by Gisbert Schürig

We started the Groovejam format last September and up to now enjoyed four evenings of music & dance.

At the first Groovejam date, I had the pleasure of playing a noisy set of live music with Vincenz Kokot of My Sister Grenadine. When improvising, Vincenz usually brings a bunch of lo-fi electronic gadgets, drone-making buddha-machines and the like. Also, he´s probably the tightest guitar and ukulele player I know. Next to being an inventive improviser, Vincenz is a great songwriter, so when the opportunity came I could not resist joining My Sister Grenadine for the upcoming tour in May 2018.

Hallo Julia is the pop trio of drummer Brigitte Haas. But when she is not busy performing songs on french fries or hipsters she facilitates the beautiful Klangbaden improv sessions, bringing together a group of highly skilled instrumentalists, bathing the listeners & dancers in sounds while smuggling in hooks and chord changes from the world of pop. I love the collective approach to improvisation of Klangbaden and I sincerely hope they will make a return to Groovejam in 2018.

Since summer 2017, I am collaborating with a bunch of electronic music nerds to offer teaching on this form of art which is often neglected at traditional music schools. The result is the school for electronic music called lev, I am pretty excited and thankful to be a part of this.

The december groovejam saw the premiere of the levEnsemble playing live together.

The complicated stuff on the computer monitors are patches of the music software Pure Data. Lev-mastermind Marten Seedorf not only uses this, but also developes easy-to-use musical modules, the levTools which can be downloaded for free.

My own use of electronic music devices included my daughters PSP, utilizing the Beaterator in an unlikely way for ambient sine sounds.

Also in the picture: the Xynthesizer sequencing app for iPad. It offers the use of cellular automata like Conway´s Game of Life for musical sequencing and that is just irresistable to me. If you are curious, read this (german) review of the app by my lev-colleague Deniz Dilek.

A big thanks to all the musicians who took part in the Groovejam 2017!

Also, a big thanks to all the dancers!

And last, but not least a big thanks to the teachers who offered workshops:
Jo Bruhn and Jennie Zimmermann teaching contact improvisation and Naima Ferré teaching the art of whirling.

My Phyla-fellow Jennie Zimmermann who is curating the Groovejam workshop schedule is currently dancing with Nancy Stark-Smith in USA, so there will be a workshop winter pause in January and February. I´m sure she will bring a lot of interesting impulses when she is back in march, so stay tuned!

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