Today the guests of our Quarantine Stories are Kristo Rajasaare – melomaniac, drummer and the head of our wonderful partner at Raadio2 and Anne Erm – an inspiration and role model in the whole music scene, the art director and head of the oldest festival in the country, Jazzkaar, as well as a composer, music researcher and radio host.
Jazzkaar, initially planned to kick off this week but now scheduled and confirmed for October 9 – 15, is the biggest jazz festival in the Baltics, taking place since 1990. With her strong artistic vision, resilience and spirit of innovation, Anne Erm is a role model and inspiration to the whole Estonian music scene. Jazzkaar together with the Estonian Jazz Union are curating the jazz stage at TMW. In 2018 Anne was awarded the Keychange Inspiration Award by PRS Foundation to highlight her contribution to Estonian music. We wish the best of luck to our dear Jazzkaar team and thank you for the cooperation! Have a look at the Jazzkaar programme here.
Kristo Rajasaare was one of the founding team members of Tallinn Music Week in 2009 and has been a good friend and partner throughout the years – as the head promoter of Rabarock at first and as the head of Raadio2 right now. Raadio2, a fantastic partner for us and the whole Estonian music scene, is the main station in Estonia that introduces new music from Estonia and abroad. Thank you Raadio2 for your good work, we wish you strength and good health!
What are you listening, watching, reading etc?
Anne: I’m currently listening to music for the next episode of Õhtujazz. It’s good to listen to new music. I have a whole stack of records on my desk that I haven’t been able to go through, perhaps there will be more of an opportunity now.
World Poetry Day was only recently, and because my mother, who was an English teacher, really loved poetry, I crack open a poetry collection every now and then: Baudelaire’s 66 Flowers of Evil, the poetry collections of Marie Under or Juhan Liiv. Aeg (Time) by Artur Alliksaar is also timely read for the current period. For me, 3-4 poems a day is enough and sets the right tone.
Kristo: I listened to all the Kenny Rogers albums that I have at home and then to “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango for a few mornings in a row. When I heard about the passing of Gabi Delgado, I listened to DAF all night.
My old favourite TV series have released new seasons – “Better Call Saul” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, I also found an emotional tragicomedy “The Last Laugh” starring Richard Dreyfuss and Chevy Chase. If you still haven’t seen “Uncut Gems”, I highly recommend it, and if the tempo is too fast, do what I did – rewind and start again.
I’m reading A Short history of drunkenness by Mark Forsyth right now, just finished the book by Olav Osolin, and the autobiography of Belmondo is up next.
What are you feeling and thinking about in this situation?
Anne: When I’m walking through Old Town every day, it feels as if I were walking in a movie. Emptiness abounds. Sitting in front of the computer, the workflow feels regular. I answer musicians’ letters, communicate with the necessary artists and agencies, and the Jazzkaar team meetings are also web-based now. We will shortly announce the slightly altered programme for Jazzkaar 2020, which will take place in autumn instead of spring, on October 9-14. The 25th anniversary of Jõulujazz, however, will be worthily celebrated in November-December. And one must also think about the new year. It’s a shame, of course, that I can’t see my grandchild, but hopefully the troubles will be gone shortly.
Kristo: Mostly I think about work. And in the evenings around 8PM I check the latest news from Italy – maybe today everything took a better turn. And then I think about the doctors that I know, about all the elderly people I know. Then musicians and all other people in the industry. And a friend who has a bar in Tartu and his employees. And so on and so on. A lot of uncomfortable thoughts. I’ve been cooking every single night, which takes my mind elsewhere for a few hours.
What kind of future are you dreaming of?
Anne: The world we had a few weeks ago will never return. Carelessness will make way for consideration – is my next decision or deed meaningful or pointless, does it to even the smallest extent help to save people, the world, the environment, and help preserve it for our grandchildren – we should pass it on to them in better condition, but that is impossible. I wish that beauty and goodness would triumph over the evil in this world, but they will probably be dueling forever. One cannot accept it but can only change oneself, even if just a bit towards the better.
Kristo: Some weeks ago, I was supposed to arrive at the Tallinn Airport from the EBU radio station meeting in Milan and head directly to play music at Ennu Ratas. A few weeks ago we would have broadcasted shows from Tallinn Music Week. We were also supposed to celebrate the birthday of the first album of Kosmikud with two concerts, we just got the vinyls made especially for that. During school holidays, we were supposed to have a father-son trip to Sicily and from there on to Tartu Student Days with the radio crew. In the summer, I would like to go to Tyrol. This is the kind of future I’m dreaming of, the kind that was a reality just a short while ago.