A New Challenge: Würzburg

A disadvantage of having a bedroom under the roof is that it gets noisy when it rains outside.

Today, I hopped into my old company car to return from München to Würzburg.

For those of you who are familiar with my whereabouts, the sentence above might come as a surprise. For the past decades, I’ve been to several places, and I have written about some of them, mostly about those where I went to play music. Some of them were documented in long blog articles, others only in short tweets, others weren’t mentioned at all. But always, at the end of each trip, I would return to München.

Starting this February 1st, I am meeting a new professional challenge, as they say. Which is located in Würzburg, Mittelfranken. Which means I had to move to Würzburg – which I did this past Tuesday and Wednesday. For the first time in my life, I’m moving my permanent residence away from München to another place. The fact that it’s still in Bayern helps, but it’s away from home. From the old MoinSound Studio. From where I grew up, where I spent all of my life.

I’m moving away from the condo which was home of MoinSound for more than ten years. Where the eponymous MoinSound Studio Sessions had their home. Where every record since SAUBER! in 2001 was produced, and where most of the stuff was recorded. I’m also moving away from the town where I spent all of my life – holiday trips, tours and short business engagements maxxing out at three months in Chicago (fantastic town!), Tokyo (wonderful, inspiring place!) and Essen (sucks ass!) nonwithstanding. And while I do think I might very well return to München – to my home, to my place of birth, to my center of life for decades – for the time being, I will be in Würzburg.

the home of the old MoinSound Studio at München Scheidplatz

Passing the Holledau stop, I remembered when Piepsi and I tried to reach Bayreuth in the deepest of winter, but only got as far as here, because of the road conditions. Piepsi back then owned an Opel Tigra, and it was really fun to see how we were able to climb the steep ascent at the roadhouse while big BMW 7s failed to do so.

It wasn’t an easy decision for me. The job offer which (mostly from its contents, and from the people and company involved) looked great did surely help, but it was also that I thought that at this point in my life and in my professional carreer, moving to another town might be the next sensible step. It’s also worth mentioning that during the engagement with my last (or legally speaking, still current) employer, which now lasted more than ten years, this was only the second job offer where it really “clicked” for me – and obviously, the first one which I accepted.

the new place from the outside

First talks were held, if I remember correctly, in July. At that time, it had already become clear that with my current project engagement, things would change, but not how they would change. The main reasons which convinced me of that new company were first that their owner did not expect of them some outrageous growth rates (in fact – none at all), and the fact that they decided to define a new position in the company custom-tailored for my skills. That’s not something that happens everyday.

What also helped to make the transition easy was that I found a condo in Würzburg – in a nice area at that – that was even more odd than the home of the MoinSound Studio 2.x (versions 1.x were still at my parents’ place). Extending over three stories, this condo has exactly one right angle between walls – which makes it tricky to put anything into it. On the other hand, the largest room, aptly named “studio”, has both wooden floor and wooden ceiling – promising for acoustics!

MoinSound Studio 3.0 - still in pre-alpha stage

Ingolstadt. For nearly one year, I used to commute on a daily basis from München to Ingolstadt for a project with Audi. It was about autonomous parking systems, and what we did there was really innovative. Still, the daily commute sucked, even if you could do it (with good traffic conditions) in only a little above half an hour.

So, you may wonder, what does this mean for my creative output? For MoinSound, for future albums, for online collaborations – for the #secretalbum?

The short answer is that it will surely take some time to bring the infrastructure up to speed. Add to that the fact that I’m starting a new job, and it becomes clear that I won’t be up to full productivity for some time. Still, I want to keep the “one album per year” release strategy going, so I plan to be fully operational by or shortly after start of Q2.

Of course, music has, in many cases, to do with work with other performers – and a move might make that difficult. However, you may consider this: all of the releases from the time considered here – SAUBER! up until Reflexiv Hören – had a comparatively small number of collaborators involved: there were the kybermusik participants on Quelques Papiers D’Abord, there was cover designer Anna Bejenke who did SAUBER! and Weird Specialist, and there were some collaborators on the tracks on wie groß ist die luft? However, all of these collaborations did not happen locally in München – so that should not be a problem. Yes, there was A tätowierte Katz’, which was recorded in München, and some #secretalbum tracks were recorded with artists from München as well. However, the majority of my collaborative work had been done via internet channels – and Würzburg does have internet access.

The access to Eichstätt from the Kindlinger Berg exit. I remember an intern I worked with during that Audi period. She was intelligent, charming, pretty, an outstanding cook and baker (sometimes, when she got into a traffic jam, she got so upset that she needed to bake some great cakes to compensate for that). Now she’s with SAP and consequently has moved to Waldorf – which, incidentially is also home of one of the great synth companies of today.

Today, it is expected of creative and carreer people alike that they move to different places a lot. I never did that. While during my educational period, my parents would have been very supportive of tendencies in that direction, I actually never saw a reason for it. When during my senior grammar school years I studied composition at RSK, that wasn’t an option, of course. During my physics terms, I had throught of semesters abroad for “later”. Finally, when studying engineering, I didn’t really understand why I should move to another place when I had the possibility to attend one of the best universities in the world for that subject right at home. That’s right, I’m very Bavarian in that respect: very homestead, and almost afraid to move away from home. But now, I did it.

The weather had been ugly every since the move. For the last stretch, all its ugliness returns. Fortunately, it’s only less than an hour to go. I remember a concert I attended about 20 years ago in Erlangen of Baden-Powell. It was crap. Baden-Powell: crappy as a player, outstanding as a songwriter.

Scheißwetter on the stretch from Nürnberg to Würzburg

So, the next few weeks will be interesting. Getting the MoinSound Studio (and more importantly, my condo) up to speed will be one thing. Starting my job another one. And finally, finding how living in Würzburg is like and how I like it a third one. Fortunately, I consider myself a misanthropic sociopath, so I can easily exist anywhere – as long as there’s access to electric current, manuscript paper and coffee.

Off to bed. Tomorrow will be more of organisation, studio setup – and getting to know the new place!

The rain has stopped. It's quiet under the roof.
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