Click here for top of this page
The Jon Rose Web - Click to return to index-page
The Exiles Festival of New Music
New Sounds from the Culturally & Internationally Displaced
The EXILES 8 will take place at AUSLAND, Lychener Str. 60, 10437 Berlin, on the 8th and 9th of December, 2005.
featuring Antonis Anissegos, Yoko Kaseki, Erika Matsunami, Giles Aubry, Antoine Chessex, Derek Shirley, Marc Fantini, Leonid Soybelman, Marcello Busati, Lucio Capece, Robin Hayward, Toby Delius, Cor Fuhler, Aleks Kolkowski, Joseph Williamson, Tony Buck, Thomas Meadowcroft, Boris Hauf, Steve Heather, Asi Foecker, Abdelhak Rahal, Jimmy Rupture, and Jenny Jones: full details from AUSLAND

There was never a golden age for new music ever, but it is obvious to anybody with active ears that we now live in an age of decline for all live music, and particularly that music which exists outside of mainstream culture. The reductive aims of much globalisation might have a lot to do with it, but this is not the place to run a lengthy discussion as to why--to amend the old maxim, we get the culture we deserve.

The decline is most evident in Europe, of course, which previously had the notion of funding that which is interesting and stimulating but not necessarily popular (i.e. makes lots of money). The cultural paradigm of supporting the radical through mostly government subsidy is over. Other models and solutions in the support of more challenging music and its development are required.

I propose a festival of contemporary music that exists outside the usual parameters of time and space and is not subject to the usual constraints of institutionalised funding. This festival would take place in a new cultural environment, a new country (or even continent) with each manifestation. There would be no permanent venue or even an office. Run from a web site by one financial manager, one web coordinator and myself as artistic director, so minimum overheads, each event would need a partner in the host country to provide a venue, equipment and accommodation. Advertising would be shared. Fees and transportation costs would come from the Exiles festival finances. My role as artistic director would be in the form of curator, working in consultation with the web of musicians world wide who would make up the Exiles community. The Exiles Festival, as it exists right now, is a collaboration between Wolf-Peter Stiftel, Tony Buck and myself.

The idea of a mobile and transitory festival of course is to reflect the nature of most radical contemporary music and the living situation of most experimental and creative musicians working today. . . it is impossible to survive and work in one place, most musicians I know don't live where they were born (and have trouble fitting in anywhere!). . . creative collaboration is accepted as the most fruitful way of generating new musical concepts and practical realisations. . . a global network of these inspired wandering minstrels is, I believe, the only way for a living music in the future. In some ways, we have already tried to put this concept into practice with the Exiles festival in Berlin. But we are hampered by the policies and new penny-pinching of the Berlin cultural authorities (they only want Opera, the money-spinning Love Parade, or Pink Floyd revival concerts these days). We are looking for a way to employ and encourage many more musicians and to take the whole thing beyond national boundaries. . . and we think, with our experience and knowledge, we can do it.

At the start, we are looking to create a global pool of between 50 to 100 creative musicians , nomads who work at the frontiers of live, performed music. All the musicians that I am thinking of exist beyond the notion of stylistic labels such as composer, jazz, rock, club, electronic, chamber music, folk, noise, improvised, etc. Some are relatively well-known but none could be described as celebrity (today's main cultural criteria). They all have an awareness that like sound itself, music is a transient art form and as such, the means of making it usually reflects that illusive quality. There is no age limit because I know some musicians who are as creative in their 70th year as they were in their 30th. The need to encourage young musicians in their 20s is self-evident, and I fully intend to seek out new talent on a world wide basis. The use of new technologies is to be critically encouraged, aesthetics are to be argued on stage.

The programmes of any Exiles events might include room for solos, formations with a set project intent, spontaneous ad hoc bands, straight out compositions with the utilization of traditional instruments, interactive computer music, multimedia works, unique homemades, some dancing music, heaps of noise, installation works, hard listening chamber music, and those fleeting moments where structure and linear time seem to evaporate. The structure of any Exiles manifestation, and indeed the organisation itself, will be determined by its creative content.

There are some festivals still surviving where innovation and experimentation may be heard. . . Nancy-Vandouvre, Taklos, Victoriaville spring to mind. But the opportunities to perform and take chances with new music are few and getting fewer. I am intending that the Exiles enterprise will generate a momentum that is much more than the sum of its parts, a small mobile structure that will evolve in character to reflect the cross-fertilisation of experiential musical knowledge and by its existence generate more interest and opportunities in the performance of challenging new music. I see the Exiles venture as a positive and alternative global answer to the negative cultural forces presently calling the tune.

Tis Festival of New Music will need something like a five year plan.
  1. find initial finance (private or business) to set up the project and for me to find partnerships from clubs, theatres, stages, art houses, festivals of any kind, that are willing to help us through whatever means they can.
  2. set up events/manifestations both larger and smaller.
  3. book the musicians!
Manager for the annual Exiles Festival in Berlin is Wolf-Peter Stiftel

And those of you out there who made a fortune in the 90's bubble and managed not to lose it, what about investing your money in contemporary music? Crazy? We hope so.

This is a list of the Exiled musicians who have taken part in the Festival of Exiles.

  • Jon Rose (AUS/UK) - violins, electronics
  • Tony Buck (AUS) - percussion
  • Joe Williamson (CAN) - double bass
  • Jenny Ward (NZL) - voice
  • Margareth Kammerer (I) - voice
  • Adeline Rosenstein (SUI) - voice
  • Andrea Ermke (SUI) - electronics
  • Kato Hideki (JAP) - bass
  • Walter Lampe (AUS) - piano
  • Haider Kamal Trio (AFGAN) - ensemble
  • Le Quan Ninh (VIETNAM/Fr) - percussion
  • Gordon Monahan (CAN) - piano
  • Nicolas Collins (USA) - electronics
  • Greg Malcolm (NZL) - guitar
  • Robin Heyward (GB) - tuba
  • Davide de Bernardi (I) - double bass
  • Steve Heather (AUS) - percussion
  • Marie Goyette (CAN) - sampler, piano
  • Lucas Abel (AUS) - noise
  • Meira Asher (IL) - voice
  • Louise Elliott (AUS) - saxophone
  • Tim Florence (AUS) - piano
  • Arik Hayut (IL) - percussion
  • Gregor Hotz (CH) - saxophone, bass clarinet
  • Sven Ake Johansson (S) - percussion
  • Jason Kahn (USA) - percussion
  • Aleks Kolkowski (UK) - stroh violins
  • Rajesh Mehta (INDIA/USA) - trumpet
  • Andy Moore (UK) - guitar
  • Silvia Ocougne (BRAS) - guitar,voice
  • Chico Mello (BRAS) - guitar,voice
  • Leonide Soybelman (RUS) - guitar, voice
  • Violinda (AUS) - violin
  • David Watson (NZL/USA) - bagpipes, guitar
  • Daniel Weaver (GB) - cello
  • Hu Wei (CHINA) - er-hu
  • Amelia Seymour (USA) - installation
  • Marie-Joe Ourtilane (F) - installation
  • Asi Föcker (CH) - installation
  • Sean Reynard (GB) - installation
  • KK Null (JAP) - guitar, noise
  • Anne La Berge (USA) - flute, electronics
  • Aki Takase (JAP) - piano
  • Keith Rowe (UK) - table top guitar
  • Matthias Bauer (DDR) - double bass
  • Connie Bauer (DDR) - trombone
  • Johannes Bauer (DDR) - trombone
  • Robyn Schulkowski (USA) - percussion
  • Richard Barrett (UK) - electronics
  • Farhan Sabbagh (LEBANON) - arabic oud
  • Chris Abrahams (NZ/AUS) - piano
  • Alex Waterman (USA) - cello
  • Jim Denley (AUS) - flute, saxophone
  • Hoa Sen Ensemble (VIETNAM) - ensemble
and for our German fans...

Festival of Exiles

Das 'Festival of Exiles' möchte zum wiederholten Male ein Forum für Musikerinnen und Musikern schaffen, deren physische und künstlerische Situation man mit 'Exil' in einem nicht-politischen Sinne bezeichnen kann. Exil als Ausdruck von Nomadentum und nur temporärer Heimat. So mag der nomadische, transitorische Lebensstil künstlerisch am besten in jeglicher Form experimenteller Musik zum Tragen kommen, sei sie nun komponiert, improvisiert, an der Sprache der klassischen westlich-europäischen oder außereuropäischen Tradition, am Jazz oder an Noise und Rock orientiert. Mit neuen Technologien und weltweit rasanter Kommunikation sind die tradierten Genregrenzen ohnehin zunehmend obsolet geworden und werden von radikal kreativen Musikern weitgehend ignoriert. Nur wenige selbsternannte Sachverwalter und Puristen mühen sich derzeit noch mit ästhetischen Verteidigungsscharmützeln ab.

Das Verbindende, das ein Festival, wie das 'Festival of Exiles' proklamiert, ist die Bereitschaft der Künstler, sich über gängige Grenzen und Klischees hinweg im Kontext einer freien Musik zu begegnen. Musik von Musikern, deren Wurzeln zu ihrem Herkunftsland und dessen Kultur gekappt sind, Musikern, die sich bewußt keiner definierten Szene zuordnen, Musikern, die in kein gängiges Raster von wie immer auch definierten Musik zu passen scheinen.

Neben Künstlern, die momentan Berlin als Aufenthaltsort gewählt haben, und Berliner Künstlern, sind im Programm auch Musiker vertreten, die an anderen Orten in einer im obigen Sinne definierten 'Exil'-Situation leben. Alte Bekannte, z.B. ehemalige daad-Gäste, und Neuankömmlinge sind im 'Festival of Exiles' vertreten: Musiker, Komponisten, Komponisten/Musiker/Performer, Künstler aus dem Umfeld des Jazz, der komponierten E-Musik. Das Programm verspricht so ein spannungreiches Spektrum verschiedenster künstlerischer und stilistischer Ansätze, deren Klammer einzig eine kongeniale, offene und experimentierfreudige Spielhaltung sein kann. Im bewußt freibleibenden Kontext des 'Festivals of Exiles' ist Raum für Soli, probate Formationen, spontane Zusammenwürfelungen und ad-hoc-Bands, für rein akustische Musik, für alle Spielarten elektronischer und computergenerierter und -gestützter Musik, für das flüchtige momentane Spiel und für an Kompositorischem orientierte Strukturen. Das Festival ist auf drei Tage angelegt und bietet so Raum und Zeit für die beteiligten Künstler sich auszutauschen und für das Publikum die Gelegenheit, an spontanen und augenblicklichen Prozessen teilzuhaben.

Das erste 'Festival of Exiles' fand im Juni 1998 begleitend zur Ausstellung 'Grenzgänge' in der Galerie 'Meinblau' statt, das zweite im Juni 1999 im Tacheles. "The festival takes advantage of Berlin as a centre for improvising musicians who have been 'exiled' in a number of ways... improvising musicians who no longer live in their country of origin; musicians who do not belong to the status quo scenes of improvised music; improvising musicians who do not fit into the accepted genres of improvised music; improvising musicians who live a nomadic existance and so who are, in their transitory lifestyles, like improvised music itself." (Jon Rose)

Berlin als ein in vielerlei Hinsicht vorläufiger Ort, der über Jahrzehnte Künstlern aus allen Winkeln der Welt Zuflucht gewesen ist, ist ideal für das 'Festival of Exiles II': eine Heimat für Heimatlose par excellence. Die Stadt ist europa- und weltweit ein Zentrum freier, experimentierfreudiger Musik, Generationen von vornehmlich improvisierenden und experimentierenden Musikern haben immer wieder eine kraftvolle und bedeutende Szene geformt und lebendig gehalten. Dieser vitalen Tradition fühlt sich das 'Festival of Exiles' verbunden und verpflichtet.

go to top