Sweden will host a women-only music festival in the summer of 2018, after a successful crowdfunding campaign raised more than 500,000 Swedish krona (£47,000) for the venture, from 3,300 people.
Statement festival, which forbids cis men, comes in the wake of a series of sexual assaults at Swedish music festivals such as Bråvalla and Putte I Parken. There were four rapes and 23 sexual assaults at this year’s edition of Bråvalla, leading the event to be cancelled next year.
The organisers of Statement have railed against “year after year” of unsafe events for women. In their plea for crowdfunding, they wrote: “Help us to create a safe space for the people who want to attend a festival without feeling scared for their personal safety.”
Statement will allow cis women, trans women and those who identify as non-binary to attend. An update on the project’s Kickstarter page said the crowdfunding revenue would secure an as yet undisclosed venue for the festival.
The festival is being organised by Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare, who originally wrote on Twitter following the Bråvalla attacks: “What do you think about putting together a really cool festival where only non-men are welcome that we’ll run until ALL men have learned how to behave themselves?”
If there was a natural successor as a composer to Malcolm Arnold, it was Derek Bourgeois, who has died aged 75. A hugely prolific composer, he had the same knack for turning a memorable tune, a Waltonian sense of grandeur and a delight in infusing humour into his music whenever he could.
The five movements of his Wine Symphony (his Fourth, 1978), are entitled Champagne, Bordeaux, Hock, Beaujolais and Burgundy, while the end of his otherwise sober Variations on a Theme of Herbert Howells for organ (1984) includes a reference to For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. Some of the humour was more subtle: his Eighth Symphony, subtitled The Mountains of Mallorca (2002), includes a fugue in honour of the Mallorcan town of Arta – the Arta fugue.
Bourgeois was at his best in shorter works, often for wind and brass bands, such as the Green Dragon Overture (1969, which – like many of his works – exists in versions for full orchestra and wind ensemble), the delightful Serenade (1965, written originally for organ in order to be played at his wedding) or Blitz (1980, one of a number of test pieces written for brass band competitions). Though his music received little critical acclaim, players and audiences loved its tunefulness and harmonic richness, and continue to do so.
When interviewed by Alan Rusbridger for the Guardian in 2009, Bourgeois said: “Blitz … was regarded by a great number of people as an absolutely heinous piece, whereas when I played it to [the composer] Robert Simpson, he said, ‘That’s a very jolly blitz.’ One camp thought I was too old-fashioned, the other camp thought I was far too avant garde. So eventually I just decided I would be myself, and that’s that.”
The catalogue of his 391 works includes 17 concertos – that for trombone (1988) probably the most played – a host of works for orchestras of various makeups, an opera and music for TV productions including the Buddyboy episode of Nigel Kneale’s Beasts (1976), and two high-profile series: The Barchester Chronicles (1982) and Mansfield Park (1983). His final four works – all composed this year – are wholly representative: Rhythm With a Smile for wind orchestra, a Sonata for Two Violas and Piano and the last two of his 116 symphonies, more than any other British composer (he passed Havergal Brian’s 32 in mid-2006). The outright record goes to the Finnish composer Leif Segerstam, with so far more than 300.
Bourgeois had retired to Mallorca in 2002 with just seven to his credit, but 109 more of them, plus more than 100 other orchestral, wind, brass and chamber works, just came “tumbling out”, partly to stop himself “going mad”. His first wife, Jean Berry, whom he had married in 1965, was dying of motor neurone disease, and he was suffering from cancer.
The largest, at 155 minutes, is No 42, Life, the Universe and Everything (2008) in honour of Douglas Adams. Bourgeois overtook Haydn in 2015, naming his 104th The Esterhazy in emulation of Haydn’s London Symphony more than two centuries earlier.
Born in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, Derek was the son of David Bourgeois, a company director, and his wife, Dinah (nee Ford), and attended Cranleigh school in Surrey, where he would later work as a music teacher. After gaining a first-class degree in music and a doctorate at Magdalene College, Cambridge, he studied for two years at the Royal College of Music, London, with Howells for composition and Adrian Boult for conducting. His introduction to the brass band world came in 1980, as the conductor of the Sun Life (now Stanshawe) Band in Bristol, and 10 years later he became artistic director of the Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bourgeois taught as a lecturer in music at Bristol University from 1971, leaving in 1984 to become director of music for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, a post he held until 1993. He founded the National Youth Chamber Orchestra in 1988, and in 1994 he was appointed director of music at St Paul’s girls’ school, west London.
Jean died in 2006, and from Mallorca he went to New York, and finally to Dorset.
In 2008 he married Norma Torney, who survives him, as does his sister, Wendy.
•Derek David Bourgeois, composer, born 16 October 1941; died 6 September 2017
When Holger Czukay, who has died aged 79, became one of the founding members of the Cologne-based band Can in 1968, his role was that of bass player. “The bass player’s like a king in chess,” he reflected later. “He doesn’t move much, but when he does he changes everything.”
However, Can described themselves as an “anarchist community”, and the group’s experimental spirit allowed Czukay plenty of room to explore various aspects of electronic music and recording. Right from their first album, Monster Movie (1969), they broke new ground with their fondness for improvised playing shaped by editing, layering and electronic effects, and Czukay took a prominent role in producing and engineering the band’s albums. Can never achieved huge commercial success, though they did achieve a Top 10 hit in Germany with Spoon, the theme from a TV thriller series, in 1972. Nonetheless their work – not least their mastery of the minimal, repetitive “Motorik” beat, which became a trademark, of Can, Neu! and other German bands – left a lasting impression on countless artists who came in their wake.
Czukay remained with Can during the period that saw them release their most accomplished and admired recordings, Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973), on which they brewed a flavoursome concoction of ambient and electronic music mixed with rock and avant garde. By the time he made his last album with them, Saw Delight (1976), Czukay had stopped playing bass to concentrate instead on creating electronic effects.
His subsequent solo career would take him on an open-ended voyage of discovery in which he explored techniques of music collage and “found” sounds, often mixing random fragments recorded from short-wave radio broadcasts into aural tapestries. He built a home studio using vintage recording equipment acquired from a 1950s radio station, and considered material captured on a simple dictaphone recorder every bit as valid as sophisticated studio recordings. He strove to maintain a fresh, almost naive approach to his work. “The universal dilettante is actually the most precious musician you can imagine,” he claimed. His fondness for the films of WC Fields suggested that he did not take himself entirely seriously.
Czukay was born in the Baltic port of Danzig, then the Free City of Danzig, but his family fled as the second world war reached its climax and the Russians advanced towards the city (which became Gdańsk, Poland). Czukay recalled arriving in Berlin by train in February 1945. After the war ended the family were sent to a camp run by the Russians, but managed to escape and reach the nearby American zone.
By the start of the 60s Czukay was studying music with a bass player from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. “He told me ‘OK, if you continue playing like this, you can become a bass player in an orchestra,” he recalled, but this did not appeal to him. He moved to Cologne and sought out the avant-garde composer and electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who took Czukay on as a pupil. A fellow student was the keyboard player Irmin Schmidt, who felt inspired to start a band after seeing Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground on a trip to New York. The result was Can, which Schmidt formed with Czukay, the guitarist Michael Karoli and the drummer Jaki Liebezeit.
Czukay credited Leibezeit with broadening his own musical thinking. “Jaki is one person whose criticism I take to heart,” he said. “He made me understand rhythm is the greatest concentration of music, that one single drumbeat can contain all the music in the world.”
Czukay had made his first solo foray with Canaxis 5 (1968), on which he worked with co-producer Rolf Dammers. His post-Can career comprised a string of solo albums as well as collaborations on albums, singles and remixes. In 1979 he released Movies, and further solo works included On the Way to the Peak of Normal (1981), Rome Remains Rome (1987), the live album Radio Wave Surfer (1991) and Moving Pictures (1993).
In 2015 he released Eleven Years Innerspace, a collection of new material and reworked older pieces. In 1981, he and Liebezeit played on Eurythmics’ debut album, In the Garden, and in 1983 he recorded the album Snake Charmer with Liebezeit, Jah Wobble and U2’s guitarist The Edge (Liebezeit and Wobble were regular contributors to Czukay’s solo recordings). He teamed up with David Sylvian on the albums Plight & Premonition (1988) and Flux + Mutability (1989). He played bass on Cluster & Eno (1977), a collaboration between Brian Eno and the German electronic band Cluster, and appeared on The Mermaid (1992), an Anglo-German project that featured Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox.
Czukay’s wife, Ursula, died in July aged 55.
• Holger Czukay, musician, producer and engineer, born 24 March 1938; found dead 5 September 2017
A second man has been arrested as Dutch police investigate a terrorism threat that led to the cancellation of a concert in Rotterdam on Wednesday.
The concert by the US rock band Allah-Las was called off after Spanish authorities warned of a possible plot targeting the venue.
Dutch police confirmed they had arrested a 22-year-old man in the early hours of Thursday. “He is in custody and will be questioned about the threat in Rotterdam,” police said, adding that a thorough search of his home had been conducted. The man was detained in Brabant, a province to the south of Rotterdam, but it was not known where he was being held.
But the driver of a Spanish-registered white van carrying gas canisters who was arrested on Wednesday night may not be a suspect.
The van driver, a repairman, had been driving close to the Maassilo concert venue where the band had been due to perform. Police said he was possibly drunk and would be questioned further on Thursday.
Explosives experts checked his van and found nothing suspicious beyond the gas canisters. A search of the man’s home “uncovered no link with the terror threat … at the Maassilo”, police said. “The man, a repair man, had an explanation for the gas canisters that will be investigated today.”
The terrorist cell in Spain had been plotting attacks on a much larger scale, one suspect told a court, as more details emerged of the bomb factory in Catalonia where the group had been making explosives and suicide vests, before an explosion caused them to change plans.
Spanish counter-terrorism police received “an alert indicating the possibility of an attack [on Wednesday] in a concert that was going to take place in Rotterdam”.
The venue, a former grain silo, was evacuated before the event began, with organisers citing an “unspecified threat”.
Dutch television showed officers in body armour outside Maassilo and what appeared to be members of the band leaving the venue in a white van with a police escort. By midnight, the area was calm and police had lifted the cordon, Dutch television station NOS reported.
Mexican Summer, the Allah-Las’ label, said: “The band is unharmed and are very grateful to the Rotterdam police and other responsible agencies for detecting the potential threat before anyone was hurt.”
In an interview with the Guardian last year, band members said they had chosen the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a “holy sounding” name and had not realised it might cause offence.
“We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,” said the lead singer, Miles Michaud. “We email back and explain why we chose the name and mainly they understand.”