ECM: A Cultural Archeology

John Kelman By

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"It means that we are still alive," says Eicher. "Archaeology can be interpreted in many ways and everybody can do so the way that they want. But to me, it is a beginning; you can say that you can look through a glass darkly to the retrospective ideas and within them, the future. To me this is also a point of reference—of how things began, of how things were done lightly, and I must say lightly in the sense that I don't see any burden and I don't remember any kind of difficult times. I don't remember any kinds of walls.

"So when I see pictures from people who are still with us," Eicher concludes, "others who left us because they passed away, or those who left ECM to do their own things, it's a very good feeling to see all of them together to celebrate, in my mind, what we have done. We never think about how the music will be heard a few years later. No; you do it in the moment, in the mood and in the emotion and you do it as well as you can. It's amazing, though, how this music still interacts with our time. We did nothing else other than try to make good music of the time that we were in."

Photo Credit

Live Performance Photos: Nadia Romanini

All Other Photos: Wilfried Petzi


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