A four-way, cross-genre music improv format – watch and hear the results

Electronic music – pandemic or no – can often become a solo endeavor. And people working in different genres get to interact even less frequently. A series out of Hamburg has been delightfully messing up that order.

Yes, isolation is a good reminder of what we miss in sharing a space with other people. But I notice the general diet of streams and online videos has tended to shy away from more experimental, avant-garde pairings.

4fakultät not only bends to the adventurous but does so by creating scenarios where people play together who otherwise might not. (“Konzertreihe für stilübergreifende Improvisation.”)

Robert Lippok; visuals by Alexander Trattler and Artur Musalimov. Photo: Maik Gräf.
Ah, audiences. Episode #8; photograph by Phil Struck.

There’s a structure, set up to ensure balance and encounters, for two and a half hours of combined improvisational and compositional trajectories. “It really puts a focus on the interaction between the most different people and musical styles,” says Konstantin Bessonov, who co-produces the events.

Twelve sessions have taken place so far in Hamburg – with Derya Yildirim, Kate NV, Anna-Lena Schnabel, Svetlana Maraš, Robert Lippok, FOQL, Jimi Tenor, Andrea Belfi, Andrew Pekler, Yves de Mey, Nika Breithaupt, Sven Kacirek, Jawad Salkhordeh, Fee Kuerten, and various others.

Episode #13: Yves de Mey, Goran Lazarević, Eva Zöllner, Visuals: Alexander Trattler and Artur Musalimov. Photo by Philipp Schewe.
Photo (and cover): Fee Kürthen, Tellavisio, Derya Yıldırım. Photo: Konstantin Bessonov.

And if you’ve been missing experimental concerts, now you can stage one whenever you like for yourself. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a tea, sit back, and for now you can get video (of two) and high-quality audio (of all twelve). It’s all free – good for the impoverished purveyors of experimentalism – though if you do have some pockets, of course donations to the artists are encouraged.

Video:

Streaming audio – there’s a full playlist:

Konstantin Bessonov · 4fakultät

And there’s more – one of the best ways to explore is to page through the Bandcamp offerings, which are available as high-quality downloads and broken down by track:

There are love songs, too, which in these isolated times have some deeper beauty, somehow:

For instance, I adore this song by Lena Geue, listening to it on repeat:

Lovely lady, how does it feel /
to know that distance is a spinning wheel

It has me feeling wistful. Certainly, finding some way to play together from a distance is necessary. But I also realize we may need to use some of this time to try to imagine and build the connections so we can be in the same room again. Maybe that was what mattered most.

A.K. Klosowski’s Walkman. Photo by Phil Struck.
#14: John Eckhardt, Davide Tomat, visuals: Alexander Trattler / Artur-Musalimov. Photo: Maik Gräf.
#9: Irene-Kepl. Photo: Phil Struck.
John Eckhardt, Davide Tomat, visuals: Alexander Trattler / Artur-Musalimov. Photo: Maik Gräf.
#12 Jimi Tenor, visuals Alexander Trattler / Artur Musalimov. Photo: Philipp Schewe.

Full info:

https://4fakultaet.de/
https://4fakultaet.bandcamp.com/

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