uP #86 :

uP #87 :

8 min read 🤓

Three Musketeers Musicking Maastricht & La Générale

september 2, 2022

Maastricht, August 5 and 6

I do write about my hometown every now and then. Probably best in Dutch, like a couple of years ago, in the 154th edition of Gonzo Circus (Magazine), where the tenth of my series of 'HoofdStuk'-essays tells the story of the fold in the one remaining map of the whereabouts of the electric death-wire that was set up in the years of the First World War by the German occupiers of Belgium along the border with the Netherlands, in order to electrocute refugees attempting to cross the frontiers (a back-in-those-days hi-tech thing, when electricity still was a technological novelty; the German army was among the early adaptors). That by really almost all and everyone forgotten death trap ran just a stone's throw away from the suburban street in the outskirts of Maastricht, where in the 1970s I grew up.

Yes, kill it did.


Arriving there by train early this August, it had been almost five years that I had not set foot in Maastricht. It was back then, in January 2018, that Yungwei pictured me there in what used to be my teenage room. (It indeed is one of my favourites among existing pictures of my self.)


Golly gosh...

In a seemingly less gloomy mood, here I am back in Maastricht almost five years later, as the middle one of three musketeers, with (from within my in the picture's point of view) Kaspar König to my right, and Emmanuel Rébus to left, in the afternoon of Friday August 5th, in front of 't Keldertje at the backside of cultural freezone Het Landbouwbelang (LBB), along the river Meuse that traverses and accounts for the name of the city.


We found ourselves there thanks to Kaspar, who, upon hearing me sighing on the telephone that I hadn't been to Maastricht for so long, invited us to come over and join him in a performance in 't Keldertje, a small bar space down at the back of the gigantic Landbouwbelang, an industrial complex originally constructed in 1939 on the banks of the Meuse for the processing and storage of cereals. The building was squatted in April 2002 ( * ), and has been in use as a cultural freezone, that, among social and other (counter)cultural activities, provides cheap (temporary) workspace to artists from all over the world working in all sorts of disciplines. The squat to this day continues to be tolerated as such a 'freezone' by the municipality of Maastricht.

And so, yes, we played Maastricht, in the evening of August 5th. I was able to shake hands again with among others Berto Aussems, to whom, in a way, I owe my adult 'sound making' in Maastricht (from, say, 2005 to 2014; that's been a little decade ...); and Kaspar's father, who, to my surprise, of all things seemed to have remembered especially vivdly our Spoerri table...

LBB soundcheck

Har$, Rébus and König, checking sounds, preparing for their Friday August 5th performance in 't Keldertje. (Photo by Stefan.)

LBB soundcheck

Rébus and König.

LBB kelder

We came back again late afternoon the next day, Saturday at 5 pm, to do another trio session, be it this time without audience. unPublicly. There had been little time to prepare, and to invite players to join other than us three musketeers. Still. It was me insisting we'd go along. I wanted to mark this occasion of passing through Maastricht. Symbolically. Or, say, ritually. For, who knows if there'd be ever again another, a next, chance to do so?

It of course also forms an interesting sequel to the 'unPublic of three', that we did in the Swiss mountains, in Gonten (that was early on in our series, it was the ninth uP), when we visited Kaspar eight years ago, in 2014. ( ** )

LBB rebus


LBB kaspar


LBB hars


With the event itself counting as a 'ritual marking' of our this August passing in Maastricht, I also chose to try and provide a corresponding, sort of equivalent, 'sonic marking' for that Saturday's unPublic, using basically only the K7 dictaphones I had brought: the Aiwa with its auto-reverse (hence sudoku play-)switch, the old brightly coloured MondiVox (you do not see it very well in the picture, it is hidden under a black notebook in the bottom left corner) and the Realistic cassette player (also that one not easy to make out; it is standing op 'straight', on its long side, next to the MondiVox). The magnetic material that came with them consisted in a selection of some of the earliest, hence by now eldest, cassette tapes that I recorded: a set of cheap gold-labeled once blank 'Soundson' cassettes, that I filled with sounds many decades ago. In Maastricht.

It is these tapes that in the uP #86 you hear me manipulate. Not all, but much of the uP's playing time, it is them that provided my motifs. On it are recorded rehearsals and improvisations of the remnants of my meta-pre-proto-postpunk band Quirass. (Remnants, as I had already moved to Amsterdam, and also the other players either already had finished or were about to finish high school and would move on and away from that 'home town' after that summer of 1976, when these recordings were made on a monophonic Philips cassette recorder with built-in microphone, underground in a very deep, very dark and very damp cellar on the Kommel in the city centre of Maastricht, a place that I had rented to use as a rehearsal space. It is thus that these uP tracks make you hear Jan Salemans blowing the transverse flute, Peter Claessens on vocals and keyboards, me doing some vocals and many guitars. And every here and there's a drumkit force-and rhythmically hit by Willy Demacker.

Thanks to Stefan, who is running and curating 't Keldertje, and was so kind as to be the 86th unPublic's host that Saturday afternoon.

La Générale, August 7

Every where there are three, there always seems to be a fourth musketeer. In Alexandre Dumas's novels and stories (which in my primary school time were pretty much impossible not to have read or heard abundantly, not so much in their original form as in that of a near to countless number of re-tellings and derivatives) the fourth one was d'Artagnan, who—to put it anachronistically— found his Waterloo in the Franco-Dutch War, in 1673, at the siege of Maastricht.

Renault busje

Our fourth one was Kaspar's son Kasimir, and it was the four of us that on Sunday morning August 7th took the road in the König's Renault van, to rejoin our regiment, so to so say, in Paris, France.


There we met and joined musico-sonic forces in the foyer of La Générale with friends of Kaspar's that had driven over to Paris from Frankfurt (Irene Hardjanegara and Franz & Florian Seliger), with Maja Gehrig, who later that evening came over by train from Italy where she had been attending a symposium, and with Généralistes Christine Böll, Zoë Saint-Saens, Ivanne Barberis and Zahra Pourazizi.


As you will hear when listening to both the 86th and the 87th unPublic, it is Kaspar's accordion that acts as a bridge here, uniting two very different performances: the one on Saturday August 6th in Maastricht, and the one the day after, on Sunday AUgust 7th at La Générale.

kaspar and kaspar

On uP #87's Bandcamp album, the two main tracks are uP 461 and uP 465, both with a duration of about 20 minutes. Apart from these, you will find ten tracks of shorter duration, in which smaller groups of participants perform at different moments during the evening. All of it together adds up to a total duration of a little over one and a half hours. There was a lot going on, continuously, and a lot of changing of instruments. In some cases it is relatively easy to distinguish players. The acoustic piano, for instance, was played—most (though not all) of the time—by Zoë Saint-Saens and me, and we play in the piano in two, most times, clearly distinguishable ways. In the longer pieces, there are the very soft but—because done close-up to the microphone—very clear recitations in Persian by Zahra Pourazizi, of text and poems written by herself and others.


But in many, many other cases it is pretty much impossible to indicate who is doing what at what point. Especially when the instruments concerned are the toy piano, or the large cow bell that Christine Böll brought along. Or the electronics used by Kaspar and Rébus. Haha, let alone the clapping, the other percussive interventions and all of the vocals that mingle (many of those, but not all, are Ivanne Barberis', live and looped 😏). Or take the whistling. Yes, it is true that Rebus' whisthling is one among several threads that continue to link different episodes of unPublic, and also here some of the whisthling indeed is his. But—again—not all, as there were many others that evening who put their lips together and blew...


Apart from the majestic cow bell, Christine brought along another intriguing toy that at different moments here and there in the recordings can be heard: an interactive, talking globe.


Also the expansion vessel, that Kaspar had transformed into a steel drum or handpan kind of a percussion instrument, attracted many different players that evening.

expansion vessel

One would have needed a video registration in order to identify the divers actors, and give precise credits. There is none such a registration. But that, of course, is of not much importance. On the contrary, maybe it is typically a part of what especially this episode of unPublic was about... It was part of the fun of the game that we played, and as such a cenral part of the musicking of that evening.



notes __ ::
(*) Haha, so LBB indeed has about the same age as this SoundBlog 😎. And yes, we had been there before, of course, like with the ookoi doing Raudio Graffiti at the Maastricht Kunsttour in 2008. [ ^ ]
(**) Yet another pointer to the growing intricateness of the collection of unPublic albums (and, a fortiori, of the collection of unPublic tracks) as a network of 'locations of musicking' and a network of 'sounding vertices', a network of musics. As a(n unfinished) totality, unPublic is a continuously evolving 'composition'. One may be tempted to add: 'randomly' evolving, hence a 'random' composition. But that is only very partially correct, as it is of course strongly by personal histories. In this case in particular by those of Rébus and myself. It is us two that make up the unPublic's spinal c(h)ord. [ ^ ]

Read about unPublic on the SoundBlog:

(2022, september 2) - Three Musketeers Musicking Maastricht & La Générale (uP#86, up #87)
(2022, august 4) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (3) (uP#84)
(2022, july 24) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (2) (uP#83)
(2022, july 11) - Berlin: Zero Cohesion (1) (uP#82)
(2022, july 2) - X-unPub (uP#81)
(2022, march 13) - "Manifeste" (uP#80)
(2021, june 13) - Die Stillgestandenen (The Stillstands / Standstills / Stillstanders) (uP#67)
(2021, may 02) - Playing Apart Together: Chuncheon↯Paris (uP#73)
(2018, november 02) - "Five years stuck on my eyes" (Lustrum Non Publicum) (uP#56)
(2018, september 01) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iv] (uP#54)
(2018, august 13) - Rage, rafts & refugees (uP#49, uP#50)
(2018, august 10) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iii] (uP#45)
(2017, june 11) - Moving out, of, on ... [ii] (uP#42)
(2016, june 10) - unPublic #18 - 대부도 (Daebu-Do), 14 June 2015 (uP#18)
(2016, may 07) - In Praise of Slowness (uP#21)
(2015, july 15) - Bridges, troubles, water (uP#19)
(2015, april 14) - Mal-là--colisé dans l'espace et dans le temps (uP#16)
(2014, august 02) - Appearance and Reality (uP#8)
(2014, march 08) - "12 - 11 - 9 - 10 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 8 - 4 - 5" (uP#5)
(2013, december 31) - Candles, Cassettes & Champagne (uP#4)
(2013, november 23) - unPublic 1, 2 (sauf riverains) (uP#1, uP#2)

Read about unPublic on Medium:

April 16, 2022 - Playing Apart Together (uP#66-#69)
March 17, 2022 - All delusion is expansive (uP#80)

Read about unPublic in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:

Gonzo #143, januari/februari 2018 - Met kop noch staart: muzhakdag! (uP#48)
Gonzo #139, mei/juni 2017 - De waan, de wil, de weg

Read about unPublic elsewhere:

Plus-X-Creative, january 2022 - Playing Apart Together
Electronic Cottage, november 2018 - unPublic - 'Five Years stuck on my eyes' -sketch as a memoire

To listen, download & support, visit unPublic @ Bandcamp.

SoundBlog entries around and about La Générale Nord-Est:

(2022, september 2) - Three Musketeers Musicking Maastricht & La Générale
(2022, july 2) - X-unPub
(2021, june 13) - Die Stillgestandenen (The Stillstands / Standstills / Stillstanders)
(2021, february 21) - Lento (slowly)
(2018, september 01) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part iv]
(2018, august 13) - Rage, rafts & refugees
(2018, august 10) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part iii]
(2018, july 21) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete... [part ii]
(2018, april 10) - La Générale Nord-Est (PAMP18-1)
(2017, august 19) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part i]
(2016, august 04) - Nicolas Collins - 2 April 2016, La Générale
(2015, july 15) - Bridges, troubles, water - unPublic #19
(2014, april 08) - La physicalité du son. Tome 1.
(2013, december 13) - Candles, Cassettes & Champagne - unPublic #4
(2010, december 29) - Obsolescence
(2010, august 14) - "And what about Yi Sang?" (이상 à Paris [iv])
(2010, june 29) - Ceremonies (Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [iii])
(2010, june 25) - Read me a poem, Yi Sang! (Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [ii])
(2010, june 13) - Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [i]
(2010, january 13) - Art fleas (puces de l'art)
(2009, july 20) - General Acoustics
(2006, august 14) - placard : la générale (Belleville)

tags: unPublic, Maastricht, Quirass, Kaspar König, La Générale

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