leaving the concert hall after an anna Þorvaldsdóttir concert and entering men’s restroom is a one of a kind experience. no chance you fully realized / digested what you just heard by then. and so you’re standing in front of the urinal, eyes closed, and the silence in the restroom appears as a dynamic and complex composition of nothingness. as a magically choreographed dance of its countless particles, more and more assuming form, color and shape before your inner eye = as part of the concert. struggling to find a proper description or name for this, you finally come up with “artistic silence”. still hypnotised by these dancing particles, it takes a certain while until you wake up again and discover that you are still standing in front of the urinal. so you hurry packing your business, washing your hands, getting out of the restroom and back into the concert hall, just to take a quick shot of the prepared piano in order to get an evidence that everything really happened. out of the corner of your eye you notice the composer, talking to those who obviously are more familiar with what happened, looking happy, grateful and nice, holding a bunch of flowers. for a second you look at her, wondering what might have taken her here…
you know, i have quite some experience with contemporary / neoclassical pieces of experimental and/or ambient fashion, intensifying gloomy undertone and i even own “aerial“. all in all i was rather sceptical towards the potential outcome of an acreage that was so heavily farmed and harvested by ligeti, pärt and cage – but i was disabused impressively.
now i am sitting here, enjoying the aftermath of all this, witnessing the artistic silence getting slowly replaced by regular silence… i still have some brennivín somewhere!
and there i was, at this adorable ghost town in the midst of the maximally stunning scenery. like tons of small towns in swiss alps verbier is supposed to be a ski ressort and therefore happens to be kind of abandoned during all the other seasons. all the cute chalets barricaded, only supermarkets, tourist information and a handful restaurant opened, cable car only three times a day. it still offers plenty of attractions during off-season, like hiking, mountain biking and paragliding and it would be a huge success everywhere else on the planet, but not in switzerland. nobody out there. i am not complaining at all, au contraire, this all ensured the perfect escapist mood and that was exactly what i was looking for…
it’s not always necessary to go long distance in order to find a cute little place where you can hide from the world for some valuable time. you don’t even have to escape into the arms of nature. there are these spots in midst of all civilisation as well… like highway reststops on a very early sunday morning.
nothing but you with yourself, a bowl of goulash soup and a pot of artificial flowers in your warmly illuminated cocoon with this specific background noise that is actually subsisting but reduced to a minimum. not only that it’s not disturbing much, it feels like it’s even improving all meditational effects, like some sort of urban equivalent of the rushing of a creek. where no soundtrack is needed.
elektrolux (not to be confused with electrolux, swedish washing machine manufacturer) was* a german label releasing unique highest quality downtempo sound – a unique and perfect symbiosis of pure (robotic) ambient with dub / electro elements. the sound clearly stands out from all the other lounge-style chillout kind of mumble pulp crap.
my personal elektrolux heyday was late 90s / early 2000s when the music guided me through countless sunrises after club nights, waiting for the first train home or in car on the empty autobahns. i’m so truly thankful for all this! it’s also still connected with lots of after hours and, of course, the space night series. elektrolux has been mentioned in every blog i had so far and of course it has to be a part of this one as well… even though i own quite some releases meanwhile, there is still much to be collected and the elektrolux hunt is continuing to be part of every music fair visit.
the track packed with the most emotions, warmth and memories certainly is “funkstille” by frank rückert and marcus schmahl alias rauschfaktor. oh boy…
*) the label still exists obviously, got renamed into elux recordings but releases now lounge-style music as well, at least what i heard during a first quick check
there has always been this kind of literature in which, yeah, nothing really happens – no perceptible action but exhaustingly long and detailed descriptions of inner or outer circumstances, dialogues or monologues. paperized boredom. no surprises, no sudden movements, no signs of life. in short: the proustish breath of death.
most of the literature classics are still appearing insanely boring to me but there is a bunch of living aspiring disciples that gained my attention within the last couple of years: per petterson, nils-ove knausgard or andreas maier, just to mention a few. at first glance, their books are as mind-numbing as proust’s, joyce’s or tolstoi’s. but there is something different with contemporary boredom literaturewise.
so far, i wasnt even able to go beyond the 10 page threshold really. there was this severe resistance from somewhere inside me. being forced, my body reacted with fatigue or aggressivity. that’s no longer the case (already finished two of petterson’s books). such books even taste like nothing less than the next step on the ladder. so what happened? apparently i got more tolerant of going through life in first gear.
not really daring to call it maturity or to give age credit for this (i’m still only 35 after all). but it really feels like major life questions being answered, the principle lessons learned, macrocosm explored and future comes along with all those microcosms. let’s check back in 10 years. meanwhile i am reading maier and seeing myself as only guest in a cute little pub the middle of the godforsaken wetterau, having a glass of apple wine and slowly but steadily dissolving and merging with the nothingness surrounding me while singing happy melodies.
to get the most authentic feeling, i decided to write this article next to the opened window. snowing outside, minus 2 degrees celsius. even though it was much colder very recently that’s gonna be a cold finger experience for sure. the timespan between the work seasons of 2016 and 2017 will come to an end tonight and since that will also mark the conclusion of another tiny and isolated chapter again, i have to write this article before. as long as this particular mood persists.
those last two weeks included christmas and new year (both as next generation clones of the previous years and therefore not worth to be mentioned here) and a whole lot of healthy idleness (what’s müßiggang in english? primrose path!) which allowed me to focus on some stuff, that was too time eating so far and therefore postponed: long walks, long chats, extended writing, reading, thinking… and sleeping. it’s also the ambient and vaporwave season.
outside frost traditionally creates this magical inner relaxation. the hibernation of my homunkulus makes everything around me hypnotising, inspiring and easily addicting – and everything i do meditative, soul cleaning and… just the right thing to do. actually i have no idea if this unique kind of silence (that in fact functions not nervewrecking but reconstructing) comes from the absence of my tinnitus as result of homunkulus’ sleep or from the fact that the snow blanket really kills all outside noises. maybe both. this clearly remains one of the biggest winter mysteries for me.
i can’t keep this inner peace and calmness alive throughout the upcoming weeks of course. all kinds of daily life routines will wake the homunkulus up again who will instantly start to scream. trying my best to preserve it despite everything. that’s my only resulution for 2017. again. thanks much to everyone involved! ❤
in my 10s i watched a documentary about iceland. i saw glaciers, highlands, volcanos as well as reykjavík, lighthouses and puffin rocks. i certainly liked what i saw but i liked a lot back then. life appeared voluminous, colorful and promising. so i bookmarked the entire thing as “i’d like to visit (one day maybe)” and soon afterwards the pictures left the stage of consciousness again, alongside many others.
in the middle of some tough times later on, the icelandic pictures rose from the depth back to the surface. the wish to escape from the here and now got its own peaceful and redeeming face; when iceland transformed from a “i’d like to visit” into a “i have to visit” destination. one specific picture soon became the embodiment of shangri-la: the sólfar. it took some more years until the trip finally happened. as i wrote in my diary back then, standing next to sólfar was kind of a long-awaited milestone in my life. now i was finally able to close this chapter of loss and suffering and to look into a future. a little pathetic but still…
there were, are and will be a lot more of such symbolic refuge places and lucky me had the opportunity to visit some of them: barbican estate (london), bargfeld, absinthe route, former kling klang studio (düsseldorf), gellért thermal bath (budapest), old tresor (berlin), people’s friendship arch (kyiv), … – each and everyone is connected with its own individual time of yearning in my past – not necessarily coming along with suffering, thank goodness! the spots mentioned above are not directly comparable to the sólfar of course in terms of subjective value and importance but still mean a lot more to me than those countless “nice to visit” places.
i wont post a sólfar picture here. common decency and due to great respect for all the other places on the face of the planet that already were / are or will be playing their role in my biography. i found an abstract shangri-la illustration instead which perfectly does the trick.
taken from: http://publicdomainreview.org/