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A Fireside Chat with Helma Schlief, Curator of FMP (Free Music Production)

By Published: November 29, 2003

HS: Certainly, especially when you consider the situation as we found it. Jost Gebers had returned the money, the subsides to the Berlin authorities without telling anyone. We couldn't get access to this subsides when it was returned so we are now dealing with a fifth of what he had before and this money goes totally to the organization of the Total Music Meeting, which is partly funded by my company. Otherwise, it would not be able to stay. So the producing of CDs has sold down because the money available is going to the festival.

FJ: You are spending so much of your own money to do this, you must be dedicated to the art.

HS: I do. I do (laughing). You have to be a bit crazy to do all this of course. And you have to be some kind of pessimist to do it at all, but it is also what I said from the very beginning. It is not only marginal music. It is something that is affecting me and the lives of so many other people and it is important. In regards to the socialist vision of this music, it is the most contemporary genre of music I can think of and it needs to be heard and it affects so many people and their lives, hearts, and minds. It is worthwhile. It has something to do with the liberty, the attitude, with the approach towards music, which is the most democratic process I can think of. The unexpected, it is sort of adventure and so many people from the audience at the festival have told me that the impression they get at live concerts is mandatory for later or for being a collector of CDs. They are always saying that it moves me or they see things differently, and I think this is a very important aspect of this music, which is that it really affects and touches hearts and minds.


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