At "The Prequel" from 01 to 03 July 2021, the Monheim Triennale will take a look into the past: "Escalator Over The Hill" (EOTH), the epochal masterpiece by Carla Bley, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Material about it can be viewed here. First and foremost, a 84-minute film documentation of the recording sessions from 1970/1971 by late filmmaker Steve Gebhardt.
For artistic director Reiner Michalke this work is not only a milestone in his own musical socialisation, but also an important step towards the emergence of the core idea of the Monheim Triennale:
“Escalator has accompanied me since my early youth and in a way, it anticipated the idea for the Monheim Triennale. Carla Bley's consistent handling of musical material, her fearless suspension of all genre boundaries between classical, jazz and rock, and her sure instinct for artistic personalities have given rise to a musical work that I believe, and hope will go down in eternity."
What do the invited 'The Prequel' artists think of the idea of paying tribute to 'Escalator Over the Hill' this year? The amazing thing: Whereas they all know Carla Bley, only a few knew 'Escalator'. Those who have subsequently heard the piece are enthusiastic and toying with the idea of doing something with it.
It is not yet possible to say whether and, if so, how this enthusiasm will be expressed in the context of 'The Prequel', but the Monheim Triennale bows to Carla Bley, her oeuvre and 'Escalator Over The Hill'