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Hoffman/Alicea/Vicuta: Channeling Adorno on Jazz

Javier AQ Ortiz By

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Quick and to the Point: Vocal recording of a Jazz related séance seeking to contact dead scholar Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno.



Europe’s answer to John Edwards is Mrs. Gaviria Vicuta. “Verrücktes Gespräch mit den Toten,” her popular German TV program, has been translated into 13 languages. One significant difference between Mrs. Vicuta and Mr. Edwards, however, is that the former engages dead historical figures and the former doesn’t. Whereas Mr. Edwards tries to channel lost family members, Mrs. Vicuta claims to talk for important historical figures such as Adolf Hitler, several Roman emperors, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Saint Jerome, Winston Churchill and even Elvis Presley himself –to the chagrin of his worldwide followers.



Dr. Manfred Hoffman, Director of the Popular Music Department at the Hamburg Verrückt Universitäts, and his protégé José Amorós Alicea from the Ethnomusicology Department at the Colombian Universidad Javierana, contacted France’s best-known spiritualist in order to arrange for her to contact Marxist theorist Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno from the dead and “talk” to him about jazz.

Adorno’s views on jazz and popular music are well documented. He was not a lover of either, declaring throughout his career that “popular music constitutes the dregs of musical history,” that consumers of popular music “have key points in common with the man who must kill time because he has nothing else on which to vent his aggression, and with the casual laborer.” His oft studied and documented take on jazz was just as unfriendly. “To make oneself a jazz expert or hang over the radio all day, one must have much free time and little freedom,” he said, adding that “Considered as a whole, the perennial sameness of jazz consists not in a basic organization of the material within which the imagination can roam freely and without inhabitation, as within an articulate language, but rather in the utilization of certain well-defined tricks, formulas, and clichés to the exclusion of everything else.”



This recording features the voice recording of the channeling session whereupon Mrs. Vicuta claims to speak for Adorno –who seems to be quite updated on jazz even beyond the realm of the living. At present, the material is only available in German, although both English and Spanish translations are in the works. Herein, however, you will find some tidbits:

  1. When questioned about the state of North American popular music, “Adorno” replied that he decidedly disliked the increasing nudity because it wasn’t conducive to social change or deep intellectual discourse. Oddly, he seemed quite interested in Britney Spears' navel.
  2. Adorno also dislikes free jazz, albeit he considers it a promising field.
  3. His favorite record label is ECM.
  4. When Dr. Alicea asked about Latin influences in Jazz, Adorno responded that as long as it was produced in Cuba it was good. When asked whether his opinion on the matter was tainted by political demagoguery, Mrs. Vicuta let out a canine-like snarl.
  5. When asked about All About Jazz, “Adorno” remarked that they were fetishizing jazz to no end and that their work reaches even into the netherworld.


Contact: Hamburg Verrückt Universitäts Archive .


Track Listing: Voice in situ recording of a s

Personnel: Dr. Manfred Hoffman, Jos

Title: Channeling Adorno on Jazz | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Hamburg Verr

April fools!


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