Back story minutiae:

Gmunden is a small, quintessentially/stereotypically picturesque “destination” town in upper Austria; surrounded by farmland and nestled among mountains and a fairly large body of water. (Concerning the former, as one mountaintop appears to be a human profile, there is a legend having to do with, I believe, a princess, underwater inhabitants and gods of some sort. Concerning the latter, there is a fish exclusively indigenous to this lake which is regularly harvested. Tourists can enjoy a fish-on-a-stick as well as fancier variations at local restaurants. I was treated to, and greatly enjoyed, both.)

Gmunden is, perhaps not surprisingly, a rather conservative homogeneous enclave. As I understood it from my first visit there in 2016, most properties are inherited.

(The recently completed train connection which now made a direct connection between Vienna and Gmunden was something writer Thomas Bernhard advocated, but, unfortunately didn’t live to see. In this regard one must remember Bernhard equally despised urban and rural environs; only appreciating one when in the other. The train would have made it much easier for him to vacillate between the two.)

Thus, local interest in so-called modern or avant garde art is, for the most art, minimal. (I was “warned” of this before the 2016 concert with Fritz, the dearly departed Alaeddin Adlernest and Karl Vößner in a small gallery. And, sure enough, only a few people were in attendance.)

This time around, the concert was part of a large outdoor pottery exhibition, and a protest against cuts in funding to the arts. (T-shirt translation: “Save My Art?”.) Advertised in the brochure as a “free jazz concert” (for obvious reasons, a dubious way to promote such an event), we were situated in a building (actually a house) across the street from all the outdoor vendors. The audience was nearly non-existent; in stark contrast to the very well attended event the following night at the Porgy & Bess Club in Vienna featuring this trio as well as the reformARTseven.

At the 2016 concert, Fritz ended the concert after less than 20 minutes. With a smile, I said something about having not traveled all this way to play for such a short time.  So, we went ahead and played an unrequested encore.

This time around, I asked Fritz in advance about the format. One set? Two? Duration? He indicated that we’d play for an hour with no break. You’ll note my body language/facial expression at the end of this video as he ended the set after about 25 minutes. When I asked him about it, he told me that we had, after all, played for about 35 minutes. With a(nother) smile, I corrected him. (The first 30 seconds or so of music are missing from the video —  though not my audio — as organizer/videographer Siegfried Holzbauer was engaged in conversation with the homeowner.) And, yes, that is the late Walter Malli’s drum set.

Further background information can be found in the YouTube description and the two previous posts here. Additionally, a video of the 2016 Gmunden concert can be found via a link contained in this post.

 

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