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The MusikMesse in Frankfurt is an enormous event - safe to say it's the largest Music Industry Trade Show on the planet, and it teems with countless manufacturers and attendees, all feverishly demonstrating, discussing, purchasing, selling, evangelising, and sometimes cursing, the material things that make the music business go round. In this largely corporate-oriented melee, it's easy to miss sight of the fundamental driving force behind it all... the passion for music itself.
It was after we'd finished our traditional Friday Superbooth filming bonanza that I finally managed to grab my breakfast coffee... at lunchtime(!) and sat down for a few minutes with Andreas Schneider, the man behind the whole Superbooth phenomenon. He was explaining the ethos behind what he tries to do with the Superbooth; the support for the small independent inventors and manufacturers, and his determination to provide an alternative to what he sees as the [... well, you can fill in the blanks ;-]
It's an enormous amount of work, and he's taking a well-deserved break next year, but I discovered that one of the things that keeps him positive throughout the whole Messe ordeal, is the existence of, and inspiration behind, the biggest secret of MusikMesse itself... the Music4Kids Hall.
I'd already noticed that every morning as we arrived at the Messe, we were greeted my the excited voices of hundreds of small children - I'd cynically pegged it as a ploy to raise the attendance numbers at the show by bussing in all the local school kids to run through the turnstiles a few times ;-] But no... turns out they were all headed for a hall filled with musical installations, sculptures, instruments and learning programs to help them appreciate the fundamentals... and the fun... of making music.
OK, there's a story here, I thought, so we grabbed the bags and headed for the hall where a friend of Andreas - Michael Bradke was running the Music4kids show.
Turns out, it was one of the best things I've ever seen in all my countless trade shows - truly inspirational, and a fantastic antidote to 'business-fatigue'.
The video says it more eloquently than I ever can... enjoy, and remember what got you into in music in the first place.
Andy McCreeth For more info on the Sound Sculptures and instruments:-
Handled automatic tuner gets you in key and keeps an eye on yr strings
USB DC coupled audio interface in the rack
Jörg Schaaf takes us through their new digital oscillator