Th Laptop-orchestra and the nature of live performance

Laptoporchestra Berlin
I just got back from MAGISTRALE Kulturnacht‘s Medialounge in which a good friend of mine has some photos on exhibit. There was a series of laptop audio performances by various artists which climaxed with a live performance of the so called Laptoporchester Berlin. Seven guys on laptops nodding their heads.They opened with a couple of pieces that were lead by a guy on a cool seven string electric guitar which had a body that was just snap on bars in the shape of a traditional guitar (see picture). They then ended with a cover of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ which I’d only recently discovered being a big fan of Steve Riech.
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Nationalism is so last century

Giant soccer ball in the skySo I’m in Berlin and things are going well. Have a large unfurnished room on the 1st of May with at least one über cool flatmate (the other to be found in the next few weeks) and a broken arm due to my experimenting with “bicycle catapulting”, a new sport I hope to put my name to. I have also made progress on the social front and have meet many super friendly, young Germans, all busy doing their thing and doing it well, as far as I can tell. Also, they have painted the TV tower at Alexander Platz like a giant pink ‘fussball’ (see photo, thanks to bollin @ Flickr).
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A Concentration Camp Day

A day at Dachau, a Concentration Camp.

Suicide in the electrified barbed wire, Dachau 1940

Decaln left to return to Sweden this morning and I had the day to kill so I took it to Dachau, Germanys first concentration camp! Yes it was a crappy day so I thought I would make the best (or worst) of it, and boy did I ever.

Dachau was founded in 1933, the year Adolf took power. It held over 200,000 people with just over 30,000 of those perishing from one thing or another. It was the camp that all the others were modeled on! It wasn’t a death camp however, although it was fitted with a gas chamber near the end of the war (but apparently never used). Boy did I get a creepy feeling when I walked in there (by accident at first as I decided to do the whole thing in reverse and the labels where all on the other side for some reason?).

Gangs of tourists moved though the camp taking pictures of each other posing in front of the various places of atrocities. All putting on a serious face instead of the usual “Hi mom” expression. What strange tourism. It struck me that the memorials that were placed all over the place weren’t as popular as the sites where death and torture occurred. People seemed drawn to them, like the scene of a car accident. Every one wants to look.

I also had a feeling of strange fascination that one gets when you see a celebrity in person. This thing that has been exaggerated and hyped up by the media for most of your life is suddenly in front of you. It became hard to relate to the sentiment of the place as it had become larger than life in my minds eye.

I left wondering weather ether of these emotions, the ‘passer by’ or the ‘dazed fan’, really were helping anything except push a stereo type that Germany and Germans will never live down. I suppose there has to be something to mark the history. It may have been grim but it wasn’t boring.

There were no postcards on sale. Sorry guys.


I love Berlin

I’ve been in Berlin two nights now and I want to move here. I love the Germans! All the young people are so cool and east Berlin rocks da house. Went out to Tresor last night, the oldest nightclub in Berlin I think (well certainly for electronic music). Danced till I couldn’t dance no more.

Did a walking tour yesterday and got the low down on the last 500 years. I didn’t realise that they are one of the newest democracys in the world. Certainly in Europe.