Tutti gli appassionati di musiche improvvisate conoscono il festival Konfrontationen. Si tiene ogni estate, ormai da ventotto anni, a Nickelsdorf, in Austria, nell'accogliente atmosfera della Jazzgalerie e dell'annesso ristorante guidati da Hans Falb, musicista e organizzatore instancabile e generoso, responsabile oltre che del festival dei numerosi concerti che si effettuano nel piccolo club durante l'anno. Le occasioni di incontro tra musicisti di ogni parte del mondo, la qualità delle proposte musicali - lo scorso luglio suonarono tra gli altri Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne, Phil Minton e la stellare Barry Guy New Orchestra - la vicinanza fisica, ideale ed affettiva tra artisti e pubblico fanno di Konfontationen una delle più belle esperienze 'comunitarie' di musica dal vivo, difficilmente realizzabile in contesti appena un poco più formali, o anche solo più grandi.
Purtroppo potrebbe non esserci una prossima edizione di Konfrontationen, stando all'allarme e al grido di aiuto lanciati pochi giorni fa dallo stesso Hans Falb, cui le autorità austriache contestano irregolarità nella gestione del festival e inadempienze di varia natura, con richieste di risarcimento tali da far temere per lui pesanti risvolti giudiziari, la confisca di beni e la chiusura forzata di ogni attività. Ecco quanto scrive Falb:
THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN/UNCERTAIN
at the moment jazzgalerie nickelsdorf is in big trouble. it may not be possible to continue its work providing a home for and promoting contemporary improvised music, electronica, noise, underground, a lot of different folks are worrying about the present situation in nickelsdorf, which is characterised by serious financial problems because of old and current obligations, administrative concerns like taxes, social insurances, the wages for the workers, payments to the ministry of finance, bank interests, etc. now the nickelsdorf case is at court, the decision will come in the next days. because of this precarious circumstances the restaurant is close to the edge of being closed. the worst case scenario is that they will shut everything down and that could mean that they not even allow me to stay in my own house. i am very happy and proud to give a place and home to many fantastic musicians from all over the globe and a gallery for artists, troubadours, passengers, friends in troubles, etc. some people might think i am chaotic – but i would like to be called chaotic with a purpose. i never will or can think of my work as bureaucratic, you need a lot of craziness to do what i have done for more than 30 years. sun ra once stated that "space jobs don’t pay any money" – i agree and still i want to go on. this has become more and more difficult during the past years, because subsidies from the regional and national authorities were missing. therefore i am asking for solidarity actions from friends who would like to see me continue my work and find a way to keep the annual festival and concerts alive for 2008 and beyond. a first step to help the jazzgalerie is to send e-mails to austrian institutions, persons and organisations which are dealing with cultural agendas in order to make them aware of the fact that this place has international reputation and relevance. please use the inserted addresses and take your time to comment the work of the jazzgalerie. for those who are in a position to support the jazzgalerie financially there will be a special account. people who are interested in transferring money can ask for this number directly or wait for further information. the whole financial crisis is like a gordian knot. not even for myself it is possible to draw a line between the private hans falb, the club, and the restaurant. the private hans falb was sued by the akm (in other countries known as buma, stemra, gema, ascap, sai, etc.) for unpaid fees. i was sentenced to 3 months of prison suspended for a period of 3 years. i tried to reach a consensus on this matter but was unsuccessful, so the same sentence was repeated this october. actually, i have been working illegally for the past 3 years and still would be for the next 3 years whenever i organise concerts at the jazzgalerie. i am not allowed to turn a record player on, or play music on vinyl. in terms of the court i do this work for my own private enrichment. i must be a millionaire by now, mustn’t i? it was eric dolphy who said: when the music is gone in the air you can never capture it again, it is gone forever. please reply with all your questions and helping advices. -- hans falb, december 16, 2007
Tra le iniziative già avviate per aiutare Falb c'è un'asta pubblica con opere donate da artisti amici, allestita a Nickelsdorf a pochi passi dalla Jazzgalerie (visibile anche on-line in http://www.hans-paul-limbeck.info/auktion/auktion.htm), mentre gli indirizzi del governo austriaco cui inviare messaggi a sostegno di Konfrontationen e dell'attività del club sono:
Tutte le informazioni sul festival sono in http://www.konfrontationen.at/