Friday, September 12, 2014

We Thought We Could Change The World

Peter Brotzmann - We Thought We Could Change The World: Conversations with Gerard Rouy  (Wolke Verlag Hofheim, 2014)

While Brotzmann's music is not really my cup of tea (although the one time I've heard him live I was glad I attended), I have enjoyed reading interviews with him. A fascinating musician that I am somehow drawn to - it's bit of a mystery.

The first 110 pages of this book are a collection of conversations between Peter Brotzmann and Gerard Rouy that were left out of the of the documentary Solider Of The Road. They cover Brotzmann's career and talk about his discovery of music, his instruments, artwork, his collaborators and the future of the music. The remaining 80-odd pages contain 58 photographs (mostly black and white) from throughout his career (in performance, candid shots and at home in his studio), 18 artworks reproduced in colour (I'm a fan of his artwork and enjoyed the exhibition at Corbett vs Dempsey last year - in fact the book's cover is from a work - "Clarinet Bells" - from this exhibition) a discography and an epilogue from Brotzmann. I am yet to watch the documentary but having read this book I've added it to my list.

I thought I'd round things out with Brotzmann's final statement in the interview section: "When I go somewhere, I meet people, I work with them, so I'm right into their shit, I see their way of life, their kinds of problems and in the end I get to learn from all of it. What I've learnt so far is that people are the same everywhere; they have the same sorrows, the same fun, and the same blues. They may look and sound a little different but all human beings are more or less the same."

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