In South America, the Jew's harp is called the "trompe". It was the bold idea of the Chilean architect, video artist and musician Nicolás Matzner Weisner to follow the Jew's harp on its way around the world. The result was eight 15-minute video episodes, the second series of which is already being aired on the Chilean TV station Canal 13 and which can be seen online with English subtitles. It is rare to find such an unconventional and fascinating TV programme as "La ruta del Trompe". Clemens Voigt of DAN MOI was given the role of Jew's harp guru in the series.
"La ruta del Trompe" goes in search of the origin of the Jew's harp. For this purpose Nicolás Matzner travels to various different cities and places all over the whole world: He begins in his grandmother's museum in Santiago de Chile, travels to Brüssels and Barcelona, to Sicily and Bali, Vietnam and China, and in Leipzig, too, he stops off in Taucha at the Ancient Trance Festival. Everywhere he goes, he meets male and female musicians. Playful, surprising, and immanently musical. Because Nicolás doesn't just speak and describes to the audience what he sees and experiences. Everything that he says is made up of rhymes, speech song and rhythm.
Each series is a note on the scale and is given a colour: "Red: colour of colours. blood and fire." – in the fifth, red episode of "La ruta del Trompe" the path leads to Madrid to the fanzine scene there, accompanied by the pulse of the Jew's harp. Light blue, the tone Ton "Si" (B) travels through Sicily in search of the Marranzano. Episode eight deals with the"Jew's harp players' conference" (Encuentro de Tromperos) in Taucha near Leipzig. The film documents the 2014 Ancient Trance Festival and shows Franz Harrecker making a bamboo Jew's harp.
By profession, Nicolás is actually an architect. His eye for the art of construction can be seen in his videos: domed roofs, house arrangements and open public spaces form the backdrop for the production. "For me architecture and music are one and the same thng", the Jew's harp world explorer says, "architecture divides and organizes space, music divides and organizes time." His passion for playing the Jew's harp was awakened by his grandmother's collection, who, as an ethnologist always brought back instruments from her travels. "Later then, when I began travelling myself, I always had a Jew's harp in my baggage", Nicolás recalls, "the reason one encounters Jew's harps all over the world is perhaps precisely because people simply throw the instruments into their bags and take them with them everywhere."
Anyone who enjoys these virtuoso videos will not be able to stop watching them one after the other. The drawing power of the images with speech song and the Jew's harp stories is irresistible. On top of that, the end of each video by Clemens Voigt presents the audience an instrument belonging to the DAN MOI collection. In the second series of "La ruta de Trompe", he demonstrates more than 20 different Jew's harps from all over the world. Bien bacán! No lo pierdes!