About me and my music

I started learning the guitar when I was 9, but I have always loved singing and identified primarily as a singer since I was 13. I learned classical singing, and I started my training at about 10 in the choir of my school. I studied opera at Musikhochschule Saarbrücken, left to study German Literature and musicology at Freie Universität Berlin and now work in a totally unrelated field.

From late 2001 to 2004, I was the singer of a metal band. In the end, it didn’t work out well. I learnt that not everyone likes soprano voices and that recording a voice like mine is a tough task. I learnt that a voice can totally alter the way a band is perceived, and that a female front singer with a high, clear voice gets pigeonholed as a certain stereotype quicker than you can say … well, anything. This didn’t do any lasting damage to my love of metal.

I returned to classical music in 2008 when I joined the choir canta:re. (We have parted in friendship in 2012, mainly because my day job put a great strain on me and the weekly rehearsals started to feel too much like duty.)

And then, one day in autumn of 2010, I listened to a concert of Blind Guardian. IMHO a really, really great live band. And it kindled a spark. Yes, I loved classical music and it will always be my native language, but I also wanted to make music in a more lively, energetic, spontaneous way.
In February 2011, I gathered my courage and took part in FAWM. I wanted to know: “Am I able to write songs?” At that time, I was convinced that I’m no good at writing lyrics. I was terrified by that red button of my DAW, getting more nervous in front of the microphone than in front of a real-life audience. But I did it.

Slowly, the recording anxiety subsided – well, I still get excited when I hit that red button, but I’m no longer shaking. If I carry on, I might actually get to like it some day.

My gear

I have two guitars, a concert guitar, just called “the guitar”, and a 6-string Western guitar called Erda. I mostly use Erda for my singer-songwriter music.

Then there is my keyboard, a Doepfer LMK-1 MIDI Masterkeyboard, and the piano expanders – an old Roland CM 300, which has a beautiful piano sound but also produces some annoying noise, and a Roland SC-33 that offers some nice synth sounds.

Currently, I make my recordings with a Zoom H4n and a standard PC running Ubuntu Studio. I mostly use Ardour 2 or Audacity for recording and audio editing, for some electronic things I have so far employed seq24 and LMMS, and ZynAddSubFx is my go-to software for anything synth-wise.

Inspirations

Besides other music, my songwriting draws a lot of inspiration from three sources: paganism, science and space exploration. You will find some songs about mythical persons in my songs now and then, sometimes invocations of the elements, but you will find songs about heroes of space exploration, about telescopes and black holes as well. Everyone can make songs about monogamous romantic relationships. My creativity resonates with the awesomeness of our planet and our universe, as seen through the eyes of scientists and astronauts.

There are so many wonders yet unsung. I set out to let them light a fire in my imagination and turn these wonders into song.

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