GERMANY! GERMANY! FROM BAUHAUS TO FRANKFURT
德 國!德 國! 從包豪斯到法蘭克福


 

I have always been fond of ‘Bauhaus Art’, and you may say ‘love me, love my dog’, I am intrigued by the sound
art group name ‘Bauhouse’. Thanks to the collaboration between Audi and the group, I had the chance to watch their live show. Though it has been a while since then, the thrills remain as strong as that day. How has the music changed in the process of industrialization? Hmmm, thought-provoking. Germans began questioning since 1960s, and Kraftwerk’s electronic music is the best example of making music happen with machines. What’s more, the Germans have dominated the worldwide car manufactory industry from then until now. The country that has such a particular dedication to mechanism fascinates me a lot. Therefore, here comes this piece of writing.

一直以來喜愛包豪斯藝術,愛屋及烏,對這個名為“Bauhouse”的實驗電子團體產生興趣。藉著奧迪與這個樂隊合作的機會,在現場 觀看了他們的演出。演出已有時日,但印象難消。工業化的世界裡,音樂到底發生了什麼樣的變化?這個問題値得思考。德國人在 上世紀60年代便有所探尋,從發電站樂隊(Kraftwerk)冰冷的電子樂開始,由機器演奏音樂成為現實。同一個年代裡,德國人在汽 車製造的領域顯現出世界性的統治力,並延續至今。這個對機械格外專注的民族,令我感到着迷。於是,便寫下了這些文字。

‘Bauhaus? You kidding?’ I knew that old folks reunited last year, but I still can’t believe that I would watch their live show in Shanghai. The most bizarre thing is the venue, they are going to perform in Shanghai Oriental Art Centre! Anything hilarious than this?

Yes, it is a joke indeed. It is Bauhouse from Germany, not that BAUHAUS, the first gothic rock band from UK! Damn it!

But, this three-men sound art group called Bauhouse left me numbs up with their perfect performance. Apparently, I underestimated their music power. During one-hour performance, these three Germans created an overwhelming sound feast with various sound produced by vehicle parts, such as doors opening and closing, camshaft running, chain driving, parts welding, wiper scrubbing to name but a few. Any common sounds produced by vehicle are collaged and looped now and then, sometimes sounds are barely recognizable, sometimes they are clearly heard. Along with fragments of video clips, I don’t think ‘fantastic or fabulous’ could conclude the performance. China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) serves as a foil to and adds more tension to this fabulous performance. The natural reserve of orchestra combines perfectly with ecstasy- driving electronic music and impresses the audience overwhelmingly. It feels like watching Lady Gaga dancing with robots. Bravo!!

“包豪斯?別開玩笑了!”雖然我很清楚包豪斯樂隊那班老 傢伙去年復活了,但是,我還是不能相信自己能在上海 親眼目睹他們的演出,而且地點是在一本正經的上海藝 術中心音樂廳,這不是天大的玩笑嘛!

結果確實是個玩笑。此包豪斯非彼包豪斯。他們是 Bauhouse,德國團,而不是來自英國的哥特搖滾始祖 Bauhaus。Damn it!

可是,這個也叫包豪斯的三人電子團隊竟然用一場完美 的演出噎得我語塞。顯然,我低估了他們強大的音樂能 量。一個小時的演出裡,三個德國男人用汽車開關門 的聲音、鏈條轉動的聲音、流水線機器人銲接車架的 聲音,甚至是雨刷器來回掃動的聲音,築成了一堵宏大 而又充滿細節之美的音牆。各種與汽車相關的、最平常 的採樣音源,被德國人反反覆覆地循環播放、拼貼,變 得時而面目全非,時而清晰可辨,配合碎片般的視頻影 像,“奇幻”一詞也不足以形容。中國愛樂樂團甘作綠葉, 為Bauhouse的音樂增添了額外的張力。不苟言笑的交響 加上如同撓你胳肢窩的電子樂,效果不亞於Lady Gaga與 機器人一同起舞,奇幻並讓人震驚。

Supported by Audi and as part of the global music events, this concert is called ‘Audi Sinfoine’ and have performed all over the world. In recent years, Audi has become a dazzling star in motor vehicle industry. From Horch to Auto Union, to Audi today, this four- ring vehicle brand from Germany has more than 100 years history.

When I was doing the interview with these three Germans of Bauhouse, I did not expect any sparkles would come up. These three gentlemen answered my questions like writing programs. Until I asked, ‘do you think you are under the influence of some German electronic music bands like Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze?’ their eyes twinkled with excitement all in a sudden. They said they loved Kraftwerk and were very proud of performing with them on tour. Lovely Bauhouse! They may not know, as far back in China, numerous young people like them were fond of Kraftwerk and influenced by them a few decades ago, and many have started to create electronic music since then. It appears that the Berlin Wall collapsed on one hand, the other wall widened the rift.

Compared with music, Germany is better known by its vehicle manufacture. Thanks to Frankfurt Motor Show. I’ve passed through Frankfurt a few times when I was on business trip. And I was totally amazed by its transportation network. The most significant hub
for air transport, DB travel centre were all located in Frankfurt. The lower ground of the Frankfurt Airport locates the rail station, super convenient I may say, it is the envy of many. In China, unfortunately, purchasing a ticket and getting off train are incredibly annoying. In contrast, train in Germany is real means of conveyance of comfort and convenience. Travelling by air and rail in Germany is most advanced, so motor vehicle is by no means inferior.

這場“奧迪:多媒體交響音樂會(Audi: Sinfonie)”的音樂會是奧迪蓄謀已久的。作為 奧迪全球性音樂活動的一部分,Bauhouse的“ 奧迪:多媒體交響音樂會”已在世界各地上演 了多場。近年的國際車壇,奧迪是最耀眼的主 角之一。從霍希(Horch)到汽車聯盟(Auto Union),再到一統四環的奧迪,這個最為正統 的德國汽車品牌走過了一百多年的歷史。

當我面對Bauhouse團隊的三個德國人進行採 訪時,並未預料到能產生什麼火花。三個人緩 緩地、如同他們編寫出的程序一樣回答着我 的問題。直到我拋出“你們受到過發電站樂隊 (Kraftwerk)、克勞斯 · 舒尔茨(Klaus Schulze)等 德國電音前輩的影響嗎”這個問題時,三個人、 六隻眼睛才同時放出光芒,幾個人興奮地回答, 他們熱愛發電站樂隊,並且以跟發電站樂隊的成 員一起巡演過為榮耀。多可愛的Bauhouse!他 們或許不知道,遠在中國同樣有很多年輕人了解 幾十年前的德國電子樂團發電站樂隊,並且有人 深受其影響、開始創作電子音樂。看來,柏林牆 雖倒,另一面牆卻令隔閡加深。

比起音樂,全世界對德國的瞭解或許更多地源於 這些聲名遠播的德國汽車。在這一點上,法蘭克 福車展功不可沒。幾次出差到德國試車,都途經 法蘭克福。這座城市的交通網絡讓我驚嘆。不但有歐洲最重要的空運樞紐,DB列車網絡的核心也凝聚在法蘭克 福̶̶而法蘭克福機場的樓下,便是火車站,便利至極,令人羡 慕。我們都知道,在我國,從買票到下車,坐火車都是讓人十分 揪心的一件事。相比之下,德國的火車才是真正舒適便捷的交通 工具。鋪墊了這些,是為了證明大型車展在法蘭克福舉行的必要 性。天上飛的和鐵軌上跑的都是最先進的,汽車怎麼能缺席呢?

I don’t think German is an imaginative ethnicity. Forgive my ignorance, in my impression there is no great singer and poet like Bob Dylan. However, what I admire most for the German music is they are all produced by computer, namely, all these music are programs, or industrial program in other words. There is always a gap between human and machine. Interestingly, these cold sounds may reflect Germans’ perception of human being̶‘Hell is other people (Satre), we may as well love machine’. In April 2004, I stayed for a week in the West Germany near Nürburgring. Apart from driving, I gabbed around with the locals. I asked, no one checked tickets on train, no speed limit on highways, no driving license required to be checked before driving, how do you rule the country? ‘Rule by virtue’ like us? I wonder. My lovely German friends did not know what to response. It seems they never thought of this before. Alas, ‘do not know what to response’ and ‘never think of it’ are the best answers.

The Berlin Wall has been fallen for more than 20 years. Nowadays, though we could still see those old factories in Saxon and Brandenburg, walls with red star, wretched like the old days of East Germany. But nowadays, there are no clear cuts between the west and the east. You can’t tell the difference from the youths walking in Berlin or Dortmund. All travel by DB train, wandering freely around the country. They may not know, 20 years ago, there are thousands of youths would climb over the wall at the risk of shot dead. Perhaps, we may say, music, vehicle, or anything good created by human, would never happen in any ethnicity who is always thinking of ‘climbing over the wall’.

我從不認為德國人富有想像力。恕我孤陋寡聞,我的印象中,德 國似乎沒有諸如鮑勃 · 迪倫(Bob Dylan)那樣偉大的詩人兼歌手。 相反,德國人做出的最令我欣賞的音樂恰恰都是用電腦製成,也 就是說,這些音樂都是電子程序,都是工業製品,都和“人”隔着 一層叫做“機器”的鴻溝。有趣的是,這些冰冷的聲音也許體現的正 是德國人對“人性”的體悟̶̶他人即地獄,不如愛機器。2011年 4月,我在德國西部的紐博格林賽道附近住了一週時間,每天除了 開車落場跑圈,就是和一群當地人神侃。我問他們,德國火車地 鐵都不查票,高速不限速,進賽道開車連駕照也不看,德國人到底靠 什麼維繫生活?難不成和我們一樣“以德治國”?那些德國人似乎 一輩子都沒想過這些問題,他們大眼瞪小眼了半天,不知怎麼回 答。其實,“答不出來”和“從沒想過”就已經是答案了吧。

柏林牆倒掉已20餘年。如今,儘管我們還能在薩克森和勃蘭登堡 等地見到那些舊式的廠方,牆面嵌着紅星,破敗如昨,一派東德 遺風,但現在,東西涇渭已不再明晰。行走在柏林和多特蒙德街 頭的德國青年人並沒有什麼不同,大家同樣可以坐著德國的DB 列車,自由地混跡在這個國家的任何一個角落。他們也許從不知 道,20多年前,不知道多少青年冒着被一槍爆頭的危險也要翻身 一躍,只為逃到牆的對面。其實,不論是音樂,還是汽車,或者 任何人類創造的美好事物,我想,每天想著翻牆的民族怕是無暇 也無力創造了。

Author Introduction

Tong Zheng, based in Beijing, is living on car driving. He cherishes driving
as much as his own life, but music could be larger than his life, as he claims. Having travelled to a variety of places, Tong would never take photos for the sake of brag about it later. To him, chatting with different people from different cultural backgrounds is the most interesting thing. Approaching his thirties, Tong remains living a humble life and cherishes his thousands of music records collection as his only fortune. He is profoundly discontent and tired of the world he lives now. Tong feels pathetic about the people living there and hopes they could live with dignity and sense of security, and respect each other. Tong has published a few books about automobile and overseas travel.

作者簡介

佟錚,現居北京,以到處駕車為飯 碗。熱愛駕駛如同生命;熱愛音樂 如同不要命。走過許多路,從不拍“ 到此一遊”照,只喜歡與各種膚色的 人聊天。年近而立,不名一文,視 家中數以千計的唱片收藏為唯一財 富。積極厭世,悲天憫人。夢想著 這個國家的人有尊嚴,有安全感, 並且相互善待。有關於汽車文化和 國外旅行的拙作幾本,不足掛齒。