Werner Schlaffhorst – Ein Leben, zu wahr, um schön zu sein (A Life Too True to Be Good)
Musical commemoration by Clemens Sienknecht and Barbara Bürk
The news of the death of the immortal Werner Schlaffhorst came as a surprise for many – not least because the fact that he lived at all was not very well known. Often he got lost in the production and products of his manifold and rare talents. Werner Schlaffhorst reaped dissent where he sowed it. The anarchists disliked his belief in the necessity of laws, the conservatives his carefree smashing of values, and the modernists his adherence to the traditions of the West. Capitalists took umbrage at his unconditional socialism and the socialists at his desire to get rich as quickly as possible. Always rubbing people up the wrong way, he strode through wide spaces like a comet. He lived, tinkered and expired. His death is not only a great loss to the world, but also a tragic fact in his biography, which will now be made available to a broad public.
The memorial event »Werner Schlaffhorst – Ein Leben, zu wahr, um schön zu sein« offers the opportunity for a new and honest look at this man’s lifework, even if the sources at times seem uncertain and fantastical. Anyone willing to follow Schlaffhorst embarks on a journey into the depths of piles of scraps of paper and the private phonographic archives of a prematurely misjudged universal genius.
Photos © David Baltzer