Martin Scheidegger

Jazz-Pfingsten mit Martin Scheidegger, Heiri Känzig und Werner Tian Fischer


Martin Scheidegger (Wort und Klarinette)
Heiri Känzig (Kontrabass)
Werner Tian Fischer (Gitarre)
Martin Scheidegger (Klarinette)

‘Jazz-Pentecost’, an English translation of the manuscript for ‘Jazz-Pfingsten’ (Martin Scheidegger)

  • Music (free improvisation)

In the good presence of God we are connected. Welcome and happy Pentecost.

Pentecost – that is the day when nothing is normal – at least according to our present standards and norms. The spirit of God roars like a storm wind over the assembled disciples and settles down over their heads in the form of tongues of fire. An image of the old temple, where the fire was blazing above the altar. And so now the disciples shall become the temple, the place where heaven and earth can meet and touch. The same disciples, who a few days ago were still hiding in fear, are caused by these tongues of fire to speak in public. Filled with this Holy Spirit, they begin to speak in foreign languages, and these Galileans are understood by people who come from Mesopotamia and Judea, from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and Libya. They are understood by Romans and Arabs. The Babylonian confusion of languages has been resolved and surprising understanding has come about. This is not normal, is it?

Therefore, it is not surprising that some bystanders were stunned and wondered what was going on. What does it mean when these Galileans are suddenly understood in one’s own mother tongue? Others quickly had an explanation: “They’re just drunk.” Case closed. Yeah, that’s the way it goes. If we don’t understand something, we just put it into the frame of what is familiar to us. And it often works. But here, Peter comes forward and says that they are not drunk at all. It is only 9.00 am after all, he says. Strange argument. What would he have said if it had been 11.00 at night? Anyway. Peter says that what is happening there is that which is described in the Book of Joel: that the Spirit of God is coming upon young and old people and they are having inspired dreams and visions amidst darkened suns and bloody moons. A strange apocalyptic image, but one that vividly tells of how endangered and uncertain this world and our lives are.

A dark sun in the center and everything revolves around it – our world and our lives seem to have revolved around something with a dark corona lately, too. Measures have been taken and attempts made to bring light into the darkness. But it has become all too clear: Our lives and our world cannot really be made safe. Nevertheless: Peter speaks about the possibility of inspired dreams and creative visions for young and old people in the midst of dark suns and abnormal moons. He speaks of “salvation” and salvation means full life and a good future even in the midst of danger and chaos.

  • Music (freely improvised)

When I walked into a park in New York (Washington Square Park) a few years ago, nothing was as usual, nothing was “normal”. An attractive woman, elegantly dressed, walked past the fountain in the middle of the park and then walked back and then walked past the fountain again and then back again, and so on and on. DREAMWORKS was written in large letters. A crane was set up with a camera high up. It filmed Kate Beckinsale walking past the fountain dozens of times. The event attracted people from everywhere, who stood in a circle around the fountain and watched. I got into a conversation with a production assistant, with Marc. His job was to prevent people from bypassing the barrier and bursting into the film scene. He told me about his dream of one day making his own film as a director. He was sure that it would work. It should be a comedy. But if it needs to be a tragedy, that would be fine for him as well. It does not matter so much. It just needs to be his own movie. For the time being, however, his job was simply to keep people away from the set. When I asked him the name of the film that was being shot, he gave me a title, but later on I saw that the chairs of the film crew were labeled on the back. Obviously, it was the title, but it was slightly different to what Mark told me. I pointed it out to him. And when I asked him what the film was about, he had only a faint idea. I felt kind of sorry for Mark. He was part of a movie and didn’t really know the title of it. He worked for Dreamworks, but had hardly an idea of the dream that was being produced. He was part of something great, but knew very little of the big picture of this project. He had mainly his own production in mind, which might one day be realised. Who knows. I do wish it to him.

  • Music (free improvisation)

I have never watched that movie ‘The only living boy in New York’ yet. But I do wonder if I’m not a bit like this production assistant, like Mark. I wonder, if I am not a little like him, perhaps you are a little like him, too? Since we are all production assistants, aren’t we? We are all part of something great which we are producing together, the story of this world. And yet we oftentimes do not know what exactly is happening and going on all over this earth and in the whole of this world. I have a few ideas, you might have some, too, but who knows which one is the most appropriate title for what is happening in the world today?

  • Music (continuing the cut of the free improvisation beforehand and ending it)

Pentecost is about that very big dream that exceeds all our imagination. This sacred power gives us a share in this dream, gives old and young people common dreams and visions, inspired by this greater, higher dream that holds everything together, even in the face of darkened suns and bloody moons, in a world that is uncertain and threatened. The Holy Spirit makes us her temple. Recently, there has been much talk of a return to normality. The normality of Pentecost is people who hear each other, listen to each other and are able to understand each other. Heaven and earth closely connected. The normality of Pentecost is a connection to something greater than ourselves. Our longing for normality – satisfied by the effects of the Holy Spirit. Yes, may the dream and the normality of Pentecost begin. Yes, may we enter into that normality. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer (during which the burning candle is shown)


May God strengthen the good which is about to grow in you
May God protect what makes you alive and vivid
May God keep, what you share
May God save what you release
May God give you dreams and visions
May God bless and keep you. Amen.

  • Music (free improvisation)