Saturday, 15 July 2017

kling klang gartenarbeiten

Ever since Ralf Hütter told the Guardian he called his studio his "electronic garden" (Elektronischer Garten?) I've been attempting to track down further evidence that Kraftwerk garden.

Contemporary images of their original studios show a courtyard cheered up by palms and geraniums, but other evidence suggests that this is just festival dress. Normally it is only a courtyard, "just some steps, and an entrance" as Ralf puts it here:

This film contains a little footage from the time, where it looks very much like the electronic garden is a garden made of electronics; there is no greenery, only bricks, posters, machines:

The cheerful containers have begun to brown in this film; the green returning to the city grey. I conclude that probably the BBC had tidied up the courtyard for their documentary, removing tattered pot-plants and untidy garden furniture. Elsewhere I find an elaboration, which makes it clear that the electronic garden elements grow through and around the music-arbeiter:

I can't find out if the new KlingKlang has a garden. The satellite image of the commercial location appears to be of a building with an ordinary-looking back garden, but this is surely a red herring. Notoriously private, Kraftwerk's electronic garden is likely to be concealed behind high misdirectional hedges. Certainly every description of the new studio uses so very much the exact same phrase that one suspects that this wording is provided, promptly, by a lawyer, to anyone who says anything less discreet.

"It's an electronic garden. We like to perform electronic gardening." Hütter, again. This layered acoustic version of an early Kraftwerk track, Morgenspaziergang (that's Kraftwerk's version for comparison)  features real bird song, and a hurdy gurdy and its author (Daniel Mantey) describes a similarly organic approach to the music, trialling, layering, accepting the natural intervention by a songbird:

What sparked this wander through the secret gardens of Kraftwerk's Kling Klang tangled elctrobanks? It was Hütter's response to a question about whether he had marvelled at the speed of technology during his lifetime.

“No. Sometimes it has gone slow. But there’s always a next step or development. It’s a continuous process, more like gardening. There are certain plants that you work on, and others that grow [themselves]. It’s seasonal. That’s how it feels. It’s why I call Kling Klang my electronic garden.”

And wile we are on electronica pioneers, I am reminded of this; Delia Derbyshire's Electric Playground.

No comments:

Post a Comment