The Berlin team expands

Finally getting the chance to sit and talk face to face with real people whose role as partners in the project is going to make it truly meaningful for the community here. Whether I’m talking to the Urban Planning visionaries at Tempelhofer Freiheit (the city planning partners of Grün-Berlin), or the director of the Neukölln “Paul Hindemith” MusikSchule (the conservatory that is nearest to the Park), I am feeling great camaraderie here. I suppose this makes sense, since the whole concept for this project was inspired first and foremost by two things: Tempelhof Field itself, and its role in the life of the city; and the presence and vitality of amateur and student musicmaking here in Berlin. These two new partners are the embodiment of these two inspirations.

Daniel Busch, director of the Musikschule, gave me a colorful overview of all of the goings-on there. From trumpet and trombone ensembles, wind bands and big bands (including a faculty big band called The Flintstones!). One favorite of mine is the upcoming Country-Western music festival: check it out! (with band names like Laura Bean & her Corn Breads, how can you go wrong??)

Other meetings this week included another sort of work session with Moritz. He and I walked around the Park together on a misty, half-rainy morning - and I described to him some of the ways I hope to deploy the groups of musicians as they move away from the center of the runway.

Meanwhile, to help me with the spatial logistics involved in composing the piece, Grün Berlin has supplied me with all kinds of very useful maps, mechanical plans and satellite photos. Now I can start imagining the piece from above, a lot more concretely!

I’m also enjoying seeing some of my musician colleagues here - people I’ve met (often in New York or even somewhere completely else - like Paris, Salzburg or San Diego…) in various professional contexts over the years. Nicolai Thärichen and I, for example, had a great long hang the other night, listening to each other’s music and talking about everything from US and German politics to brass tunings. I’m grateful to Niki because he put me in touch with Daniel Busch over at the Neukölln Musikschule. Thanks Niki! Currently enjoying tunes from his new CD with his “Tentett.”

A couple of other co-inhabitants I witnessed on the Tempelhof Field: a Kestrel (no I am not suddenly a bird expert; yes there are birdwatching aids in the form of posters at the Park):

and a cloud of Segways - now rentable at the Field. These things always remind me of “Arrested Development”…