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19 February 1956 / 20 February 1970

Videoart feature
Agricola de Cologne’s

The article today is about music. Today, 19 February Wilfried, just 6 year old, has his first violin lesson. Hardly returned in 1955 with his family from the Portugal adventure, Wilfried inspired by the colourful and soulful experiences expresses his wish to learn playing violin, and really, on Christmas 1955 under the 1st Christmas tree he ever saw, at least the 1st one he is remembering, is lying a huge parcel bearing his name. It is that violin Wilfried desperate wanted, and now face to face with this wonderful instrument in its ¾ version, Wilfried is even more astonished because his mother points to the coupon in the violin case for the 1st violin lesson on 19 February 1956.

Actually, nobody was surprised about Wilfried’s wish, because hardly born and accustomed to use his voice, Wilfried is singing with his wonderfully clear boy’s voice, which sounds as if it comes from an alien star. Even if Wilfried is knowing just a few songs his mother was singing with him in Portugal, when Wilfried is singing his own compositions there is something magic which makes people pause for a while. Now, by learning violin his musical skills are trained, and what ever Wilfried is doing he is always singing, and soon the whole neighborhood is standing at the windows watching the little boy walking through the streets singing his strange melodies in all his innocence. Usually, listening to violin lessons is for the listener anything else than pleasant, because the learning person has to repeat endlessly the exercises, but headful as Wilfried was already at this young age, he is doing different exercises than the teacher wants, he is playing instead the music he has inside. Wilfried’s mother who is observing her little boy is wondering why Wilfried is so completely different that her elder children, particularly she liked his ideosyncracy – because whatever Wilfried is doing, the way he is doing is different – creatively different.

Later at the high school, due to his musical talents Wilfried will be asked to enter the school choir and the school orchestra – and also here Wilfried’s ideosyncracy becomes obvious and Wilfried decides after the first rehearsals that he did not like the group experience. He is supported by some of his classmates who were a real musical genius, sitting on the right, the guy is already 11 years old accepted at the state music academy, and the guy sitting on the left is said to become once a famous cello player, and some seats further a girl is sitting who is even giving violin concerts at the age of 12.

They are also going their own way, but Wilfried actually knows that inside of him wasn’t that burning desire to become famous – he isn’t talented enough because his heart is burning for something else. At a certain point, Wilfried will tell his violin teacher he wants to follow his own ideas, he is looking for a challenge and wants to play all the violin concerts he is listening to in the radio. In the beginning, the violin concerts by J.S. Bach are corresponding with his emotions and talents and everybody is touched by the fervor of his expression, but after a while Wilfried feels bored to play always the same, he wants to try the artistry of contemporary violin compositions like the concert by Wolfgang Fortner, a contemporary German composer, and then it becomes obvious Wilfried is taking these compositions rather as an intellectual challenge, because the levels of difficulty are overwhelming him.

After the graduation at the high school and 15 years after he had started, Wilfried stops not only taking violin lessons on 20 February 1970, but playing violin for sure, he will never take a violin in his hands again. The internal fire for this musical instrument had gone out, while since years another fire was Wilfried capturing – visual art. But soon it’s obvious whatever Wilfried is doing as a “visual artist” even if he is only 12 years old when he starts, while he is using these artistic talents he is singing, melodies of the latest R&B hits he liked the black label Tamla Motown, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye or Martha Reeves & the Vandellas or his own internal compositions. And it is still the same at his age of 70, it shows the same certain naivety and innocence which is marking Wilfried’s character as an artist and individual.

When Wilfried stops playing violin, he cannot know, that his musical education would get a new relevance many years later, when he once starts creating videos and films in 2000.
Wilfried who never will be rich in a materialist sense, recovers his richness in his own obvious and hidden talents, and the diverse musical talents belong that. It will be a great feeling to be completely independent while producing a video, shooting the footage by himself, he is the director, the creator of the musical score and the editor, and other talents, like for acting and singing – which he is training at an actor school and private singing lessons when he will be studying in Munich 1971-1974.

a complementary video selection

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne – Distortion Projected, 2005, 4:40

Shota Gamisonia (Russia) – Field, Clowns, Apple, 2008, 15:00
Rosa Futuro (Italy) – The Future is Rosy, 2010, 8:00
Angela Washko (USA) – Washko’s PR, 2010, 2:00