Summerfest: Ticket to the World and Back
Musician Andi Otto, here in the role of DJ, at the Goethe-Institut Summerfest (Photo: Andreas Teich/Goethe-Institut)
26 June 2012
What are the Goethe-Institut’s residency programmes about? About sending artists out into the world – some to Cairo to draw comics, others – specifically musician Andi Otto – to a villa in Kyoto to play the cello. Now, the guests at the Parliamentary Summerfest in Berlin were able to hear what he composed there.
Seven years ago, Andi Otto manufactured an instrument that he did not know how to play: his “Fello” combines a cello and audio software using motion sensors on the cello bow. By now, the musician has had some practice on the unusual string instrument, as he proved on Monday evening in front of 600 guests at the Summerfest of the Goethe-Institut. He performed electronic melodies that he composed during his stay at the Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto.
The fact that Otto and another 28 artists-in-residence of the Goethe-Institut were able to attend the fest delighted Klaus-Dieter Lehmann in particular. “Seek them out and talk to them,” the president of the Goethe-Institut advised the guests at the celebration, which this year was all about the residency programmes.
For years now these programmes have been a crucial part of the Goethe-Institut’s cultural work, whether in big cities like New York or a remote spot in Anatolia. Worldwide, there are 72 programmes, Lehmann related – each as unique as the people they receive: writers, fine artists, cartoonists, dancers, translators, critics, curators, architects and academics. Johannes Ebert – now 100 days in office as the new secretary-general – also stressed this “particularly lasting form of cultural advancement.” It is something that is only possible with the Goethe-Institut.