Last week we’ve been on our July-Tour through the Ostwestfalen-Lippe area.
Our first stop was the FreiWerk in Paderborn. It’s an open workshop space where you can build furniture (or whatever you can envision) out of wood, which is especially great if you can’t use your Dad’s workshop because you’re a student who now lives in Paderborn far from home.
The concert was organized by our dear friend (and matchmaker) Nika and her new music platform Musikgeschichten (music stories). She recently moved to Paderborn and discovered that music IS happening in Paderborn but the communication and promotion channels are not working out so well. As a result, people don’t really know what, where, and when things are happening. She is trying to build a platform to connect artists of all genres with locations in Paderborn and to promote these concerts as efficiently as possible.
I must say she is very good at this. First of all, the concert space was great and there was a lot of room for us to set up our equipment and instruments. Lennart (one of the owners) and his team were super nice as well. We were warmly welcomed with drinks and some pizza and could rearrange the space whichever way suited us most.
Second, there was an impressive number of guests whom attended, all of which were friendly and attentive. Since the door was open during the whole concert, we were able to entice people walking by to come in and join the fun. It was just a very nice crowd.
Third, Nika had the idea for a little spontaneous jam session afterwards which was very unique to this gig and we really enjoyed it. It is nice to see how our performance made other musicians in the audience want to join us on stage and create a musical conversation with others afterwards. I was surprised and proud once again to see Joe play the trumpet and the cajon at the same time. I saw a video before where he played the trumpet and the drums at the same time, so I know that he CAN do that, but it stuns me every time I see him doing that. He’s just a musical all-around talent. I must admit I need a little time to really get comfortable with jamming. It’s like all things in life, it comes with time and repetition. But I really, really enjoyed watching others creating new sounds and recreating songs in this jam.
We spent the night in the flat of Reinhold and Lasse, good friends of Nika. Reinhold even stayed at a friend’s so we could have a private room! They all were very hospitable. That evening, Lasse had already invited several people for breakfast the next morning. He prepared roasted tomatoes and mushrooms as well as sunny side up eggs and toasted paninis. Nika later told us that cooking is a newer passion of his. We were glad to have been able to experience his skills. We were in the middle of our breakfast when Nika and her friend Anita (who was visiting as well) and later Reinhold and Michelle (another musician from the jam) came by and joined us, sharing interesting conversations about life, dreams, visions, and ideas. It was very interesting to have a glimpse into each of their lives and to find out, that the struggles and wishes of each person were somehow related and everyone could understand the others in their search for a greater meaning in life.
After breakfast I gave Nika a singing lesson which I enjoyed a lot because I haven’t done that since we moved from Chicago to Germany and I find myself learning so much through teaching. Plus Nika is a very attentive student and a quick learner. It was really fun!
Last, we went walking with Nika and Anita towards the city center of Paderborn. Nika was a great tour guide. She showed us the Pader (a super clean stream that gave Paderborn it’s name. At its springs you could even see thousands of oxygen bubbles reaching the surface which made the water look like it was raining), some of the water wheels along the stream, as well as beautiful gardens, and the Cathedral of Paderborn with a little bee hive in its courtyard and the famous three-rabbit-window. That was also the place where – for some reason – we talked about the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh. It’s a really cute little bear with long claws who likes to sing.
The real attraction though was the little chapel in front of the big cathedral. Reinhold already told us in advance that this chapel has the best acoustics you’ll ever find and it was indeed astounding. Nika and I sang a canon because the echo in this little chapel stayed in the room forever. We stayed in there even longer than in the cathedral because it was fun to try different chants and songs which other visitors seemed to enjoy as well. It’s really a magical place.
Finally we treated ourselves to some ice cream and went back to Reinhold’s and Lasse’s place to get into our car and leave for the concert we had that evening. Our next stop – Horn-Bad Meinberg – was only half an hour away.
Thank you Lennart and the whole FreiWerk team, Reinhold and Lasse, and all the other wonderful students that made this experience awesome for us!
And special thanks to Nika, for this great opportunity, your hospitality, and your friendship! All the best for Musikgeschichten! We’re excited to watch the Paderborn arts community grow!