Keynote & Talk

Back to the Future? – Music and Social Utopia

With Hanna Bächer, Guilherme Granado, Felix Klopotek, Joachim Kühn, Mette Rasmussen

Are we seeing a re-politicisation of jazz or does the 21st century need a whole new set of utopias? A keynote lecture by Felix Klopotek and an artists’ talk will explore the question of what has become of the utopian impulse of progressive jazz and free improvisation.

  • In German and English

During the 1960s and 1970s, a time of politically embattled social upheaval and new departures, cultural openness and a general politicisation, many artists and musicians charged their work with a utopian dimension. They saw art and creativity as a vital force of social change in the struggle for freedom, equal rights, emancipation and solidarity. Experimental jazz and freely improvised music were surrounded by an aura of rebellion and turmoil, of spirituality and transcendence, of non-conformist refusal and libidinous liberation.

The panel “Back to the Future?” asks what has become of this energy and its utopian dimensions in our times, governed as it is by imperatives of creativity, economy of innovation and excessive musical production. Which subversive potentials inherent in the practice of experimental music have yet to be redeemed, and which can perhaps be uncovered again?

In the Resonance Chamber of October – Keynote by Felix Klopotek

Felix Klopotek describes an arc from the emancipatory reveille of the “October Revolution in Jazz” of New York in the 1960s and 70s to current shrunken forms of “improvisation” and fluid processes within the social mainstream and business-based ideologies of today.

A Conversation with Joachim Kühn, Mette Rasmussen, Guilherme Granado and Felix Klopotek

Are we seeing a substantial re-politicisation of jazz – or does the 21st century need a whole new set of utopias? This question is at the centre of a conversation between the East-West German jazz pundit Joachim Kühn, the Danish free jazz saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and the Brazilian experimental musician Guilherme Granado.

Moderation Hanna Bächer

Funded by

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien     Logo Musikfonds     Logo Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung