January 2000 - just like every year - we applied for financial
support for this years' TOTAL MUSIC MEETING to the Senatsverwaltung
für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur (Senate Department of Science,
Research and Culture). In the middle of May we received a preliminary
refusal over the phone. Consequently we developed and submitted
a reduced version. On May 31 the written rejection for the program
submitted in January arrived; followed at the beginning of August
by the rejection of the reduced version.
This means: the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING as we conceived it, will not
take place this year because the cultural officials of this town
do not feel able to finance this Low Budget Festival, which has
been in existence for 32 years, any longer. Year in year out the
TOTAL MUSIC MEETING has put on big programs with very little money
which have gained attention and recognition throughout the world
and have become a fixed event on the contemporary music scene.
Founded in 1968 by musicians such as Jost Gebers, Peter Brötzmann,
Alexander von Schlippenbach and Peter Kowald, also as protest
against the program of the 'Jazztage' of that time, the TOTAL
MUSIC MEETING has, over the years, in the main left its stamp
on an important chapter of recent music history.
After last year's 32nd TOTAL MUSIC MEETING at the 'Podewil', Michael
Rieth wrote in the 'Frankfurter Rundschau': … "For over three
decades the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING has proved itself to be resolute
and the regularly honoured label FMP, which emerged from this
Avantgarde event and which has been publishing landmarks of contemporary
music, has now been in existence for 30 years - without any compromise
since this is not a Jazz thing, at least not that of the Avantgarde
that's forever renewing itself" (11.11.1999).
Through this concept, put together by musicians, the TOTAL MUSIC
MEETING which FMP (Jost Gebers) has been coordinating since 1968,
Berlin has established itself as a centre for contemporary acoustic
music; the festival enjoys the highest reputation at home and
abroad and has an almost legendary standing. This is also manifested
by the numerous foreign guests and visitors who regularly come
just for this event, as well as by the countless publications,
articles, essays, books, radio broadcasts and films which have
come about over the course of these years.
From here some of the musicians invited from Berlin, East and
West Germany, East and West Europe, USA, Japan etc have 'played
up' their world-wide reputations of today. This has also been
made possible by the fact that FMP as the promoter has not only
continuously presented live music but has always documented it,
as well, including the now legendary 11 CD-Box 'Cecil Taylor'
which came about within the framework of the events in Berlin
as 'Culture capital of Europe' in 1988.
Finally, the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING with its always original and
specially conceived program concepts served as a model for other
countries: Over the years festivals in Switzerland, England, the
Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Italy, Canada and the
USA came about, all following the FMP pattern of programming.
That is: To conceive of and coordinate international programs
with an international flair, to continuously present musical innovation
and the developmental processes of individual musicians or ensembles
and thus demonstrate the design and development of their musical
languages, to support new young talents and to give them a forum
on an equal footing with the 'Stars' and, not forgetting, the
creation of an open and, at the same time, highly concentrated
communication structure and concert situation through the organisational
framework for the musicians and the audience which has made possible
a number of musical momentous occasions which nowadays are part
of the history of the festival and have left their stamp on its
This is why: What has taken over 30 years to develop must not
be allowed to just fade away. For these reasons we shall be fighting
for financial support for the year 2001. And this is why the musicians
(just like 32 years ago) have decided to put on a ´compressed´
TOTAL MUSIC MEETING under their own direction.
FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION
Distribution & Communication
the musicians, have decided, under the present circumstances,
to organise a three day version of the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING without
any financial support.
All the participants are aware of the financial risks involved
(there are no fees, no travel expenses, no hotels paid for). This
is because the takings from ticket sales will, in the best possible
case, only cover the costs of the infrastructure, equipment, GEMA
and advertising (posters, flyers).
By so doing, we want to make crystal clear what loosing the TOTAL
MUSIC MEETING would mean not only for this city and its musicians
but also for the international improvised music scene.
on behalf of the musicians