Friday 17 April 2009

Heiner Goebbels / Heiner Müller - Der Mann im Fahrstuhl (1988)



Using the texts of playwright Heiner Muller and collecting a wide range of imaginative musicians, Heiner Goebbels constructed a fascinating music-theater piece that mixes languages and musical styles. The text, read and sung by Arto Lindsay, concerns the thoughts and fears of an employee summoned to his boss' office and has something of a Brazil-like aura about it. Perhaps coincidentally, Lindsay interjects some Brazilian songs into the proceedings. But the highlight is the performance by this stellar ensemble, ranging from free to punkishly tinged jazz-rock to quasi-African. There are outstanding contributions from guitarist Fred Frith, trombonist George Lewis, and the late Don Cherry on trumpet, voice, and the African hunter's guitar known as the doussn'gouni. Goebbels brews a rich stew of overlapping languages and styles in a dense matrix that creates an appropriate feeling of angst, but never loses a sly sense of humor. If anything, some of The Man in the Elevator is reminiscent of Carla Bley's better known work and fans of hers as well as curious rock listeners should have no problem enjoying this one.
Brian Olewnick

Charles Hayward - drums, percussion
Fred Frith - guitar, bass
Heiner Goebbels - piano, synthesizer
Ned Rothenberg - saxophone, bass clarinet
George Lewis - trombone
Ernst Stötzner - voice
Arto Lindsay - voice, guitar
Don Cherry - voice, trumpet, strings [doussn' gouni]

Written By Heiner Müller
Released in 1988 by ECM Records

link
@320

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Searched for it since many years! Thanks!!

gidouille said...

I'll have to mark this one to download. I saw a performance of this at The Kitchen in 1989 with most of these people involved, Dietmar Diesner and Johannes Bauer replacing Cherry, Lewis and Rothenberg, I think, but everyone else. At one point the musicians disappeared, only to reappear on an elevated stage sitting behind office desks, each had some sound producing device and as the boss would come by, Stotzner I think, each would launch into a flurry of activity, as if trying to look busy. Superb performance.

Sometime later that night or the next, I ran into Ernst Stotzner at the bar at the old Knitting Factory. I told him I admired his work on Zeit Wird Knapp, and we chatted about theater and such. Sometime during the conversation, he mentioned with a kind of awe that no matter where he went in the world, he met fans of Cassiber.

JimJak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JimJak said...

JimJak said...

waaaahhhh. i cannot believe it. this piece of art gives in insight in what you might consider as GERMAN SOUL.

A man gets lost in an elevator on his way to his boss.
"Fünf Minuten vor der Zeit ist die wahre Pünktlichkeit."

I lost this a long time ago. Thank you so much for giving back to me.

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