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Maple Leaf Music

img  Tobias

One of the most sympathetic and sweet albums of last year was "Pres de la lisiere" by Ahornfelder. Imagine lying in the grass of your favourite parc, with your eyes closed. It's a warm summer's day and you're listening to the sound of the birds and all the little animals around you, while your girl- or boyfriend is baking maple sirup pancakes on a camping stove. It put folk back where it belonged - right in the middle of nature - and tried to answer the question how artificial a collection of sound needed to be in order to be perceived as natural. Now, a festival organised by Alexander Schubert, the main brain behind Ahornfelder, is doing the same.

On three days of performances, the festival will be exploring the border line between acoustic instruments and electronics ("Pres de la lisiere" featured acoustic guitars next to manipulated field recordings), as well as sound and harmony - or between noise and music, if you would like to find a more provocative terminology. Provocation is not the theme, however and neither is an academic or terribly serious debate. Instead, artists are invited to playfully engage in a contact between the different worlds and to combine whatever elements they feel could or should belong together - Alexander explicitely mentioned electronic sine waves, a concert guitar, jumping ping pong balls, modified strings, a couple of old speakers, a bavarian vinyl record and a drum kit, but be sure that there is more and even stranger stuff to come. Which is not to say that these are obscure acts - the invited guests are some of the finest names in contemporary experimentals and have frequently appeared on these pages.

First up on Thursday, January 19th , there's Andrew Pekler, who has just released an album which uses Morton Feldman's music to create new and exciting aural landscapes. For two records, he was part of the roster of ~scape, Berlin's pride and joy and one of the leading labels for "clicks + cuts", one of the few truly new forms of musical expression of the last years. Andrew's approach has always been broader, however, more traditional with regards to instrumentation and more visionary in terms of its ambition and visuality. Then there's Marcus Obst of Dronaement, one of the leading proponents of a style that mixes field recordings with subtle drones and occasional organic beats - and whom you might know from our ongoing series about field music. Dronaement has released on many of the leading labels and is now pushing ahead with his own record company and a first full-length release entitled "Field Recordings I".  Euphorium are a duo that already has a few years of experience in playing on a wide range of prepared and freaky little instruments and the tomorrow collective have made it their mission to "talk about music using the means of the 21st century" - which translates into a trialogue between a laptop, a guitarist and a drum set. And then, of course, there's Alexander Schubert himself.

On the Friday, there will be yet another night of wonder, with fs. blumm, trikband, nahr, tonfang and again ahornfelder performing live. And the best thing's to come on Saturday, when those of the artists, who wish to stay, will come together for a series of loose jam sessions. Which is taking the concept to its extreme in a very relaxing and still exciting way. Tickets for this last part of the festival are unfortunately already gone, so be quick to at least make sure you can attend one of the remaining concerts. Proceedings take place at the NATO club in Leipzig and you can find all the information you need to get there at the Ahornfelder homepage, However good they may be, maple leaf pancakes are no substitute to this!

Homepage: Ahornfelder

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