july’s | past

lots of traces

i composed this song with my guitar, some violins and cellos, a double bass and drums. the vindaloo part goes back to a real scene in khan’s restaurant in notting hill, london.

july’s past

panhandle | family

in 1987 i decided to visit the US branch of my family. we never met before and had exchanged more or less trivial christmas cards since i was a kid. i was greeted with a very warm welcome. my late aunt trudi lived in a trailer in the middle of the forest in north florida, the so called panhandle. her ex-husband johnny in another trailer 100 or 200 meters away. lots of dogs around.

trudi and i

trudi had three children, one of whom was sylvie. sylvie and i were almost the same age and very close. she then lived in a wooden house with her husband john.

the wooden house, my guest home

i visited often, mostly after a couple of days in manhattan, via pensacola where my relatives picked me up from the airport. i stayed in sylvie’s beautiful house. my bed was on the top floor. the contrast between new york city and rural north florida couldn’t have been bigger. most people i met in that part of florida were pretty much right wing, although they insisted they were not rednecks. my aunt drove an old car she got from the local sheriff. it was so cheap because a corpse was found in the car while it was still in the sheriff’s hand. my cousin wore a t-shirt with the letters “english for florida” – which was targeted to cuban immigrants. there were barely any cubans in sylvie’s part of florida, most of them working very hard.

john had studied agriculture at university and taught me a lot about farming, harvesting machines and sawmills. at me third visit he provided me with an old chevy van, so i could move around freely. the van was robust, but the brakes had very little grip.

in the nearby town defuniak springs i learnt to fly single propeller airplanes. in the photo below i‘m in the middle of a pre-flight check. i received my PPL (private pilot license) in 1990, and sylvie made a suprise party in the evening. she hated flying but permitted me to take her up for brief flight. the flight took maybe 3 minutes because she got airsick right after takeoff.

preflight check on a cessna 150

the man who ran the airport when i started learning to fly was a kind and modest man named charlie. soon he handed his little business (no landing fees, no tower, but a nice restaurant) to an ex-military helicopter pilot walter and his wife maria. walter was an amazingly skilled pilot who wanted me to learn to fly helicopters. he treated his wife so badly that i lost all interest in the defuniak springs airport.

sylvie getting ready for a ride in her car.

my cousin sylvie suffered from depression and took her life 15 years later.

her ex-husband john runs a natural burial ground now.

sylvie‘s father johnny published several books, radioplays and audiobooks under the name john aalborg.

marie and the | water tower

photomontage using the water tower by theTechnician27 – wikimedia

i wrote and composed and sang this 1 minute song today. it’s about a woman in a dusty office suit, standing day and night below the water tower of a desolated town. the music consists of three VSL instruments, namely a piano, a violin and and oboe. the bass comes from super 8, the drums from EZdrummer3.

marie and the water tower

the song is licensed via GEMA, germany.

iris | 2

iZotope Iris 2

i purchased this iZotope synth plugin a while ago, used it in several compositions, and lost track somehow. here is my revisit to this wonderful instrument. 5 tracks, a very short and hopefully calming piece.


17 jahre | archivradio

im ersten stream des archivradios verwendetes tonband.

vor 17 jahren hatte ich das konzept für ein → deutsches archivradio fertig. es sollte originaltöne in originallänge aus deutschen ton-archiven in einen unmoderierten, aber reich dokumentierten internetstream packen und die o-töne damit erstmals einem breiten publikum zugänglich machen. längst ist das archivradio eine feste marke der ARD und eine feste größe im bildungssektor. diverse dissertationen wurden davon angeregt. von historikerInnen, die über bestimmte themen publiziert haben, bekomme ich immer wieder zu hören, dass das lesen von akten etwas völlig anderes ist als das hören von originaltönen.

die anfänge, an die ich heute denke, waren holprig, was für ein so großes projekt nicht ungewöhnlich ist. der WDR-intendant → fritz pleitgen fand die idee spannend. aber sein damaliger leiter der hauptabteilung “zentrale aufgaben” im hörfunk des WDR, rüdiger malfeld, sah sich bei unserem treffen 2006 mein konzept gar nicht erst an. er meinte sinngemäß: wir möchten ein junges publikum ansprechen, und welche jungen leute interessieren sich schon für alte o-töne! diesem mann, dachte ich, war nicht zu helfen.

BR und RBB hielten die idee für gut, aber für zu komplex und zu teuer umzusetzen. im SWR schließlich, mit detlef clas, ging das mit minimalem budget und extremem engagement. 2007 gingen wir mit einem team von nur vier personen online. internetradio war damals wegen DSL möglich geworden. inzwischen gibt es das archivradio auch als podcast, kuratiert von → gabor paal.

das archivradio hat eine einfache domain, nämlich archivradio.de. und einen stattlichen wikipedia-artikel.

weizensauerteig | minis

eigentlich misslungen, weil ich etwas zu ungeduldig mit dem lievito madre war. außerdem bestehen so winzige brötchen fast nur aus kruste. also knackig — und keine brötchen. aber gut anzusehen. und als knuspergebäck ganz okay. die etwas bizarre geometrie kommt von den muffin-formen.

in die welt des italienischen weizensauerteigs hat mich meine schwägerin eingeführt. danke, monika, für das quietschlebendige anstellgut!

weizensauerteigminis. foto: ms