for Popular Music

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International online conference on the topic:
"Toddlers/Children's Songs - The Popular Music of the Youngest?"
on November 4, 2022

On Friday, November 4, 2022, the KKI will host an online conference from 12 to 4 p.m. (Central European Time), which will deal with the still relatively unexplored complex of topics "Toddlers/Children's Songs". The question to what extent such songs are to be understood as popular music will be explored. The detailed Call for Papers can be found here: CfP_Toddlers_Children_s_Songs.pdf
The presentations and discussions will be available on the Internet via the Zoom platform.
Please send your registration for free participation to the following email address: kontakt@klaus-kuhnke-institut.de

The conference program:

First block (12:00-13:15)
12:00-12:10 _ Opening & Greetings
12:10-12:40 _ Nico Thom (Bremen/Germany):
"The varity of popular toddlers/children's songs - An overview with examples from the German-speaking area"
12:40-12:45 _ Changeover break
12:45-13:15 _ Shelley Brunt & Liz Giuffre (Melbourne & Sydney/Australia):
"Popular music and parenting"

13:15-13:30 _ 15 minutes break & online café

Second block (13:30-14:35)
13:30-14:00 _ Ariane Diniz Holzbach & Jackeline da Costa (Rio de Janeiro/Brazil):
"Mundo Bita feat. Brazilian Popular Music - Reflexions around musical quality in songs aimed at children"
14:00-14:05 _ Changeover break
14:05-14:35 _ Andrew Snyder (Lisbon/Portugal):
"Expat migration and baby music classes in an internationalizing Lisbon"

14:35-14:50 _ 15 minutes break & online café

Third block (14:50-16:00)
14:50-15:20 _ Ruth Barratt-Peacock (Jena/Germany):
"The 'child' in children’s popular music research - A social constructionist view on childhood in kiddy metal"
15:20-15:25 _ Changeover break
15:25-15:55 _ Tobias Marx (Erfurt/Germany):
"Music for children - Musical, pedagogical and social perspectives"
15:55-16:00 _ Farewell

KKI takes summer vacation from August 8 to 21

We allow ourselves two weeks of closure. From August 22nd we will be available again regularly. We wish you all relaxing summer days with lots of good music!

New video series under the title "Exquisite music narrative(s) from KKI"

The KKI dedicates a new video series to the relationship between literature and popular music.
The event kicks off with an (online) conversation with the internationally renowned writer Hansjörg Schertenleib (born 1957 in Zurich/Switzerland). He regularly refers to popular music in his literary texts. Sometimes he even places it at the center of his books, for example by writing about musicians and their lives.
You can find out everything else in the following interview:

The KKI puts on at the "Live Cooking" in the context of the "Open Space Domshof"
(end of June to mid-September, every 14 days, Wednesdays, 6 pm)

At the Live Cooking on the Open Space stage, you can not only look into the pots of excellent chefs and pick up tips, but also taste them right away.
Archive specialities from the Klaus Kuhnke Institute will be served. Its director (Nico Thom) presents thematically bundled rarities from recent music history. The Live Cooking takes place from the end of June to mid-September on Bremen's Domshof, more precisely on every second Wednesday of the month.

The KKI can be experienced there on the following six dates:
29 June, 6 pm - Topic: "Food in Popular Music"
13 July, 6 pm - Topic: "Beat-Club & Musikladen - Two innovative music TV programmes from Radio Bremen"
27 July, 6 pm - Topic: "Visual Arts in the Context of Popular Music"
10 August, 6 pm - Topic: "Soul: Whether black or white soul music - at least with funky grooves!"
24 August, 6 pm - Topic: "Plus que de la chanson - Popular French Music in History and the Present"
14 September, 6 pm - Topic: "Tropical Beats? - World Music, Music of the World and Global Pop on International Tropical Forest Day"

More information: https://osd4.de/?p=88792

Bremen declares itself to be "fresh of sound" and a "city of music"
- at least in the year 2022

Are the famous Town Musicians - here in the form of a small cardboard display - also ambassadors of popular music? The dog's "Hendrix-like" bass guitar and the cat's microphone, as well as her "hip-hop-esque" Bremen necklace, certainly raise hopes. Even the donkey's leg irons seem pretty folky.

On the corresponding klangfrisch-2022-website, a record player and an electric guitar are integrated as genuine symbols of popular music. Perhaps with the exception of the harp, all the instruments depicted are ubiquitous in the jazz context (= popular music?) anyway.

For the year 2022, the city of Bremen (in cooperation with Bremerhaven) has a lot planned. With many subsidized events and aggressive marketing, the city's (and the region's) musical activities will be promoted and put in the shop window, so to speak, to raise public awareness. Popular music plays an astonishingly large role in this, which of course pleases us. Even in the visual presentation, popular music is given space, on an equal footing with the city's classical music tradition. This is by no means a matter of course... just think, for example, of the "Musikfest Bremen", which is de facto a classical music festival. But as we said: There is reason to hope that in the future the decision-makers and sponsors will cultivate a more open understanding of music worthy of support. Whereby subtitles like the following continue to reveal old thought patterns: "Bremen is inspiring - from high culture to subculture". From our point of view, what is high and what is low culture has to be negotiated again and again... it is best to first choose other terminologies for this.
More information here: https://www.bremen.de/kultur/klangfrisch-2022#/

We were guests on westendRADIO with Windy Jacob

Windy Jacob has been hosting his own shows for Bremen's Citizens' Radio for many years

On June 16, Nico Thom, head of the KKI, was a studio guest on "westendRADIO - Live from the Kulturwerkstatt westend!" in the Bremen-Walle district. The live broadcast, which is aired every 14 days on Thursdays from 8 to 9 p.m., is moderated by Windy Jacob. He works for the Kulturwerkstatt westend and has been creating broadcasts for the Bremen citizens' radio station "Radio Weser.TV" for many years. For an hour, we chatted in a relaxed atmosphere about the Klaus Kuhnke Institute, its history and present, and plans for the future. Nico Thom was allowed to choose the music contributions, all of which he contributed from the KKI archive.
You can listen to the broadcast via this link: westendRADIO_16.06.2022.mp3

Closed on Whit Monday... Lucky!

Blasphemy? Of course not! Our motto: "A little fun is a must". Which brings us directly to one of the biggest German-language hits: the song of the same name by Roberto Blanco. Everybody knows the piece. The original from 1972 has been covered many times, sometimes even with Roberto Blanco as a guest star. The original video clip of the artist, in which he is shown swimming and bare-chested in the shower, already caused a lot of joy. An early "masterpiece" of the German-language music video tradition, long before MTV, VIVA & Co.

Ascension Day or Father's Day and Bridge Day

On Thursday, May 26, we are closed for the (public) holiday. What for some is a heavenly holiday, so to speak, is for others an occasion to celebrate the earthly fathers. Since the employees of KKI are fathers and have fathers, we also celebrate the "lords of creation" - moderately, of course. A quick look through our archive database unearths some Ascension Day gems. Here is a small selection:

1) On the one hand there is "Die Himmelfahrt der Galgentoni" - a sad-comic story about a whore who pays her last respects to a man sentenced to the gallows, touchingly performed by the diseuse Gisela May. The piece can be found in the detailed book-/CD-/DVD-box "die may", which was published in 2006 by Bear Family Records in cooperation with the Günter Neumann - Foundation and the Berlin Academy of Arts.
2) On a self-titled CD of the Tiroler Tanzgeiger the "Himmelfahrts Polka" (sic!) is immortalized. The short instrumental piece presents finest folk or dance music from the Zillertal in the instrumentation for first and second violin, harp, diatonic harmonica, double bass and diatonic (East Tyrolean) dulcimer. The CD was released in 1995 by Bogner Records in Austria.
3) The Cologne band (De) Bläck Fööss also dedicates the song "Himmelfahrt" to the holiday of the same name. In it, they celebrate the fact that you don't have to work and can comfortably "make blue" in the Westerwald. The meaningful title of the vinyl album from 1978 is "Mer han 'nen Deckel" (EMI/Electrola).

By the way, we are also closed on Friday, May 27 - and take a bridge day off. Various song titles would also lend themselves to this... "Über sieben Brücken musst Du gehn" (Karat/Peter Maffay)... "Bridge over Troubled Water" (Simon & Garfunkel)... also to be found in our archives.

A showcase... thanks to the State Archives!

From now on, our interior will be adorned by a display case. We owe it to the Bremen State Archive, which has bequeathed us the massive and illuminated glass case. An enchanting piece, we think! It offers us the possibility to welcome our guests with changing exhibits, e.g. the "find of the month".

"Alles neu macht der Mai (Everything is new in May)"
(at least some things)

A traditional spring or children's song - with the same melody as "Hänschen klein" by the way - provides us with the appropriate headline: "Alles neu macht der Mai (Everything is new in May)". (Well, not everything, of course, but some things.) At least that could be the motto for us, because today, Friday, May 13 (if that is not a bad omen ;-) we change our name. Until now we were the "Klaus Kuhnke Archive for Popular Music", from today on we are the "Klaus Kuhnke Institute for Popular Music". Our subtitle is "Archive and Research Center at the University of the Arts Bremen". Strictly speaking, we have been an institute at the HfK Bremen since 1992, i.e. for 30 years, only few people knew that. Hence the renaming. And also to make it clear that from now on we want to be more active with our own research projects. With a new name comes a completely new website, namely this one. Have fun browsing!


5,000 CD duplicates go to the Freiburg ZPKM

On May 6, 38 boxes containing approximately 5,000 CD duplicates from our archive holdings were shipped to the Center for Popular Culture and Music (ZPKM) at the University of Freiburg. The colleagues in Freiburg are happy about the increase in their holdings and we are happy about the freed up space in our archive (and the financial compensation). A classic win-win situation.

FaMI intern in May

In May, Ann-Katrin Verzagt joins the KKI team and completes a three-week internship. She is currently training to become a specialist for media and information services (FaMI) at the Bremen State and University Library and is in her second year of training. We are grateful for her participation and are happy to give her an insight into our daily work. FaMI trainees regularly honor us and are always welcome.

We were (of course) at the Bremen jazzahead!

A selection of the "captured" recordings and info-materials on contemporary jazz

As every year since the founding of the Bremen trade fair jazzahead! in 2006, we were again present in 2022. The trade fair with integrated festival, which always takes place at the end of April, has become the largest international industry gathering, bringing together jazz experts (musicians, bands, labels, agencies, country representatives, associations, journalists and academics) from all over the world. In addition to networking with the peer group and discovering new jazz music, collecting records and info materials is a pleasant side effect for the KKI archive. Current jazz from Ukraine, Luxembourg or Bulgaria? We now have the relevant artifacts - which we are very happy about. Oh yes: It should be mentioned, of course, that the spiritus rector of the KKI, Peter Schulze, is the artistic director of jazzahead! and thus we feel connected to this important event in more ways than one. More information about jazzahead! can be found here: https://jazzahead.de

Large punk/hardcore/independent collection taken over

Parts of the collection of Tobias Stalling

In April, we received the impressive collection of the Bremen media educator Tobias Stalling and transferred it to our holdings. It contains about 5,000 CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes as well as several hundred fanzines, magazines and books. The collection mainly covers the period from 1990 to 2020 and documents the local, national and international punk tradition in great detail. In addition, there is also a lot of sound, image and video material on various styles of popular music, e.g. jazz, hip hop, EDM as well as classic and progressive rock. For example, the complete oeuvre of the British band King Crimson is part of the collection. It is a valuable addition to our archive.

Very large country music collection left to us

Parts of the collection of Mohns Mohnssen

In the course of his life, Mohns Mohnssen from Bremen has amassed an enormous amount of recordings (as well as magazines and books) on the subject of country music. In professional circles, his collection is considered one of the largest of its kind in Europe. In 2020 Mohns Mohnssen passed away due to old age. In his will, he had stipulated that his estate should be passed on to the Klaus Kuhnke Archive. In January/February 2022 the collection of the materials took place. Essentially, it is about 8,000 vinyl records and about 3,000 CDs, mainly with U.S. country music in all its varieties. European variants were also collected by Mohns Mohnssen, as well as associated contextual descriptions, for example a trade journal called "Bluegrass Europe Magazine".

New head of the Klaus Kuhnke Archive/Institute

Ulrich Duve has passed the baton to Nico Thom

Ulrich Duve, the long-time director of the Klaus Kuhnke Archive, took his well-deserved retirement at the end of 2021. Nico Thom has been his successor in office since January 1, 2022.

Ulrich Duve has guided the fortunes of the archive for 30 years and contributed significantly to the current shape of KKA. Prior to that, he had already been an employee of the archive founded by Klaus Kuhnke, Manfred Miller and Peter Schulze for 5 years. He has thus dedicated almost his entire professional life to KKA, for which he deserves great thanks and recognition. Fortunately, he remains connected to the archive on an honorary basis, so that he will continue to be available with his expertise.

Nico Thom, the new head of the archive and institute, is a musicologist specializing in jazz and popular music. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in research, teaching as well as archive administration and is looking forward to the tasks that now lie ahead of him. "My goal is to work with my three part-time staff members to develop a center for the research and communication of popular music that will make the many treasures from the archive holdings even more visible and audible and secure them for the future - especially through digitization. I would also like to actively research the holdings myself. In addition, I am interested in an intensive exchange with the scientific and artistic community and would like to make the archive materials accessible to a broad public - at the University of the Arts, in Bremen and, of course, far beyond."