TMM compact 2000 Program - Statement of Concern - Press
In January 2000 - just like every year - we applied for financial support for this years' TOTAL MUSIC MEETING to the Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur (Senate Department of Science, Research and Culture). In the middle of May we received a preliminary refusal over the phone. Consequently we developed and submitted a reduced version. On May 31 the written rejection for the program submitted in January arrived; followed at the beginning of August by the rejection of the reduced version.
This means: the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING as we conceived it, will not take place this year because the cultural officials of this town do not feel able to finance this Low Budget Festival, which has been in existence for 32 years, any longer. Year in year out the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING has put on big programs with very little money which have gained attention and recognition throughout the world and have become a fixed event on the contemporary music scene. Founded in 1968 by musicians such as Jost Gebers, Peter Brötzmann, Alexander von Schlippenbach and Peter Kowald, also as protest against the program of the 'Jazztage' of that time, the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING has, over the years, in the main left its stamp on an important chapter of recent music history.
After last year's 32nd TOTAL MUSIC MEETING at the 'Podewil', Michael Rieth wrote in the 'Frankfurter Rundschau': … "For over three decades the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING has proved itself to be resolute and the regularly honoured label FMP, which emerged from this Avantgarde event and which has been publishing landmarks of contemporary music, has now been in existence for 30 years - without any compromise since this is not a Jazz thing, at least not that of the Avantgarde that's forever renewing itself" (11.11.1999).
Through this concept, put together by musicians, the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING which FMP (Jost Gebers) has been coordinating since 1968, Berlin has established itself as a centre for contemporary acoustic music; the festival enjoys the highest reputation at home and abroad and has an almost legendary standing. This is also manifested by the numerous foreign guests and visitors who regularly come just for this event, as well as by the countless publications, articles, essays, books, radio broadcasts and films which have come about over the course of these years.
From here some of the musicians invited from Berlin, East and West Germany, East and West Europe, USA, Japan etc have 'played up' their world-wide reputations of today. This has also been made possible by the fact that FMP as the promoter has not only continuously presented live music but has always documented it, as well, including the now legendary 11 CD-Box 'Cecil Taylor' which came about within the framework of the events in Berlin as 'Culture capital of Europe' in 1988.
Finally, the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING with its always original and specially conceived program concepts served as a model for other countries: Over the years festivals in Switzerland, England, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Italy, Canada and the USA came about, all following the FMP pattern of programming. That is: To conceive of and coordinate international programs with an international flair, to continuously present musical innovation and the developmental processes of individual musicians or ensembles and thus demonstrate the design and development of their musical languages, to support new young talents and to give them a forum on an equal footing with the 'Stars' and, not forgetting, the creation of an open and, at the same time, highly concentrated communication structure and concert situation through the organisational framework for the musicians and the audience which has made possible a number of musical momentous occasions which nowadays are part of the history of the festival and have left their stamp on its legendary reputation.
This is why: What has taken over 30 years to develop must not be allowed to just fade away. For these reasons we shall be fighting for financial support for the year 2001. And this is why the musicians (just like 32 years ago) have decided to put on a ´compressed´ TOTAL MUSIC MEETING under their own direction.
Distribution & Communication
Helma Schleif
A Musicians´ Production at the Podewil
2. - 4. November 2000, Podewil
We, the musicians, have decided, under the present circumstances, to organise a three day version of the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING without any financial support.
All the participants are aware of the financial risks involved (there are no fees, no travel expenses, no hotels paid for). This is because the takings from ticket sales will, in the best possible case, only cover the costs of the infrastructure, equipment, GEMA and advertising (posters, flyers).
By so doing, we want to make crystal clear what loosing the TOTAL MUSIC MEETING would mean not only for this city and its musicians but also for the international improvised music scene.
Wolfgang Fuchs
on behalf of the musicians
We would like to thank the following people for their support:

DAAD / Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
Holger Scheuermann (Sound)
Peter Brötzmann (Poster design)
FMP Jost Gebers (This & That)
FMP Distribution & Communication
Helma Schleif (Coordination/Press)
Dagmar Gebers (Photos)
Dieter Hahne (Organisation)
as well as those,
who wish to remain anonymous.
Berlin, im September 2000