Traveling Faces – when poetry, art and music come together

with Jens Fischer Rodrian & Peter Kokoefer

Text: Jens Fischer Rodrian, translated by Joanna Mitchell

It was about one year ago that I became aware of the wonderful paintings by Viennese artist Peter Kokoefer. For months, I had been searching for a painter whose artwork could enrichen my upcoming book of poems. Peter and I had already met years before, at the closing of a film project led by our mutual friend and filmmaker Judith Albrecht: he had worked as cameraman and co-director, and I as film composer.

When I met Peter again in 2019 in Vienna and first came across his paintings, it was clear to me that my search was over. After a short but heartfelt phone conversation it was a deal: we were in this together.

The book in which I will be presenting my newest poems, slam poetry texts, short stories and political essays will now be illustrated with Peter‘s beautiful ink drawings and is set to be published by LAMETTA music label in 2021.

As a small project pre-launch, we present to you one poem which led to the selection of an image, which in turn led to a brand-new composition. In a sense, this is a double encounter: poetry meets image meets music.

The fact that, over the years, we continue to meet people who create and explore similar moods, thoughts and feelings to one‘s own, yet in their very own form of artistic expression, is truly an incredible gift.

And so, as I eagerly awaited Peter‘s selection of the first image to accompany my poem „Everything is just borrowed“, I already began to browse the large collection of my new favourite painter. When I told him which picture I had instantly fallen in love with, he informed me that he had made the same choice.

Some encounters among the arts and creatives take place in an ethereal, spiritual realm – this one included. Thank you, Peter!

Face by Peter Kokoefer

Everything is just borrowed

by Jens Fischer Rodrian

So many things that we desire

we want out of vanity

because all that we already own

is too stretched, too short, too faded

or just a little too worn

And so we pile up our stock

of meaningless things

that, even when we longed for them

no longer made sense

All that we already own

seems, still, not to be enough

we are driven day by day

the road already littered with corpses

And then, when it all falls away

we ask ourselves, was it worth it?

Everything is just borrowed

we no longer own anything

when our train leaves for the afterlife

Traveling faces by Jens Fischer Rodrian


Jens Fischer Rodrian is a musician, composer, producer, lyricist, independent writer and creative director of the Blue Man Group. After four instrumental solo albums he published his first collection of poems, “sich kurz fassen – ach” in 2017, followed by the Spoken Word album “Wahn & Sinn” in 2019.

Many of the short films for which he composed the film music have won numerous international prizes at film festivals. He received the main prize for the best film music for the short film “Stiller Löwe” at the prestigious Festival International du Film D’Aubagne.

Between 2011 and 2019 he played live alongside Konstantin Wecker, whose last two live albums he produced. Since 2017 he has been touring the German-speaking countries with his concert reading. His concert series “FOURatONCE” will take place for the third time in 2020.

His new book “Alles nur geliehen – everything is just borrowed”, which features short stories and essays alongside his poetry, will be published in 2021. The book will be illustrated by Peter Kokoefer.
Jens Fischer Rodrian lives in Berlin.

Peter Kokoefer, Vienna-based director of music, theatre and travel documentaries, has conducted interviews with James Brown, Miriam Makeba, Martin Scorcese, Gorbatschov and many others.

He was able to win Dizzy Gillespie, Elton John and Kruder & Dorfmeister over for a jazz documentary, and has filmed reports on literally everything from Malawian midwives to the Finnish Screaming Choir. Peter is a visual storyteller, not a reporter.

He has been producing art for years, and in recent years has created an impressive armada of ink drawings.

Peter plays the pen much like Thelonious Monk played the piano – distorted, abstract, emotional, yet never completely divorced from tradition. He creates bizarre landscapes and creatures that invite the viewer into a complex, ambiguous world and strike a particular nerve. “Drawing for me is, first and foremost, improvisation. From the very first stroke I let myself be seduced, and remain very curious to see where the journey leads.”