Tod Machover’s Fasnacht adventures

Postings by Tod Machover from Lucerne, Switzerland 

February 16, 2015. Here’s my full Fasnacht costume – provided by friends at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL, as well as the (very loud) scene right outside my hotel window – at 12:30 pm. People told me that this medieval, super-quiet and discrete hotel would become one of the epicenters of Fasnacht…and boy, were they right!!!!

Here I am in my full Fasnacht costume, provided by friends at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. About to go out and explore now:) — at Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann

Here I am in my full Fasnacht costume, provided by friends at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. About to go out and explore now:) — at Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann

 The scene outside my hotel - just arrived - in Lucerne, with zoot-suited sax and brass players serenading a motley crew. There's apparently a big blast-off at 2 pm, so I am going to try to find that now.


The scene outside my hotel – just arrived – in Lucerne, with zoot-suited sax and brass players serenading a motley crew. There’s apparently a big blast-off at 2 pm, so I am going to try to find that now.

Out on the streets at Fasnacht, Lucerne. Crazy and funky, and a total confetti mess. Got great audio recordings, and the best things seem to be happening in the side streets…as always. Just warmed up a bit and am on my way out there again!!

Tiny part of the Lucerne parade for Fasnacht. Every costume is home-made, and groups work all year to prepare the themes, actions, characters, and music. Just ordinary folks. That's what makes it so powerful.....

Tiny part of the Lucerne parade for Fasnacht. Every costume is home-made, and groups work all year to prepare the themes, actions, characters, and music. Just ordinary folks. That’s what makes it so powerful…..

Confetti Man - some little kid got great pleasure in throwing her confetti at me all afternoon, here at Lucerne's Fasnacht!!!

Confetti Man – some little kid got great pleasure in throwing her confetti at me all afternoon, here at Lucerne’s Fasnacht!!!

 

February 17, 2015. Evening becomes darker (duh!) and weirder at Fasnacht in Lucerne, with noise everywhere, multiple bands playing Ivesian counterpoint further complexified by the rushing river, bottlenecks on twisting medieval streets so you can’t move even if you want to, individuals and families with indelible “costumes” and political statements, harshness as well as adventure in the air. Nothing quite like it that I know of.

The Barfuess Fäger, "my" Guggenmusik band, playing crazy standards last evening at the Wilden Mann. Wow! http://www.barfuessfaeger.ch/

The Barfuess Fäger, “my” Guggenmusik band, playing crazy standards last evening at the Wilden Mann. Wow! http://www.barfuessfaeger.ch/

 Crazy crowds surging with pounding, contrapuntal and Ivesian rhythms. Last night at Lucerne's Fasnacht.


Crazy crowds surging with pounding, contrapuntal and Ivesian rhythms. Last night at Lucerne’s Fasnacht.

 The level of political commentary was high and quite cutting at last night's Lucerne Fasnacht. Here is Obama being puppetteered by Putin. Hmmmmm....... https://shanainch.wordpress.com/tag/luzerner-fasnacht/


The level of political commentary was high and quite cutting at last night’s Lucerne Fasnacht. Here is Obama being puppetteered by Putin. Hmmmmm……. https://shanainch.wordpress.com/tag/luzerner-fasnacht/

Much larger crowds than I expected here at Lucerne's Fasnacht, seemingly seeping into every nook and cranny of the town, especially in the Old City where you could hardly even budge last night. Dancing, music...whatever!!!

Much larger crowds than I expected here at Lucerne’s Fasnacht, seemingly seeping into every nook and cranny of the town, especially in the Old City where you could hardly even budge last night. Dancing, music…whatever!!!

 

I first heard the Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group rehearsal months ago, and was thrilled to hear their performance blossom and explode these past two days. I joined the Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group at their celebratory party near the end of Fasnacht. They serenaded friends, family and supporters, and exuded musical passion and human warmth. They are my kind of adopted family in Lucerne!

FasnachtParty

The "sack" theme expressed in this incredible costume (with embedded tuba!), worn this year by the Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group.

The “sack” theme expressed in this incredible costume (with embedded tuba!), worn this year by the Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group.

With Christiane Weber of the Lucerne Festival, who also has time to play saxophone (her real instrument is bassoon) as a member of the terrific Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group.

With Christiane Weber of the Lucerne Festival, who also has time to play saxophone (her real instrument is bassoon) as a member of the terrific Barfuess-Fäger Guggenmusik group.

With two other friends and colleagues, Christina Bucher and Katharina Christen - by day at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL but otherwise preparing for their roles in the Chäppeler Guggenmusik ensemble - enjoying a well-deserved rest near the end of Fasnacht last evening

With two other friends and colleagues, Christina Bucher and Katharina Christen – by day at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL but otherwise preparing for their roles in the Chäppeler Guggenmusik ensemble – enjoying a well-deserved rest near the end of Fasnacht last evening

This tree in Lucerne's Old City is festooned with banners from many Guggenmusik ensembles for Fasnacht. How did they get all those banners into the tree????

This tree in Lucerne’s Old City is festooned with banners from many Guggenmusik ensembles for Fasnacht. How did they get all those banners into the tree????

February 18, 2015. I’m on my way back to Boston after a 2-day immersion in Lucerne’s Fasnacht. What an incredible experience, as this quiet, gentle, water-infused town explodes into celebration and noise, sometimes fun and quirky, other times quite dark. The spirit and the sound of Lucerne during these past two days has been totally different from what I’ve been hearing on other visits, and this will definitely have an effect on A SYMPHONY FOR LUCERNE, which is evolving and developing as I write.

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