30 YEARS OF WIENER MUSIK GALERIE
FRANZ KOGLMANN AT THE FOCUS
Over the last 30 years, Franz Koglmann has carved his very own musical trail through the landscape of recent jazz developments: after starting out in free music he began to look for a third way between improvisation and composition. “Third Stream” – not, however, harking back to a historical period that tried to connect organisation and freedom, but crafting a music of potentialities; a projection of the future drawing from the past; a ‘glass bead game’ that pursues the logic of dreams and follies and responds to the disjointed nature of an unstable reality with a disparate and fragmented syntax.
“Precision in melancholy” is an epithet people like to use to characterise Koglmann’s music. And rightly so: despite any cerebral constructive zeal, his assemblages of sound, inspired by literature, art and film, embrace emotions without ever sliding into sentimentality. At a time when forms are eroding, his mission is to find new shapes and figurations of sound that invest human expression with contemporary intensity. An open-ended adventure with enchanting interim results. Not post-modern, but post-classic.
This year, two anniversaries beckon: 65 years for Franz Koglmann and 30 years for Wiener Musik Galerie, an undertaking that is most intimately intertwined with the work of this particular flugelhorn player and composer. As artistic head of this itinerant institution, Koglmann has filled a void in the Viennese music world: together with Ingrid Karl he has presented explorers of sound, improvisers, mad scientists, those who were forging – beyond any institutional governance – new alloys of intuitive musical creation and focused compositional processes.
To this day, Wiener Musik Galerie has remained a laboratory showcasing the great classics of an unorthodox approach to jazz, such as Gil Evans, Steve Lacy or the Austrian giant of cool, Hans Koller, presenting personalities like the innovator John Zorn or Derek Bailey, the idiosyncratic explorer of sounds and textures. All of this inspired by a wish for that much sought-after quality of late: sustainability. For, the guests of Wiener Musik Galerie not only played concerts, they also staged workshops for Viennese musicians, providing them with first-hand experience of unusual forms of making music which were not taught here. Franz Koglmann and Wiener Musik Galerie, that adds up to: write the body, sing the spirit electric, make relationships dance: Let`s cool one!
In celebration of this twin jubilee, an event focusing on Franz Koglmann will be held at the ORF RadioKulturhaus on 24 November. This musical statement on the modern-day ‘third stream’ will include two world premieres, one of them a Börsenkonzert (Stock Exchange Concert, text: Alfred Zellinger), 4 songs after poems by Ronald Pohl, a line-up of stars such as the Nestroy award-winner Markus Hering, the marvellous mezzo-soprano Martina Claussen and top-notch drummer Günter 'Baby' Sommer, as well as a sonata with cello virtuoso Florian Kitt (performed in Vienna for the first time) and a Night Drive - concerto grosso under the supreme baton of Viennese avant-garde pioneeer Peter Burwik.