That was 2014

This year, I’m a few days late. Quite a few, actually, at least if you consider that from most people, you get that kind of post in the “time between the years”, i.e. between the Christmas days and Epiphany.

In summary, there was quite a number of musical releases, including meeting some of the targets I had set for myself for 2014 – and failing one larger goal, and all the activities directly linked to it. But stick with me for the breakdown…

2014

This was my third year in Würzburg, and one where I had already considered leaving Würzburg again, to get back to München. And with that, this is my larger goal which I had decided not to follow any further – at least not in 2014.

My third year in Würzburg had me more arrived here so to speak, and it seems that I do feel more at home here every year. Having established a set of favourite hangouts (including the fantastic low-price Thai Khao Gäng, the continued vintage fun of Nachtwächter, and the suburbial joy of the newly-established X-Ray), I can well live with the fact that I have yet to align with the cultural scene here.

Khao Gäng also has fantastic soups
Khao Gäng also has fantastic soups
That started as an evening at Nachtwächter
That started as an evening at Nachtwächter
Mike Svoboda and Stefan Hussong
Mike Svoboda and Stefan Hussong

I had a lot of fun celebrating my 28hex anniversary, including a fantastic ribeye steak from my favourite butcher (immortalized in this #secretalbum track), and finally, for cultural events, it’s still the good old München. Highlights in 2014: Bernd-Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, the Svoboda/Hussong concert focusing on Erik Satie (which was not in München, but in Würzburg!), and of course…Motörhead!

Oper für alle!
Oper für alle!
We are Motörhead and we play Rock'n'Roll
We are Motörhead and we play Rock’n’Roll
The best thing to do for 28hex: play air guitar (Slayer: Ghosts of War)
The best thing to do for 28hex: play air guitar (Slayer: Ghosts of War)
Another thing to do for 28hex: visit that crazy genius Tohru Nakamura of Werneckhof.
Another thing to do for 28hex: visit that crazy genius Tohru Nakamura of Werneckhof.
What's for lunch for 28hex? Steak!
What’s for lunch for 28hex? Steak!

Following the great Würzburg/Hätzfeld Fasching, a vacation trip had me heading for Stuttgart…

Minimal costume for Rosengasse Fasching
Minimal costume for Rosengasse Fasching
At the Instrument Museum Stuttgart
At the Instrument Museum Stuttgart

There was a short trip in the Summer to the Bodensee region.

A trip to Lindau.
A trip to Lindau.
Getting crazy in preparing a five-course dinner
Getting crazy in preparing a five-course dinner
Returning to my childhood joys: Deutsches Museum
Returning to my childhood joys: Deutsches Museum

And finally, a longer vacation in Turkey.

A lot in Turkey is about food.
A lot in Turkey is about food.

Let’s talk Music

2014 was interesting insofar, as it combined a convincing number of album releases or rereleases with, at least at first sight, not so much actual music-making.

Release-wise, the biggest one was finally getting the music of Eclectic Blah out in form of an album.

Following in that, I decided to have another go at existing (but unreleased) recordings – in that case, Surreal Spaces, which captures one session from the MoinSound Studio Sessions series.

And there were two rereleases: I was for a long time unhappy with the audio treatment of my 2004 release Neinnein auf dem kleinen Weg. The plans to work on that issue, and do an online rerelease on the way, had existed for quite some time, in fact as early as 2006 or so. Now 2014 finally saw this happening, and in the wake of it, Dem Andenken eines Engels also got rereleased online.

From the improvised period in my music, this only leaves the SAUBER! and groxis tafelbilder albums to be put online.

But there were also other activities – first of all, Rhys Anslow (who had been responsible for bass duties on The usual Bavarian Approach to Electronics from Verschluckbare Kleinteile) had asked me, already sometime earlier, to contribute to his Illusions & Reflections project – and our first single was released in 2014!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ZOCebehvA]

Work on the project had continued in the second half of the year, specifically focusing on two tracks, one of which is pending release in 2015…

I promised an electronic album last year, and that’s something I had worked on. It’s not Erlanger Programm, something different, but with a not completely dissimilar approach (“samesame, but different”). This had me working straight into the composed direction, getting more formal with serial/Superformel approaches. Work took up a lot of time in Q4/14, with a release date in 2015 (but more on that later).

And finally, some tracks for the EMC community, some tracks just for the fun of it (some of them actually improvised ones!), and also a few new #secretalbum compositions (to be realized whenever…):

Looking back at this list makes me realize that I wasn’t that unproductive, after all.

Other matters

Great fun was had by all involving my employment situation. The current dark-humour satire includes the ingredients of a HR director who understands federal laws stating employees’ rights as non-binding sets of crazy ideas, a general manager who believes that “customer visibility” is a catchall to strip an employee of his legal rights, a law firm representing the employee and another law firm representing the work council acting on behalf of the employee (and right now employing two lawyers full-time for the company’s work council).

We shall see where this leads us. Fortunately, I’m an emotionally strong person, but I’m pretty sure that this toxic workplace would have others already have collapsed.

On the blog

As usual, people are mostly interested in tech babble, not in my music.

Of the roughly 3800 page views, place one was again Frequency Modulation or Phase Modulation? with around 1500 views! This is followed by a huge margin with Is there a perfect synthesizer? – some food for thought (288) and Taming a noisy beast: A new fan for the Kurzweil K2600XS  (186). The first post that has remotely to do with my art is Eclectic Blah: On Mastering (place 7, 76 views).

Interestingly, this experience is down the same alley as that of my online friend #scatterfilter, who had removed his remix of an Eclectic Blah track because so many people had liked it and this drew attention away from his original work…seems we all suffer from the same problems.

Looking to 2015

The “move to München” target, taken over from last year’s post, has simply moved to this year, and is now a strong target to be completed before end of the 2015 calendar year, in addition motivated by the toxic workplace situation.

With that will also come the completion of the “establish NAS” and “get new synthesizers” items. The latter one possibly before the move.

I will keep in mind to rerelease the remaining “improvisational period” albums.

I will continue working on electronic stuff. If that’s Erlanger Programm, or another idea, called [square] (minimal ambient), or something entirely different, remains to be seen.

I will hopefully get a #secretalbum release out. Hot candidates are either Baßtelstube or Größenordnungen. And maybe I’ll put some more work into AENEIS.

I will look forward to another Illusions & Reflections release – which is somewhat beyond my direct control.

I’ll be listening to some heavy metal live acts. Currently confirmed are Blind Guardian and the new Rockavaria festival.

Maybe I’ll start a proper music group (like in actually sitting together).

And finally, the aforementioned electronic album has already been released! It’s called oscillator theory and is mighty fine (at least that’s what I think).

Summary

The toxic workplace situation notwithstanding, 2014 was a pretty fine year again, especially with regard to music.

Let’s see what 2015 will bring along…

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