Travel

Rückzugsorte by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

Die Landschaft dort unten erscheint mir so unwahrscheinlich vielfältig schön und ich frage mich: wie haben es die modernen Bauern geschafft, derart kreativ in farbigen, scheinbar ungeplanten Strudeln zu stricken? Was wollen sie mir damit sagen?

Ich fliege durch den Himmel und ein neuer Gedanke prallt auf mich zu, wie ein entgegenkommendes Flugzeug: Es gibt kaum echte Rückzugsorte mehr. Ich meine, nicht abgelegene Orte zur Erholung, die gibt es schon. Nein, ich meine Rückzugsorte an denen man sich vor sich selbst zurückziehen kann, vor dem körpereigenen, ja fast vorprogrammierten Drang, ständig etwas zu machen, etwas zu verbessern, etwas zu leisten.

Langstreckenflüge wie dieser ermöglichen solche Erfahrungen. Es ist komplett erstaunlich, was es mit mir tut wenn ich weiß, dass mir die nächsten sechs oder acht Stunden nichts anderes als das passieren wird. In der Luft hängen. Im Moment sein. Eine Lücke in der Zeit, zwischen den Zeitzonen, ein einziges großes Hier-und-Jetzt und doch weit weg von der Gegenwart. Ein Ort an dem Vergangenheit und Zukunft aufeinandertreffen.

Weit über dem Ozean in diesem Freiraum denke ich über meine Träume nach, über Verlorenes und Gefundenes, finde Sandkörner heutiger und gestriger Hoffnungen. Der reife, freie Moment kommt gerade wie wir die Küste Irlands verlassen und aufs offene Meer steuern. Das Meer. La Mer. Debussy, du hattest recht. Das bebend grüne unter uns, das frei fließende in uns.

Grandeur by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

I traveled to France to feel the sweet breath of true greatness again. In the least humble city of all, in the shadow of the Sorbonne, the swell autumn air let my thoughts fly like swirling winds, high up in the air, my body sitting firmly on chairs or half-lying on sofas in cafés, finally relaxing and joyfully observing the self-confident manners of the Parisien.

This helped me realize one thing:

We should all allow a bit more Grandeur in our lives.

Politicians would then make their visions come true instead of permanently managing so called "crises". Composers would then get out of their comfort zone and dare to make something that tries to grasp the world, to create a universe of emotions, like Mahler, Stockhausen or Bach once did. And - most important of all - the common man or woman, people like you and I, would make it part of our agenda to grow in all directions: inwards, outwards, to expand as beings, in the true sense of the word.

So far so good. Time for a new Jugendstil maybe? An inspiringly new belle-epoque, an era where all the levels of style exist and grow parallel to each other and everything is allowed, but with us humans truthfully involved - instead of volunteering as digital cripples in the claws of Google and c/o, we'll build something new, something fresh, something smelling of autumn leaves and grand, new, sparkling ideas. Together.

Lägg örat mot marken och lyssna by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

Lägg örat mot marken och lyssna. Hör trycket när kaffet lämnar espressobryggaren genom de nålsmå hålen i silen, lyssna noga på flyplansmotorernas gång och klapprandet av hovar mot taigan från tusentals renar.

Lägg örat mot marken och lyssna, men döm inte. Ta in klangerna och låt de verka i dig. Oavsett om det är Kraftwerk, Grisey eller Beethoven, oavsett om det är Stefan Prins eller Rameau. Alla är de revolutionärer på sitt vis.

Lägg örat mot marken och lyssna. Och kom inte till mig sedan och säg att det inte är musik. Öppna dig. Och öppna dina öron.

Välkommen hem efter sommaren! Välkommen till en ny höst, en ny klang. Musiken som en förlängning av den ljudvärld vi lever i.

Haydn by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

Airport. Everyday life, normal people running about, searching for their gates. Lost smiles.

I turn on Haydn. The world as I know it disappears, every step feathers lightly on the concrete floor, I suddenly feel very human and appreciate the beauty of my fellow humans, my collegues in travel.

A mystic bassline, a line of chords, a knocking rhythm. Or is it more than that? I think so.

IMAGINATION // On braking the wall and turning 30 by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

IMAGINATION
On Breaking the Wall and Turning 30

France inspired me. Again. Last week, I had the great pleasure of celebrating turning 30 (so, mathematically speaking, my 31th birthday) in Dijon with all my new Klangforum collegues, many singers from the Pinocchio-production and other friends. A wonderful evening with wine (for the others), food, music, conversations and joie-de-vivre. An evening symbolizing where I stand now, what life has brought and taught me in its first 30 years, 10958 days or however you'd like to count it.

And, since this is a historical change of numbers, I've been thinking. It actually feels a bit like a very refreshing New Year's Eve, or rather the day after, and I discover this as a chance, a possibility to re-think, find new goals and paths and to keep on imagining things and staying creative. And as a sudden surprise, this quotation came to me:

"Rien ne vaut la peine d'être vécu, qui n'est d'abord une œuvre d'imagination ou alors la mer ne serait plus que de l'eau salée"
- Romain Gary

The most beautiful picture: if we wouldn't have our imagination, the sea would be nothing more than salty water. Gary - a dreamer, a literaric hero and a man not willing to compromise with anything. Especially not with dreaming and fantasizing. And so, the sea remains something magical.

If life would be in sonata form, this birthday was probably the end of the Exposition and the beginning of the Durchfürung. Or to put it in John Coltrane's words: the end of the Acknowledgment and the beginning of the Resolution. I'm really looking forward to it.

All the best from Berlin,
Your Mikael

From Aix with Love // or // Why Does It Always Hurt To Cross The Border? by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

In Strasbourg, the Rhine divides two very different countries from each other with a thin blue line. We live in a seemingly barrier-free Europe (still) but to me there is and has always been something almost mythical about continental Europe and her rivers, about their traditional and symbolic meaning as borders between people and cultures.

I’m thinking and writing again and you’ve probably already guessed it - I’m on the train, leaving France after yet another wonderful project abroad with Klangforum Wien. A normal tour for me usually lasts just a couple of days or a week, but this time I’m returning home after more than three weeks with Klangforum playing Philippe Boesmans’ Pinocchio at the Aix-en-Provence festival, the second biggest opera festival in the world.

We had a fantastic time. And as the TGV rushes through the Provence and proceeds through the central parts of France I keep thinking that I don’t want the landscape to change this fast, that I want to stay in this dream for a little while longer, in the same way I sometimes want to stay in bed the morning after a concert, watching the flowers and remembering that it all maybe wasn’t a dream after all.

I don’t need to bring flowers home this time, but I want to stay in the memory transforming into a dream for longer, stretching the time. This is a dream of fountains, of joie-de-vivre, of wonderful people, great food and, reflecting over my last three weeks, it seems to me like the perfect combination of work and pleasure. Aix-en-Provence is such a beauty and I already now miss walking around in this city: too perfect to be true but genuine enough to believe in.

------

The French expression for a musical world première is ”création mondiale” - two words forming an expression that is as posh as it is tasty. The ”création mondiale” of Philppe Boesmans’ Pinocchio turned out to be a sincere pleasure (admitted: a very tonal pleasure) with a fabulous cast of singers. Klangforum Wien in the pit also got some well deserved attention, Financial Times wrote after the premiere:

At the top of the list is the presence of Klangforum Wien in the pit and Emilio Pomarico on the podium. These are people who can turn any score into a masterpiece; the musicality, the polish, the warmth and skill are breathtaking.”

So, after all, reading newspaper articles afterwards, remembering the scents, flavours and pictures of Aix and all the adventures and night-long conversations with my new and old friends playing, visiting, sharing these experiences with me makes it bearable and possible to think back with a big smile on my face.

Life goes on and this coming week, Salzburg is waiting. From Saturday we start rehearsing for a very different kind of festival, in a very different country, much closer to home. Still at the border, still by a river. Let the music flow!

All the best and musical greetings,

Your Mikael

Living on the Road by Mikael Rudolfsson - Trombone

Travel

Four Hotels I Really Really Like

Traveling can be both wonderful and taxing. And, since the world tends to get more and more standardized with every second hotel belonging to a big chain it has become more and more important to me finding my personal oasis when away from home. Here I have picked out four hotels I really really like – they all have in common that they add a very personal touch to your stay, offer that sincere friendly smile at the reception or that locally inspired home-made personal breakfast and – most important of all: give you the opportunity to meet nice and open-minded fellow travellers.

These hotels belong to the category ”luxurious but affordable” and fit equally well for the business trip as for the relaxation weekend. The Scandinavian two are beautifully situated right by the sea. The two German city hotels are both located in the bulls-eye of their respective city.

 

1. BERLIN:

Hotel Savoy Berlin, Germany

Fasanenstraße 9-10, 10623 Berlin, Germany

http://www.hotel-savoy.com/

Since my first stay here I’m deeply in love with its red furniture, the old patinated flair of the rooms and the joie-de-vivre atmosphere in the lobby. Perfectly situated by Bahnhof Zoo with Tiergarten closeby for the morning jog.

 

2. FRANKFURT:

Hotel Nizza Frankfurt, Germany

Elbestraße 10, 60329 Frankfurt, Germany

http://www.hotelnizza.de/

Right in the middle of the swirling Bahnhofsviertel, but so genuine and reliable. The breakfast ist exquisitely hand-made and just delicious. The rooms have a tall ceiling and let you travel in time, at least 40-50 years. Recommendation!

 

3. DENMARK:

Hotel Vejlefjord, Jylland, Denmark

Sanatorievej 26, 7140 Stouby, Denmark

http://en.hotelvejlefjord.dk/

Absolutely stunnigly situated at the Vejle bay, far away from everyday life this old sanatory building was refurbished with big love to detail and is now a wonderful hotel/spa. My suggestion: take a walk down to beach, walk to the left through the forest, take a swim at the hidden part of the bay and feel like Robinson Crusoe.

 

4. SWEDEN:

Hotell Mossbylund, Skåne, Sweden

27453 Mossby, Sweden

http://www.mossbylund.se/

At the very southern cape of Sweden, closeby Ystad in the Skåne region, the flat croplands and fields meet the stormy Östersjön. If I would go somewhere just to read, relax and think, this would be the place. Trelleborg, just 35km away is directly reachable with the ferry from Sassnitz, which brings this spa oasis very close to continental Europe. And...what a breakfast!