Young Music Caravan
“Let’s go Europe – The Young Music Caravan
Young musicians from different countries in the three-band concept ”
By Sabine Froese
Born out of the enthusiasm for a final concert at a youth music workcamp in Berlin’s Pfefferberg, the young music caravan, consisting of three bands, toured Europe for the first time in 2004 and for the second time in 2007. The program is designed jointly by all participating musicians and mainly brings views of the musical traditions, partly also with the corresponding instruments from the musicians’ countries of origin – but jazz and pop are also in the luggage of the caravan. The main thing is to try out and show how a musical dialogue and exchange between different cultures, traditions and influences can work and how something new can arise in the process.
It all started in 1999, when the guitarist and artistic director of the project, Andreas Brunn, was approached by a Berlin youth center as to whether he would like to develop a concept for an international music workcamp. He immediately liked the thought: “This was a great opportunity. I immediately had the idea that the young people from different countries should bring all the music from their homeland with them. ” Andreas Brunn developed an open-ended concept that should give all participants as much freedom as possible to bring in their own ideas and to be able to get involved in new ideas over and over again. The choice of materials and the implementation of the ideas are also done together. When selecting applicants – around 15 musicians are invited to each workcamp – Andreas Brunn makes sure to gather a wide variety of nationalities and instruments. He also finds it important to have the same number of young women and men as possible: “I wanted to have the specific thinking and music-making approaches of both genders in the project.”
Structure of the work camps: In the first week of the three-week world music and jazz work camps, ideas are collected, tested and, as a rule, three bands are formed, each of which is supervised by a lecturer. In the second week the selected ideas are implemented and in the third week they are recorded in the studio; two CDs have been released so far. Then the work camp results of the three formations will be presented to the public in Berlin. Andreas Brunn, who plays as a lecturer on his specially made guitar, which has an additional bass string, explains why only a large band together is not suitable: “Experience from the camps has shown that not all ideas can be optimally realized with one line-up permit. It is often the case that the musicians do one thing very well, another less well. ” The musical repertoire consists predominantly of traditional music, which is rearranged in a contemporary way, and now and then also of standards. This can mean, for example, a jazzy arrangement for a Danish folk song or a pop garment for a US jazz standard.
The band names of the Caravan 2007 evoke the respective programmatic leitmotif: Blue Pepper (after a piece by Duke Ellington), the Spandinavians (who build a bridge from Scandinavia to Spain) and the Kopa Niza Wedding Band (named after a Bulgarian dance) each provided four songs before. The Spandinavians combined their songs in a particularly charming way with a story of a poor girl from Finland who is celebrating a wedding with her prince charming in Spain.
How do you succeed again and again in getting young musicians who don’t know each other to present a program that is suitable for the stage in two weeks? In this context, Andreas Brunn emphasizes the enthusiasm for the joint work and the curiosity for other musical traditions that the participants of the workcamps bring with them and adds: “The most important thing is to convey to the artists that they all have the freedom to realize exactly those ideas that are most important to them. “
On tour: The first workcamp took place in 2000, but the idea of going on tour did not come up until 2003, when a particularly well-functioning group of musicians came about with a very successful final concert of the summer camp.
In 2004 the EU expanded to include ten new countries, and so the desire arose to tour some of the new member states. With the support of EU funds, Andreas Brunn sent the caravan through Poland, the Baltic States, Germany and Scandinavia for four weeks.
Further work camps followed in Berlin in 2005 and 2006, before another young music caravan set out this year. Since the EU grew again eastwards in 2007 and took in Romania and Bulgaria, the members of this year’s caravan, who had drawn up their program in the previous year in the Berlin workcamp, moved again with the help of the EU to the new accession states, but also to Croatia , Serbia and Slovakia.
Future: But organizing and carrying out a work camp is one thing, and going on a concert tour a year later and preparing it well beforehand is another project, because traveling with the caravan is also a major undertaking in terms of personnel: it includes well over 20 Persons. That’s why there won’t be a big tour in 2008, but Andreas Brunn is planning a few concerts in Berlin and the surrounding area next year with the current line-up. All that remains is to wish him a generous window of time and sufficient financial support for his ambitious project so that the caravan can pull around the blocks again in 2009, because in addition to the beautiful concerts, the project makes a contribution to cultural exchange and European networks.
UUSI AIKA (Finnish newspaper)
The caravan moves through Europe – a multinational music camp collapses the borders
“The performances at this year’s Pori Jazz Festival, which contributed most to crossing borders, took place on Tuesday and Wednesday on Jazz Street.
Both the musical and the interlateral borders collapsed when the “Junge Musik Karawane 2004″ performed at Jazz Street. The basis for this group was created last year in Berlin with a music camp, where young musicians from all over Europe gathered. The participants decided for themselves which combination of musical styles will be worked on in the camp. All the traditions that come together in the camp are combined in a promising way. – For example, a tango with Finnish and Hungarian influences is developed or a wedding song from Kosovo is accompanied by jazz. ” …
The participants in the Caravan project believe in the unifying power of music. The “Young Music Caravan” consists of 15 young musicians of 10 different nationalities. Her mix of musical styles and the fireworks of rhythms turned the heads of many listeners. “- Mikko I. Elo
Polish daily newspaper
“Caravan” in the (Chata) Morgana
Coming from twelve European countries, the young musicians sing and play on various instruments – both traditional and lesser-known. The roots of the musicians involved are as international as their music: Hungarian, Greek, Scandinavian, French and Bulgarian traditions find their way into the project.
The trip started with concerts in Rudolstadt at the largest folk festival in Germany, the second stop should be the Morgan house – an agricultural and tourist property in Jastrowice.
During the month-long tour, the music caravan will cover 7000 km and play at 19 European festivals! She takes part in the PORI jazz festival in Finland and in a folk festival in Estonia, where she will meet with a project similar to the music caravan.
The concert in Jastrowice had its own special atmosphere for the guests. At times the composition of the orchestra increased when other participants spontaneously intervened. Ewa Rychlicka from the neighboring village of Grudmo played rhythmically on drums and Darek Chajutin sang and also played the flute.
The next morning the music caravan drove on to Zabkowice Sl., Where it performed at a folk festival on Saturday.