Low Noon – 12 musical showdowns at 12:12 pm – Chuchchepati Orchestra

Patrick Kessler is not afraid to stare death into the eyes. Twelve times in June 2020, he challenged people to a duel, although duelling has been outlawed in Switzerland since 1937.
But no fear! Patrick Kessler, founder and director of the Chuchchepati Orchestra, challenged his opponents, who arrived by train and were armed with an instrument, solely musically.
When the train arrived at 12:12 noon each day, Patrick met with the challengers for freely improvised tonal battles on the gravel square in front of the bucolic Rietli station in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.
The project called “Low Noon” references the famous movie “High Noon” by Fred Zinnemann. It tells the story of an imminent fight between Sheriff Will Cane and gangster Frank Miller, whose arrival at the Hadleyville train station is expected at midday.
In Kessler’s adaptation, the arrival of the “gangsters” was postponed by twelve minutes for scheduling reasons. But this only heightend the suspense until the train came to a screeching halt at the Rietli station house. The rules: arrive,get off, play, get on, get out!
The duels lasted twelve minutes each, then the guests hopped on the next train. The rivals that Kessler met, armed with a double bass and a drawn bow, make up the Chuchchepati Orchestra. Some of them, you will hear, make music faster (or slower) than their shadows...
The twelve duels at Rietli station were recorded. You are holding one of the ­limited edition vinyl copies.
Frank Heer