Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hamburger Chronicles ( four ) : A Letter to Frau von Welck and Miss Young and an answer

Dear Frau von Welck and dear Miss Young,

We all know that life is beautiful, and that we are offered a great view from our place in this world. I visited Hamburg for the first time when winter came to Germany. It was cold and wet, nonetheless I liked the town. I didn't enter it from the rich side. Mine was rather modest, very modest from the financial point of view: Two concerts earned me 22 euro.

I don't want to write on the cultural importance of a marginal movement. This letter is not meant to point out what curiosity and love for music can bring about, even if there is no budget. From my little correspondence I understand how many details there are to pay attention to. That's why I can understand that lots of appointments, programmes and organisations all pleaing for support, can lead to a status quo wherein marginal situations remain marginal. ( A situation that might encounter faith from your side: it needs a strong and convinced person to go on without financial help)

The no-budget foundations work that way. Each one involved, knows that support from cultural or political organisations is hard to get at. This letter is one of the attempts to change this situation, if not incidently, maybe structurally.

That's why I propose some actions to you.

The first one is to visit a concert every now and then, that takes place in this no-budget circuit. Go there, also incognito, and when the hat goes round leave some money in it.

The other action is more on an organisational level. The city of Hamburg could employ an imaginary musician, and pay him 250 euro a month. Once or twice a month, this musician will perform in one of the no-budget venues. He/she/they will get payed 125 euro. The identity of the imaginary musician will be revealed with each concert. Of course it is a changing identity, because the organizers will invite a different musician or group of musicians with every concert.

A more concrete example how representatives from the marginal world could get involved in an organisation with a real budget is Projektgruppe Neue Musik. They get financial support from the City of Bremen. Their website can tell you more.

Last but not least, your special attention might go out to those who spend time and energy organizing a concert. It costs them money and most of the time they don't apply for help at all, because a negative answer could cause a draw-back, add to frustration and eventually lead to stop their activity.

It's almost christmas. A little present always warms the heart. Try.


yours sincerely,

Rinus van Alebeek

verband für aktuelle musik hamburg: www.vamh.de
projektgruppe neue musik (bremen) : www.pgnm.de



On the 27th of December I got an answer.
Frau von Welck emphasized the importance of a marginal movement. But she also regretted that the scene was too fragmentised. Maybe the newly founded VAMH would develop itself into an organisation from where financed events would start. She also liked to state that my idea of employing an imaginary musician would make a chance if offered as a 'project'.

Miss van Welck is Kultursenatorin in Hamburg, which means that in the 'government' of Hamburg, she is the minister of culture. Miss Young is occupied with the musical sector.

(personal note: those who live in Hamburg are free to do so.)

Here is the letter from Frau von Welck:
(in German)



Sehr geehrter Herr van Alebeek,

Senatorin Prof. Dr. Karin von Welck hat Ihre Email vom 12. Dezember erhalten und mich gebeten, Ihnen zu antworten.

Sie haben sicher Recht mit Ihrer Einschätzung, dass musikalische Nischen - gerade in einer Großstadt - von besonderer Bedeutung sind, auch wenn Sie diesen Gesichtspunkt eigentlich gar nicht besonders betonen wollten. Auch habe ich mit Interesse zur Kenntnis genommen, dass Sie auf eine strukturelle Perspektive abheben und dabei auf die Projektgruppe Neue Musik in Bremen verweisen, weil Ihnen aufgefallen ist, dass es eine vergleichbare Institution in Hamburg nicht gibt.

Und damit sind wir beim Kern des Problems: In Hamburg gibt es eine Vielzahl von Ensembles, Initiativen und einzelnen Künstlerinnen und Künstlern, die es bislang vorziehen, sich in kleineren Einheiten zu vernetzen. Bis jetzt ist es nicht gelungen, eine allseits akzeptierte Dachorganisation zu schaffen, die die Interessen derjenigen vertritt, die sich als Musikschaffende generell dem Bereich der Neuen Musik zuordnen. Deshalb beobachtet die Kulturbehörde mit besonderem Interesse die Entwicklung des im letzten Jahr gegründeten Verbands für Aktuelle Musik.

Ihre Projekt-Idee zum „Imaginären Musiker“ könnte beispielsweise als Antrag bei der Jury zur Vergabe von Projektmitteln im Bereich E-Musik eingereicht werden (Abgabefrist: 1.11.2006). Ein solches Projekt wäre sicher sehr geeignet, die Kooperationsmöglichkeiten der verschiedenen Initiativen auszuloten und eine stärkere Vernetzung der einzelnen Segmente zu erreichen. Dies wäre sehr wünschenswert.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

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