eastPLUGGED® Konzerte Archiv

eastPLUGGED® Konzerte Archiv

eastPLUGGED®25 Festival

I: Nicole Johänntgen + Simon Oslender II: Thierry Lang + Heiri Känzig + Matthieu Michel III: TONBRUKET

The first eastPLUGGED® Festival: 3 days, 3 aphorisms, 3 spectacular concerts, 9 great musicians, many nice people and "fresh wind under the wings for the cultural future" is our summary, in detail:

Each concert day was opened with an aphorism of a "crane trilogy" by Reverend Thomas Gerhold. This was about community, good techniques and support, 3 terms whose symbiotic implementation to achieve highest quality and satisfaction could be experienced immediately afterwards in all 3 concerts.

The festival started with a solo by German saxophonist Nicole Johänntgen and her piece "Sternenhimmel", during which Nicole filled the sound space of the Friedenskirche - coming out of the room - with manifold new sound variations, partly meditative, partly rhythmical, sometimes subtle, sometimes dynamic. A wonderfully relaxing and exciting prelude.

The Cologne pianist, organist and keyboarder Simon Oslender, only 23 years old, already an internationally sought-after band member (with Wolfgang Haffner, Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, among others), had built a "mound " of keyboard instruments around him to present his first public solo performance in the 2nd set of this concert, with original compositions, some of them especially developed for our festival, wonderfully combining electronic elements (delays, loops) of keyboard and Hammond organ with acoustic sounds of the Steinway grand piano.

eastPLUGGED® wouldn't be eastPLUGGED® if there weren't surprises in addition to outstanding international musicians, this time in the 3rd set of day 1, for which Simon Oslender and Nicole Johänntgen, who had met only a few hours before during the sound check, met in a jam session. Free improvisation (or, as Nicole put it: "going naked"), innovative new interpretations of standards (such as Sonny Rollin's 1956 piece "St. Thomas") or a spontaneous new piece entitled "Ratingen" inspired the artists on stage at least as much as the euphoric audience.

Musically, the 2nd day was dominated by 3 outstanding Swiss musicians. With his soft, accentuated touch, pianist Thierry Lang succeeded in generating a very high brilliance of sound from the grand piano. Heiri Känzig is one of the few bass players who can already convince as a soloist; in the trio he embedded the tonal range of this instrument (with alphorn sounds "Swiss Mountain Smell" to string passages "Tender Waltz") in a total work of art, as did Mathieu Michel with his sometimes subtle, sometimes fanfare-like play on the flugelhorn.  3 very different musicians, 3 very different instruments, which complemented each other perfectly to form a very harmonious and yet innovative musical unit, whereby everybody also set percussive accents with his instrument.

The final day of the festival was played by TONBRUKET: Dan Berglund [bass], Johan Lindström [electric guitar and pedal steel guitar], Martin Hederos [acoustic and electronic keyboards, violin] and Gard Nilssen [drums] made the brick walls of the Friedenskirche "tremble" and the "sound factory" left nothing to be desired: from neo-classical to rock, from folk to jazz, echoes of different musical styles were found in almost every piece; from (rather) quiet to (very) loud, from (almost) timid to (really) groovy; with diverse instruments in different combinations, the quartet thrilled the experienced Ratingen audience for the second time after 2017. It was an evening full of emotions: in the band, with the organisers and in the audience.

A thousand thanks, Merci, tack så mycket & tusen takk to Nicole, Simon, Thierry, Heiri, Matthieu, Dan, Johan, Martin & Gard!


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