Music & clubs

A few questions for… Detlef Diederichsen

For 100 Years of Now, the HKW’s head of music and performing arts put together a programme that combines the German avant-garde, Italian futurism and a post-punk rock opera. F.S.K. and Trümmer bring the noise on Saturday, October 3.

Image for A few questions for... Detlef Diederichsen

From a simple regiment’s drum to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, from Bob Dylan’s protest songs to the clatter of a brand-new MG5, every war has its own music. During the opening week of HKW’s 100 Years of Now project, Diederichsen focuses on the correlation between the two, inviting two generations of German bands on stage: the avant-garde F.S.K. and post-punk youngsters Trümmer. W hereas the former evokes WWI by paying homage to futurist Luigi Russolo with Ein Haufen Scheiß und ein zertrümmertes Klavier (“a pile of shit and a smashed piano”), Trümmer will tackle current conflicts with self-proclaimed punk rock opera Vincent, composed just for this occasion. It all takes place Saturday, October 3. 

What do you expect from the evening with F.S.K. and Trümmer? 

It would be best to put it in the context of the whole opening weekend. Only listening to the music would be fine, but it would be a really dense impression of the whole topic if you take more out of it. What the audience will take away? I haven’t heard the Trümmer programme yet, but I’m sure they’re gonna be pretty wild and aggressive. F.S.K. will be more calm and a bit more subtle. Different tastes and senses will be triggered! 

With their performances, from WWI to the present, F.S.K. and Trümmer will span 100 years of war exactly. Was the pairing coincidental or planned? 

This combination was actually planned – the topics were accidental. F.S.K. and Trümmer were the first artists we asked. I just gave them a very short outline and asked them whether they wanted to participate or not. Both agreed, and from that point on we started discussing. The idea behind it was to have the perspectives of two different bands who are somehow very reflective about change in music, in society and in politics. And yet, as they are from different generations – these icons of German independent music and another very young band – they’ll produce completely different output. 

100 Y ears of N ow attempts to ‘diagnose’ the present. Does analysing music actually enrich the experience? 

I would say ‘analyse’ is a bit of a misleading word, because analysing music doesn’t work the way analysing text does, for example. Music still contains a lot of unspeakable content. But the thing that we could agree on is concentrated deep listening, which always adds something to the music, even if, in the end, you do not like it as much as you did before. But in the end, you see that music that stands this test is even more enriching. 

Could you take a wild guess at what will happen in music in the next 100 years? 

This is completely technology-driven. If you had asked someone 100 ago, when music recording and broadcasting were just starting, nobody would have been able to foresee that development and how it penetrated society. Concerning technological development, it is getting faster and faster. I could not even predict what music will be like in 50 years or even less. Also, imagine if you had asked someone in 1980 how electronic music would develop, in a time with no samples even. Producing on your own laptops is so quick and easy nowadays. I couldn’t possibly predict it. 

100 YEARS OF NOW: F.S.K./TRÜMMER Oct 3, 20:00, HKW, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, Tiergarten, U-Bhf Bundestag