December 14, 2020
At the age of 15, I earned my first money as a musician in a cover band that played tunes by “Earth Wind and Fire” and “Chicago”. At the age of 19, I began a 20-year career as a free jazz musician with the FMP label in Berlin. Due to various irritations stemming from a confusing childhood of the post-war generation, I could not find confidence in my inner, emotional voice, and completed token studies in German and musicology on the side. When the music jobs got out of hand, I decided to actually make music my profession and start studying at the Folkwang Academy of Music. A classical degree in orchestral trumpet seemed like the best option.
However, working in various symphony orchestras could not warm me up for this job. Pop, Jazz and New Music suited my curiosity more. As a well-trained and very variable trumpeter, I became a sought-after freelancer in the international music scene. The distrust in the inner voice and the creative path, made me become more and more a performing trumpet player, until the passion completely gave way to the materialistic thinking of success.
In the last 5 years of this first musical career, I did about 300 gigs a year with well-known ensembles such as „Musique Vivante“, „Ensemble Modern“, „Starlight Express“, „Schauspielhaus Bochum,“ „Theatre Chaillot“ and many others. Then I collapsed due to overwork, and after a rehab I retrained as an information technologist because I couldn’t and didn’t want to listen to music any more.
Impending retirement gave me cause to recapitulate a professional life, and I didn’t like what I saw at all. Where had the dreams and emotions gone? Professional life seemed like a shell without value. So I went back to the beginning, and recognized the opportunity that was offered to a highly trained musician and information technologist in the new world of music with electronic music production. And I seized it.
No more compromises, no more servitude, but the living out of emotions that had been suppressed for years. Surprisingly, the probing doubt of the past years also disappeared, because for the first time in my life I liked my work comprehensively. It was a happy return of the inner child. What a miraculous coincidence at an advanced age!
I am no idealist, and love is sometimes too much of a good thing for me. I think that respect which excludes racism and nationalism per se is enough. Respect also allows a personal retreat when other attitudes to life conflict too much with one’s own.
Wealth is always relative. But I would grant everyone the right to enough food, a solid roof over their heads and the opportunity to develop their talents. If some people think they need to keep the current prosperity gap, they should buy a few more luxury cars – what the hell – I’m not a communist.
The first two demands are a prerequisite for making serenity possible for the poor at all. It is likely to be a great challenge for all the half-rich, because in my opinion the hunt for the WORK-LIFE-BALANCE is nothing else but the fight against the constantly threatening poverty in the existing social system.
I was born in the largest coal mining area in Germany, known as the “Ruhrgebiet”. After school I worked as a professional musician until I was 40 years old. This time is well documented on WIKIPEDIA
After a burnout I had to give up my job, moved to the south of Germany, to the Munich region, and did an apprenticeship as an information technologist.
Another burnout forced me to rebuild my existence again, which collapsed just because of the corona crisis. In expectation of poverty at retirement age, I began to build a second career as a musician in 2019.