The struggles of a skeptical fan

Actually I started writing this blog entry ages ago, but as it´s currently a opic for me again, I decided on finally sitting down to finish it off.

I´ve never been raised in a way that if you like something or someone, you simply must like whatever happens / is done or what not. And that also colored off to me being a fan.

And I don´t hide that: if I don´t like something, I state that. And yes, I do have my reasons why I don´t like certain actions or certain songs or whatnot. And living in a free world with the opportunity to openly state the own opinion, I always expected people to be able to cope with someone else´s opinion, even though oneself might feel different e.g. about music. Music is so subjective, you like it, you don´t like it. If you don´t like my fave song, I am totally fine with that – you don´t even have to give me a reason. Taste luckily differs, otherwise we´d be cheering on the same bands and artists in stadiums of 200.000 people.

But Social media has – at least that´s my feeling – made it difficult. Whilst it offers an additional plattform for voicing the opinion, i feel like there is a decrease in acceptance. If you want to share the support for actions or songs, you´re all welcome. It´s expected from you, if you want to be a real fan. YOu have to be supportive, no matter what happens, and you have to buy whatever artists throw at you – because you´re a fan. That does include blindly and deafly following that band or club or whatnot, correct?

Nope. Not for me. Never has been, never will be. With bands I like, I am even more skeptical than I tend to be with others. Because: I like those bands, they´ve proven to match my taste in the past, and it´s an emotional thing, too. I´ll give you two examples – Apocalyptica and Versengold.

With Apocalyptica, I´ve often been writing CD reviews or concert reviews, and knowing their songs so well, I hear every tune that´s not fully matching. And when I review a show, I need to be critical – and then these tunes are playing a major role. And I mean, I am not a perfectionist at shows: it has to sound live. And a live sound does have its flaws, and it´s never gonna be as perfect as on CD and it´s the last thing it should be. But I notice these little mistakes, but I can handle that – but when it takes overhand, I also state that.

But also when it comes to music on CDs – if I don´t like a song, I state it, also on the internet – because I don´t say it´s shit, I say that I don´t like it because and then comes the reason. I can always state what I don´t like about a song, because I spend enough time and effort to really think about why I don´t like it. It´s not a 5 seconds of listening and then vomitting my words somewhere. But still, it makes you look like you´re a bad fan, which is hilarious. It simply doesn´t match my taste and why should I not voice my opinion if a post on Social media asks how you like a certain song?

And then I am showered in criticism- not from the band, but from other fans. The band knows how I see things, and likes that I still keep my own opinion no matter what. Same goes for the fact that there is albums on which I am neutral towards most songs,  because I cannot develop a connection to those and a relationship with those. It simply is like that, and that´s fine for everyone. You don´t need to like everything, and even less fake it – because faking it won´t really make anyone happier.

It just makes me terribly angry that accepting the fact that there is people who do not like certain things and even DARE to voice that seems so extremely tough to people. And that they always need to either bash you or go like “oh but I like it”. Oh seriously. Grow up people.


Spur des Lebens

Es fällt mir schwer, diese Zeilen dir zu schreiben
Obwohl ich glaub, dass du sie niemals liest
Es fällt mir schwer, nicht um dich zu weinen
Tränen die, du wohl nie vergießt

[Saltatio Mortis – “Spur des Lebens”]

Es gibt Lieder, die hätte ich nie gefunden, wenn der Zufall nicht seine Finger im Spiel gehabt hätte. Weil ich einfach diese Bands nicht wirklich verfolge und schon gar nicht ihre neuen Alben mir anhöre, weil ich sie einfach über-hört habe.

Dieses Mal stand ich im Supermarkt, hatte eine Wurstpackung in der Hand. Wieso ich das erzähle? Weil ich die nächsten 4:30min mit genau dieser Packung in der Hand da stand. Spotify hatte mal wieder gemeint, nach meiner Playliste irgendwelche anderen Lieder abspielen zu müssen – meist nicht gerade eine Bereicherung.

Doch dieses Mal…ich war wie vom Blitz getroffen. Und das den ganzen Tag lang. Ein Song, der mich so unendlich berührte und immer noch berührt – über ein Thema, das für mich nie ein Thema war, zumindest nicht so wirklich. Habe ich mir zumindest eingeredet. Und da kommt dieser Song daher, so unendlich ehrlich und zerbrechlich. Das hat mich ins Stocken gebracht, zum Nachdenken.

Im Supermarkt, zwischen all den Menschen, den schreienden Kindern, den motzenden Rentnern, den immer gestressten Menschen meines Alters. da stehe ich und frage mich: will ich eigentlich Kinder? Nein, irgendwie kann ich mir das nicht so ganz vorstellen. Und wieso nicht?

Und ich finde mich in dem Text, in den Zweifeln, in den Fragen,  in den Gründen. Auch wenn ich noch viele weitere Gründe dafür habe. Auch wenn ich immer denke “wie wäre es wenn” – das kommt wohl mit dem Alter. Vor einigen Jahren habe ich alle ausgelacht, die gesagt haben “wenn du mal auf die 30 zu gehst, wirst du da auch anders denken”. Ja, ich denke anders. Reflektierter. Ich habe mehr gesehen, mehr gehört, mehr gemacht, mehr erlebt, positives sowie negatives.

Und dann der Gedanke…du kannst diese Entscheidung nicht immer vor dir herschieben. Ja, das stimmt. Irgendwann entscheidet die Natur für mich, dass ich das nicht mehr aufschieben kann. Aber…als Single ist das alles so weit weg. Eine stabile glückliche Beziehung, die gefestigt genug ist, dass  man sagt: wir gehen diesen Schritt. Man schafft das zusammen, man geht durch dick und dünn und das nicht mal eben für die nächsten zwei Jahre, sondern länger. Für mich im Moment unvorstellbar, während um mich herum Bekannte und Freunde sich verloben, heiraten, Kinder kriegen.

Und dann bin da ich. Die, die auf Konzerte geht, ihr Geld für Musikinstrumente verprasst, ihr Herz an Musik und Sport verloren hat. Die, die ehrlich sagt, dass sie sich nicht vorstellen kann, einem Mann in ihrem Leben vor Musik und Sport zu stellen.

Und am Ende des Liedes sitze ich da. Grübelnd. Nachdenklich. Vielleicht ein bisschen traurig. Aber wirklich einen Schritt weiter bin ich nicht – ausser, dass ich den Song nochmal anhöre. Und nochmal. Und noch einmal. Bis es wehtut. Aus unerfindlichen Gründen. Aber muss nicht immer wissen, wieso weshalb warum. Manchmal ist es einfach so. Und das ist bei diesem Lied so – es löst etwas in mir aus, das ich nicht in Worte fassen kann. Oder will.

What are you listening to?

Between all the sports and moving posts, let´s talk about something else. In between all the office time, sports and sleep…I still DO listen to music!

Especially when going to work work and then back home in th afternoon, when relaxing in the bathtub or just right before going to bed.

It´s my source of daydreaming, relaxing, drifting off into another better world, it´s inspiration for my nighttime dreams, it eases melancholy, it makes me excited…it´s like a problem solver. Kinda. Seems like one on the first glimpse at least 😉

But what am I listening to? What´s hot for me?

AMORPHIS have published their latest album “Queen of Time” in May this year. And lately it´s become one of the albums that´s on play for a lot of spins every day, at least when it comes to certain tracks, the repeat-buttn is my best friend.

The tracks “The Bee” and “Golden Elk” were immediate favorites. I heard them for the first time and fell in love – another track needed a few more spins, but now I cannot get enough of it anymore: “Amongst Stars”. I didn´t like the female vocals at first, but now I love it!

And of course there is the oldies, such as “Silver Bride” and my all-time love “House of Sleep”. I have that live recording from Wacken Open Air and I just love this version…it´s become the last thing I watch/listen to every evening before going to bed even!

Another band that´s on heavy rotation is still VERSENGOLD – but more and more away from the fast and danceable insturmental tracks, but rather the “Nacht der Balladen” album, with live tracks from the show in Wuppertal and, tadaaaa, also Leipzig where I had attended the show. And that´s why it´s grown so much to my heart. Because it´s reliving the moment, feels like a safety cushion. And in general, the melancholic mood is what I like, not too much, but just the right amount. And songs like “Tjark Evers” and “Auf in den Wind” are on repeat, and “Herz durch die Wand” because it´s telling my current story…the story of changing my life. New job, new city, new everything. Soon.

What else? APOCALYPTICA are on my playlist again, here and there. Not many tracks, but songs like “Shadowmaker” and “Not Strong Enough”, yes I know, not the most positive ones, but that´s what I currently need at times after a maybe not so amazing day at the office or when I feel down for whatever reason. It´s maybe still too sunny and I am feeling too good (which will hopefully stay like this haha).


Nyckelharpa – July 2018

So, I had around less than three weeks in July because I was on vacation in the first week of July.

And generally, I am somehow not really pleased with the progress – simply because it sucks that whenever I press the “record”-button o record the progress, I fuck it all up. It´s terrible. It can have worked a zillion of times before, but once the camera is rolling, it sounds…like I am a 100% noob and just a 99% noob.

But generally – I know I´ve been making progress, the high notes feel at least better though they still need to sound better, but I guess that´s really a bowing issue that I need to continue working on. The bowing is THE issue still, still trying to figure it out how to fully use it and how to tilt it and everything.

Long way to the top and practice just makes perfect – and with the heat and sweat therefore, practice wasn´t my best friend. No need to deny that – it´s obvious unfortunately. But now I am really fully back with it, and with a schedule arranging sports and music, it will get better. I promise.

And don´t be surprised – August will be the month where I will start working more and more on…Christmas songs! So I will be ready once Christmas will come, as always, very suddenly.

Oh and: nevermind my facial circus whilst playing ;))

Friarvisan (July version / month 3)

Still not happy with it, and I know the recording isn´t too amazing – but I was just fed up recording it again and again. It´s that pehomena of the “record” button – once pressed, I feel insecure again. Though it worked many times before just perfectly well…

Usually I am playing this as my start into the practice, because it´s the tune I know best so my fingers get a bit warm and I feel good with everything. Usually that works, sometimes it doesn´t when everything goes wrong already with this so well known song.

Ode to Joy (July version / month 2)

I still don´t like playing it, somehow it cannot stick to my mind. But it´s gettng better, baby steps. The switch from A to D string works better and better, and I more and more feel safe with it. Though playing faster and doing it still feels a bit like playing russion roulette to be honest.

And somehow, opposite to Friarvisan, I alread got sick and tired of the tune itself. I cannot hear it anymore, it´s been enough. but not until it sounds really good and I can playing it a couple of times one afte rthe other without mistakes and without hesitation and without insecurities.

En avant blonde (July version / Month 1)

Ultimate battle. I didn´t like it during the course already, and I mean playing, not how it sounds. I don´t know why I struggle so hard with that, because it´s not too difficult I would say. Part 2 will be more difficult than the first part that you´re hearing here. But atm it still sounds too terrible to present it to anyone.

I sort of kept postponing the start of practice for this one again and again so basically I played this for maybe…a week or so, so don´t be surprised if it still sounds like a hafbuilt house looks like…

August will hopefully bring more motivation to play it and to also play it all together…
let´s see…

Nyckelharpa – May & June 2018

Since everything went really quick and from one week to the other I had a nyckelharpa. Whilst on one evening in May I was still complaining to someone about it, the next morning I had the offer for the instrument and in the evening had decided on buying it.

And one week later I already went to Bremen to pick it up – it still feels surreal, as I had already gotten used to the thought of needing to wait quite a while and then everything was like a miracle and went so fast…

Anyways: so far I haven´t really learned playing an instrument pretty much on my own, and that´s a challenge for me – with flute and cello I always had lessons once a week, here I have Youtube and…myself. And then hope that I will manage somehow.

With this little monthly series I wanna track my progress and share it with you! But keep in mind for this one: neither my phone is a good recorder (have to find a solution for that), nor am I skilled yet as my focus was still on my half marathon and not on playing nyckelharpa.

I kinda feel guilty that I didn´t get to play as much as I had imagined I could´ve been playing but from July on, I will rock this!

“Friarvisan” (played in May and June)

“Friarvisan” is a tune that I already played at the course back in Altenmünster, and already back then I actually enjoyed it. It´s been now the first tune that I started going back to being at home and having my nyckelharpa with me.

And to be honest – I was surprised how well it went, though of course there is a lot to still improve with this tune. The high notes and me are still not best friends, and I really have to work on my bowing technique.

Unfortunately I didn´t get to record it in June anymore, so you get the May version of my playing ^^

“Ode to Joy” (played in June)

Actually I had planned on playing the second tune from the course but I disliked it already back then so I ditched that plan for now and ended up playing “Ode to Joy” which actually started off as an “Ode to Hate” because somehow I didn´t want to get it working. No idea why, as it actually isn´t that difficult, but it was a struggle.

I am not feeling confident with switching strings during playing yet – I know it sounds hilarious, but keep in mind I am not playing for that long yet.

My Top 10 running songs

I had a phase where I ditched music because “during the half marathon I also won´t be able to listen to music” – and to be honest, it killed my will to go and run – I was exhausted, it was dark outside and most times it was cold as well. Not exactly the things that really get you motivated to put on your running shoes and rock down the kilometres.

Especially when you are worn out from a long day at work, you simply need something to boost you and kick your ass on long runs.

A couple of days ago I checked which songs I was actually listening to most, and here they are!

  1. Versengold – “Biikebrennen” (**MUSIC-Spotify**)
    It´s THE song I listen two at two points when it comes to running – right at the start and before actually starting to get all boosted up and ready to go. And then literally on repeat during the last maybe two kilometres, because the melody and sound just keeps me going and going and makes push until the very last second!
  2. Nothing More – “Don´t stop” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    When I have motivational problems, this is the track I listen to before I even put on my shoes. Usually I sit down in my little hallway and close my eyes where I just listebn to the song. Don´t move. Just let loose and find some strength.
  3. Versengold – “Ablasstanz (live)” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s violin. And violin seems to be majorly doing a good job for kepeing me running. The fact that it´s another instrumental shoudn´t be surprising anymore, no distracting lyrics and no lyrics that tend to make me want to sing along..and then lose my breathe again xD
  4. Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s one of those braindead songs that make a good mood anyways. I need to have these songs in between all others
  5. Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire” (**MUSIC**)
    Actually a song where I sing along. Every time. And it´s just a fun song to sing along to when running alone in the dark and you are not overly motivated as such…not really improving my running but at least the fun factor.
  6. Apocalyptica – “Cold Blood”  (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    Franky´s voice and the powerful cellos, an aggressive song that simply has to be pushing you through runs in the dark. Nothing to add right there!
  7. Versengold – “Niemals sang- und klanglos” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    Funnily enough the song usually came on with my player when I was really struggling during running – and it really tells me to kick ass and keep going. Also nice rhythm and melody to keep me going in a proper speed.
  8. Nothing More – “Christ Copyright” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    I just like the track because it´s having quite a bit of power in it – it´s another track I simply like during running for no apparent reason.
  9. Versengold – “Weinfass Tune” (**MUSIC-Spotify**)
    Aaaaand take a guess…Yes! It´s another instrumental piece with…VIOLIN! A track I love dancing to when the play it at their live shows, here in this context it keeps me going and going and…going 😀
  10. Versengold – “Kopft ihn” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s all about the rhythm – if I feel like I lost my rhythm with running and my steps are short, long, short, something in between and a total mess, I put on this song…always helps me to get back into the right rhythm.

In Schmutz und in Schande

Dieser Beitrag – es ist eine Geschichte. Seit ich “In Schmutz und in Schande” von Versengold gehört hatte, bei der Nacht der Balladen, hatte ich diese Geschichte im Kopf. Und sie wollte und wollte nicht mehr hinaus aus meinem Kopfe. Und deshalb habe ich sie nun niedergeschrieben.

Als Vorgeschmack gibt es hier direkt im Post einmal ein Video zu einer Performance dieses Songs (man ignoriere das lustige Zwischenspiel – aber leider gib es keine bessere Version des gesamten Liedes).

Langsam gehe ich an diesem Friedhof vorbei – wie oft ich hier früher vorbeigegangen war, und mich gefragt hatte, ob ich denn jemals eins Kreuz bekommen würde. Ein Kreuz, welches an mich erinnern würde. Oder ob ich dann einfach weg wäre – aus den Augen aus dem Sinn. Man würde mich wohl vergessen, egal was ich tat. Das war mir jetzt klar. Früher hatte ich die Hoffnung, dass man sich für Menschen wie mich interessieren würde.

Oder hatte man dies nicht schon längst getan? Mich vergessen? genau wie es mit so vielen vor mir geschehen war? All diejenigen, die es nicht besser gehabt hatten als ich, die mit mir durch das Lande gezogen waren? Niemand würde sich an uns erinnern, wieso auch – wohl würden sie sich sogar noch eher freuen, wenn es ein paar weniger von uns geben würde. Von uns, dem Gesindel. Von den zerlotterten Gestalten, die nichts hatten – weder eine Heimat, noch Geld, und nur in Banden auftraten. Da hatten wir uns sicher gefühlt, da hatten wir eine Familie – wir waren alle gleich, jeder hatte das gleiche Schicksal: wir waren geboren wurden, um Schande zu verbreiten.

In armen Verhältnissen, waren teilweise in einem dreckigen Hinterhof auf die die Welt gekommen. Unsere Väter, wir fanden sie in den Kneipen und wussten, was diese Lokalitäten waren bevor wir sprechen konnten. Aber: Väter? Vater? War mein Vater denn überhaupt mein Vater? Wenn ich meine Mutter anschaute, und meine Geschwister – ich wage es zu bezweifeln. Ich wollte nie wissen, woher das bisschen Geld kam, was meine Mutter damals nach Hause brachte. Wenn sie denn überhaupt nach hause kam, nach vielen Tagen und Nächten, in denen sie wieder einmal verschwunden gewesen war. Aber auch das Geld brachte nichts – wir froren, wir hungerten. Es war ganz normal, wir kannten es nicht anders. Damals schon wollten wir uns selbst helfen – ich allen voran, mit Mut und Verzweiflung im Hinterkopf.

Es würde nicht auffallen, wenn hier und da etwas fehlen würde, wenn ein goldener Taler weniger der Kirche zuging, oder in einer Kasse fehlte. Doch der Tag kam, die Sonne war gerade entsprungen – und meine Kindheit sollte in genau diesem Moment sein Ende gefunden haben. Der goldene Taler, der vom Vortag, der war wohl der eine zu viel gewesen. Man wollte nicht mehr die Augen davor verschließen, dass Kinder wie ich durch die Straßen zogen und man schnell die Türen schließen musste, wollte man sein Hab und Gut schützen. Damals, da brachte man mich fort. Ab ins Zuchthaus, genau wie viele meiner “Freunde”. Oder eben Leidensgenossen. Denn das wurden wir dort, wo keine weinerliche aber leicht lächelnde Mutter einem den Kopfe tätschelte, wenn man wieder mit einem neu erstandenen Taler nach Hause kam.

Getätschelt – oh ja, das wurden wir aber. Mit Gürteln, oder aber mit allem, was zur Hand war. Ein falsches Wort, manchmal nur ein Wort per se reichte aus, um das Fass zum Überlaufen zu bringen. Wieder und wieder, die Stöcke flogen nur so auf unsere Rücken, auf unsere Kinderfinger. Man hörte das Knacken, die unterdrückten Schreie, das heruntergeschluckte Weinen und die verdrückten Tränen. Man sollte es einfach nicht noch schlimmer machen, als es eh schon war. Man musste seinen Mann stehen, oder es zumindest versuchen – soweit dies halt funktioniert, wenn man gefühlt erst gestern das Laufen erlernt hatte. Gestern, heute, morgen – es war alles gleich – die gleichen Schläge, die gleichen Fehler, die gleichen Gedanken. Gedanken daran, wie man wohl weiteren Tagen entrinnen könnte.

Es wurden Pläne geschmiedet. Im Stillen. Eine geheime Sprache erfunden. Jeder hörte alles, die Wände hatten Ohren und diese hatten die Stöcke und Peitschen. Vertrauen? Wem denn. Wir waren eine kleine Gruppe, wir wussten, wir würden zusammenhalten – das hatten wir schon immer. Zusammenaufgewachsen, mit dem gleichen Schicksal bedacht. Wir wussten, dass uns nichts anderen helfen würde. Als das “wir”. Diese Bande. Und die wurde umso enger, als wir es eines Nachts dann schafften, zu entfliehen. Nach viel zu vielen Sonnenaufgängen und Sonnenuntergängen, nach viel zu vielen gebrochenen Knochen, Striemen und blauen Flecken.

Aber wir waren frei. Was denn auch Freiheit ist – frei wieder selbst schauen zu müssen, wie man überlebte. Frei, wieder auf der Straße. Frei. Wenn wir aber zu dieser Zeit eines wussten: das einste Zuhause würden wir nicht noch einmal sehen. Es hatte uns nie eine Heimat geboten, jedes Elternhaus war wohl froh, dass man weg war. Ich denke kaum, dass mich meine Eltern vermisst haben, so viele wie nach mir kamen. Die schlammigen und dreckigen Ecken und Gassen, zusammen mit der wachsenden Menge an Sündern und Ausgestoßenen, das war jetzt mein Zuhause gewesen. Mein Zuhause und meine Familie, jeder von uns war verdammt. Egal ob früher oder später (bei vielen eher früher), wir würden eh nicht in den Himmel kommen – der teufel war nun mal hinter uns her, und wir machen sogar ihm Konkurrenz.

Hatten wir einmal etwas in unseren Taschen, natürlich ehrwürdig erstanden, blieb es dort nie lange – die gier nach mehr, nach etwas nie dagewesenem trieb uns umher, zu taten wo wir dachten, es würde uns mehr Geld einbringen. Wenn wir es nur geschickt anstellen würden. Ein Spiel hier, ein Spiel da – einmal betrogen werden hier, und ein weiteres Mal da. Nein, Glück im Spiel hatten wir nicht. Aber dafür stattdessen doch sicher in der Liebe, oder? Aber wer hätte sich nur mit einem wie mir, wie uns, abgegeben? Und das freiwillig? Stinkend, mit dreckiger Kleidung, aus der Gosse, mit keinen Manieren – nein, auch dafür mussten wir blechen. Die letzten Taler habe ich immer wieder investiert, mit der Illusion: einmal werde ich eine überzeugen, dass ich viel besser bin, als es scheint. Dass da mehr ist, als es auf den ersten Blick aussieht.

Ich lies viel Geld, und auch meine Hoffnung – irgendwann war es normal geworden, dass man sich das Geld beschaffte, um es in ein bisschen Spaß einzutauschen. Wofür auch sparen? Damit es der nächste wieder einem abnahm, wenn man eine Sekunde lang nicht aufpasste? Nein. Das hätte nichts gebracht. Essen war optional, und nicht selten zogen wir durch die Lande mit knurrendem Magen – aber wir waren das ja gewöhnt. Wir waren ja so aufgewachsen, es war ein so heimeliges Gefühl. Die erkaufte Aufmerksamkeit, der leere Magen, der Husten der immer wieder die Runde drehte und uns näher an den Tod brachte, als wir uns damals haben vorstellen können. Aber irgendwie, ja irgendwie haben wir es immer wieder geschafft. Nicht alle. Aber der harte Kern.

Wir waren hart im Nehmen – und vielleicht waren wir auch schlimmer, als was sich der Teufel je hätte vorstellen können. Wir haben geklaut, gemordet, gehurt, gespielt, gesoffen – die Beichte würde da nicht mehr helfen, haben wir entschlossen. Es war hoffnungslos – wieso sollte man sich da also noch die Mühe machen, sich zu ändern?

Ja, so dachte ich. Damals. Damals, als ich jung war. Jetzt frage ich mich, ob wohl alles anders gekommen wäre, hätte ich Dinge…nun ja, anders angefasst. Wäre ich nicht immer auf der Flucht gewesen, hätte ich nicht immer nur im Jetzt gelebt. Denn ich wusste: bald wird es kein Morgen mehr geben. Und keiner wird sich mehr an mich erinnern. Denn niemand würde die Mühe machen, mich auch nur zu beerdigen. Ich würde einfach dort liegen, im Dreck. Im Matsch eines Hinterhofes. Der Kreis würde sich wohl schließen.

Nyckelharpa course – Altenmünster (13.04.-15.04.2018)

It kinda sucks when you have written this entry already for quite a while and then forgot to really set a date to have it published. Ah well, but now!

Friday – 13.04.2018

Early mornings are not my cup of tea, never have been and never will be – but it´s the necessary evil when you have a long travel day ahead.

My route had been home to Hamburg mainstation (train), Hamburg mainstation to Frankfurt mainstation (train), Frankfurt mainstation to Augsburg station (train) and then from Augsburg to Altenmünster by car thanks to my aunt.

Anyways, the trainrides were bloody hell because even though I had booked quiet departments on the train, it again just was not quiet at all. Screaming children, people with too much parfume and and and…without my headphones on I would have never been able to fall asleep again. But somehow I was too excited and nervous to fully fall asleep. Plus, I started my trip when it was 4°C – and arrived in Augsburg in sunny weather and what felt like 20°C – wrongly dressed and that didn´t help my mood.

But the planned lunch with my aunt made it all better – and has a surprise to offer, as my mum came by and joined and both had not told me about this plan. And that was amazing! It was a great time relaxing, having some good food and chatting before going to Altenmünster. Or: going to the place somewhere around nothing.

I was welcomed warmly and was the first one to arrive and choose a bed in my three people room – to be honest, I am not used to sleeping together with strangers anymore. Next time it will be a single room – not because the people and I did not get along, that was all good. I just need privacy, I noticed.

So yeah, the evening then started with the dinner and a surprise – due to two vegans, it was gonna be an all vegan weekend, and not just vegetarian. That vegan thing was to become a running gag for the whole stay there – it was funny, and many great and different people from many backgrounds.

And what surprised me was…we started practicing already tonight! I had been up for like 16h by the time I touched the nyckelharpa first, and my concentration was nowhere close to being any good for starting to play a new instrument. And that already describes my start – I couldn´t focus, and as we were playing by hearing and seeing and not with music sheets, I had not only a new insturment to master but also this new way of learning. And that was too much – I was frustrated, upset and annoyed with myself. I had come to the course with the expectation that it will be pretty easy because I am playing cello and have some skills already . but I was really grounded after this evening, and my mood was low. I would have loved to take a bus back to Augsburg and just quit. But I couldn´t.

Saturday – 14.04.2018

New day, new chances – and it was gonna be a good day. I had been grounded, I had dropped the expectations I had on myself and was free to just try. And that´s what really went well all of a sudden, and went so much better than on Friday. It´s been worlds between yesterday and today, and I felt much more confident because things worked AND started to sound well! Not always, but most times, and I even was able to close my eyes whilst playing here and there and not stare at what and where my fingers were.

We learned a second piece of music and that piece of music was what really made me happy – I liked the melody, I just liked the whole thing. It felt better than the first one, so it all played together.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were okay, I probably haven´t been eating as much bread lately as I have been until now on this weekend but somehow…I would´ve wished for a different kind of food, but well, shit happens. I am not here for the food anyways 😉

But yeah, we had several sessions of learning, and then also were able to play on our own on our rooms, because it´s been really difficult to hear yourself and figure out how you sound when you have 4 other poeple also playing. But I was satisfied in the evening, and so the little concert the two teachers (plus two students) played then was something I was totally able to enjoy. It was simply beautiful, and showed me once more where I could be if I worked hard enough – and had an insturment, but that´s yet another story 😉

It´s been another longer evening and a shorter night that then followed – I am not used to only sleeping 7 hours a night when it is weekend – not my style at all…

Sunday – 15.04.2018

The last morning. And it felt weird, waking up and packing my stuff already in the morning before breakfast because quickly after lunch my aunt was gonna pick me up and bring me to the trainstation.

But first breakfast, another session with palying both pieces of music again and sorting some questions on how to rent a nyckelharpa, how long ordering one takes and all of those questions that just come up when you are getting hooked on playing the instrument. It´s simply not as easy as with an average insturment – I wish it was…

But yeah, the last sessions and practicing went well again, and so I was able to leave with a satisfied feeling and positive thoughts when my aunt picked me up and also gave a ride to a course colleague as we both had to go to Augsburg station. There I then enjoyed some silence without music, as I had a headache from all the noise all weekend long.

On the train it´s been over though with the silence, because it´s been so noisy again – without music I would have not been able to fall asleep once again. And of course in hannover where I had to change trains, my train had a delay and so I came home even later than initially planned and was pretty dead when I dropped into bed. But happy.

Concert: Versengold – Nacht der Balladen (Bremen, 10.02.2018)

Writing this one is a tough one because my brain is still processing the evening if you can even say so. It´s simply been a touching experience – this night of mostly ballads.

Anyways, the show was totally different – seated, a small venue, mostly ballads, new arrangements and a totally different feeling, a totally different athmosphere. And I was surprised how hard this different atmosphere actually hit me.  I was really in need of tissues because I got so emotional. Back to topic – they had an additional percussionist, additional strings. I am not sure if it really needed the latter.

So we came into this venue, one of us dropped off the jackets and then we ended up waiting in front of another door anyways – but at least they had let us into the warmth earlier than it had been written on the tickets. It´s been so bloody cold that you were fully frozen after waiting. It´s not really been fun even though the company good 😉

And then after yet another hour waiting at least inside and on our chairs – yaaaay, frontrow again! – it was time. The curtains were closed, and the show started. The start into an intimate, honest and emotional evening. They played so many songs that mean so much to me, like “Vom Zauber des Wildfräuleins” that has been right from day 1 been a song that felt like THE song to me. And hearing it finally again surely gave me goosebumps and tears.

Just as “Nebelfee” – when I had heard it for the very first time, I was touched, and in such a setting like in the video, tracks like that become even more dangerous for the heart. And yes, I have been crying a lot – it hasn´t really surprised me, but still surprised me some way.

And then – my personal highlight because I had so wited for that – “Tjark Evers”. Initially a song by another german band, Schandmaul, but changed to a certain German dialect to make it more appropriate. And I had been counting days to finally hear this song live. And then it was there. And I felt like it just dragged me into a totally different world far away from reality.

But I was also happy to hear some songs where you did not need to be sitting – okay, here comes the apology to the rows behind me: sorry I´ve always been so quick in standing up, but faster songs just do never keep me sitting. No chance. Give up.

And of course – I totally got excited when they played – right after the break they did – “Biikebrennen”. I love this instrumental, and if they would have not played it (even though it clearly is no ballad) I would´ve been highly disappointed. I think I had never been up from a chair and dancing as quick as last night when I noticed the tune xD Same goes for another instrumental part – I just love those. And I don´t care what anyone thinks about me when I am simply having fun then 😀

What I haven´t yet mentioned was, that they also had a female singer- after having been really skeptical due to some not so convincing live video on Facebook and my general dislike against female singers, I really liked it. Okay, except for sone song where for me it simply did not fit to have a female singer plus she didn´t sound too well during that one. But I can get through this one, though it´s also a really important song to me.

So I´ve been talking around and around…CONCLUSION?
I loved it, it´s been a great experience though I am not sure if it´s the right format for me. Why? Because I already am a melancholic and thoughtful person in “everyday life”, and hearing loads of emotional ballads in a thoughtful atmosphere – I am really not sure if that does the trick for me compared to the “normal” shows that Versengold usually do. Usually I can turn off the mind and totally dive into another world, go to my happy place – and this show rather has been a “look here that shit happened and that sad thing happened and here have some tears” show for me.

I will nevertheless go to Leipzig as I had planned and also I have booked everything. Simply because I want to see if it feels different when seeing the show a second time when not everything is new and super emotional. Let´s see what happens.

But that all does not mean that the show would be bad – it´s really great, and something you should see if you like the band – because it´s just so different to the usual happy crcazy escalating shows you get to see. Full of emotion, quiet passion, melancholy…

Music is my therapy

It´s incredible, what a single song can do. I have two songs of this kind, that literally first break me down just to build me up again and give me back the strength, a kick in the nuts and wake me call all in one.

Whilst one of those songs I got to know during a very very dark time of problems at work, being unhappy, permanently depressed and close to boreout alongside issues with colleagues, the other song entered my life totally out of the blue. Totally everything but not expected.

Whilst one of the songs was from a band that was already close to my heart for many many years, a band I knew and knew their songs always found a way to touch me. And when the album was out, it didn´t really… touch me yet. Only during the tour that followed and that was bringing me back to life, this song got so meaningful to me.
It´s always bringing back those memories of crying at shows, of hugs of comfort, of recovery, of this paceful feeling after having finally cried about all the pain that was hidden and locked up in my mind.
That feeling of relief is what this song gives to me.  When I am angry and upset with me, when I am disappointed about me- it´s THE song for me to listen to. On repeat. For hours.

The second song was just there. A supporting band I back then wasn´t too interested in. I had done an interview with that band, and funnily enough when now looking back – the singer was editing the music video to exactly this song and couldn´t do the interview – I just saw him working on his laptop on cutting the viewo when passing by back then. And then I was standing there, had just left the photo pit.
Was in my thoughts being unhappy about the light, about the photos I had taken. And then those lyrics. It hit me. I don´t even know if I fully grasped what the song was about – but something in me was triggered. I never talked about it, but: I was standing there, crying. With my eyes closed. It was like something or someone was stabbing my heart with reality, with truth.
When I went home after that show, I bought only this one track as an MP3. And ever since it´s been a song that helped when I was stuck in depression – it´s like that kick in the buts you need to figure out: it´s in your hands. Either drop it or fight. And for me it´s never been a question what the answer would be : fight. Hearing this song live is releasing so much anger and the oddest mix of feelings, that I feel positively empty afterwards.

The first song: “Shadowmaker” by Apocalyptica

The second song: “Jenny” by Nothing More