The Frankfurt conert is not really in Frankfurt, but in Neu-Isenberg, a satelite town about 10km outside. We’ve played in the Hugenottenhalle last year and it’s a good hall. The voice workshop on Sunday is across the other side of Frankfurt, but we’re going to stay in Neu-Isenburg for the duration. It’s a nice hotel with free internet, friendly staff and a quiet area. Well, it would be quiet if they weren’t digging up the road outside my room and Monday morning I’m woken at 7am to the sound of pneumatic drills and diggers. Closing the windows doesn’t help very much so it’s an early start on Monday.
Frankfurter Ring organize a lot of events and are a great team of people to work with. They’re available for us from the moment we arrive until we leave and that makes our work a lot easier. The voice workshop on Sunday is in the Bockenheim area of Frankfurt, in the Titania Event Theater, a nice little place in the back streets. The workshop is sold out and goes well, I take the time to do some work in a local cafe. In packing up we seem to gain some cables which we discover later and will have to find a way to return to the theater.
The concert itself is back in the Hugenottenhalle in Neu-Isenberg, which we have played in previous years. Last year at the Colors of Ostrava festival, Deva and Miten had met up with Jan Garbarek’s band and connected with York Wegener, Jan Garbarek’s lighting designer. They’ve asked him to come along and do a set design for tonights concert and when we show up he’s already hard at work erecting frames and light stands. It’s an interesting concept that he has and is different than anything that we’ve had before. Normally Deva and Miten appear in a pool of light on a darkened stage, sort of floating there but in this design York has created a frame that they ‘sit in’, sort of like a picture frame but with lights. It works quite well on the Hugenottenhalle stage, which is not so big and the frame fits very nicely, but I can’t see it working on some of the large stages that we play. Unfortunately York has some problems with one bank of lights and that distracts him a bit at the start. I think he solves the problems though and by the second half of the show things are looking pretty good. Unless you are sitting in the front row, in which case you would have been a bit dazzled by the back lights shining down at you.
Again Miten invites people up on stage for the last two songs (those who were in the voice workshop), always provides a bit of an energy rush, particularly as it’s the Sufi song “Il Allah” which usually picks up a good head of steam before dropping off into the beautiful “Ommm…. “.