Take a German Folk Music Tour with Hayden Chisholm
Hayden Chisolm’s documentary, Sound of Heimat, which follows the New Zealand-born musician as he traverses Germany exploring the country’s folk music, screened in Rwanda at a recent film, photography and dance festival organised by Kigali’s Goethe-Institut.
In the town of Buchenwald, Chisholm meets an elderly man who was in a concentration camp during Nazi Germany. “In the summer, we would work for 16 hours a day. Sometimes we would rest for only six hours and much of that time would be spent singing,” he told Chisholm.
This explains what Chisholm had wondered before – most Germans “are embarrassed and turn red when asked about their music”. After World War II, no one wanted to sing folk songs. “We were told ‘we have had enough singing,’” Hayden discovered. That censorship has buried German music till today.
Chisholm is the new 2015 “Improvisor in Residence” in Moers, Germany. He will open the city’s Avant-Moers Festival in May.
Chisholm, 39, is originally from New Plymouth. He is a saxophonist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. As a recipient of a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship, Chisholm attended the Musik Hochschule in Cologne. In 1997 he received the New Zealand Young Achievers Award.
Original article by Hassan Mutuhe, All Africa, March 5, 2015.
Photo by Konstantin Kern.