In Trout We Dust
A deep breath. Then it gets going. Again and again. Differenz und Wiederholung: the first intertitle in the film In Trout We Dust, inspired by a work series by the Austrian composer Bernhard Lang, guides us to a theme essential for the duo The International Nothing and an entire music scene portrayed here.
Like the story of the two clarinet players Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke who are trying to find a balance between a "group sound" and further development—that is, "between Motörhead (repetition) and Iron Maiden (difference)," as Fagaschinski explains—also the images, which at first remain longer on the space of the stage, later lead us out to the wide world of the hall, kitchen, bars, and streets.
The duo´s fundamental concern, however, is focused work on the material. First and foremost, a horizontal exploration of (harmonic)sounds, which later yields to a detailed arrangement of a vertical whole. In microscopic passages, a meticulous search for something new occurs, without what´s new deteriorating to an end in itself or something holy.
Quite the contrary. Suspicions of sitting in an ivory tower are met by humor on the stage and also in the music that´s been worked out. The image of the "serious artist" and that of a lust for life are balanced out (here, too), and although the rock does not start "rolling," it is still firmly at odds with the well-known saying by the former Austrian politician Andreas Khol: "If you teach someone to play the clarinet, they won´t become a drug addict."
The thirty-four-minute film has no intention of going into as much detail as the music. In short chapters, it offers an initial impression of the life of an experimental musician, a "Homo musicus experimentalis"; introduces us to a few promoters; lets the duo momentarily expand to a quartet to also offer a view from the outside; and finishes with an attempt to explain how the freedom of the arts is balanced with the economic reality of the same.
Since the theme of avant-garde music arrived in Hollywood with the film (Untitled) in 2009, it´s about time that someone also documented how this existence really feels. (Christof Kurzmann)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Tour documentation, making-of for an album, portrait of a band? Dieter Kovačič´s film is somehow all of that but then also not. In Trout We Dust accompanies The International Nothing, a clarinet duo, on a tour and tells of the production of an album, but ultimately what it does—in its unconventional form—is make tangible the breath of an atmosphere centered around this music.
(Diagonale 2019 Catalogue, ab)
In Trout We Dust
Documentary, Short film