Rudiger Oppermann's Klangwelten & Sommermusikfest, Germany​/​France 2002 - 2014

by Diana Rosalind

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I am a homeless wanderer Beneath an ever-changing sky Oh sky you are my father now For a homeless wanderer am I Oh earth you are my mother dear Oh stars you are my sisters bright My brothers are the birds that fly So a never lonely wanderer am I
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Song of the Sea oh mermen oh whisper to me oh mermen swim across the moonlit midnight sea oh mermen whisper in the wind across the waves oh mermen sing my name i’ll be your s-s-slave oh mermen i stand here upon the lonely shore oh mermen your arrival is what i am waiting for oh mermen won’t you whisper in the wind a song for me? a song of the sea send and receive are you reading me? oh mermen how the waters roil and seethe and how i wish beneath them i could breathe to dive beside the dolphin with a pounding in my chest then to your castle in the sand to take watery rest oh mermen won’t you change me like the vampire seals his love? for one sea kiss from your salt lips i’d gladly leave above for the song of the sea send and receive are you reading me? cuz i’m sure i can hear...your song of the sea
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I heard you play the song of songs once, on your disillusioned lute, out of the windows of the moon I had to shoot. Why was I ever born, I ask the thorn. Heaven only knows, answers the rose. I rode Apollo and in vain: not you, only the desolate shore; I wavered like the light of earth and the old war. Why are the waters torn, I ask the thorn. Because the white moon glows, answers the rose. Though the moon Is in memory, the smoke of kisses is returning oh, to the alphabet of fire, and I am burning. Why am I made to mourn, I ask the thorn. We love what comes and goes, answers the rose. Why was I ever born, I ask the thorn. Heaven only knows, answers the rose. We love what comes and goes, answers the rose.

about

I first met Rudiger Oppermann through the international harp community, when I was playing with Barbara Imhoff (Aether) in San Francisco which hosts a Harp Festival. Oppermann is an interesting musician and producer and self-taught ethno-musicologist (a title he hates and denies). For about 30 years he has been traveling the globe, usually doing three international trips between late Winter and early summer, to places as diverse as Madagascar, Central Africa, the Cook Islands, Korea and many more - not to mention all the European nations. He goes in search of musical talent, with a particular interest in showcasing indigenous musical traditions that are not typically brought to Europe's stages. Many of these performers have never even thought of themselves as "musicians" before - it's just what they do. To be honest, the new awareness has sometimes brought mixed results, not always for the better. But that's a puzzle perhaps best left to the anthropologists...I know that the European audiences are thrilled by and supportive of these raw talents with many becoming involved in charitable efforts and travel opportunities to lands they would not have visited otherwise. This part is good.

Oppermann also invites virtuoso musicians who may be well-known in their country of origin, and often come from a long traditional line of master musicians, but who are completely unknown outside of their country and particular niche. Many of these, like Enk Jargal of Mongolia and Jatunder Thakur, have ended up living in European countries for many years and being key recurring figures in Oppermann's annual tour, which brings together several diverse vocalists, rhythmatists, instrumentalists, both soloists and groups selected from his travels. He has had quite the task on occasion managing the logistical and technical aspects of bringing artists from far-away places, some of whom have never been on an airplane before! A documentary was made about his work in about 2013 but as yet is not translated into English. For more information on Rudiger Oppermann and Klangwelten, please visit his website at www.klangwelten.com

Klangwelten is different from year to year and yet there is kind of a formula I gradually noticed after years of both performing in, doing support work for, touring, and recording with, various incarnations of the festival. For my part, Oppermann featured me as a vocal soloist and experimental improviser, using electronics. Each group or soloist typically is given stage time to showcase what they normally do and then, Oppermann starts to team up diverse musicians into new ensembles, ending with a group piece that includes everyone. Through my work with Klangwelten, I had the pleasure of hearing songs of mine transformed by innovative arrangements and unusual instrumentations. I also met and befriended over a hundred musicians based in Germany and around the world by association with the Oppermanns.

After that first tour with Klangwelten in 2002, we continued to write and record together in a number of different situations. I was a regular teacher and performer at the Sommermuskifest, another festival organized and run by the Oppermanns. My class there, "Adventures in Voice" yielded some very interesting improvised vocal recordings with long-time students. My time with the Oppermanns included a year and a half during which I lived at the family farmhouse and music studio in Alsace, France, host to many international traveling musicians and intimate performances. The collaboration came to a natural end, after many fruitful years, when I moved from Alsace, France, after a decade in Europe and the UK, on to a new musical chapter based in New Orleans, LA, in January 2015.

If you like what you hear here, please consider making a donation via PayPal to dianimal66@gmail.com It will be much appreciated and put to good use recording more material and acquiring crucial equipment!

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released October 29, 2013

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Diana Rosalind New Orleans, Louisiana

After being discovered by Bobby McFerrin as a young vocal improviser in San Francisco, I spent some years writing and performing with ensembles that remain important in the history of Bay Area arts, then did time tangling with the music biz in LA & NYC, followed by a decade in Europe, recording all the while, before coming "home" to NOLA. This is a partial musical record of that journey. ... more

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