Gerhard Illi

His music

 

 

    In the beginning there was only the dream… two stones hitting each other, the sound, the rhythm, the ecstasy… the kid – and everyone has a kid inside – sees a drum set, can’t resist and begins with the umpteenth realisation of his dream… to tell a story without words… the hits become sounds that get lost in the infinity of space and time… shouts, messages, warmness, smiles…. ¡who knows!... the performer is only the transmitter of the eternal rhythm.

 

 

The drums: a dream

Musical pieces are live improvisations. There is no score nor is it needed. Only small structures are used for channelling the overflowing fantasy, but this doesn’t imply narrowing my instantaneous creating freedom. Those structures don’t have an established order; they also are part of the improvisable material. Now and then one comes up, sometimes none. This continuously changing framework is not limited to the rhythmical flowing, but it includes also tonal and harmonic elements.

Like in a tale there is a musical story going on, in each concert other one, because the influences, the circumstances, space and time are different. Like in fairytales or in legends, from time to time archetypical figures appear. All this with the goal to take the hearer/spectator on a journey into an unknown World full of sounds, sometimes extremely familiar and sometimes new and strange.

The percussion has been erroneously considered as a noisy rhythm instrument, mainly in the European culture. But percussive instruments are, above all, a source of sounds not to be underestimated. On the other hand, the rhythmical element, in its variations and polyrhythmic superpositions, is a primordial piece of musical creation.

Asked about music’s future, Dizzy Gillespie answered: “… Music is going where it started, a man with a drum.” Jonny Cage points 1937 in the same direction in his “The Future of Music: Credo” when he manifests “Percussion music is a contemporary transition from keyboard-influenced music to the all-sound music of the future. Any sound is acceptable to the composer of percussion music…”
 
Starting with the preceding ideas, it can easily be understood that it is not a drum solo or an exhibition of a refined technique or of an exceptional speed, but it is a concert of music for drums.