讲座简介 Introduction of the talk
达姆施塔特市德国爵士研究所（Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, Germany）于1990年建立，并已成为欧洲最大的爵士乐公共档案文件和信息储存中心，可提供世界各地的爵士乐的主要信息资源。Wolfram Knauer在达姆施塔特市德国爵士研究所建立之际便担任所长，他将在此次讲座中谈到现代德国爵士乐的多样性和运行这样一个组织的重任，并向观众展示该组织是如何联结音乐场景和业界、演出、观众和文化政治的。讲座内容也会简单涉及到爵士乐和即兴音乐作为我们全球化世界背景下的创造性动力的重要性。
Jazz was born as an African-American music, but it has since conquered the world, asking musicians from around the globe to both follow the model of the American original and add influences from their own musical backgrounds. In Germany, jazz has become an important form of creative musical expression, supported by a devoted audience, by a diverse club and festival scene and by funding through radio, public municipal and regional offices as well as the national government.
The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt has been founded in 1990 by the city of Darmstadt, and has since become the largest public jazz archive and information center in Europe and one of the major sources for information about jazz worldwide. Wolfram Knauer has been the Jazzinstitut's director since its inception and will talk both about the diversity of current German jazz and about the tasks of an organization connecting the music scene, its audience, and cultural politics. He will also touch upon the importance of jazz and improvised music as a creative force in our globalized world.
讲者简介 Introduction of the Speaker
Wolfram Knauer是一名音乐学家，自达姆施塔特市德国爵士研究所1990年创办以来一直担任所长。他写作并编辑了超过14本爵士乐相关的书籍，同时也是学术期刊《Jazz Perspectives》的编辑董事会成员之一。他在几个学校和大学任教，并在2008年的春天被任命为纽约哥伦比亚大学的爵士乐研究中心路易斯·阿姆斯特朗（Louis Armstrong）基金会的客座教授，成为了该中心第一位非美国籍的客座教授。
Wolfram Knauer is a musicologist and the director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt since its inception in 1990. He has written and edited more than 14 books on jazz and serves on the board of editors for the scholarly journal Jazz Perspectives. He has taught at several schools and universities and was appointed the first non-American Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, New York, for spring 2008.
现代德国爵士 German Jazz Today
讲者 Speaker：Wolfram Knauer / 现场翻译 Interpreter：程璐璐 Cheng Lulu / 时间 Date：2014.10.12
Next year, the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt will celebrate its 25th anniversary. It was founded in 1990, but the history of active music support in the city of Darmstadt goes back until 1946. In my presentation I will tell you a little bit about what we do at the Jazzinstitut, but also about the music which can be heard in Germany at the moment and how we all, musicians, promoters, critics, as well as fans and jazz enthusiasts try to secure a scene which is based on many volunteers and yet has become a major artistic voice for German culture.
让我们先听一段音乐，这是德国贝斯手Sebastian Gramss的五重奏2014年4月的录音，低音单簧管Rudi Mahall，吉他Frank Wingold。Gramss来自爵士乐氛围非常活跃的德国科隆，在他名为“Underkarl”的项目里，他把对爵士史的深刻理解与近当代的声音表现结合起来。在真正的合奏开始前，乐曲是以Wingold刮擦一张他们自己的黑胶唱片起头的。我想用这首曲子开始的原因是，之后我们将叙述爵士史的发展，而我希望你们了解爵士乐的目的地在哪里，它永远是：今天，又或者说，明天。
Let us start with some music, recorded in April 2014 by the quintet of the German bassist Sebastian Gramss with Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet and Frank Wingold on guitar. Gramss is a musician of the vibrant Cologne jazz scene, and in his project called “Underkarl” he combines contemporary sounds and approaches with a deep appreciation for jazz history. The track starts with Wingold scratching a vinyl record of the band before the real ensemble takes over. I want to start with this because after it we will move through jazz history and I want to make sure you know about the destination, which in jazz always is: today, or rather: tomorrow.
我就从对德国爵士史的简短回顾开始吧。爵士乐在上个世纪20年代传入德国，当时被大家当作一种新的舞会音乐。乐手们在柏林、慕尼黑、汉堡等一些大城市中受欢迎的俱乐部、咖啡馆或酒店里演出，尽管他们几乎没听过“真货”，就是说他们很少能接触到真正的美国爵士乐。他们不得不依靠他们对爵士的想象，主要通过从乐谱、乐评以及与其它音乐家的争论中获得的一种认知，来靠近爵士乐的观念。很多人把特定的乐器——比如萨克斯、班卓琴、爵士鼓，或者把以特定的方式来演奏古典乐器，或者把特定的节奏表现，又或是把很多乐器合奏时产生的一种狂乱的声音，来作为爵士的象征。乐手们也许听过即兴这个概念，但是很少有人真正知道如何即兴。请注意，这是唱片诞生之前的时代，你若非在音乐现场听过，就是从未听过。不过20年代中期，第一个美国爵士乐团来欧洲巡演，德国人突然就能听到真正的爵士乐了。1928年，第一个爵士乐课程在法兰克福音乐学院开办。它旨在从不同方面教授舞会乐手“当代爵士乐演奏”。尽管一些当代古典作曲家，如Igor Stravinsky、Ernst Krenek、Paul Hindemith等都曾经在自己的作曲中运用到爵士元素，但是爵士乐在当时仍然不被认为是一种和欧洲古典音乐水平相当的艺术形式。
Let me start with a short look back into German jazz history. Jazz came to Germany in the early 1920s and was celebrated as a fresh dance music. The musicians playing the music in the popular clubs, cafés or hotels in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg or other big cities, had rarely heard the “real thing”, though, which means they had rarely been in contact with authentic American jazz. They had to rely on what they thought jazz was, a perception mostly informed by sheet music, by written commentaries, and by other musicians struggling to come close to the idea of jazz. For many, jazz was symbolized by specific instruments – the saxophone, the banjo, the drum set –, by specific ways of treating classical instruments, by specific rhythmic interpretations and by a wild sound achieved by many instruments playing together collectively. Musicians may have heard of the concept of improvisation but few knew how to really improvise. Remember that this is before the record era; you either had to hear the music live or you did not hear it at all. Then, by the mid-1920s, the first American jazz ensembles toured Europe, and suddenly it was possible to hear the real thing. In 1928 the first jazz class was established at the Frankfurt conservatory. Its aim was to teach dance musicians the different aspects of a “modern jazz interpretation”. Although some contemporary classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Ernst Krenek, Paul Hindemith and others had used jazz elements in their compositions, jazz was not yet considered an art form on a similar level as European classical music.
In the 1930s the jazz reception in Germany came to a halt. The political climate in the country did not support any kind of art which was not considered German; it also opposed any art that was engaging in individualism. Jazz was officially banned by the Nazis; musicians were not allowed to play jazz titles, the fans of the music were persecuted by the state police, sometimes even interned in concentration camps. Between 1933 and 1945, jazz life basically came to a halt in our country. However, it is hard to ban a music, especially if it is as popular as jazz was at that time. And thus, while American jazz was officially banned, it survived in underground circles, among fans and musicians who continued to play it as good as they could under the circumstances.
When World War II was over, the jazz world literally exploded. The music became immensely popular. Young musicians and fans started to play jazz, and many of the military clubs within the American army bases offered German musicians jobs to play for the entertainment of the American soldiers.
The 1940s and 1950s saw a young German jazz scene adopting the new trends in American jazz, learning the idiom, trying to sound like their idols. Some musicians favored the more traditional styles from New Orleans jazz to swing, others tried their hands in more modern idioms like bebop, cool jazz and hard bop. This phase of German jazz reception was characterized by musicians mastering the idiom; however, hardly any musician in Germany, at that time, developed a specific style of his own.
所谓的欧洲爵士乐的“解放”发生在1960年代——请记住我在这里所指的这种大致的发展状况是遍及整个西欧的。当时，年轻的音乐家在遇到他们的美国同行后，意识到原来爵士乐的基本法则是：“哥们，玩你自己的！”这个规则暗示你不仅要了解爵士传统的词汇，还要深入探寻你自己的音乐背景，以发展出一种个性的声音。一些德国的爵士音乐家，如Albert Mangelsdorff或是Alexander von Schlippenbach，正是发展出了一种特别的音乐语言，这种音乐语言既深刻地扎根于他们的美国偶像乐手的音乐，又向内审视他们自己的音乐理解。
The so-called “emancipation” of European jazz – you have to remember that the general development I am describing here, happened all over Western Europe – the so-called “emancipation” of European jazz happened in the 1960s. It happened when young musicians, meeting their American colleagues, realized that the basic rule of jazz was, “Play yourself, man!”, a rule which implied that you had to know the vocabulary of the jazz tradition, but you also had to search deep into your own musical background to develop a personal voice. German jazz musicians such as Albert Mangelsdorff or Alexander von Schlippenbach developed a musical language deeply rooted in the music of their American idols, yet also looking into their own musical socialization.
例如，Mangelsdorff曾在他的曲子中用了一首16世纪的赞美诗《Es sungen drei Engel（三位天使所唱的歌）》。1963年，Mangelsdorff和他的五重奏受德国文化机构歌德学院之邀进行亚洲巡演，他们决定将该桥段替换成各个所到之处的当地民歌。为了体现自己的祖国，他们还在节目单里加入一支古老的德国民谣。现在我们来听一下这首基于泰国当地民歌的《Now Jazz Ramwong》。
Mangelsdorff, for instance, used a chorale from the 16th century for one of his pieces, “Es sungen drei Engel” (Three Angels). This came to pass when Mangelsdorff and his quintet were hired to do an Asian tour for the Goethe-Institut, Germany's cultural institution, in 1963, and they decided to play a folk song from each of the different countries they visited. To show where they came from, they added an old German folk tune to their repertoire. Here is “Now Jazz Ramwong” which is based on a Thai folk song.
另一方面，Alexander von Schlippenbach曾经在科隆音乐学院学习古典作曲，他希望把一些当代古典乐的作曲技法运用在他与他的一些小编制乐团，或者与大编制的环球大乐团（the Globe Unity Orchestra）同台演出的即兴项目里。
Alexander von Schlippenbach, on the other hand, had studied classical composition at the conservatory in Cologne and wanted to use some of the techniques of contemporary classical composition for the improvisation projects he staged with his smaller ensembles or with the larger Globe Unity Orchestra.
其他的音乐家如萨克斯手Peter Brötzmann或贝司手Peter Kowald发展出了一种非常具有表现力的自由即兴风格，通常在声音和手法上生猛极端，且包含了一种反叛者姿态的政治隐喻，他们反抗当时德国社会的无能，因其尚未有正视其黑暗的政治历史的决心和勇气。
Other musicians such as the saxophonist Peter Brötzmann or the bassist Peter Kowald developed a very expressive idiom of free improvisation, often brutally excessive in sound and approach, often also having political undertones of a revolt against a society which still had not quite found its resolve with its dark political past.
Jazz developed distinctive European sounds during these years, and more so, it developed distinctive national sounds even, through which the music played by Norwegian jazz musicians would sound different from that played by French, Italian, British, Dutch or German musicians.
There was one major difference between Western European and US American jazz, and that was organizational more than musical: In Western Europe you had a tradition of funding the arts. Jazz soon was considered a contemporary art form, and more even, an art form that could express the Western European soul just as much as it expressed the American, the African-American soul. The Goethe-Institut had started to send jazz musicians around the world in the early 1960s to represent German art music. Concerts, festivals were sponsored through tax payers' money. The public radio stations not only recorded jazz concerts but even produced them, and thus gave musicians the chance to experiment and to develop new projects. The same public radio stations even had their own, well-paid radio big bands which to this day belong among the best jazz orchestras in the world.
As you can see, we are coming into the present time, and to wrap up this short history of jazz in Germany I will get back to the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt – only to return to the music in a short while again.
达姆施塔特爵士研究所的成立，缘起于一个名叫Joachim Ernst Berendt的知名乐评人、记者、作者兼爵士乐制作人。他把他的唱片、书籍、报刊、照片等个人收藏全部卖给了达姆施塔特市政府，纳入其主要的二十世纪音乐文献收藏。达姆施塔特位于法兰克福以南，驱车一个半小时。达姆施塔特市不大，只有15万居民，却足以让人自豪。直到1944年，这里还是区政府所在地。但是二战期间，它被英国皇家空军的炮弹夷为平地。然而，这里的人民一直渴望着达姆施塔特成为政府所在地，希望这个城市变得特别，成为世界的中心。这或许能解释为什么很多文化机构都安居于此，这些机构基本上都依存于居住在这个城市的纳税人资助。
The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt was founded after Joachim Ernst Berendt, a major critic, journalist, author and producer of jazz had sold his collection of recordings, books, periodicals, photos etc. to the city of Darmstadt to be included in their major collection of 20th century music documents. Darmstadt, about half an hour south of Frankfurt, is a city of 150,000 inhabitants, not big, however very proud. It was the seat of the regional government until 1944 when, during the Second World War, the city burned to the ground completely after having been bombed by the Royal Air Force. The attitude of being a government seat, however, of being special, of being the center of the world, never left the people in Darmstadt which may explain the many cultural institutions at home there, all basically financed by the tax payers living in the city.
爵士乐研究所成立于1990年，拥有黑胶、78转唱片、CD、视频等各类格式的庞大收藏约8万个音像品。我们有美洲大陆外最多的爵士乐书籍和期刊收藏。我们还有大约5万张照片和上千张海报。我们是一个档案馆，也就是说我们要收集从诞生之初到最近发展的整个爵士乐历史。世界上还有其他的爵士资料馆，最重要的两所都在美国。一所是位于新泽西州纽瓦克市的爵士乐研究中心，它拥有更加丰富的藏品，包括一些过世乐手的遗物。在那里你可以见到Fats Waller或Mary Lou Williams的手稿。以及从爵士诞生初到上世纪六七十年代的一些乐手的个人手迹。另一所是位于新奥尔良市的霍根资料馆，它的档案记载了路易斯安那州的爵士起源和音乐环境。
The Jazzinstitut was founded in 1990. It holds a huge collection of approximately 80,000 recordings of all formats: vinyl LPs, 78 RPM records, CDs, videos. We have the largest book and periodical collection about jazz on our side of the Atlantic. We have about 50,000 photos as well as thousands of posters. We are an archive which means we try to collect the complete history of jazz from its beginnings up to the most current developments. There are other archives on jazz around the world, the most important two in the United States: The Institute of Jazz Studies in Newark, New Jersey, has a much larger collection and holds many estates of diseased jazz musicians. There you will find the music manuscripts of Fats Waller or Mary Lou Williams as well as the personal papers of many musicians from the beginnings of jazz up into the 1960s and 1970s. And the Hogan Archive in New Orleans documents the origin of jazz and its musical environment in the state of Louisiana.
What, then, makes the Jazzinstitut in Darmstadt different from these other two or from similar European archives? For one, we are more than just an archive. Our understanding is that to understand jazz history you must know about its present and you must care about its future. And by that I do not just mean preservational activities about keeping the history alive, but I mean to support artists in their efforts to continue to develop the art form, no matter where it might lead.
We are an archive, then, however many of the taxpayers in our city mostly know us as the organizers of concerts in our own concert space underneath the Jazzinstitut. Yes, we have our own club holding approximately 100 people, with a wonderful Steinway piano and excellent acoustics. We were lucky to have one of the most important German saxophonists to open the performance space in 1997: Heinz Sauer who since then has played at the Jazzinstitut a number of times. We organize about one concert a week, every Friday, and if I say “we”, that is not only us, the relatively small staff of three at the Jazzinstitut, but a local jazz initiative of musicians, fans and enthusiasts, as well, who will put on their own concert series and who are responsible for the catering at our club, buying and selling the drinks behind the bar.
Our main concert series is one which we call “JazzTalk”. For it we invite musicians and bands to play a regular concert. However, after the intermission I will sit down on stage with the musicians to talk about their art, about influences, about how they developed their personal style or simply about the first set. This is not so much meant to be a lecture for the audience than to give them the opportunity to get to know the musicians and their aesthetic approach. Many audience members tell us that at JazzTalk concerts they will hear the second set differently from the first, simply because of the conversation we had about the music in between.
Darmstadt jazz fans also know us for an annual workshop which we organize since 1992 and in which we invite the best musicians from Germany but also from other countries to teach about 60 students each year for a whole weak. These students are not necessarily professional musicians or strive to become musicians; however, they want to learn more about their instrument and especially about the art of improvisation. These workshops, as I like to say, will not necessarily produce the next Miles Davis, but they will make sure that Darmstadt has one of the best audiences you can imagine: people who know about being on stage, who know from first-hand experience what it means to improvise, who will not be content with normal standards but who like to be challenged, to hear something new.
每隔一年我们都会举办一个名为达姆施塔特爵士论坛（Darmstadt Jazzforum）的国际研讨会。会议总是围绕一个特定的主题展开，我们会邀请一些音乐学家、社会学家、文学批评家和其他领域的学者，记者和乐手也会对主题发表自己的看法。往期爵士论坛的主题有“爵士在德国”、“爵士在欧洲”、“爵士和语言”、“爵士和流行音乐”，有如Duke Ellington和Albert Mangelsdorff这样音乐家的主题，也有关于爵士乐教育和爵士乐评论等方面的主题。我们上期的爵士论坛主题叫“爵士辩论（Jazz Debates）”，讨论了历史上和当前爵士的论述中不同的辩论，以及所有这些辩论如何影响今天我们对这种音乐的认知。明年举办第14届达姆施塔特爵士论坛，聚焦性别的主题，同时也将迎来爵士研究所创建25周年。我们将要探讨女性在爵士乐中的重要意义，话题包括男性气质之于爵士即兴以及同性恋乐手在爵士中的影响等等。除此之外，我们还会探讨关于个人背景对于音乐创作的重要性，以及“你是谁”如何导引“你演奏什么”。
Every other year we put on an international conference, called the Darmstadt Jazzforum. It always centers around a specific topic, and we invite musicologists, sociologists, literary critics and other scholars, but also journalists and musicians to give us their input on the topic. Past Jazzforums focused on “Jazz in Germany”, “Jazz in Europe”, “Jazz and Language”, “Jazz and Pop Music”, on musicians such as Duke Ellington or Albert Mangelsdorff, on jazz education, on jazz criticism and so on and so forth. Our last Jazzforum was called “Jazz Debates” and discussed the different debates in jazz history as well as present jazz discourses and how all of them influence our current understanding of the music. Next year we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Jazzinstitut with the 14th Darmstadt Jazzforum focusing on a gender topic. We will discuss the importance of women in jazz, subjects like masculinity in jazz improvisation, but also the input of gay or lesbian musicians in jazz history. More, though, we will talk about how important your personal background is for the music you are making, about how who you are informs what you play.
每一届爵士论坛都会完整地存档于我们的“爵士探索之达姆施塔特研究”（“Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research”）书系中，这也是德语爵士资料的一个重要来源。此外，爵士研究所还会印刷一些记录我们策划过的展览的小册子，这些展览包括了在我们自己小画廊的展览以及为各种音乐节或其他活动所办的巡展。我个人也撰写过一些以爵士为题材的书籍，比如一本深入研究Modern Jazz Quartet的音乐的书，以及两本关于Louis Armstrong和Charlie Parker的人物传记，还有更多的作品正在筹备当中。之前我提过我们只有三名馆员，但我们在这样一个规模下获得了世界范围的广泛赞誉，我为此感到非常自豪。甚至来自爵士乐发源地——美国的学生，也被老师要求在论文写作前，首先咨询我们以了解他们所需的学科著作。
Each Jazzforum is thoroughly documented in our book series called “Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research”, a major German-language source of information on jazz. Apart from that the Jazzinstitut has published small brochures and booklets documenting some of the exhibitions we have curated both at our own small gallery and as traveling exhibitions to be rented from us for festivals or other events. I have personally written several books on jazz subjects, such as a detailed study on the music of the Modern Jazz Quartet or two biographies about Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, and I am working at more to come. I told you shortly that we have a staff of only three. I am proud to say that for such a size we have a pretty good and worldwide reputation. Even students from the United States, the birthplace of jazz, are required to first contact us about any literature on their preferred subjects before starting their work on a paper or thesis.
It is quite a lot that we do, no? Yet, even all of this, archiving, organizing concerts, festivals, workshops, exhibitions, and doing groundbreaking work in jazz research, is only part of our daily work. A major aspect of our work in recent years has become what I would call lobbying for jazz. And for this we must come back into the music world, the German jazz scene of the 21st century.
Germany, as you may be aware, had had two jazz scenes between 1949 and 1989: There was a very active scene in West Germany, where musicians could stay in close contact with their American colleagues. It was a lively scene, with many clubs and festivals at which you could hear the big stars of jazz as well as up-and-coming musicians from all around the world. East Germany, on the other hand, had developed its own kind of jazz, in many ways different from that in the west. There, musicians reflected upon their own surroundings in a socialist country, without such easy access to Western music or the possibilities of close contact with American musicians. By the 1960s, East German jazz musicians had developed a clearly recognizable musical idiom that made use of German folklore traditions as well as referred to the socialist background of their own country, composers such as Hanns Eisler and others. Just as in the West, the East German jazz musicians had arrived at a level of free improvisation; however, the Eastern style had a little bit more of humor in it, and it was a little clearer in its formal outline.
Then came 1989 and the reunification of the two German states. Now, I had told you that the Jazzinstitut was founded in 1990, only one year after those political changes, and we were soon faced with major problems which the musicians had and approached us with. Reunification meant that a lot of public finances suddenly had to be used differently. Germany, after all, had to make one state out of two. It had to combine two divergent infrastructures; it had to bring roads to an equal level on both sides of the former inner-German border, as well as economic and government systems. The funding of the arts was neither a first priority for the government nor was going to concerts the first priority for many of the people under this new situation. As wonderful as the political changes from 1989 thus were for Germany as a nation, they also brought about a change in the artistic acceptance especially of art forms which depended on public subsidies.
The first calls we received from the music scene after the founding of the Jazzinstitut, thus, were shouts for help. Musicians realized that the Jazzinstitut might be more than just an archive preserving history. And we at the Jazzinstitut realized that as a public organization we might be in a position to help the current music scene. We started to ask the musicians: What is it that you really need, apart from money? In what way could we help to strengthen the jazz scene? And the answer we received most often was: We need a “gig guide”, we need a listing of jazz clubs, festivals, record labels and all of the other professional players on the scene. As there was nothing of the sort, we started collecting information and soon published the first of our, as we called it, “Pathfinder to Jazz” which in its last edition comprised more than 400 pages of information about the German jazz scene. This was not just a listing of venues but included detailed information about the many clubs and stages, about pianos, sound systems, the people to contact and so on and so forth. It also included information about the subsidy system in Germany, about whom to turn to if you need public funding. We listed how much money each of the 16 federal states was spending in regard to jazz funding, and we made sure to send each new edition of the book to all of the politicians and federal agencies involved in supporting the arts. In short, we developed a political consciousness, and we managed to get heard on both a regional and a national level.
爵士研究所帮助搭建了一套支持爵士乐的国民构架，这个来自爵士乐各个领域同行的圈子包括：音乐家、音乐会承办者、记者、唱片公司代表、教育者等等，还有更多。通过这个被称之为“爵士联盟会议”（“Federal Conference on Jazz”）的组织，我们完成了德国爵士大会（German Jazz Meeting）的创建。它是一个展会节日，现在由不莱梅的集贸公司接管，现今德国的爵士项目都会再次展示给受邀的来自世界各地的记者和音乐会承办者。爵士乐，终究是一种需要在现场聆听的音乐，我们也确信这些承办者们需要听到乐手的现场，才能知道当今乐坛正在发生什么，而不仅是通过唱片。我们还通过这个组织说服联邦政府设立了一个俱乐部奖项，每年表彰那些在爵士、摇滚和流行乐领域有自己杰出的文化项目的俱乐部。
The Jazzinstitut was instrumental in establishing a national structure for jazz support, a circle of colleagues from all the fields of jazz: musicians, concert promoters, journalists, label representatives, educators and much more. With this organization, called the “Federal Conference on Jazz”, we managed to establish the German Jazz Meeting, a festival which now has been taken over by the Trade Fair Company in Bremen, in which current jazz projects from Germany are presented to invited journalists and concert promoters from all around the world. Jazz, after all, is a music to be heard in live concert, and we are convinced that promoters need to hear the musicians in action, and not just on record, in order to know what is happening on the current scene. With this organization we also managed to convince the federal government to establish what is called a club award, which annually honors clubs from the field of jazz, rock and pop for their advanced cultural programs.
Listen to a clip of the band Hyperactive Kid from last year...
It is a changing world, and we all need to adjust to the changes. Whereas the classical music world since long had their support structures, whereas the popular music scene is being handled by the commercial music industry, jazz always depended on the musicians themselves, on many volunteers. The jazz scene hardly ever had a professional structure behind it. There are both musicians and fans from an older generation who say that this improvisational nature even of organizing concerts is at the core of the music. However, younger musicians think differently. They grew up in a world in which jazz has been recognized as a major art form, and they demand both professional venues and adequate payment for their concerts. They demand a financial structure which allows them to do their work. They see themselves as artists first. However what they do as improvising musicians might be considered, as I like to phrase it, the “research laboratory” of contemporary music. Like in any kind of research, experiments in such laboratories need financial backing and one cannot necessarily expect them to all be successful. Yet, as we continue to develop as cultural environments, we need to support this kind of research, and our (the Jazzinstitut's) duty as a public institution is to make politicians understand that art is not only about beauty and entertainment, but that art is a continuing dialogue, a discourse about what is going on in the world. The arts are a mirror of human decisions. They can be the consciousness of a society. They will always be critical of what is going on. They will accompany, they will support, they will disturb, they will shock. They need to be free. And this freedom ideally needs to be financed by the system in which they grow.
So, here we are, in the year 2014. Let me get back to German jazz for the remainder of my presentation.
The German scene today is quite varied. You will find clubs and festivals in every major city in Germany. Berlin is the center of activity these days with Cologne not far behind. Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart have a lively scene, and even some of the smaller cities. We have jazz programs at most of the German music universities, and the students who study jazz are so many that we sometimes ask where they will find their audience. However you study jazz not only to become a good jazz musician, but also to become a good music teacher or a good studio musician. To be able to play jazz is seen as an essential part of a musician's education.
Berlin, though is at the center. The German capital still has relatively cheap rent and living costs are lower than in other cities. You will find many artists from all different fields in town to stimulate your creativity or to enable you to realize whatever project comes to your mind. Many musicians from other European countries moved to Berlin, but also musicians from the USA. They enjoy the creative spirit of the city. We all know that such artistic centers move with the flow, however I am sure Berlin will remain a hotspot for years to come.
What makes German jazz different from jazz in other European countries, you may ask. And how does it differ from American jazz? Has not the world with the advent of the internet become so small that local musical idioms dissolve into a general global language in which each and every musician is able to be influenced by each and every other, even if they have never met?
My answer would be: Yes and no. Yes, jazz has spread all over the world, and with it the basic vocabulary and the basic grammatical rules of this music: Jazz's specific way of improvising, of collectively developing a musical result seems to have become a universal approach. Most jazz musicians all over the world have definitively had a similar background in being influenced through some American role models, in having played some of the same standard compositions, in knowing the meaning (if not the feeling) of the blues.
The African American origin of the music is universally accepted, and yet, jazz always asked for something else if it were to be played authentically. The most universal rule of jazz is one people often don't think about. If you ask older jazz musicians what makes a musician a good jazz musician, they might answer: “Play yourself, man!” By which they mean that you will have to develop your own personal approach to the music and not just repeat what others play. Yes, absorb the music of the great masters, learn from them, but at one point you need to look into your own musical background, and try to find out how you sound and what you personally have to bring to the table.
This rule of individuality was what made jazz a difficult subject in totalitarian countries which never liked nonconformity, but it also is what makes jazz played in Germany or France or South Africa or China different from jazz as being played in the United States. I told you before how even the music in the two German states sounded different for the time of their forced separation. And, let me make this clear, this difference of approach, this difference of background is important for the relevance of the music. If German musicians would just try to sound like American musicians their music would never be authentic. If they “play themselves” however, they will sound different from their American colleagues.
It happened and it still happens that American musicians come to Europe and are irritated by what European musicians are playing, because it is less rooted in the blues, because it breaks with traditions, or rather it introduces different traditions as points of reference. Sometimes, European jazz improvisation may sound not like jazz at all but much closer to the experiments in the contemporary composed music field. But that is, as I try to explain to skeptical Americans, America's gift to the world: a music which requires to be accommodated to the cultures it travels to, which requires personal involvement, which requires the traditions to be changed in order to be honored. That is also one of the reasons why jazz for me to this day has a highly moral, ethical and political value: It is a model for communication transcending political, religious or cultural differences. There is a reason why the Goethe-Institut embraced jazz as an art form to represent Germany from the 1960s onward. Jazz musicians traveled and at once found a way to communicate with musicians from other cultures, whether they were fellow jazz musicians or folk musicians or classical musicians. The jazz players are used to accommodate their art form, to take up whatever others are playing and incorporate it into the artistic process. Jazz has in recent years become a model for modern management; it could just as well be a model for diplomatic communication or for overcoming cultural differences.
From what I have said before this clip, you can see, that I am quite an optimist. Jazz to me is not the best of all worlds. It just acknowledges difference. It speaks of tolerance. Jazz musicians will let you play what you play and try to incorporate your personal style instead of forcing you to play “their” way. They know that only the sound of difference will be the sound of interest. Jazz is and remains, after all, the “sound of surprise”. Whenever I go to a concert, be it in the United States or in Germany or here in China, I am on the lookout for exactly those surprises. And whenever I am surprised I am happy because I know the world is still alive and turning…
文本信息 Text Information
来源 Source：Wolfram Knauer提供英文讲稿 English script provided by Wolfram Knauer
翻译 Translating：Subi，Liamaerd，尹思卜 Midori Yin
校对 Proofreading：陈鹿鹿 Nostalgia Chan