That was 2012

As I’m writing this, I’m on a train from Würzburg to München, listening to “Darn that Dream” by Neil Alexander. Which both has to do with the two main things I’m going to talk about here:

2012 was an interesting year for me. And with the year at an end, I can say that while it didn’t work as planned, it was a successful, interesting, and all in all nice year. But first things first…

first espresso in Würzburg
first espresso in Würzburg

1. Würzburg

Yours truly at Hätzfeld Helau!
Yours truly at Hätzfeld Helau!

Perhaps the biggest thing in 2012 was my move to Würzburg. Which had me moving away from München (Munich for you English-speaking folks), my native town, for the first time in my life. Yes, I had spent a few months in one town or another (Chicago, which was great, Tokyo, which was also great, and Essen, which sucked), but it was always a situation where I had kept my home in München and knew that (and when) I would return.

This time, it was different.

I moved to Würzburg for professional reasons; for a job which looked truly promising to me. And for that, I decided to completely move to Würzburg, right in January 2012. Now it’s not that bad insofar as Würzburg is only a little more than two hours from München by train – so visiting my true home on a regular basis is a viable option. Still, it was (and is) something new.

solid state expertise on the trip to Veitshöchheim
solid state expertise on the trip to Veitshöchheim

Now Würzburg is a beautiful town, make no mistake, but it’s also a kinda-boring town. And of course, my circle of friends, which I had been cultivating in München for decades, isn’t in Würzburg – and I’m notoriously bad at getting to know new folks. And if I do, I might manage to let this run in the entirely wrong direction, which might end with a stellar scientist ending up kinda-broken-hearted and no longer wishing to be in contact with me.

Still, it’s not that bad a place, either. MoinSound Studio 3.0 ended up being a beautiful place, including a new Dynaudio BM14S sub which goes down to 17Hz – I can well manage.

1.1. The Engineering Job

That job I took was something which was created specifically for me – which is cool.

Sadly, the company which hired me also did things which in a very polite phrasing could be called “mismanagement”, and so suddenly a few experts in the company were left with not enough to do. I was one of the last hires, and the only one to get rid off easily. While this worked in a rather fair fashion, it still wasn’t what I had been moving to Würzburg for…

Now Würzburg isn’t München or Stuttgart when it comes to jobs for experienced engineers. Still, it’s not as bad as it seems, and so I was offered the choice between three different engagements (albeit two of which were about 30km away from Würzburg), one of which I accepted.

Great! Finally, I’m not bored, it’s a great team working for and with me, it’s a great project – life is good.

1.2. The Move (pics only)

Mainly the MoinSound Studio aspects…

The hauling truck
The hauling truck

Tearing down…

MSS2_2
MoinSound Studio 2.0 – being torn down
MSS2_4
MoinSound Studio 2.0 – empty!

…and setting up again

MoinSound Studio 3.0 - the Kurz has already moved in...
MoinSound Studio 3.0 – the Kurz has already moved in…
MoinSound Studio 3.0 - lots of stuff...
MoinSound Studio 3.0 – lots of stuff…
...slowly being set up
…slowly being set up

1.3. MoinSound Studio 3.0

Of course, some minor changes were done…some of them owing to the new layout, some of them just improvements on the equipment side. The big one was the Dynaudio BM14S (which now allows me to properly listen to grand pianos, church organs, and other things that go down below 20Hz). Other include smaller stuff (like some more PZM microphones), and some synths: the Access Virus and Sequential Circuits 6-track has now been properly integrated, and an Ensoniq SQR, Nord MicroModular G2 and DSI Evolver have been added…watch it in all its glory!

MoinSound Studio 3.1!
MoinSound Studio 3.1!

And this directly was used for…

Moritz, guardian of #secretalbum
Moritz, guardian of #secretalbum

2. #secretalbum

Back in 2011, I defined that #secretalbum would be the center of my musical attention and activities until its release. Now sometime in 2012, when working on it, I came to the conclusion that managing this project with in the end more than 50 participants, who also all had agreed to work on a no-budget basis, couldn’t be done easily on the side, at least not with a release date sometime within the next few years. So, #secretalbum was simply split up into multiple individual albums, of which the first was released on 12-12-12.

Verschluckbare Kleinteile is a work that makes me proud. Perhaps it’s because all of those wonderful artists (more than twenty of them) worked so fantastically on this album, maybe it’s because I’m so fond of my own compositions, but most probably it’s because this was such a fantastic team effort with great results. Nicely done, gang, and thank you all again!

And of course, thanks to all you people who listened to, bought, reviewed, or otherwise enjoyed the album!

3. Other Stuff

In no particular order:

  • there’s a great karting track in the area,
  • there’s also good wineries and great restaurants,
  • but I still miss something to take the place of Koriander, my fave Vietnamese place in München,
  • people keep asking me when I’ll return to München. Sometimes, I’m asking that myself.

3.1 This Blog

on this blog, the most popular posts this year were:

  1. Freqency Modulation or Phase Modulation?, followed by
  2. The Nerdbook Series, and
  3. The Perfect Synthesizer? – some food for thought.

The first article about art is in place 16, the first about my own music in place 24.

What does that teach us (or rather me)? I should stop writing about myself, about my art, or about art in general, and focus on writing about synthesizers and stuff.

4. Outlook: 2013?

Mops-Moser-induced facepalm at John's Hätzfeld
Mops-Moser-induced facepalm at John’s Hätzfeld

So, what will 2013 be like? Hopefully, not another change of job, and not another move. I don’t want to do this again before 2014 (at least!).

Musically, it will be more of #secretalbum; I’m planning about two releases in 2013, the first to be done in Q1. So watch out, there’s a lot more to come!

Perhaps there’ll even be non-#secretalbum work in 2013. Perhaps I’ll start a band. Or I ‘ll revive the MoinSound Studio Sessions. Or I try and find some festivals to play…

5. Summary

All in all, 2012 was a cool year, a challenging one, but mostly in the positive sense.

I’d like to wish all you readers a wonderful 2013, in whatever you do!

Yours,

Rainer

West Indian Punch on Lower Franconian Balcony
West Indian Punch on Lower Franconian Balcony
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