Heidi Trautmann

788 - About real Utopia –The Erdmann-Rohrer Quartet - Jazz Concert at the Olive Grove in Delikipos

By Heidi Trautmann

‘About real Utopia’… the title of their latest CD… I have been listening in for a couple of times to get closer to the music we have been hearing some days ago in that beautiful place of the Olive Grove in Delikipos on the way south coming from Nicosia. This music, I mean the one we heard at the concert, is not what immediately comes to your mind when you think of Jazz, it is something else, at least for me, stage or film music is the closest I can get. Just imagine you walk through a busy street and catch all the noises that surround you, circulate, pass, rush by, come back with a continuous steady beat in the background which may be your heart beat – bum bum bum bum – stories of life, of walking through life, the smell of a bakery, you stand still for a while, people murmuring softly, a bus stopping, rushing feet, then you walk through a cool park….. Do you understand what I mean? It is the music of a city; oh, you can include so many things, the visit of a museum perhaps….. Let me listen again, perhaps I discover some more.


When we entered the Olive Grove which is the old private property of the Pharos Trust founder, a family of philanthropists - you may read about the foundation on the internet -  I was not aware of what I know now, but first of all we enjoyed this beautiful piece of land so well looked after, a park of old olive trees, truly representing the old Cypriot times; and right in the centre of it the concert venue with chairs lined up under giant pine trees alongside a pool, the private bungalow in the background. Serenely beautiful. There were also cushions laid out where younger people had already found their niche.

We helped ourselves to some wine and I walked around to catch some different angles of view and when dusk set in, lights at the feet of trees came on and created a dreamlike atmosphere.  I visited the stage where everything was installed for the musicians, the platform surrounded by pure nature with roses around. Thus transported into the mood for music we settled down to enjoy the evening. Our friends who had invited us for the evening had heard about the quartet as being a well- established group with excellent musicians known for their new interpretation of jazz. For me, it was a total surprise, to hear jazz played this way.

I have included here an introduction issued by Pharos Foundation because it is important to learn more about the background for our understanding or for yours.

For a while we lived in a Wonderland, carried away by unreal tunes, but softened by the warm texture of the saxophone, and in the background when the musicians halted in for a moment the frogs took over. It was Jazz Delight, not inciting the body but the mind.

I must tell you about the break when all the ladies rushed to the only WC in the bungalow which was so generously opened to the audience, but they seemed to know each other anyway. I was in the centre of a long queue when Garo Keheyan, the present president of the Pharos Trust came in and cried out Oh my God, why don’t you go and enjoy nature behind the many bushes…. But somehow none of the ladies would follow his advice. He switched on some music for us….Jazz.  Other ladies were sitting in the fauteuils of the living room and leafing through books and magazines, as if they were part of the family, perhaps they were, at least habituées / regulars.

The Olive Grove does not serve as a concert venue on a regular basis, I understand. This concert was to commemorate the Elysée Treaty between Germany and France in 1963 and that is the reason the Goethe Institute and the Institut Français were supporting this event.

However, do find out more about the Pharos Trust, they have a lot of initiatives worthwhile knowing about.

I promised I would listen again to the CD I bought from the musicians on that evening…..the last piece on the CD…. that is the feeling I get when I walk at night through the Old City of Nicosia after an exhibition in Nicosia South or a concert at the Bedesten, with the streets in the North part dark and deserted, the wind blowing some empty cans alongside me, cats meowing and my heart sounding, just like the excellent drummer did it.  A musical.




Saturday 6 June 2015
The Olive Grove, Delikipos / 8.30pm

The Pharos Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Zypern and the Institut Francais Chypreand supported by the Deutsch-französischer Kulturfonds/ Fonds Cultural Franco-Allemand jointly present the fascinating Erdmann-Rohrer Quartet, comprising four of the most renowned jazz performers of our time: saxophonist Daniel Erdmann, cellist Vincent Courtois, guitarist Frank Möbus and drummer Samuel Rohrer. The concert will take place in the open-air venue of the Pharos Arts Foundation, The Olive Grove, in Delikipos, on Saturday 6 June at 8:30pm.

Daniel Erdmann / tenor saxophone
Vincent Courtois / cello
Frank Möbus / guitar
Samuel Rohrer / drums

For most of its history, jazz was a soloist’s music: one melody instrument improvising accompanied by a rhythm section. The composition’s theme was generally just a departure point for the soloists’ excursions. What counted most was the solo – that was where musicians could show off their virtuosity and aplomb, that was where they displayed individuality and fantasy, as well as a deeper understanding of the harmonic subtleties of jazz. Daniel Erdmann and Samuel Rohrer stir fresh air into jazz music-making. Their jazz essentially questions the soloistic principle: in this music no soloist takes the focus, everything is focused on composition and form, expressed through the sound of the Quartet. In terms of their concept, this ensemble is more related to a classical string quartet than a hard bop combo. In fact, solos survive in this music, even in their collective and free form, but they fulfil a different function: the improvisations serve the composition and they are embedded into the arrangements. Not an end in themselves, they are a means to an end, always referring to the atmosphere, construction and tonality of the respective piece.

Refined arrangements constitute the interior of the pieces and bring diversity into the playing by employing the instruments wisely. Inventive combinations of instruments display surprising tone colours. The musicians draw on the abundant treasure of their musical experience: rock sounds, jazz feeling, popular music, free improvisation as well as classical composition – everything brews together, soundly and organically fermenting into an idiosyncratic style synthesis.

Daniel Erdmann plays his tenor saxophone in multifarious manners but always with his singular artistic identity. A graduate of the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin, shuttles between Paris and Berlin, having performed all over the world (including all major festivals in Berlin, Paris, New York, Lisbon, Rotterdam) and with appearances on numerous CD recordings. Under his own name he has released CDs on Enja Records, ACT, INTAKT. He is a cofounder and member of DAS KAPITAL. French-born cellist and composer Vincent Courtois is as agile in changing from bow to pizzicato as he is in swapping bass line for melody. He began playing the cello at the age of 6, and received classical studies at the Conservatory in Aubervilliers and Paris before discovering jazz and improvisation. His first CD was released in 1990 and since then he has recorded more than 10 CDs. Frank Möbus feeds his guitar through an arsenal of effects, generating spherical tones or howling in rock style. Graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he has appeared in numerous jazz festivals in Europe, Asia, USA and Africa (Montreux, Bell Atlantic Festival, Moers Jazzfestival, Jazz d´or Straßbourg) and he is the leader and producer of the group "Der Rote Bereich". Co-leader Samuel Rohrer contributes several highly inventive compositions to the band repertoire. He treats his drums as far more than a rhythm instrument. This melodic drum playing exploits the range of dynamic possibilities, blends in elastically and is always exactly to the point. Samuel studied at the Hochschule der Künste (formerly Swiss Jazz School) in Berne, recorded several albums for ECM, Intakt, HatHut and other labels and created his own label Arjunamusic Records in 2012. He has been touring all over the world, appearing in all major festivals, including, Montreal International Jazz Festival. NorthSea Festival Rotterdam and CTM Festival Berlin.

The Olive Grove is a world-class, open-air concert venue, which aims to deliver relaxed and informal events so that intimacy is developed between the artists and the audience. The venue is surrounded by the idyllic forest of Delikipos and is adorned with wooden decks, shallow pools of water, zen landscaping and a uniquely atmospheric lighting. The audience can relax on the chairs, blankets and pillows with a glass of wine.

Information: Pharos Arts Foundation Tel. +35722663871 / www.pharosartsfoundation.org 
Tickets: €15 / €10 Concessions & members of the Pharos Arts Foundation, 
Box Office: Directly from the Foundation’s website
 www.pharosartsfoundation.org/Tickets_online.htm or Tel. 9666-9003 (Monday - Friday 10:00am-3:00pm

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