Schneeball-records bids farewell to Christian Burchard from EMBRYO.
His daughter Marja, who succeeds him as bandleader, reports that he embarked on his journey, accompanied by the music of Abby Lincoln, at 5:17 p.m. on the afternoon of January 17, 2018.
His influence on musicians, as well as on the entire system of music marketing, was gigantic. He did pioneering work for “Weltmusik.” With boundless energy, he successfully realized and documented the most widely diverse projects.
Favored by his early encounter with Mal Waldron, whose credits accompanying Billy Holiday on piano, Burchard acquired extensive and profound knowledge about all jazz musicians and jazz styles. He was enthusiastic about structures in which musicians could group and regroup in ever-new formations, collaboratively communicating and interacting through improvisation.
EMBRYO’s musical focus in the 1970s was the connection between jazz and rock, with occasional excursions into non-European worlds of music. Afterwards he wholly dedicated himself to encounters and improvisation with musicians from exotic cultural traditions. Odd rhythms and unusual time signatures, which are an important aspect of music in non-European cultures, enliven all of his compositions and playing instructions. At least from the point of view of Munich, the German term “Weltmusik” is diametrically opposed to the phrase “world music,” which was not used until much later. Weltmusik demands thorough study and earnest grappling with the musical culture of foreign countries, which Weltmusiker must visit, where they seek out the old masters of the traditional métiers.
Schneeball-records remained the label for his publications until the middle of the first decade of the 21st century.
His productions from the last ten years were released by Trikont, likewise part of Indigo, which was able to build its presence based on developments at Schneeball-records.
His ability to network and to spark people’s enthusiasm for his projects was enormous.
One of his conclusions with regard to the situation of German underground music creators was to found this independent record company. Together with four other bands and a songwriter, the seemingly impossible succeeded. As had happened with radio broadcasters ten years before, once again a restriction was overcome, a monopoly was shattered and vigorous new growth could begin.
Thanks, Christian, you were always a step ahead and sometimes it wasn’t easy to follow you.