july 15, 2015.
In times that still knew a Kleine Field Recordings Festival, on a day many, many years ago, part of some email exchange had Rinus van Alebeek and myself in passing reflect upon the sounding & musical potential of our world's bridges. Did not so many of them have the obvious look of harps of the Gods? We performed a quick web search, in order to find someone, anyone in this world who'd been and was playing bridges.
This is how we stumbled upon and subsequently met Jodi Rose, originally from Australia but back then and also currently based in Berlin, who has spent and continues to spend much of her life courting bridges all over the world, inciting them to 'sing' for her and with her. Ever since, occasionally, our paths do cross, mostly on some bridge or other, like on the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir in Paris, or the Hoge Brug (High Bridge) in Maastricht during the 2009 Kunsttour.
It was her near to unbridled bridging passion that also led Jodi into matrimony, even though she can hardly be considered the type ready or willing - yet - to settle down.
Jodi happened upon marriage two years ago.
The lucky one was the Pont du Diable, the Devil's Bridge, a 14th century single stone arch construction that crosses the river Tech at Céret in the South of France.
It was on her way and back from joining her husband in Céret for the celebration of their two years wedding anniversary that within the span of a mere two weeks, in Paris we were able to hook up again with Jodi, even more than once.
Right upon her arrival from Berlin on Saturday June 13rd she joined us at the Espace en Cours in the rue de la Réunion, Paris XX, where that evening we did a very last minute performance with Etc, in the wake of our studio recordings on Friday June 12th at the Maison des Ensembles, Paris XII. At the Espace en Cours Jodi presented a selection from her many bridge recordings to our small but captivated and captivating audience.
For the sake and love of bridges, the next day - on Sunday June 14th - Jodi in turn invited us to join her on the Pont Neuf for a Bridgeland sunset picnic, with champagne, other wines (sparkling or non-sparkling), pizza's, crackers and cookies, in one of the semicircular 'holes' on the left side, a detail that surely will have pleased Nora de Baan, who by chance had come over to Paris those very same days in order to continue her research into Parisian holes, both an sich and in context.
Along with our laughter and chit-chatting we enjoyed the very classic and classy skyline. The clouds gave way to the many shades of red of a pre-summer Parisian sunset; there were boats full of tourists passing below us; gulls and other birds soared over our heads.
In a wishful attempt to divert the wrath of those among the said Gods that so abundantly seem to seek me out these days, I swirled a 50 euro cent piece into the river Seine. Then Anthony did the same with a handful of olives, which may have made at least one of the Old Ones swear that next time, soon, (s)he would get home to me even harder...
Many of the people passing will have been puzzled by the Bridgeland banners and the bright yellow sashes that assign Bridgeland nobility. They must have wondered about the reason for all that merriment. But only one of them - Michel Renaud from Montreal, Canada - actually asked what it was all about.
He became that evening's random King of Bridgeland.
The next day or the day after that, Jodi went on to join her lawful husband in Céret.
Two weeks later, on her way back to Berlin, she again passed through Paris, in the weekend that also Kaspar König and Maja Ehrig made a short stop in the French capital, on their way from Zürich for some holidays more towards the south and towards the coast, together with their son Kasimir Linus Pepe, who had come into this world just a few months after our last year's Swiss adventures.
It is thus that it came about that we all met up with Rébus on the avenue Parmentier in the evening of Saturday June 27th, for a short unPublic session that centered around the improvised pulling up of a bridge-like structure, using a scaffold, a couple of ladders and other materials lying and standing around at La Générale. The transcribed and translated conversation below may give an impression of how that more or less was done. (The recording of these conversations and the accompanying haul and construction sounds are part of the documentary Bandcamp online release for this unPublic.)
La Générale, June 13th, around 8pm
A Bridge For Jodi - construction notes, transcription/translation
[ ER - Emmanuel Rébus; KK - Kaspar König; JR - Jodi Rose; HS - Harold Schellinx ]
ER: I leave you with your creativity and go finish the cooking!
KK: Alright, alright...
ER: There is plenty of wine in the fridge, we have some tea in the kitchen.
HS: You want some wine?
KK: Ik lust graag een wijntje, ja. [ Yes, please. ]
... Maar ik dacht, als we nou deze houten ladder over die ladder doen en hem daar insteken, dan hebben we al echt een hele lange... [ ... But I'd say, if we put this wooden ladder over that one en push it into there, then already we really have a very long... ]
HS: ... een hele mooie brug. [ ... a beautiful bridge. ]
KK: Ja. [ Yes.]
HS: Vind ik een goed idee. [ Good idea. ]
KK: Ja? Zullen we dat eens doen? [ Yes? Shall we do that? ]
HS: Dan moeten we het andersom doen. [ We'll have to do it the other way round. ]
KK: Ja, deze mag maximaal tot hier staan. [ This one may stand at the furthest over here. ]
HS: Hij kan misschien wat lager? [ Maybe we can put it a bit lower? ]
KK: Nee, nee... [ No, no... ]
HS: Als ik naar boven ga en hem een beetje omhoog trek... Wacht effe, ik ga even proberen. [ If I go up and pull it a bit... Wait a moment, let me try.]
KK: Kijk eens, dat is echt wel een halve meter. [ Look, it's at least about half a meter. ]
JR: Let's see if we can put it here and connect it to there... and there...
KK: Ik denk dat die makkelijker daar in gestoken kan worden ergens. Dat is tamelijk hoog. [ I think it is easier to push that one in there somewhere. That is rather high. ]
... Ja, zo. En dan ga ik met die daar naar boven. Dan weet ik alleen niet of-ie ook gaat passen. [ ... Yes, like that. And then I take that one up there. Only don't know whether it will fit. ]
Hou het een beetje lager. [ Keep it a bit lower. ]
HS: Ja. Ja. Het kan. En hij kan nog eentje hoger misschien. Maar dat is misschien te. Dan moeten we hem hier een beetje lager doen. [ Yes. Yes. It's possible. And maybe we can up it one more. But maybe that's too much. Then we have to put it a bit lower here. ]
KK: Hier is-t-ie in ieder geval lekker. [ Here it's just fine. ]
HS: OK. Dat kan. [ OK. Possible like this. ]
KK: Wil je hem zo laag hangen? [ You want it to be that low? ]
HS: Ja. [ Yeah. ]
KK: Dan is het een scheve brug, maar... als we er nog iets aan willen hangen... [ Then it will be an oblique bridge, but... if we still want to hang something from it... ]
HS: Een scheve brug is niet slecht. [ Sounds good, an oblique bridge. ]
KK: Nee, toch? ... Inderdaad... veertig centimeter... Kijk, als we willen kunnen we hem nog even daar over heen doen. Dan is hij echt heel mooi. [ Doesn't it? ... Indeed... forty centimeters... But look, if we want we can still put it over that part. Then it will be really very pretty. ]
HS: OK. Zal ik het proberen? [ OK. Shall I try? ]
KK: Ja. Of hij moet eventjes ietsje langer. Nou, dat lukt wel. [ Yes. Or we have to make it a bit longer. Right, that will work. ]
HS: Kan ik schuiven? [ Can I shove it? ]
KK: Ja, ja, je mag gaan schuiven. [ Yes, yes, you can start shoving. ]
HS: Hoeveel kan ik schuiven? [ How far can I shove it? ]
KK: Je kunt hem er over heen schuiven, ja. [ You can shove it over its top, yes. ]
HS: Gaat dat lukken? [ Will it work? ]
KK: Dat gaat lukken. Ja, ja, ja, ja. [ It will work. Yes, yes, yes, yes. ]
HS: Zeker weten? [ Are your sure? ]
KK: Zeker weten! Nu zit hij prima… Ja! Stop! Wacht maar. Ik doe even zo... OK. [ Yes, I'm certain! Now it's just fine. yes! Stop! Just wait. Let me do this... OK. ]
HS: Ja? [ Yes? ]
KK: Ja hoor! Kijk, nou is hij wel weer recht, hè? [ Yes! Look, now it is straight again. ]
HS: Nou is hij recht... [ Now it is a straight bridge. ]
KK: Jammer. [ That is a pity. ]
HS: Misschien toch beter als hij schuin is. [ Maybe better to keep it slanting. ]
You can listen to the ensuing relatively low-volume performance-ritual (we had to mind the ears of young Kasimir), edited into a four part Bridge Suite for electric guitar, an un-amplified analogue Antonelli 2381 keyboard and lots of modestly clanking metal chains and parts, on the 19th in our series of unPublic online Bandcamp releases: A Bridge for Jodi. Available online soon...
tags: singing bridges, unpublic, Jodi Rose
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