Friday, October 26, 2012

My Inside Turned Out

An Illusion That I've Lived For Almost Thirty Years
In 1983 at the age of 12 I wrote my first little piece of music on my elder brother's piano. After that I knew what I wanted to be: a songwriter!  At 16 I came across the progressive music of "The Alan Parsons Project", and it knocked me off my feet.  What I especially like about it is that that "APP" was the first studio-only musical formation and that Alan Parsons was co-writer of the songs as well the team's sound engineer.  I wanted to create the "APP of the 21st century".  At 40 it finally dawned on me that it was not going to happen.  When you bury the dream of your life at that age you have to make sure not to bury your happiness and your soul with it.  For true happiness, in my opinion is what this life is all about. 

 Head In The Clouds

The question that I should probably be asking myself is this: "How could I not see - over all these decades how I was steering my life further and further away from what I considered my true vocation - after graduating from law school, after doing a master of law and yet another master?"  I don' t ask myself this question, thank god.  Why?  Because I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason... 

 A Truly Revelatory Experience II

...that is why the fact that I've spent almost 30 years on that dream (and probably still am a dreamer actually) will never eat me up or even cause me tears.  My life has moved on, I found a wonderful partner for life who's made me more open to new things, be it food, music or, generally speaking, the planet.  Now I even like to listen to the controversial and boundary-testing "Phase 4" LP recordings of the 1960s and 1970s, where "interventionist" engineering techniques were applied to recordings of classical music in order to create a stereo sound that I would like to describe as "hyper-real"Best listened to with headphones.    


Even though I tried my best to make creative music (at a later point together with my wife) with original and yet listenable melodies, unexpected harmony changes, interesting lyrics, and all in all that certain right mix between repetition, familiarity, variation and previously unheard of combinations - elements that set a good song apart from a mediocre one -, I now come to the conclusion that my/our music would never have been what people are willing to pay for.  I have gambled with years of my lifetime and I will not repeat that mistake again.

 Karajan Squares The Circle

I quit making music in early 2011.  One thing I observed since then is that my collection of CDs with "classical" music, especially from the 20th century, has doubled.  Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Bartók, Heiller and Glass are my new Alan Parsons Project, Beatles, Jamiroquai and Steely DanI am still wondering how this is to be interpreted but maybe I am just thinking too much anyway :-)

Q R You, Q Am I ?

So if I am a dreamer who has buried the dream of his life, what does that make me?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Surrealistic Vienna

The other day, after a private meeting right in the city center got cancelled on extremely short notice, I decided to head off on a little adventure.  Since I had my camera with me, I decided to make the best of the time "gained" and walked around, looking for interesting photo motifs.  After approximately four hours I had a 24 exposure cartridge full with photos twice.  240 (minutes) divided by 48 (pics) makes 5.

In other words: I took one photo every five minutes.  

There must be hundreds of people walking up or down these stairs at the Belvedere Palace every hour.  However I waited at least ten minutes until someone came along wearing clothes in strong colours :-)  The leaf of a tree, photographed in the morning of the same day, adds its strong green to the final result.  

The same stairs as above, another "long awaited woman in red" (this time with male company) and the subway station "Karlsplatz" juxtapose the hectic energy of a working day and the care-freeness of being on vacation.

 A fountain at the Lower Belvedere and again the subway station "Karlsplatz".

A tourist enjoys the October sun on one of the seats at the Belvedere, and two friends do just the same while sitting on the lawn in Stadtpark. 

Some modern sculpture which currently faces the Soviet War Memorial partly hides and reveals a photo of people sitting at the edge of the pond in the middle of Stadtpark. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

"She" (Women Part 1)

Listening Through The Lens

The other day I did something I never expected ever doing: asking a person I barely know whether she would be willing to sit through a photo session for me.  Luckily after explaining my experimental project, Daniela, a colleague at work agreed and when all other attendants had left the meeting room I rather quickly did three portraits of her close to the window against the sunlight.  I assume Daniela would have hoped for these pictures to get blended with something more interesting than just an analogue camera but I certainly did not (consciously) know this myself - for I try as much as I can not to "cheat" (as in not memorize the sequence of photos I took on that film) when it comes to Organic Random Photography.  And I must admit I like this picture, also because of the title my wife Nina came up with.

The Three-Dimensional Photograph #1

Believe it or not but the power utility I work for hosts exhibitions in what it calls the "Vertical Gallery".  Until a few days, it hosted some early works of Cindy Sherman.  Some of this famous artist's self-portraits got superimposed on the silhouettes of the shoes that Nina wore on the day of our civil wedding.  Because the eyes meander between the shoes in the foreground and the gallery in the background the photograph creates the illusion of 3D.

Like A Flower In Her Hair

These days I have my analogue camera with me almost all the time.  That came in quite handy when Christina and I were waiting for the fashionably late Claudia to join us for one of our regular breakfasts at a rather posh Viennese café close to work.  The psychedelic element was created by the "Visualizer" of i-Tunes on my MAC when playing the music of Rabih Abou Khalil. 

Beauty Is Kind And Gentle

A portrait of Elisabeth (taken on a sunny day in the canteen at work) got blended with the section about 'beauty' in Khalil Gibran' s book 'The Prophet'.

 Release Your Mind

Nina' s profile merges with a long exposure picture of the view we have from our apartment's "work room".    

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Triple Word Score

When Keys Gallop
As pointed out in a previous blog post I felt like a "tourist in my own town" the other week when my brother, Nina and I were walking around in Vienna, stopping every now and then to take pictures of popular sights, e.g. the Imperial Spanish Riding School.  A pic from an information board there merged with a section of my laptop's illuminated keyboard, which looks quite cool in complete darkness.

Sta Y Foolish
One evening I decided to play Scrabble against myself and document it with my camera.  A few months ago, my parents gave me the game they themselves had bought in the Sixties, with letters still made of wood instead of plastic. After I had both lost and won against myself, I formed those words on the table which constituted the 1972 farewell message of "The Whole Earth Catalog".  That American counterculture catalog and this sentence in particular had had a big impact on Steve Jobs.  When I was on with my scrabble game, the "blank letter" was quicker at hand than the "Y", and the word "FOOLISH" is completely hidden by the leaves of a sunflower I photographed some other day.

Two "Theromcapsulary Dehousing Assisters" From The Scrabble Wars
When Nina and I met with a friend for some Irish breakfast, I took photos of his one year old son Max (below) as well as of available objects like salt and pepper shakers (above). In the subsequent superimposition with the Scrabble board, the shakers reminded me of R2D2, the famous robot droid from "Star Wars", whose terminus technicus makes for a somewhat cumbersome photo title.

Triple Word Score
Max, pictured outside an Irish pub, my parent's old Scrabble board and a game against myself during which - for some obscure reason - I formed the word "ENVY".