Fernando Pessoa and free improv @ Peter Kowald Ort, Wuppertal, March 2019

Franziska Schroeder and Christoph Irmer (“Westdeutsche Zeitung, 25 March 2019)

A really exciting invitation which I received from Christoph Irmer (violinist, improviser and philosopher) to present an improvised concert alongside theoretical reflections as part of the newly launched Sunday matinee event, entitled “Sonntagsmatinee-Reihe im ORT“.

The “Ort” in Wuppertal in Luisenstra├če 116 is a very special artists place, where improviser Peter Kowald in 1994 had decided to base himself for one year in order to bring artists from different disciplines and backgrounds together. In the spirit of creating an international meeting point for improvisers, painters, poets, dancers, thinkers, listeners… each week between 8 and 20 artists would meet and explore. The idea was not to create some kind of final product but to enjoy the pushing of boundaries and the encounter of newly emerging things. Kowald was the instigator of this meeting place and his spirit, his energy, curiosity and creativity live on in the current “Ort”, where regular artistic events keep challenging ideas of artistic creation. I was delighted to present and trial some of my current ideas based on the writings and thinking of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and his, at times, rather crazy and often sorrowful ideas on life, death, multiplicities, process, beginnings and endings..

Interwoven with short improvisations, I think I managed to give a solid insight into the multiple persona that Pessoa was thinking in and through.

My journey continues as I am researching further ideas around Pessoa, the multiplicity of mind and free improvisation practices. A forthcoming chapter (commissioned by Routledge) for the “Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Improvisation” (eds. Alessandro Bertinetto & Marcello Ruta) will appear in 2020.