2014 : Tony Buck

2014 : Tony Buck

Tony Buck. Foto: Holimage

2014 : Tony Buck

Publicerad: fre, 2014-12-12 12:09

2014 started relatively slowly. A month too long in the Berlin winter, a string of mundane things to get done and a festival appearance which left a pretty sour taste in the mouth, which unfortunately lingered for months while waiting for payment.

Heading finally to Australia in February for the annual down-under summer tour with the Necks, culminating in a great concert at the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House. A full house with a real feeling of support from the home team! Fantastic.
From there, back to Europe via some workshops in Singapore.

In March The Necks re-located to Europe for a few weeks, starting a month long tour off with an extremely intense concert at Berghain in Berlin. Having heard so much about the sound system there for years and years I was ready to be quite cynical about the whole thing, imagining an exaggerated sub-bass thumping club PA that, while sounding impressive from the dance floor, would bring nothing but annoying bottom end shudder and unrealistic, overly loud, unrealistic sound projection into the space, totally unsuitable for acoustic instruments. In reality I would have to conclude that in all my 30+ years of playing concerts around the world, I have never played through a PA that has come even close to the clarity; the realistic representation of the instrumental sound and the uncompressed support offered by this immaculate public address system! Coming, as it did, as the next concert the band had played following the success of the Sydney Opera House, it was a fantastic way to arrive back in Europe; the sold-out audience giving us a similar 'home crowd' supportive welcome that we had, up to the point, never quite received in Berlin. It felt like an omen for a great tour and year ahead.

A couple of short tours with Spill (with Magda Mayas) and Trophies (with Alessandro Bosetti) followed. While being all memorable and successful concerts for the most part, I was brought crashing back to earth with the still freezing European temperatures.

The next few month saw a couple of short tours, a few memorable one-offs here and there and some Berlin concerts that I felt re-connected me with the scene that I had been feeling a little distant from the last year or two. Some highlights from these few months would have to include a wonderful evening of trio playing at the Le Mans festival in France with Barre Phillips and John Surman. A real pleasure, an honour and an absolute delight to share the stage with these two wonderful and inspiring gentlemen. A short tour with the wonderful Ethiopian piano player Hailu Mergia; the consolidation of a new group with Joe Williamson and Scandinavian guitarists Kim Myhr and David Stackenäs; and performing with The Necks at Roskilde Festival in Denmark were also highlights. (It was very nice to play at Roskilde, for the second time, but getting the chance to see the Stones play a two and a half hour concert the night before we played was a surprising high point. I was totally sucked into the occasion and it felt like a privilege to get to hear these musically and culturally significant fellows up close and real, even if i was perhaps 30 years late for the real event…)

The 2nd half of the year brought another tour with Magda and Spill, another short tour with Hailu and another pretty gruelling 20 date, "see-you-in-the-loby-at-6am" (everyday for the next 3 weeks) kind of tour with The Necks. Highlights for this Necks excursion would have to be our collaborations with Austrian friends Radian, our three night residency at Cafe Oto in London and our return to the same venue a week or so later to play with Evan Parker as part of his 70th birthday celebrations. A gentleman, a scholar and one hell of a sax player.

November I found myself yet again back to Oto for another sax player birthday celebration, this time in the form of a trio performance with Magda Mayas and John Butcher for John's 60th mini-fest. It was, as always, an inspiration play with him again. We've played in this combination a number of times now and it seems we even have a name, "Vellum"… Hopefully this will lead to more chances to do it again. Exquisite musician!

Now we find ourselves in December and a feeling of tying things up before it all starts again and slowly organising to get back to the antipodean warmth. Still a few nice things to look forward to; a concert in Köln with Australian alto player Tim O'Dwyer, a Berlin concert with Mr Frank Gratkowski and a concert to launch the new release on Monotype records from my own group TRANSMIT, which plays way too infrequently and have been looking forward to getting this new material out there for some time.

Time always seems to pass extremely fast, 2014 particularly so. I guess as the years go by they do seem to move with increasing speed.

I also spent sometime reading about various theories and ideas regarding time, it's passing and it's aesthetic characteristics. Perhaps in the not too distant future this may have some impact on my perception of time moving, or my movement through time and maybe I will someday feel like it isn't all accelerating ahead quite so rapidly. It might even have some impact on my music… who knows what that will lead to.!!

Cheers from Berlin, 2014,
Tony Buck

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Spellista: Don Cherrys 70-tal

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