That was 2015

That was quite a good year. Even though I failed to meet most of my goals – with the exception of the “big one”, which I’ve been carrying around with me for quite some time. But stick with me for details!

Goals Revisited

At the beginning of 2015, I had set a number of goals for myself: two new albums (one #secretalbum, and an unrelated one), maybe rerelease some old albums from the improvisational period, listening to some live concerts, and of course the big “move to München” goal. And maybe start a new music group (like, in playing together with people in the same room).

That Big Goal…

The move (back) to München took place by the end of September. Which meant a new job (also in München, obviously), and a new major version for MoinSound Studio (it’s now 4.0). No, I didn’t get the NAS (yet), but have developed a detailed concept for it, but to make up for it, I got not one, but two new synths (Arturia MiniBrute, DSI Tetra), and at least one more to come.

MSS 4.0 taking shape
MSS 4.0 taking shape

München. I love this place. True, my have Vietnamese restaurant had massively declined, but to make up for it, we discovered a very fancy Chinese (or rather “pan-asian”) place.

Now most people know München for the Oktoberfest (here, we call it “Wies’n”), BMW and maybe FC Bayern München, and a few people even have heard of the quality of the two universities and numerous research institutions, and there’s even three world-class symphonic orchestras here. But it’s not only that – for this author, just riding a bike along the Isar on a warm Altweibersommer afternoon, or sitting in an Untergiesing street café (or Obergiesing Biergarten) is what it’s really about.

Best way to enjoy Wiesn: weekday around noon.
Best way to enjoy Wiesn: weekday around noon.
Schlittenfoahn!
Schlittenfoahn!

Make no mistake here – I didn’t leave Würzburg because I didn’t like it, and I have already started to miss its beauty, its spirit, its inhabitants. But still, München is better.

Die Würzburger Todestreppe
Die Würzburger Todestreppe
The beauty of Würzburg Mainkai
The beauty of Würzburg Mainkai

Music (other folks’)

“Other folks’ music” here refers to music which I don’t have any creative relationship with – consequently, the next chapter will deal with the rest of the music (meaning also stuff from/with projects which I don’t lead, but only take part in, in whichever role).

There were a few beautiful concerts. Starting off the year was Blind Guardian in Stuttgart (at the Beethovensaal no less), and although this was a nice concert, it finished the year as being the least-satisfying concert experience in all of 2014.

Next up was my favourite conductor, Kent Nagano, returning to perform a combo of “Sacral Works” with Münchner Philharmoniker. The evening started with the Parzival-Vorspiel, next up was Stravinsky’s Psalmensymphonie, and to end the evening, Bruckner’s last Messe. Great fun was had by all, in no small part due to a splendid performance by orchestra, choir and soloists, and of course the maestro (I think we don’t need to discuss the quality of the presented music here).

The biggest live music event for me was of course Rockavaria. I’ve written an in-depth review about this already, so I’d like to point you to it, and just repeat some of the photos here.

"Paranoia, coming form within" - Mille rocking the Olympastadion
“Paranoia, coming form within” – Mille rocking the Olympastadion
Enjoying the festival...
Enjoying the festival…

Rounding up the year was Anthrax and Slayer, in a stellar performance by both of them – no details here, I’m just looking forward to their appearance at this year’s Rockavaria.

There were album reviews: one of Nail by Isotherme, and one of Hannover by Mostly Other People Do the Killing.

One that wasn’t written yet is one of the stellar Complete Columbia Discography by Glenn Gould, as I’ve only advanced to CD28 (of 82 or so), only so much for now: great edition! Get it!

(great)
(great)

This doesn’t mean that this is all I’ve listened to or recommended to you – you may just browse my twitter stuff for some additional hints.

Music (my own)

Ever since 2007, I had established a “at least one release per year” schedule, totaling in the eight years from 2007 to 2014 in a total of eleven releases (not counting in two fan-only limited edition ones). Yet if oscillator theory hadn’t slipped into 2015 by the label’s request, 2015 wouldn’t have seen any proper release involving me.

This does not mean I was unproductive – it only meant a lot of energy went into…

Erlanger Programm

When I had started this project last April, it had started to see if it was possible to do a full album (or EP) in a short amount of time – similar to the RPM challenge, only within one weekend.

After I had started working on that musical idea (this album does not have anything to do with a project idea of the same name from 2014, except maybe very general structural metaconcepts), it became clear that this was something bigger. Big enough to keep me busy not only for more than a weekend, but even after investing quite some time into it from April to September to only have completed composition and tracking.

For the following months, the move to München, the new day job, and the relaunched MoinSound Studio kept me busy otherwise, so that the last quarter of 2015 didn’t see a lot of work on this project. But as of now, I’m confident to target Q1/2016 for release.

The 411: this is a big, complex one. I’m really happy about it. More details? There’s a lot of babble both in micro- and macroblogging format.

For now, let me provide you with a “work-in-progress” version (to be removed later):

Issue tracking for Erlanger Programm - coming along nicely.
Issue tracking for Erlanger Programm – coming along nicely.

More Music

That Erlanger Programm did take up a lot of productivity. I didn’t do that much otherwise.

Of course, Illusion & Reflections was a topic. This project is mainly driven by its owner, Rhys Anslow, and takes its pace from it. Plans were for a second single in 2015 – and by mid-2015, two tracks were ready from my side, only to leave further guitar recording. Let’s hope for a release in 2016!

I just remembered that I even sketched out another track for this project:

And that’s really it. No rereleases of old albums. No first releases of interesting recordings. No ensemble project. No #secretalbum release (although I did try to make some progress – Größenordnungen really only needs a Warr guitarist – or a good pianist, if you can help me out with either). 2014 was better in those regards.

Post Scriptum: I did a track on January 1st. It took me less than three hours. Maybe an album can be done in a weekend?

Other Stuff

Optics

I got a new camera – and did write about first and second impressions. It’s cool!

Here’s something to link to the “new job” topic above: a shot from the office’s window of some autumn leaves in front of a commercial district.

Fall (season) from the office (with a great camera and lens)
Fall (season) from the office (with a great camera and lens)

Vacations

No big one – but a short trip to Nürnberg. Great place! If I hadn’t gone back to München, this would have been an option for sure!

Nürnberg_1 Nürnberg_2 Nürnberg_3 Nürnberg_4

Blog

No surprises here – I can simply quote from last year  “People are mostly interested in [my] tech babble, not in my music”.

Of the 5’732 views (up by more than 56%!), roughly have of them hit the article on Frequency and Phase modulation for synths. Place 2 and 3 didn’t change as well, they go to me talking whether there is a perfect synthesizer, and installing a quiet fan into a nearly-perfect one.

The first art-related article is in place 4 – my review of Hannover by MOPDtK. The first article about my music is in place 18, with a little more than 1% of the views of the top-ranking article. Go figure. I should stop making or writing about music and focus on what I can do: write about technology, especially synthesizers.

Goals for 2016

Of course I’ll complete Erlanger Programm. That’s a promise.

I’m not so sure about anything else. Another solo album (like, along these lines)? Rereleases, or diving into the archives? New ensemble project? #secretalbum? I don’t know right now.

I will get another synth. And there will be some kind of NAS – finally. And I’ll attend Rockavaria 2016. And hopefully get to see Kent Nagano again. I won’t get to see Motörhead again (RIP).

And there will be reasons to celebrate which don’t have anything to do with the contents of this blog.

 

And with that, have a wonderful year!

Yours,

Rainer

Kokolo

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