Mercifully the traffic was light and we reached Leipzig in a little over four hours. Like in Munich last year, today’s concert will take place in a mirror tent, but this time the tent is inside a large hall and it will be quite a bit warmer inside!
Lunch with Jon. I ordered traditional German dishes for us to share. Semmelknödel (bread dumplings), Red Cabbage cooked with cloves and bay leaf, Reibekuchen (potatoe fritters) and more. He seemed to enjoy the food as I waded through childhood memories brought back by the smells and tastes. Nice.
The performance went well. The audience was smaller than in Munich, and produced more questions. I am still getting used to the sound from the new microphone position. It feels different. I know that it sounds better for the audience, and indeed sounds better to me on stage, but I have to get used to it. The dynamics are better for sure.
After the performance a woman commented that she felt “überfordert”, meaning overtaxed, by the images projected next to me playing guitar. She seemed to say that she didn’t know where to look and moved her focus back and forth. I was delighted and said that it was just like life… so much happening all at once and we have to make choices. Where do we place our attention, how do we allow our attention to flow from here to there. The choice is the ours. Three modes: eyes closed, eyes on the projection, eyes on me… and ideally a nice flow between all three.
Afterwards, in my hotel room, I started thinking more about this. I would love to achieve a high density of visual and sonic information, which is, from time to time, funneled down to something really simple and straight forward, only to fan out into information-rich density again. Ah, if only I had a bigger budget for our shows. The challenge will be to find a way to achieve this without spending a lot of money. I think the new slideshow with its mix of still and moving images really works well and allows me to make up a set list as I go, but if I was to commit to a set list I might be able to create really interesting contextual meaning between the visual and audio aspects. New ideas and inspirations to grapple with.
Tomorrow: I might sleep a little later, followed by a leisurely drive to Berlin for a day off.
In Appalachia we Chicken Dumplings, Bean Dumplings and yes Tomato Dumplings, cooked cabbage and course potato fritters. How are these bread dumplings prepared? Is it a quick bread batter into gravy or broth or yeast bread?
Perhaps your solo Concerts would be wasted on me, since I tend to listen with my eyes closed…and even then you are overpowering…:-)
One thing for sure…you have made me very homesick für deutsche Nahrung with your latest notes…:-)))
…perhaps a better word than, ‘overpowering’, would be ‘deeply saturating’…one just gets lost in the immensity of the Music! Even at a ‘regular’ Concert of your’s, it is very stunning to one’s system to open one’s eyes and find yourself wrapped in colours of Lights…and darkness. With the power of photography, i can see how sensory overload could happen…but none the less…i am still bound and determined to experience it…after all that is what God gave us eyelids for…to close our eyes if nessacary…:-)
Again…God Speed to you and Jon
The friends who came with me during the concert in Munich mentioned the same thing – they did not know what to focus on – I loved it because it made my mind travel – but maybe you could try to connect pictures and sounds. To me it would be an interesting approach and would make me understand the meaning of your songs even better. Think about it. Take care
Barbara: I find it interesting that our minds always create connections, even when there are none. For me that’s the beauty of the performance: everyone sees something different. Besides, if I found a way to link music and images I would have to play the same thing every night in order to stay in sync. I want it to be the story of THAT evening, not a story I tell repeatedly and which would be the same every evening. Now I perform without a setlist and make it up as I go.