Monday, July 2, 2007

Slight Return

Going to Germany/Austria always brings up complex stuff for me. Inevitable...blurry. Everything is in an existential jumble. I've tried my whole life to escape my semitic heritage (can't), but facing the Germanic collective guilt is a puzzle, every time. How long do these things go on? Painful sometimes, watching them reduce us to stereotypes in order to praise us, instead of attack. Is it better? It's alienating. My Virginia childhood was spent passing for cracker. In Europe that's hard to do. Everyone is more aware of each others' origins, and they think it's important. Hard to explain assimilation to them. Anyway, I had an amazing hang with Brave Old World accordionist Alan Bern, my new long lost brother, that covered a lot of moral ground, Dr. Seuss, the Twilight Zone, gender issues, Willie Wonka, and yes a lot about Jewishness. Thanks Alan. You really got me charged up for the gig!


olie brice said...

interesting to read this, I've had similar experiences, both regarding "I've tried my whole life to escape my semitic heritage (can't)" and "facing the Germanic collective guilt is a puzzle".
How long have you been playing klezmer? as long as improv/jazz?

Reuben Radding said...

Almost. I got drafted into the Jewish music scene back in the early 90's. I've drifted in and out of it ever since.