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Dear contemporaries,


welcome to the Kölner Musiknacht 2012!

In the carpenter's workshop the lathe leaves wood shavings, at a feast there are leftovers, the flower that once bloomed withers and decays, what one person builds is torn down by another: vanitas vanitatum, everything mortal is transitory. Nevertheless, life, work and its interactions always leave some kind of footprint, remnants from the past on which the future can build. This has been going on in Cologne for the last 2000 years. It is up to us to decide what to do with the undesirable remains or beloved ruins. Should we dispose of them, revere them, preserve them, restore or rebuild them?

This principle holds good not just for life but also for music, as no kind of music exists without preconditions. Every type of music relates to remnants from the past, each transformed in an individual way. The eighth Kölner Musiknacht's as sacred as secular theme "Remnants, Relics, Reminiscences" is an invitation to a musical archaeological tour through all times and cultures. The professional explorers include four hundred musi- cians: soloists, ensembles, choirs, all from every area of Cologne's free-lance scene. In their programmes they enshrine masterpieces as if devotional objects, or they dismantle them; they honour famous composers as if holy, or they disrespectfully topple them from their pedestals. On the one hand they salvage valuable shards from the rubbish tip, on the other hand they polish bits of rubbish until they shine or use wreckage as the cornerstone of a new edifice. Sequences from the Middle-Ages are recycled just as is cheap electronic rubbish from our digital age. In all 100 concerts in 25 different locations there are quotations, echoes, reminiscences, lucky finds, adaptations, excavations, transcriptions, parodies, samples, remixes ... As with life itself, music can be experienced in all its dis-synchronicity and polyphony, each music with its own origins, history, biography and self-image.

Since 2005 the Kölner Musiknacht has been organised by the Initiativkreis Freie Musik (IFM), a group formed in 1999 by all the free-lance professional musicians, ensembles, promoters and locations, in order to increase awareness of the necessity of better working conditions and appreciation of their chronically under-financed work.

Their partners are KölnTourismus, Kölnische Rundschau and Kulturradio WDR 3, who will broadcast the KMN from 8 PM to midnight. Other supporters are the Lord Mayor, the Administrative Department for Events, the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, the Federal State Board for Music NRW and the RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur.

All this greatly appreciated cooperation and help are an enormous encouragement to us to continue to work at improving the network between musicians, city and state for the benefit of the city of Cologne and its audience.

Dr. Rainer Nonnenmann
Initiativkreis Freie Musik

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