunderstandings, and international wars often start because of misunderstandings due to potential translation errors. In fact, one of the most useful abilities that a human being can possess is the ability to think oneself into the shoes of another human being, and learning another language automatically enhances this skill. It is not one of the main reasons for learning another language, but it is certainly a positive byproduct of it. The current war raging in Ukraine, torched by Putin's megalomania, is also based on a general misunderstanding: while the majority of Ukrainians are also fluent in Russian, very few Russians have taken the trouble to learn Ukrainian. Perhaps a coincidence? 

The motto of DeepL is "Breaking down barriers" and that is something it seems to do extremely well, with an ever-increasing tendency to do it even better. You may perhaps be more familiar with Linguee which is a forerunner dictionary extraordinaire from the same stable, which operated prior to the launching of DeepL Translate, and still continues to operate as an online dictionary. The data base gathered with Linguee has allowed DeepL to begin life with an astonishingly large mass of very high quality, often highly technical, human translations, which enabled it to gain a tremendous head start over competitors.

But please judge for yourselves. What you will read from this point on, down to the end of the page, first the German you will now read, and then the report in English has been machine translated by DeepL Translate, and not corrected by human hand. All things taken into consideration, it is a tremendous achievement that is both fascinating and yet also slightly frightening simultaneously.


 Liebe Folkies,

 wie viele von euch wissen, begann der Folk Club Bonn 2010 als anglophiler Folk Club in der nördlichsten Enklave Graurheindorf einer kleinen Stadt in Deutschland, Bonn. Geographie bestand darauf, dass wir einen starken zweisprachigen Inhalt auf dem Folk Club Bonn Blog hier haben würden.

Vielleicht sind sich einige von Ihnen nicht ganz im Klaren darüber, dass KI (künstliche Intelligenz) einen immer bedeutenderen Einfluss auf unser aller Leben hat. Eine der Erfolgsgeschichten ist die enorme Verbesserung der Qualität der maschinellen Übersetzung, und die vielleicht erfolgreichste dieser Erfolgsgeschichten ist ein Unternehmen, das buchstäblich nur die Straße hinauf oder flussabwärts des Rheins vom Bonner Folk Club in der nahe gelegenen Stadt Köln ansässig ist, und das ist DeepL Translate, das derzeit 300 Mitarbeiter beschäftigt. DeepL bezeichnet sich selbst als "The world's most accurate translator" und übersetzt derzeit in und aus 29 verschiedenen Sprachen, darunter so exotische (aus europäischer Sicht) wie Japanisch und Indonesisch. Jaroslaw Kutylowski ist der Mitbegründer und CEO von DeepL. Er wurde in Polen als Sohn eines Informatikprofessors geboren, und als seine Eltern nach Deutschland zogen, hatte Jaroslaw den potenziellen Nachteil, den er in einen durchschlagenden Vorteil umwandelte, die Schule zu besuchen, ohne die Unterrichtssprache Deutsch sprechen zu können.

Einer der Gründe für den Erfolg von DeepL ist, dass es mit Hilfe von neuronalen Netzen den Lernprozess des menschlichen Gehirns nachbildet, das nach der Geburt als leeres Gefäß beginnt und langsam ein intensives Verständnis für die Welt um sich herum entwickelt, indem es ständig "learning by doing" betreibt. Im Bonner Folkclub wollen wir mit Hilfe der Musik Barrieren abbauen. Die meisten Kriege beginnen mit Missverständnissen, und internationale Kriege beginnen oft aufgrund von Missverständnissen, die auf mögliche Übersetzungsfehler zurückzuführen sind. In der Tat ist eine der nützlichsten Fähigkeiten, die ein Mensch besitzen kann, die Fähigkeit, sich in einen anderen Menschen hineinzuversetzen, und das Erlernen einer anderen Sprache verbessert diese Fähigkeit automatisch. Das ist zwar nicht der Hauptgrund für das Erlernen einer anderen Sprache, aber es ist sicherlich ein positives Nebenprodukt. Der derzeitige Krieg in der Ukraine, der von Putins Größenwahn angefacht wird, beruht ebenfalls auf einem allgemeinen Missverständnis: Während die Mehrheit der Ukrainer auch fließend Russisch spricht, haben sich nur sehr wenige Russen die Mühe gemacht, Ukrainisch zu lernen. Vielleicht ein Zufall?

Das Motto von DeepL lautet "Barrieren abbauen", und das scheint es sehr gut zu tun, mit einer immer stärkeren Tendenz, es noch besser zu machen. Vielleicht kennen Sie Linguee, ein Vorläufer-Wörterbuch aus demselben Hause, das vor der Einführung von DeepL Translate in Betrieb war und auch heute noch als Online-Wörterbuch funktioniert. Die mit Linguee gesammelte Datenbasis hat es DeepL ermöglicht, mit einer erstaunlich großen Menge an qualitativ hochwertigen, oft hochtechnischen, menschlichen Übersetzungen zu starten, was ihm einen enormen Vorsprung vor der Konkurrenz verschaffte.

Aber bitte urteilen Sie selbst. Was Sie ab diesem Punkt bis zum Ende der Seite lesen werden, zuerst das Deutsche, das Sie jetzt lesen, und dann den Bericht auf Englisch, wurde von DeepL Translate maschinell übersetzt und nicht von Menschenhand korrigiert. Alles in allem eine enorme Leistung, die faszinierend und gleichzeitig auch ein wenig beängstigend ist.

Translated with DeepL


Stormy Weather

Yes, it must have been very stormy, because despite the public transport strike and the setting up of railway track construction sites (this is a proposal for the unword of the year 2023 - you'll find out why:-) ), Dotty's Sportsbar was already filled for the Folk Club before 6:30pm - so it seemed that everyone was looking for a warm, cosy spot.

Great, I thought, now everyone who still wants a cosy meal has come early so that the disruption to the necessary service during the concerts is kept to a minimum - however, desire alone was the guiding principle of my thoughts here. No, it was so well filled because one act of the evening turned out to be a little different than expected - but to that later, and now in turn.

Everyone was waiting for the battle cry and opening call of the Masters of FCB - but he took his time, plucking away on his guitar, trying a melody here, a beat there. But just as the expectant silence was about to turn into a rising "let's quickly tell something before the music starts", the following sound was heard: "Laaaadiiiiieeees and Gentlemen, Mesdames et Messieurs.......". The expected weather storm startled everyone present, and the motto of the day, "stormy weather", was finally exhausted by the brilliantly produced musical performances. In keeping with the motto, John Harrison, accompanied as often as not by his night watchman colleague Christoph Thiebes, opened the evening with the song "Stormy Weather". In his usual manner, John dived into the depths of the blues. It is always nice to experience how the emcee of the evening becomes one with the music when John plays and sings blues. And to strengthen this identification even more, John put his guitar aside for the second song and sang a capella about the "King of Rome", a pigeon that was the only one of 1000 partial flyers (or do you say participants with pigeons?) to reach the finish line in a race. There was a storm that swept away 999 pigeons. Probably the King of Rome stopped at the Folk Club to wait out the stormy weather and flew home after Jock Stewart. You see, music saves lives. John closed with another stormy blues. "Stormy Monday" tells the eternal struggle with a survived weekend and the unseen obligation to now turn back to other things in daily life.

A welcome, but in Corona times rarely seen, guest was Wolfgang Schriefers. In his self-penned poem "Ewige Nelken" (Eternal Carnations), he compared the Folk Club to these flowers, which, once decided, do not fade, but always shine in full beauty after overcoming cold times. Well, the comparison is a good one, since the attendance figures are now almost back to the pre-Corona level. And this despite the fact that Corona is not yet over.

Günter Peters, the veteran of the Folk Club - he was already there at Folk Club No. 1 - proves that age has nothing to do with a lack of agility. In spite of his 90 years, he walks to the piano with swinging steps and lets his fingers dance there again and again, gladly and well. In a medley, he showed us how traditionals can be combined with pop music and ragtime. Dear Günter, please continue to delight us with this musical joie de vivre for a long time.

Tangoyim: Stefanie Hölze & Daniel Marsch

Now came the featured artists of the evening. Tangoyim. Not for the first time at the Folk Club, but eagerly awaited. With their calm and yet rousing style, they present the beauty, the background and the joie de vivre of Yiddish music. Already with the first song "Nakhes fun Kinder" they describe a special kind of happiness (Nakhes) - namely that which is brought into life by children. The naturalness of children and the refreshing logic of taking everything as it is, brings feelings of happiness that turn even difficult times into good times. And what is the most important thing in life with or besides children? That's right, health. "Abi gezunt" describes the story of a young woman who raises her siblings after the death of their mother (a little sun, a little rain, a quiet place to lie down, the main thing is to be healthy, then you can be happy). "Lomir zik iberbetn" takes up a typical situation of daily life, which is usually stressful after all. Translated, it means something like "let's get along again, I don't even know why we were fighting". Daniel and Stefanie, i.e. Tangoyim, not only sang and played the song, but also acted the situation so lifelike that one could have believed it was a scene from their everyday life :-). They continued with "Dos bisele Shpayz".

Now here I probably don't need to translate, and the content is actually also clear "7:40" written in numbers quite simply - pronounced? Oh please just listen to it on the CD you surely bought (if not, you can also order the CD from Tangoyim. "Di Shpanishe Kholere" certainly doesn't need any explanation, since more people died of the Spanish flu than in the First World War. Thank you for this little reminder that epidemics (as well as Corona) are not to be trifled with. If earlier we had nakhes (luck) through children, now another form of luck came into play. "Mazl" a luck that comes anyway, so to speak. But unfortunately, the song is about Mazl always passing by the singer's door. The Yiddish singing tradition is great, sometimes fans don't even know that a revered singer lives and sings in that very tradition. An example of this was the legendary Leonard Cohen. Very often misunderstood, but mostly loved in his songs, he becomes more comprehensible to many when they are aware that he composed and interpreted precisely in this Yiddish tradition. He did this in English or French, but in a way that was strongly based on Yiddish culture. With a form of the song "Dance Me To The End Of Love" transferred into Yiddish, which is now called "Tants Mit Mir", the two paid homage to this idol. For about a year now, and for unfortunately given reasons, Tangoyim have ended every concert with the Ukrainian song "Svite Teren" - a love song which is very well known in Ukraine and is sung with pleasure - we hope that this will soon be possible again in peace. But then it was not the last song after all, because Tangoyim were (had to be) allowed to give an encore. Of course with the support of the audience, happiness and peace were invoked once more with the song "Wollt ikh gehaght Koje". A song that describes the wish for peace in the form of a subjunctive and contains only three lines of text: "If I had the strength, I would go into the alleys and shout Shalom (peace)". What better call to send the audience into the break with?

Your chronicler (Mario Dompke) was allowed to open the second half himself. And since I don't have any immediate songs on the subject of storms from my own pen, I tried to transfer the stormy weather symbolically. "Zähle doch nicht schon in jungen Jahren" describes the socially "obligatory" attempt to secure oneself in life on all sides - in principle certainly good, but only an unforeseen situation ruins all such efforts (let's look at the Ahr valley or Ukraine or, or). With an appeal to peace and humanity, the song "The New World" asks for help and acceptance for all the refugees of this world and for tolerance for otherness. But also, finally, for serious joint efforts for a future in peace. Every life is stormy from time to time, and when one feels the odd niggle at an advanced age, one should not look back wistfully, but take the situation as it is - naturally and still enjoy it with a zest for life. This is exactly what the song "Getting Older" is about.

Now it was getting crowded on stage and "empty" in the hall. A small choir had been announced, but apparently other choirs (Kleiner Chor Bad Godesberg, Quartiersspatzen, Taubenhaucher) joined it on the way to the Folk Club Bonn, so that in the end an amalgamation of three choirs with a total of 30 singing people presented their skills. And this was considerable. "Vem Kan Segla" describes the story of seafaring in sea storms and how this can be mastered. Continuing with seafaring was the rendition of the currently much loved "Wellerman". As "everybody knows", a song about the allegorical description of friendship (you can sail your boat without sails or oars rather than part with a real friend without tears). If stormy, the choral singing stayed with (or in) the sea. With "To The Sea", the singing group officially concluded a musical delight of choral singing with polyphony and much shared joy. But officially does not mean that it is really over, because with a spontaneously composed birthday song, choir member Jonas was celebrated for his, just on this day, birthday. And our long-time companion Günter Peters, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, was also taken along

For the first time at the Folk Club, but hopefully not for the last, Stefanie Köpping and Volker Hense climbed onto the stage - a nice performance, since the stage at the Folk Club is at ground level and, depending on how the tables are arranged, also small :-). The two musicians known as End of Blue play their own pieces as well as reinterpret covers. The first piece was an interpretation of the song "20 Years" with vocals, guitar and mandolin. A very beautiful interpretation of the song asking for forgiveness for a wrong decision 20 years ago. With "Michael And Mary", The End of Blue performed a song of their own, which turned out to be very close to Irish song culture. Puppeted in the truest sense of the word, the beauty of a puppeted thing (in this case, the song) is revealed through an intonation-assured interpretation delivered in a beautiful voice. The voice was framed by two guitars played beautifully in the rhythm of the song. Finally, a song from their own pen was performed. The "Road Song" describes, as the title suggests, the perpetual longing (especially of musicians) to be on the road - in this case, as the musicians emphasise, not a road to work, but to a holiday.

The end of the Folk Club was marked by the group Cayu with the pre-presentation of their new CD (the official presentation took place one evening later in a solo concert). The special feature, however, was not the new CD, but the fact that this time Cayu had added a dancer and a choreography specially developed for the songs. To anticipate - it was a great fit and the dramaturgy and the symbolism of the songs reached a new dimension. Cayu started with the traditional "Esmera min", a Kurdish love song describing a stormy love. "The Whisper" is based on the theme of the day, because even if the air is only a breath, the content can be stormy.

An instrumental piece is "Pharaon" - here not only Eva could prove her virtuosity on the violin and John on the guitar again, but also the accompanying dance made the piece a treat for the eyes and ears. Of course, it remains to be said that it was wonderful to hear that the piano, despite its vocal power, managed to stay in the background and not dominate. With "Habibi", an Arabic traditional, Cayu not only said goodbye, but also gave us all another opportunity to express our own joie de vivre in (co)song.

You guessed it - the end is never the end, but always just an intermediate step to a new beginning. That's why this time, too, we paid homage to the patron saint of the Folk Club and sang, played and belted out the song Jock Stewart together.... This song always expresses the anticipation of the coming Folk Club, which this time has to be postponed by one week to 14.04.2023 because of Good Friday - nevertheless or just because of that

out of the bedroom

cu in FCB


Translated with DeepL

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