Milo Fine (1984)

FMP: Troubled Times

Free Music Production faces an uncertain future. The organization is deeply in dept and threatened by bankruptcy, but hopes to savage some part of its work. However, FMP - which has released over 150 records with all kinds of improvised music - will no longer be producing any records. FMP’s mail-order service is also being discontinued.

Depending on the availability of subsidies, FMP intends to continue such regular programs as the Workshop Freie Musik, Total Music Meeting and Summer Music/Fall in Jazz. There are also plans to set up a room for studio and live activities. Work also will continue on organizing an archive for the music, texts and photographs which have accumulated over the years since FMP was founded in 1969.

For years, FMP existed on a shoestring thanks to Dagmar and Jost Gebers, who donated not only their time but about 15-25,000 DM annually out of their own pockets to help finance FMP projects. But since August 1982, Dagmar Gebers has been unemployed. Moreover, the government increased taxes for hiring foreign musicians. Despite some financial support from the Akademie der Künste, other local organizations - notably the Berlin Kultursenat - were less generous in providing the subsidies needed to cover expenses.

If FMP departs from the scene, it will leave a gap that won’t be easily filled. Apart from the records and live concerts, FMP also organized numerous workshops, procured scholarships for improvising musicians to come to West Berlin, and helped open up the border between the two Germany’s for Jazz musicians.

For the present, Dieter Hahne, who has worked tirelessly for FMP since 1975 for only a minimal salary, will be maintaining the address on Behaimstrasse for record customers. Among FMP’s last releases are: “Two Making A Triangle” (FMP 0990) by bassists Peter Kowald and Maarten Altena; “Pica Pica” (FMP 1050) by reedman Peter Brötzmann, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and percussionist Günter “Baby” Sommer; “Rondo Brillante” (FMP 1040) by pianists Alexander von Schlippenbach and Martin Theurer, “Stringer” (SAJ-41) by the London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra; “Live In Berlin” (SAJ-45) by United Front; “A Concert In Berlin” (SAJ-46) by pianist Marilyn Crispell, and “Berliner Begegnung” (SAJ-47) by pianist Fred Van Hove, reedman Wolfgang Fuchs and drummer Peter Hollinger.

from: Jazz Forum # 88 (Poland), May 1984

The copyrights remain with the aforesaid sources and/or with the authors.