All about Create Music OWL
Who we are
OWL, short for Ostwestfalen-Lippe, comprises a quite beautiful and striving region in the north-west of Germany, roughly in the centre between Berlin, Hanover and Dortmund. Interestingly enough, the major city does not even exist – it’s called Bielefeld and despite its muddled appearance, it has a lively economic base, lots of cultural activities, and a striving music scene.
The region itself is quite astounding: No-one, not even people in Germany, knows that OWL is one of the major European centres of small and medium sized businesses, some of which are world-leaders in their particular field of industrial or services activities.
So far, so good – but what’s this to do with Popular music, rock, pop, minimal techno, folk etc.? Simple answer: Germany has a particular subsidising system for culture and the arts, and in 2008, six cities within the region OWL decided to take a risk and fund the regional popular music scene.
This resulted in Create.Music.OWL which aims at supporting professionalization and networking between musicians, cultural institutions, and music industries throughout the region. Create.Music.OWL is a state- and municipally funded information clearing house and promotion office for artistic talent. The focus is on providing contacts and professional support for young musicians, on bringing participants together, and on making the creative music scene of OWL better known to listeners and interested parties. To ensure public knowledge of the music scenes, Create.Music.OWL features bands, musicians, reviews, and events on a regular basis on their website, together with works of art by national and international artists we find special and exciting. In addition, two blogs deal with important topics, one written by musicians, one by experts and cultural coordinators, dealing with diverse questions of artistic existence today, professional careers in Germany and the way of life of musicians. The founders, makers, and the consulting committee believe that there is a “hot spot” of musical activity and talent OWL-over that deserves funding, promotion and support.
The initiators, the cities of Paderborn, Minden, Herford, Guetersloh, Detmold, Bielefeld, have been supported by the Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the Land of North-Rhine Westphalia. Create.Music.OWL is part of the Kultursekretariat NRW Guetersloh, a public office dedicated to funding arts and culture projects, and which is firmly anchored in the regions and communities of North-Rhine Westphalia.
Currently, CM.OWL is working on or supporting three major projects: In September, 2012, “Dorf Rock Rotation”. Newcomers are playing venues in small and very small villages along the roads and highways of the region. This project aims at providing live-experience and know-how to musicians and bands.
The “Rollholz Kultur Open Air”, dedicated to skateboarding, street art, and music, is taking place in Detmold for the third time this year, offering a stage to new reggae, ska, hip-hop, and soul acts.
Of course, one of the most important projects or tasks was the very first meeting of participants of the music business, artists, newcomers, mentors and experts in the famous Kulturwerkstatt in Paderborn. Create.Music - LIve! took place on 25th November, 2011, and already cooperative projects in the region are in the making. "Performing Pop" is a joint venture between venue Bunker Ulmenwall, Bielefeld, the University of Paderborn (studies course popular music and media), and the Theater Guetersloh. Here, lectures, auditions, and live-music are combined to reveal the deep cultural impact of popular music. "Ostwestfaelische polyphonie" aims at showing the potential of so-called "improvised music" and features artists such as Markus Reuters, Bernhard Woestheinrich, Yoshi Hampl and many more.
What we want
Create.Music.OWL is based on the assumption that popular music forms an essential part of human culture (something not always accepted in German “high culture” politics). Due to the stylistic permeability of popular music, it may be an important tool to initiate or accompany processes of cultural and social integration, again, a very important aspect of politics and policies in the German land of North-Rhine Westphalia (which has a rich tradition of immigration). This thought is to be combined with a third pre-requirement for our work: due to the prognosis of demographic development, Germany will be made up of fewer and older people. Thus, the competition for young people to live and work in a particular region will increase strongly, forcing policies to offer multifarious, intriguing and age-appropriate amenities.
One of our most important aims is to promote young artists and bands from this region to make it better known that OWL already has a strong musical base. In addition, the University Paderborn offers the studies course “Popular Music and the Media”, and already, young and highly qualified graduates start to leave their artistic mark on the region. Accordingly, networking for us is foremost provision of information and knowledge, as well as mentoring, coaching, and general support. Also, via our network, experts offer legal, financial, and business advice.
As we are a so-called “Pilotprojekt” (trial project), our service-life is limited to three years. Thus, another important task within this period is finding and describing interesting, new, subversive, provocative, entertaining, and ambitious acts. The focus is on artistic and musical qualities, not their marketability.
Create.Music.OWL is supported by the Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the Land of North-Rhine Westphalia, the Kultursekretariat NRW Guetersloh. In addition, special projects in Guetersloh are funded by a grant of the Buergerstiftung Guetersloh (Community Foundation Guetersloh)
Banana Butts – Yeah, Schweinerock!!!
Deep in the German Province, in a small town
called Loehne: Here can be found a strange group of three appropriately called Banana Butts due to their
favorite pastime activity, playing “Schweinerock” (rock with “nasty” lyrics) dressed
up as bananas with plastic ape
butts. Recently, they have become more “grown-up”, enriching their
live-performance dressed up as 80’s glam rock idols.
Apart from their love of the bizarre, outlandish, and sleazy, their music is hard, complex and sophisticated, more oriented towards bands like Primus, Beastie Boys, and Electric Six. Their new release is proof that Germans do have fun indeed.
Ron Diva – melancholic songwriter
Another good example of how gentle hills
and open fields can inspire the
natural born artist. The serene patience reflected in Ron
Diva’s acoustic songs has made him a regional celebrity, and
his songs are not just played in the clubs of OWL, but in the urban hot spots
Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne.
When on tour, the "East-Westphalian Paul Weller" is accompanied by this own band, dedicated to give a “folk” touch to his musical story telling.
Stefany June – International style
While studying to become a professional composer and singer, Stefany June met with five similarly inclined co-students from the Netherlands. In 2009, they played their live-gigs no. 2 to no. 6 for the Dorf-Rock-Rotation in the rural solitude of OWL in front of an audience of twenty. Since then, due to their musical elegance, and humour, they have become well known to a bigger audience.
Kommando Elektrolyrik – Electric Poetry
Four writers and one musician, all students at the University in the middle-sized town of Paderborn, met in 2008 for the first time to mix spoken word performance and electronic beats, social criticism, poetic language and danceable music.
Since then, they have wowed a wider enthusiastic, and more importantly, European audience: Funded by national and international culture institutes of Germany, and supported by renowned gonzo publishers in Mainz, they have played a multitude of venues, both clubs and literary houses in more than seven European countries.
About the Pictures
On our website, you will find particular
photographs, signed by Detroit.Urbex.
We, the responsible team of Create.Music.OWL, believe that these photos do not just bear witness to the development of this extraordinary place Detroit, but that they are beautiful in their own right. We are very grateful and like to thank the artist for their permission to use these, sometimes sad, sometimes absurd, always beautiful images on our website.
For those who are interested: detroit.urbex offers a detailed and varied record about the social, economic, and cultural changes of the former glorious “Auto” city. And, of course, Detroit once was a VERY important city to popular music.