Robeat Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester Live on Stage

Jam it up: Music connects across generations

One musician and five on top, two generations – do they harmonise with one another? Robeat, under 30, plays fine hip hop music – using only his mouth, nose and throat – called beatboxing. The Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester (Bremen Coffee House Orchestra), five men, all of whom are over 50, equipped with string and wind instruments stand for classical music sound.

1. February 2017

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What connects them: a desire for understanding and pleasure in new kinds of music. The result is an unusual mix of sounds – the verdict: refreshingly perceptive and experimental.

After a brilliant performance, we wanted to know how these different musicians see age in general and as representatives of their generations.

A quick game: what images come to mind when you think of the word “young”?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: Hmm, that’s hard to say. Maybe ducklings, kittens, bread with Nutella? We see “young” more in terms of feeling energetic ..Robeat: Skateboards, hipsters, swag, chillin’ …
Robeat: Skateboard, Hipster, Swag, Chillen…

And what do you think of when you hear the word “old”?

Robeat: Grandma, castle, pyramids, grey hair, cruise ships…
Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: Experience, awe-inspiring church architecture, dinosaur bones.

How do you feel? Young or old?

Robeat: Definitely younger than my official age.
Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester (5 members, one after the other): Middle-aged. I don’t really know. It varies… sixteen, once I’m holding an instrument. Younger than I did ten years ago.

Old music, young music – do such categories exist?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: No, not really. Except for when you’re referring to when the music was created. The expiry date is irrelevant. And yes. Music can feel “old” or “young” to listeners depending on whether they tend to identify as “old” or “young”.
Robeat: Well, you can take a look at different genres and when they were created: classical and jazz are old types of music, trap and grime are more modern.

Does music keep you young?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: Yes. Definitely.
Robeat: I agree: it definitely does – I think mostly because it’s so much fun.

Can music connect generations with one another?

Robeat: It depends. When music appeals to both groups. But generally, I think it’s hard to achieve that. One generation likes jazz and the other prefers hip hop.
Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: In our experience, it’s possible. We see it at each of our concerts whenever we look out into the audience.

To what extent does music shape us – are we all children of our musical age?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: In a way we are. The ages between 15 and 25 shape your taste in music. But that can still change. Our musical age began around 1450 and is still alive today at, hold on, 1:10 pm!
Robeat: I think it’s something very individual. One thing is certain: everything we hear influences us.

Were your joint rehearsals for the EY ALTER concert more of a challenge or an opportunity?

Robeat: I really enjoyed them! I think it was more of a challenge for the orchestra because you had less experience with beat music, right?
Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: It’s always great playing with really good musicians. And it was especially fantastic playing with Robeat since he is such an amazing beatboxer and a really great guy.

Do musicians also have different languages that are characterised by their generation?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: Not really. The language of music is one that transcends generations and languages – it’s a truly global language. There are more differences to be found in the various genres, styles and sociotopes.
Robeat: I do think that music, like language, changes with us but that certain fundamental characteristics will always stay the same.

Dear Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester, what would you say was the most decisive experience while playing with Robeat?

Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester: Playing with someone who isn’t only a fantastic musician but also someone who is really professional and still laidback and extremely friendly. That was just wonderful.

And, Robeat, what was the most important experience for you while playing with the Bremer Kaffeehaus-Orchester?

Robeat: I learned how beautifully you can bring together different generations. It really works.