Saturday, September 9, 2017

Photographing concerts, Part 2

Music and photography: Bringing arts together

In the Kulturhauptstadt Stuttgart, where 7.4% of the working residents reportedly work for cultural institutions, there are many opportunities to visit concerts of every type - from high culture to sub-culture.

As luck would have it, I got to know one of Germany's top jazz drummers soon after we moved to Stuttgart in 2002. Torsten Krill's children have grown up with mine in the east end, so we have had many opportunities to discuss his music and I've enjoyed hearing him play in various bands over the years. I didn't know much about jazz before I met Torsten, but I live to learn about new directions in music through people I become close to.
For many years Torsten played and recorded with Cécile Verny, who is a favorite jazz singer of my friends Lilo and Wolf Neumaier in Freiburg, so there was that unexpected personal connection when I met Cécile after a concert in Stuttgart.

Torsten backs up Ron Spielman at Stuttgart's premier jazz club, BIX.
Through Torsten I got to know and create with Simon Fetzer, who is a master cabinet maker and gifted musician. Over a period of two years he worked on a CD which he produced in his free time out of the urge to create a handful of songs that detailed his musical journey.

Simon Fetzer records our song "brb jail" for his CD Fetzer
He had written nine songs and translated the lyrics into English but needed some support from a native speaker. Torsten put us in touch and we met a dozen times to discuss the words and music. I contributed three texts as well.
Both his parents died during this period. The tenth song on the CD, "Freefall", was written last and expresses his philosophy of dying. All proceeds from the sales of the CD Fetzer go to the foster child organization called PLAN International. A couple of photos I took during the recording session also made it into the CD booklet. Torsten's music publishing company, frimfram, produced the recording.

Torsten Krill and Simon Fetzer discuss the mastering of the new CD
Simon is a wonderfully warm, generous human being who lives life to the utmost. Now he is into paragliding, so he regularly flies to South America to follow that passion.

On Dec. 20, 2011, when the CDs arrived, he came over and unpacked them at my house.
Not every musical encounter is as fruitful as those I had with Torsten and Simon, but personal contact and interaction with the musicians is certainly my goal whenever I can manage it.

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