Tag Archives: performance

I’ve got money – Angel with a Dream

with 2 days left before going into the studio to record “Music of Ghouls” I think it’s time to give you another short video about how I practice my songs with only voice and upright bass. the challenge is, of course, to get all the rhythms, harmonies and vocals under control at the same time…

well, this one you heard before here, but this is a video of me actually playing the whole song.

again, if you like the music I make, I’d gratefully appreciate it if you helped funding the album here.

have fun with it…


klangfest muenchen – live solo performance of “music of ghouls”

back in may 2010 the first Klangfest Muenchen took place at one of munich’s most prestigious venues. 29 bands played 4 stages all day long. it was organized by munich’s labels and music producers who wanted to show the high quality and variety of this town’s music scene. it was a blast! 10.000+ visitors came out to see great shows by great musicians, plus they got behind the scenes material by visiting the label’s booths which were set up all through the venue’s hallways and foyers.

I was there with my label and also performed solo for an extraordinary audience. I put together some scenes from the performance for you to watch and spread.

I’m in the final prep stage of the recording session today. I’ll record with these cool musicans. the recording will be out in october.

if you like the music, please join my newsletter and/or fuel this project financially and get some great rewards in return (from iPods to a trip to munich)…

mindmapping for songwriters

photo by philippe boukobza under a cc attribution license

mindmapping has become one of my favourite activities when it comes to brainstorming ideas. I use it now almost anytime I take notes. the creativity flow is increased so much that it’s almost hard to stop.

I use it to:

brainstorm ideas
search for words to write lyrics
make decisions (on almost any topic)
finding topics for blogposts
determine to-do’s
track recording processes
track my practicing process
find solutions to problems
overcome writer’s block
do 80/20 analyses of my work and life
do interviews
…and more

basically anything I write down these days ends up to be a mind map.
at the end they look like a big idea-virus, a piece of art, and it’s so easy to go from one central keyword or idea to an infinite set of ideas and phrases linked directly to the initial idea. many times I stumble upon new and never before thought of angles of the same idea or problem.

I tried to find software that is as much fun as doing it by hand. the software I found so far is either too complicated to use or the look and feel is to dry, the handling of the software kills the creative mind-flow.

I think, anyway, when it comes to brainstorming and idea development using a computer or other technical device is drawing the attention away from the subject and the mind flow is distorted.

the technique is especially helpful when you write lyrics and you need to get words, phrases, even storylines sorted out.

this is how I do it:

1. start in the middle of a piece of paper, write down my central idea or phrase or word.
2. I write down all related ideas around that central idea and connect them with a line
3. I then repeat this with all the new findings. you’ll spread your mind in all directions and you’ll end up with a pretty cool idea-virus and everything is connected to the one little idea in the middle of the paper.

I recommend to do this as often as possible to get into the habit.
you can filter the different mindstreams which flow from the central idea by giving them different colors, so you’ll immediately see what relates to each other.

happy mapping.

tell me what the most surprising a-ha experience you got from doing mindmapping your ideas in the comments.

live streaming again – new shows

I’ve got a couple of shows coming up in may and hope some of you can make it out to see the performances. it’s exciting because there will be no band in may. it’s just me and my bass (and all the weird people in my head).

here are the dates:

9-22 may, soundinstallation for tilman krumrey’s ATEM, a stunning 3D piece. briennerstr.48, munich

(in collaboration with muenchen 852)

22 may, live at klangfest munich, labels of munich present their artists, 29 band – 4 stages – 1 day

26 may, teamtheater comedy, announcing world domination

to give you a little taste of what’s coming I posted the above video, plus I’ll be streaming again every monday evening from my studio (at 7pm), giving you the latest ups and downs of my musical adventures.

hope to see you at the shows and/or chat with you during the streams.

focus exercise for both musicians and “normal” folk

one of the most difficult tasks to master as a musician is to get into the zone before practicing, rehearsing or playing a gig. we’re all constantly exposed to noise of every kind, phones, computers, emails, to do lists, meetings, booking gigs, family etc. but when we enter our rehearsal spaces and studios we all have to forget about all that noise if we want to be creative and make efficient use of our quality practicing time. I say we even have to forget there’s a world out there at all. often times it doesn’t work and the creative process suffers.

I’m doing a simple exercise to get into the zone. it works for me every time, no exceptions. I do it not only to switch to creative mode but anytime I feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

here’s the exercise:

1. sit down at the piano (if you don’t have one use any other instrument). press and hold the sustain pedal. hit a low A. (for me A 2 octaves below middle C works best). different people have different favourite notes. mine is A. try out a couple to find your fafourite one. it’s important that you hit a very low note, because they ring longer and hit your stomach more directly than high pitches.

2. let the note ring

3. listen to the note and try to follow it as long as possible as it fades away.

what happens is, you focus all your attention on the note and your brain blocks out all the noise (physical and psychological) at the same time.

when I do this exercise it’s like a huge space of silence opens up and gets bigger and bigger the longer I listen to the note. it fades away and when it’s gone I sit in total silence. there’s unlimited space around me during that moment.

once you get to the point where you can’t hear the note anymore, sit there for a while and just listen to the silence. don’t do anything. you will automatically fill the silence when the time is right. fill it with your clearest creative thought.

it’ll kick your creative process up a notch or two.

let me know how it works out for you!

thanks for being great!

9 live streams, 2 life challenges, 1 summer retirement

with easter being the start to a new annual quarter I’d like to announce some changes in my life.

9 live streams called “Zen & The Art Of Rockstarliving” I will broadcast here every monday at 7pm (CEST). this time I’ve actually given it some thought instead of just winging it. the streams will still be approx. 30 minutes long and in each stream I will present the following:

  • 1 person who inspires me and/or has some sort of influence on my work.
  • 1 book that I think is worth reading.
  • 1 weekly update of a monthly life challenge (in april the personal challenge is to go minimalist, to choose what posessions I really need and to get rid of all the unnescessary clutter.)
  • 1 “zen & the art of rockstarliving” section during which I either challenge music business assumptions or challenge myself to go superhuman without going the “realistic” route in this business.
  • 1 live performance of a piece of music

I’ll post the program of every stream so you don’t miss any of the news.

there’ll be a second life challenge in may. what it will be, I don’t know yet. suggestions are welcome!

then, starting in june I’ll be on a long summer retirement in sicily and new york city, where I’ll enjoy life, my family, record my new album Music Of Ghouls, and do some extra work to help musicians improve their artistry (that project is still top secret! I’ll reveal it in june).

if everything goes as planned I’ll be in sicily all of june and in new york all of july and august. there’ll be more live streams from either of those locations. I’m especially looking forward to streaming from the recording sessions in NYC.

I’m looking forward to your input, so please, let me know of any chalenges I should try, anything you’d like to discuss etc…

pause is the new cool

happy holidays to all who celebrate easter and to all who don’t.

remember that taking a break is just as important as work.

in music a pause feels heavier than any note that can be played. pauses are highly underrated and I strongly reccommend to take more pauses more often. in music and in life!

so, wether you celebrate easter or not, why not take a day or two off?! be with your family, take a trip, refill your batteries. now’s the time, put down the pen, go home and take the break you’ve earned for yourself!

pause is the new cool!