During my work composing for the SONOTON recorded music library I repeatedly was so fortunate to get the opportunity to write/orchestrate for full orchestra. It’s quite something – having a hundred piece orchestra playing your tune… somewhat humbling, in any case. Here are a few of the tracks:
I do historically shy away from scoring my films, as others – especially my brother Gregor – are so much better at it. I do, however, love to get involved in the title tracks… this is for me the icing on the cake, the one great pleasure to wrap a project up with.
The first title song I did was for AFTER A LONG DAY I WOKE UP. I wrote the song “What a Wonderful Universe” and performed the vocal, my brother contributed the beautiful orchestral score. I still love the song.
For THE LEAVING I teamed up with the great American Blues Artist Marcus Milius to transcribe the old Austrian folk song “Brüderlein Fein” from 3/4 to 4/4, to “blues it up” and add some English lyrics to it. Marcus performs the music and sings a duet with the star of the film, Elisatbeth. So much fun.
For TAKE ME HOME I again resurrected an old Austrian traditional, “Heidschi Bumbeidschi Bumbum”. The original deals with a child waking up and his/her mother being gone. It’s labeled a “lullabye”… how cruel can it get? I used to weep loudly when hearing it as a child (coincidentally, “Heidschi” was the nickname my father used for my mother… that really did it for me). As the film is about the mother leaving (or being separated from) the child, this song fits perfectly. I did some initial pop arrangement and recorded some basic tracks, my brother arranged and recorded a string section over it. And then we recorded the vocals, a duet between Heidelinde Pfaffenbichler – a wonderful actress and singer, who played the nurse in the film – and myself. Again, much fun.
This was my first collaboration with my friend Andy Lutschuonig, an up to date rock album for SONOTON recorded music library. I think it sounds pretty good – and I’d like to take much credit for it, but have to admit it’s mostly Andy’s genius that makes this project so special.
This is the last project I started before moving to Los Angeles, where I ended up switching from music into film. So in a way this is my last serious musical draft geared for a career in music. But one can easily see that the lyrics of “Nobody” show some reluctance to continue on the path I was going. Change was on the horizon.
Cologne based rock band (German language, Austrian dialect):
Vocals/guitar: Robert Narholz Bass: Frank Breuer Drums: Ralf Bursch
After TSCHIK we reformed our band (after a break) to form JUNG – a more ambitious rock project. Ambitious in a sense that we got much more interesting musically, played with unusual rhythm patterns and such. But I was almost on my way out, away from Cologne, heading for America. This band sadly never had a real chance.
This was an elaborate effort combining performance art with pop music. I would perform on stage with a beamer throwing a video at me which depicted a TV next to (real) me, where again a video was showing me at the keyboard programming the very tracks I was performing on stage. Also, my entrance onto the stage was done by my life-size video double: “He” in same outfit would be projected coming on the stage and walk up to the mic, then there were bright blinding flashes, and I was standing there in the flesh. The same, reversed, happened at the end of the show.
It was a way for me to explore the artificiality of the creation of music and its consumption. At the time, in 1991, the MIDI technology marked the beginning of the epoche of people programming instruments at their (studio), not needing musicians to play the instruments any more (this epoche is still here, only with much updated technology). It’s somewhat of a lonely, solipsist way of creating art. And little did I know, way before the internet was anywhere on the horizon, I anticipated the lonely way of consumption, too. What was artificial about the process and the experience, and what was real? The lyrics of the songs also reflect a “cyber life” – techno dream and human experience are mushed up into some electronic melody pulse.
Unfortunately no video of the show has survived. Only some musical tracks are here as a witness of this strange hybrid – which was neither art nor pop, and hence never really got off the ground in either genre: