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Or how an excellent jam session could be a collaborative effort: 2 + 2 = 5

    Or how an excellent jam session could be a collaborative effort: 2 + 2 = 5

St. Augustin, Florida, January 20th 2001. Rie and I are walking through the main street of the oldest town in USA carried on by the thick fumes of Belgian waffles and rods of peanut butter. The last ray of sunlight is fighting bravely to cast a charming glare on the roofs while we are approaching what must have been left-overs from a Ripleys Believe-It-Or-Not promotion tour from an undefined period in history. A classic one-man show.

TYPO3 started out as a one-man-show. With drums on the back, bells on the shoes and three choices of instruments around the neck, I played them all back then. Over the years we have managed to extend the band. We are more like a Jam session now. There's a basic style, there's a core to what happens. Apart from that, come sit, play, improvise.

The Jam

A Jam Session you want to listen to is not about individuals playing individual stuff individually. Its basic criteria for success is that every player understands his “real-time relation” to the symbiosis. The audience throws a dime in the bucket only if you cut it right. However, if you do, you will both have fun and make money.

In the TYPO3 community, teams are loosely structured. Some are dead, some just anarchistic or very fluent, others are more structured and determined, while others are living a life of their own, then there are those who are in the centre of the community. Do we need to discipline the Jam Session a bit? Is there even agreement as to the style of music? Are people happy if you simply give them an instrument to play? Or do we long for a greater coherence in the tunes we produce?

I believe the “music” we create in the TYPO3 Jam Session has a basic quality to it because it springs from a core identity we all know. It's not that bad after all. But as more musicians have entered the scene with no explicit guidance into the Jam, I see more and more groups playing the best they can but with the amplifiers turned off, pointed in the wrong direction or out of sync with the rhythm. What a waste of resources. Our vision, “inspiring people to share”, doesn't scale our collaborative efforts if it sends people to a dark corner of the stage.


Is it a new drug? Is it a new file extension? No, TSD (“Teams in the Sky with Diamonds”) is the tune we are currently playing:

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