ZOOM! – das ist ein Zusammenschluss europäischer Musikerkollektive. Die JazzWerkstatt Wien ist seit 2008 involviert und setzt seitdem wichtige Impulse zur weiteren Vernetzung und zum musikalischen Austausch. In Form von ZOOM! Nights werden gemeinsame Programme erarbeitet und Ensembles der befreundeten Kollektive in Wien präsentiert.
“In Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky likens the evolution of culture to an equilateral triangle progressing along the axes of time and innovation.
A small but concentrated number of visionary artists and audience driving forwards at it’s tip, as the more densely populated base follows behind, steadily digesting and absorbing until what was revolutionary becomes mainstream, and what was mainstream falls into history or even redundancy.
Whether officially defined as a collective or not, and whether we’re talking about the AACM in music or the Nouvelle Vague in cinema, small scenes, waves and schools of interconnected artists have always spearheaded the development of new modes of expression. Promoting and evolving concepts and philosophies, the intellectual, social and artistic interplay between such artists have propelled schools as diverse as minimalism, open-form improvised music and furniture design to greater audiences, acclaim and respect.
It is very much with this weight of historical precedent in mind that we announce the formation of Zoom! : a pan-European ‘Collective of Collectives’ dedicated to extremely high quality music making and uncompromising artistic expression.
Directly reflective of today’s fantastically multicultural Europe, the unifying attitude of Zoom! is one of creative attitude and energy, and the challenge of finding a voice within the smorgasbord of musical and cultural experiences available to us.
We see a direct line connecting us to the spirit of the jazz masters who were so alive in their times… absorbing everything around them… questioning, interpreting, reinterpreting, reshaping, redefining… We believe that it is our role as artists to continue and expand this approach, revitalising the spirit of jazz for now.
This curiosity and attitude informs us on every level: learning, travelling, living… and we are just as likely to be found studying the scores of Xenakis, taking a sabar drumming lesson in Senegal, or learning to cook a particularly intense ragú as transcribing Charlie Parker. Not that we don’t like Charlie Parker. Au contraire. And in all of these fields, whether in the jazz tradition, or beyond, we strive for a certain passion and depth of understanding… not naïve fusions, or the token juxtaposition of superficial aesthetic features, but fluency within and respect for any number of traditions and approaches.
Each of the collectives within Zoom! evolved for similar reasons… reasons ranging from the spiritual to the entirely pragmatic… everything from simply (or perhaps not so simply) creating an atmosphere conducive to creativity, to organising concerts and creating new channels for releasing recorded music outside of the commercial mainstream.
Each collective has proven it’s strengths individually, gathering respect and acclaim in their respective countries. And in turn the connections start to grow… the invitation of Meta Meta (from F-IRE) to the upcoming Yolk festival, the invitation of Octurn to this years’ F-IRE festival, and various projects bringing musicians from the several scenes together is just the beginning. Not to mention the release of the much hailed Zoom! compilation.
And now becomes the time to make these connections official… uniting and strengthening these ties, beginning new and meaningful collaborations, and replicating our local successes on a pan-European scale.
We aspire to a mark of quality, and in doing so, propose some of the most fresh, pertinent and high quality contemporary music the European jazz scene has heard in some time.”
Tom Arthurs, may 2008 on www.zoomproject.eu