Letzte Chance

Meine Ambitionen sehen eigentlich wenig beeindruckend aus. Ich bin gern kreativ. Allein in meiner Höhle – frei von Zwang und Druck. Jedoch komme ich damit nicht sehr weit. Daran erkenne ich gut, wie sehr ich mir selbst im Weg stehe. Das Potenzial ist vorhanden. Wer denkt, dass das gut ist, hat den Begriff nicht verstanden. Die inspirierendsten Menschen sagen mir, dass Handeln besser ist als abzuwarten. Theoretisch gibt es auch fast nie Gründe, sich von Eventualitäten behindern zu lassen. Wenn man nachfragt, weiß das auch fast jeder Mensch. Diejenigen, die diesen Fakt fühlen, sind die Produktiven; die effizienten Menschen. Auch ohne getrieben zu sein.

Letztes Jahr spürte ich das sehr gut, als ich mich auf meinen Hintern setzte und wieder freie Zeit für Musik verwendete. Jetzt muss ich mit meinem Körper weitermachen. Meine Altersgenossen witzeln gern über den physischen Verfall. Das ist auch sehr amüsant, aber genau so ist es auch potenziell deprimierend. Wenn man zu lange darüber nachdenkt, dass ich ständig Rückenschmerzen habe, fühle ich mich sehr unwohl. Es ist also Zeit, etwas zu ändern, ob ich will oder nicht, denn ich muss. Je länger ich mich damit zufrieden gebe, dass ich älter werde, gebrechlicher, fauler werde – umso schwerer wird es, etwas dagegen zu tun.

Wenn ich bereits krank bin, ist es zu spät, gesund zu bleiben.

Ich lebe nicht völlig ungesund: Ich rauche nicht mehr. Trinke weniger regelmäßig und bewusster. Bewege mich schon wegen des Hundes viel mehr als ich es zuvor musste, esse oft frisch und selbst gekocht. Das reicht jedoch nicht aus, deshalb muss ich diese Chance nutzen, denn es ist meine letzte.

Motivation kommt im Moment, und durch Regelmäßigkeit normalisiere ich, wie oft ich diese Momente habe. Wenn ich mich jetzt umgewöhne, habe ich die Chance, etwas Grundlegendes zu verändern. Und wenn ich dadurch auch noch gesünder werde, habe ich nichts zu verlieren. Ich möchte das noch einmal wie in einem TED Talk betonen: Ich habe JETZT die Energie, etwas zu tun, also muss ich es auch JETZT umsetzen. Ich habe viele schlechte Ausreden. Diese funktionieren jedoch nur so lange, wie ich es noch nicht zu meiner Gewohnheit gemacht habe, anders auf diese Ausreden zu reagieren. Denn momentan ist das „Ja, aber…“ bevor ich mich aus dem Bett quälen kann, noch deutlich stärker als das „let’s go“. Das ist mein Tipp an meine wenig ambitionierten Leidensgenossen: Handeln (egal was) und zwar jetzt! Morgen ist es wahrscheinlich zu spät, denn mit jedem Tag, den ich mich damit abfinde, schlecht zu altern, wächst auch die Gewissheit, dass ich unglücklich bleibe.

In all dem Schrecken, der gerade unsere Welt dominiert, ist es umso wichtiger, uns selbst nicht aufzugeben. Wenn ich nicht mehr an mir arbeiten will, werde ich keine positive Energie für meine Mitmenschen erzeugen. Wenn ich mich selbst aufgebe, gebe ich auch meine Umwelt auf. Egal ob im Sport, im Lernen neuer Fähigkeiten oder in meinen Möglichkeiten, mich einer sich permanent wandelnden Gesellschaft anzupassen.

The Work

On April 19th 2022 I had the wonderful privilege of watching Mena and Nils‘ dog while they went out for the night. Aside from cuddles and good sushi, I also was allowed to fiddle around with Nils‘ music hardware. But I immediately became overwhelmed with the Elektron-Workflow, since I never really dug into these machines. I also became very frustrated with myself. It felt like I forgot how to make music, how to jam around, how to scribble and finish songs.

It wasn’t the first time I felt like this: After I was really engaged with the music community in 2010 I fell off of the whole thing in a major way. The reasons are still not really clear to me. In the end I think it was a total lack of focus in my life. Dedicating time to a single activity was never my strong suit and there was so much going on, I never felt like I had the time.

That somewhat changed the next day after my hangout session with Nils‘ puppy. I told myself: let’s do this. I was gonna make music almost every day for the next week or two and see If I could get back into the headspace. Weirdly I could.

After a few days programming grooves and making very basic arrangements it came back to me. I started watching countless videos on music production in Ableton, deep dives into mixing and arrangement techniques and sythesizer reviews.

For my birthday some wonderful friends got me a Keystep 37. A few weeks later I got myself a Korg minilogue xd. Seeing Elliot Jay Stocks talk about success gave me the confidence to say: Yes I can be both a designer and a musician. Joining various music production discords gave me a new community and a very understanding girlfriend, who’d watch TV shows with headphones on, gave me the quiet time I needed to work on my mixes.

I was able to make music as much as I could without stressing to much about that I should. I took extended brakes while on holiday and just went on to gaming when I didn’t feel like making music. Also, getting a cute puppy didn’t really help with my free time for the first few weeks, but thats also fine!

Setting goals never works for me. The only thing that keeps me going with a project, is to take every spark of inspiration or motivation I have and use it as immediately as possible. Not letting those moments pass but taking the energy and putting in the work is what helped me.

From April 2022 to December 2022 I saved around 45 Ableton projects. Around 10 I finished as complete tracks. 5 made it onto my new EP „The Work“. It’s me taking stock of those months as I promised myself I would earlier last year. I’m really happy about my progress and I would lie if I said I would make these tracks just for myself.

This music is just as much, if not more for the people to listen and dance to, as it is for my personal enjoyment. I hope you like some of what I produced last year and I’ll be over the moon if 20 people bought my EP on Bandcamp, as that would settle the cost of mastering.

„The Work“ will be out on Bandcamp on the 20th of January and a week later on all major streaming platforms on the 27th.

Thank you.

Master of my own domain

A closeup picture of a curious black bird on a mountain in south tyrol.

I kind of forgot this blog exists. It’s weird. I remember how clever I felt when I came up with the name. I was living in Leipzig and sat on our porch with my roommate. He didn’t really get it but he was nice enough to complement my idea anyways. Tumblr was still a huge deal so I put the whole thing there and only much later was able to afford a URL.

Thinking about how long ago that was and how much has changed over the years, the nostalgia hits really hard. There was a time, when we felt so safe in the internet that we put every thought on to our blogs and tumblrs and lifejournals and MySpace pages. It was therapy. We made new friends. We did put so much trust in these platforms to keep us safe. Then the money came and fucked everything up.

Many were smart enough to recognise the fact that the only space you can control and own, is the one you pay for or at least host „yourself“. I open my blogs today and I am so greatful that everything is still there. My memories are still alive. The brand that owns them is a person. It’s me. The more I think about this, the more I feel like this is much more real than any picture I posted on Instagram or Tweet I ever sent.

Whats next for this website is very uncertain.

When I read some of Katrin’s Posts on Steady, it reminded me of a much better time for the web. We wrote about our feelings and thoughts in more than just a few words and gave our posts a bit more time. When we put real effort into telling people about our grand ideas. Even the really shitty ones. I’m not going to promise any continuity or value. As I accept that I love to hear myself talk and I overestimate the value of my thoughts, I find this safe space in the little corner of a web that we hold so close to our hearts. I know that every thought we put out has value and we should be proud of that.

Especially on our own spaces where we are in control.

Hipster-Guide to baking Pizza

Reminiscent of ye olde hipster guides to stuff surrounding film photography by André Duhme and me, I will now tell you and your line drawn tattoos about pizza. The amazing, filling, glutenous, beautiful, Italian (New Yorkian) dish that will not only feed you but will make you think that you should stop shooting film and invest all your money into an artisan pizza place.
If you’re unsure if you actually want Pizza, watch a few episodes of „The Pizza Show„. You’re hungry now? Great. This recipe will give you two beautiful pizzas.

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For the love of cycling

I hate sports. Its exhausting, dumb, bro-tastic. It’s annoying to watch and stupid to do. Earlier in 2017 I decided to do something stupid: „I want to ride from Berlin to Dresden in a day.“ Why would I do that: because I hate sports, but I absolutely adore cycling.

The steel monster at BER

I always rode a bike. As a kid I rode to school until I was 18. Then there was some downtime driving cars. When I moved to Leipzig (and lost my drivers licence – don’t ask) I continued riding bikes. I bought some beat-down crossmachine off eBay for way to much money. A few months later I found my first vintage road bike. It was some 1990s ugly Raleigh that was rotting away in some backyard. I fixed it up and took my first test spin around the block and… oh my god, was I in love. I’ve never been so fast, it was so light (pff) and nimble. The thin tires made me feel like I was flying. The first time shifting on the downtube felt suicidal. It was so much fun. Eventually that bike got stolen.
I bought another vintage road bike and ever since then, riding a bike was not only a necessity to get around town, but also gave me a decent amount of exercise. Strava became a fun motivation. Exploring Hamburg and Berlin on two wheels felt perfect.

This year, things changed. I dont know why or what it was that pushed me. I wanted more, than just riding around to and from work. I wanted to ride farther and faster. I rode 40 km, 60 km suddenly, a hundred kilometres. It felt great even though I put almost no effort into it. I rode harder and faster and in some delusional state I decided that I should just go and visit my mother on her birthday. So I bought another waterbottle, a new jersey and rode 177 km from Berlin to Dresden. It crushed me. I never felt so down on energy and strength after I didn’t finish the whole way through. I absolutely overestimated what I could do to my body and didn’t take proper nutritional care of myself. After my father picked me up, 15 km before the finish line, I almost threw up. The next day I never felt better.

Road selfies as an artform

I didnt make it, but I fucking rode one hundred and seventy seven kilometres in a day. For fucks sake. I felt dead but the motivational push after that was amazing.
I rode more. I rode harder. I made new friends, even when it was cold as fuck. I got new and more gear. Cycling is the first thing that really, really makes me want to save some money and finally get a proper bike. I want to gain power, endurance and win all the KOMs. Next year I will do the trip to Dresden again – and return. I want to race the cyclassics in Hamburg and the Velothon in Berlin.

I want to do all that because I hate sports,
but I love cycling.

I’ve been to the USA…

…and all you get is this lousy blog article. But let’s back up a bit. How is this even important? Lots of people visit the US every year.

NYC seen from NJ 911 monument

The thing is that, even though I turned 30 this year, I’ve never really left Europe all that much. Most of my friends and even family members have been all around the globe, but I have never been able to save some money and go. That’s largely attributed to my inability to handle money well. Earning a bit more and trying to be a tad more responsible with my spending finally started changing that. Now here I was, deciding with my girlfriend where to go in our big 2017 summer holiday.

Our trip took us from New York to Philly to DC to Charlottesville to Knoxville to Nashville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Stroudsburg. We covered close to 2400 miles with our rental car and stayed at 8 different Airbnbs.

I came to the States with certain expectations; to see a land obsessed with itself, with heritage and nationality; with capitalism and getting shit done. What I got to see were people that made me understand these prejudices. Roads, towns and cities, that told the story of an americana so modern and yet so set in its own history. People that were hospitable and reactionary. Strangers showing genuine interest within a nation obsessed with smalltalk. Young and old folk that loved to tell stories and explain themselves and their views on a nation that is still so young in comparison.

Continue reading „I’ve been to the USA…“

It’s over

Hey, you remember me talking about my Ricoh GR1s and how I loved it and all that? If you read the „review“ you might also remember that I wanted to get the flash fixed. Since when I published that article, the camera survived a drop on concrete from a considerable height that left the winding mechanic sounding like shit. After going through 3 films, hearing these painfull noises after every shot, I finally considered getting it fixed at Ostkreuz. The very friendly and understanding professional told me upfront, that I am 15 years too late. Here’s the conclusion of my 1 minute call:

The Ricoh GR series is basically dead. There are no more parts available to fix my problems (flash circuit board and plastic gears).
If you know someone who can reverse engineer and print circuit boards or gears, you might be able to breathe new life into these cameras.

So here is an Update to my review: The Ricoh GR series are super awesome, but don’t buy them. They will break and if they do you can’t fix them. As sad as it sounds, this is the reality film lovers will have to face.

Zwischenstand Inspirationsprobleme

Seit dem Jahresbeginn, sind 51 Tage vergangen. In dieser Zeit habe ich etwa einen halben Film voll gemacht und eine viertel Seite kreative arbeit geleistet.

Irgendwann am Ende des letzten Jahres habe ich mir vorgenommen, im Jahr 2017 meine Freizeit mit so vielen kreativen Dingen zu füllen wie es geht. Eine der Hürden war, den riesigen Backlog an Filmen zu entwickeln, der sich über das letzte Jahr angestaut hat. Die Hälfte habe ich erledigt. Weitere fünf Filme schimmeln in meinem Kühlschrank vor sich hin. Um die Arbeit schneller erledigen zu können, warf ich endlich die ranzig gewordenen Rodinal-Reste in die Tonne und kaufte auf Matt’s Empfehlung hin Ilford HC Entwickler. Seit Tagen sitzt dieser nun unangetastet unter der Spüle. Ich habe zig Kameras im Schrank stehen, von denen weiß Gott wie viele, angebrochene Filme in sich haben. Die Ricoh müsste dringend mal repariert werden. Seit Juni plane ich einen neuen Schreibtisch zu kaufen. Mein getipptes Journal hat seit ende Dezember keinen neuen Eintrag gesehen. Das letzte gekaufte Buch heißt „Irre“ und seit Mitte Dezember habe ich etwa 30 Seiten gelesen. Seit Juni möchte ich eine Dunkelkammer einrichten. In 5 Monaten werde ich 30.

Es staut sich. Alles.

The one thing you got wrong about your product

(This was originally published on medium)

When I look back in my life and try to point out which devices or objects brought me the most joy, these come to mind:

  • iPod Nano 3rd gen
  • Lamy Safari fountain Pen
  • VW Polo 86C (1994)
  • Hermes Baby Typewriter
  • Sony MZ-N505 MiniDisc Walkman
  • ICQ
  • Random Selection of Cameras (Analog & Digital)
  • Adidas Los Angeles
  • Vailant Heating System
  • early Google Chrome
  • Nokia 3310

Continue reading „The one thing you got wrong about your product“