“We need a better way of living for the music scene.” Axel Mueller
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews German saxophonist and composer Axel Mueller about his work as a musician and activist which led to co-founding a new union in Germany called Pro Musik that supports freelance musicians. Topics discussed include the challenges gigging musicians face in Germany that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the importance of coming together as a community to enact social and political change that uplifts the livelihood of all professional musicians.
Saxophonist & multi-instrumentalist Axel Mueller enjoys a varied career as a composer, arranger, and sideman for top artists in Germany. A graduate of Mannheim University of Music, he started the brass band Blassportgruppe with 9 other wind colleagues and began touring Europe with the cabaret act The Les Clöchards. In addition to touring, Axel plays in the horn section of the TV show Sing mein Song with the band Grosch’s Eleven, now in its 5th season, with artists such as Xavier Naidoo, Roger Cicero, Sarah Connor, Yvonne Catterfeld and Samy Deluxe & South African Sunset. Together with his brass colleagues Johannes Goltz (trombone) and Christoph Moschberger (trumpet), Axel has led the horn section for renowned artists such as Nena, Wolfgang Niedecken, and Mark Forster, which has resulted in 8 Gold and Platinum releases.
Visit Axel Mueller at axelmuellermusic.com
(Photo by Dawoud Kringle)
“Musicians With Attitude…in order to be active collectively you have to change as a person. So in order to become not only a better musician but also a better human being, you must change yourself.”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Dawoud Kringle interviews Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi (a.k.a. SoSaLa). Ladjevardi is a saxophonist, composer, improviser, producer, entrepreneur, activist, and the founder and president of Musicians For Musicians (MFM). He has lived in and performed in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States as well as releasing several independently produced albums. The topics discussed focused on MFM, the ideas and philosophies behind it, its founding and history, Ladjevardi’s music and how it interrelates to the message of MFM, and the future of MFM and its place in the music community.
“Now is the time to organize…[in the face of the pandemic] as inequality and workers issues get put on the table more, artists need to make sure they are not left out of the conversation.” – William Deresiewicz
In this episode of the MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews William Deresiewicz, a leading critic of the arts and contemporary culture and New York Times bestselling author about his new book, The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech – specifically, what he learned from artists that are managing to make a living today in this digital era, how exploitation and instant gratification have changed our perceptions of art, and the importance of coming together as a community to stop the exploitation of musicians and creatives by Silicon Valley.
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Text by Dawoud Kringle
Several weeks before this writing, guitar master Bern Nix passed away. He was an elder master with astonishing musical abilities, and an impressive resume behind him. Yet he was in poverty, living in dire straits for years. His is an old story that seems to keep repeating itself.
This myth of the inevitability of the “starving artist” is self perpetuating. It seems that people on all sides of the equation have it so ingrained into their subconscious that it’s almost expected that musicians be impoverished, ignored, and mistreated.
The first open Musicians For Musicians, Inc (MFM) meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 8th, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The location is: CA Music Room, 218 E.25th Street (btw 3rd and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 10010.
MFM is a New York based non-profit musician organization supported and run by musicians. Established this year by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, musician (leader of the music collective SoSaLa), music activist, and chief-editor of the music online magazine DooBeeDooBeeDoo NY. MFM’s intention is to represent all musicians regardless what genre as a business league. We believe that musicians are professionals and need to get paid like any other working people. Advocating the notion that making music is a profession.