Editorial on the zero edition of the e-magazine for music and culture "Nahbesprechung", on 9 June 2020

"Because we need culture"

Even in the Corona-Lockdown, opinions were heard again and again, which might make the social isolation as a suitable period for contemplation, deceleration or source of a happy family life palatable to us. That would have been nice, insofar as I could have chosen to do so freely. For me, the hunger for closeness, encounter and engagement with the feeling, creation and thinking of others has only grown.

At that time, the substitutes for communal experience through electronic media remained astonishingly pale. I remember the growing anticipation during a car ride on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the lockdown over like empty streets under a blue sky completely free of condensation strips. It was anticipation for the encounter with the former singer and founder of the Wise-Guys, Eddi Hüneke.

No substitute for voices and moods

In the basement of the Hürther detached house with Eddi Hüneke, I had to experience how an online choir rehearsal with the help of conference software with all the momentum of the moderator and as loving as detailed preparation can perhaps be a welcome distraction in the midst of uneventful times. It was no substitute, however, for the communal experience of a real singing rehearsal amid the vibrations of human voices and moods.

The lockdown also reminded us of the monetary situation of most cultural workers. They are threatened with impoverishment if the game fails before and with the audience, if stage appearances or exhibition openings are cancelled. "We live from hand to mouth," one singer told me in a phone call.

No repayment of grants

These days, the district committee also joined the initiative of the Landrat Michael Kreuzberg to promote the cultural scene in the Rhein-Erft district. The district now wants to dispense with the repayment of district grants already paid for association work, cultural institutions and artistic projects. But is it sufficient to repay the artists, or are it perhaps not also more creative approaches on the part of the circle?

But it is not only the financial hardship that drives musicians to the streets in the literal sense of the word, namely to concerts in the open air, but "because we need culture," said jazz trumpeter Susanne Riemer at the presentation of a hygiene concept for live concerts, presented in her garden with her duo partner, the guitarist Wilhelm Geschwind.

With "Nahbesprechung.net" I would like to offer all cultural professionals and their audience a place to discuss their ideas and to see things up close, discuss them and bring you closer.

Enjoy reading, listening and looking,

wish oliver Tripp

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