Friday in Vienna

02009-10-04 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

(((I am writing this on the train from Vienna to Munich, on Saturday Morning, sitting in a comfortable chair in front of a table that features electric outlets. Jon is watching a movie on his laptop. The train glides smoothly and the interior noise is probably only a tenth of the noise a plane produces)))

Walked for about three hours on Thursday Morning. Coffee and pastry at Bloomcafe, which serve Illy. Jon and I met for lunch, panini, followed by an espresso at Bloom. I also had to try a strange new hot coffee drink with Ginseng – the front of the machine proclaimed: Spiritual Drinx!! It came out of a separate little machine. The barista asked me whether I liked it and I answered, thruthfully, that I didn’t like it much.

Jon and I took a cab to the Blue Note and arrived for “load-in” (((a guitar, a guitar-stand, two microphones and a foot stool))) at 18:00. Sound and video check at 18:30 were easy and painless, dinner @ 19:30. Played two shows, at 21:00 and 23:00. Got back to the hotel around 01:30 and had to get ready to leave for the airport at 05:00. Was able to sleep for 30 minutes, but playing two shows created a lot of energy and I was wide awake for most of the night. I am getting a lot of reading done. This year I have already read about 24 books.

We arrived at the airport in Vienna and were picked up by a driver for the 30-40 minute haul to the city. The receptionist was very helpful and purchased railway tickets for tomorrow for us via the internet. What a relief! Instead of flying from Vienna to Berlin, and from there to Munich (((leaving Vienna at 08:05 and arriving in Munich at 12:25 – and we would have had to leave the hotel around 05:50 to get to the airport and make the flight))) as the travel agent had set up, Jon and I will be able to take a cab to the Westbahnhof at 07:30, after a leasurely breakfast at the hotel, to take the train to Munich (((departing Vienna at 08:20 and arriving at Munic HBF at 12:31))).

The hotel offers free internet in every room and I checked my very full inbox and started uploading photos to Flickr. Y. sent me a couple of links. This one:

Ottmar Liebert Free Download « The Echoes Blog
Middle Eastern influences are already present in the flamenco music that is at the core of Ottmar Liebert’s sound. He explores those themes even more thoroughly on Under the Rose, a collaboration with Iraqi oud player Rahim Alhaj. It’s more than just duets. Liebert brings in his rhythm section while his production creates a seductive, nocturnal atmosphere around these pieces, adding slight effects like backward guitar punctuations to melodic trade-offs between Liebert and Alhaj on the title track.

John Dilibert ends his review of Under the Rose with this:

Personally, I think Liebert has made a mistake putting Under the Rose out as a free download. It’s among his best CDs and the dual leads between guitar and oud bring a new dimension to his already hybrid flamenco fusion.

I don’t see what one has to do with the other. I mean, I’d rather give away a great album than make it seem like I am giving away something that wasn’t good enough to be sold. I also think this could turn out to be a nice reaching-out to people all over the world that can’t buy CDs or downloads. Maybe they’ll buy one of our albums eventually or maybe it’ll create a market for a promoter to want to bring us to more faraway places. In any case, I do not regret for a moment that we released this album for free. Nearly 30,000 downloads so far, and hopefully happy listeners will tell their friends. I would like to get past 100,000 downloads.

And here is the other link:

20 Icons of Echoes: John’s Picks « The Echoes Blog
18 OTTMAR LIEBERT
He created a sound that never existed before, Nouveau Flamenco and instead of riding that to infinity, he’s stretched and expanded it in a uniquely understated style for the entire existence of Echoes. Essential Album: The Hours Between Night & Day.

Good choice, although Opium and The Scent of Light would be close. One could, however, argue that while the music on Opium and The Scent of Light was as good or better, The Hours was a more ground-breaking sound and concept.

Cab to the venue to arrive at 15:00. Venue was two floors down from the street level and was suffering from a waste-pump failure. None of the bathrooms were working and everyone, the audience as well as the staff and us, had to use a container toilet placed in the street – imagine a large and clean luxury porta-potty. Another problem presented itself in form of the club’s new lighting system, which kept turning lights ond off and would not react to commands from the lighting console. The sole house-engineer was quite stressed over the situation, but by evening everything had been worked out. Nice large projection screen in the center of the stage, my chair and guitar slightly off-center on stage-left. I found a comfortable couch in the dressing room, another level down from the stage, and slept from 16:30 to 19:00 while Jon went for a walk. I wish I could have taken my camera and walked around, but the lack of sleep was hitting me all at once. My body always responds very well to naps and I felt refreshed when we set down to dinner at 19:30. We ordered six tapas to share and the food was very good.

The concert started at 20:40 and I felt a little nervous at first, but was able to tune myself and the room by beginning with Silence: No More Longing. I think I played one of my finest solo concerts and Jon commented afterwards that I upped my game for the city of music. After the concert I met some people from he audience, a man from the Tschek republic who had traveled to see me at the Porgy & Bess and two gentlemen from Croatia who had driven to Vienna to hear me play. I also met a brother and sister who hail from the little Austrian village where my dad lived for the last few years of his life. I remembered them from the late Sixties and early Seventies when my family would vacation there.

It feels good to perform in Germany and now in Austria. It feels like the completion of a circle that was started many decades ago.

Back at the hotel, a little after 23:00, I received an email confirming that our German tour manager received my message and will pick us up at the main railway station in Munich instead of the airport tomorrow. Started another upload of photos to Flickr, opened the window for some fresh air, and went to bed.

2 Comments

  1. Boris

    Porgy&Bess looked a bit f***** up when I went there some years ago (2006?) to see Doug Wimbish. Later I learned that it is THE Jazz club in Vienna. Would have loved to hear you playing that venue (more the classical hall in Munich, though!).

    Reply
  2. Ottmar

    I liked the space and the food was quite good. I will like the place even better when their bathrooms function normally again…

    Reply

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