FMP/FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION - An Edition of Improvised Music 2008

FMP CD 129

Alexander von Schlippenbach


Some comments on the solo recordings for FMP in Berlin 1977

After all kinds of turmoil, things were picking up for me in Berlin from the middle of the seventies. After countless moves I managed to find a slightly run-down but nice five room flat in Moabit which I renovated with great optimism and where I still live today. From there it was a 30 minute walk to the youth club in Olbersstraße, where Jost Gebers was employed by Berlin town council. In the cellar there was a studio with possibilities to record, set up by Gebers, where I could put up my old Ibach grand piano and work during the daytime.

I went there every day, leaving the house early in the morning, returning in the afternoon. Gebers offered to make solo recordings for a possible LP. I agreed and he organized the basic settings in such a way that I could stay on there by myself and only had to press the tape machine’s Record or Stop buttons.

Thanks Jost!

As I said, the studio was in the cellar. No windows, only electric light and absolutely insulated from the outside world.

Under such circumstances, out on my own in every respect, I was able to really focus, pushing my playing forward, and taking myself right to the edge with regards my improvising capabilities at that time. Listening to these recordings today, after thirty years, it seems to me that in the end I was in the grip of a competition with myself, trying to physically squeeze out the last drop.

But, at the same time, what can be found in these piano improvisations – and this seems essential to me – is something of this feeling of moving on in which I found myself involved at that time.

If this were to somehow get across to the listener, it would suit me just fine.

Translation: Isabel Seeberg & Paul Lytton

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