I do not want to give you, dear reader, the impression that I do not have the negative aspects of this year on my screen, which is why I will start my article with the negative 2020. However, I have to draw an incredibly positive balance from the year. I am leaving the social aspects completely out of the picture here, I can only say one thing: Some people scare me these days. To compare the relativization of the dead or the equation of current restrictions with Sophie Scholl or Anne Frank, there are no words. And all of this to justify behavior that is simply not showing solidarity. I believe that this crisis reveals problems that have long been there.
If you follow us a little, you will know what our attitude towards the crisis, the suffering in the industry and a reflected and appreciative interaction with one another is. The corona crisis is terrible. I would like to underline that at this point and a quick prayer for all those who are suffering from the health consequences or who are facing economic failure.
The year also brought us closer together within the team. The crisis actually showed once again that communication is extremely important. Due to the different starting situations of the individual members, it was not easy to continue our work at the beginning. I also briefly discussed this in my article on „Dezemberzeilen“. Good communication, numerous meetings via Zoom or FaceTime were able to bring us closer to our goals.
Among other things, this year we also set a school book to music for „Klett Verlag“. Of course, a lot was also worked out remotely and demos and arrangements were sent to each other. We were only in the team in the studio in the last phase. Communication is already a challenge for the creatives with such jobs. Most of the time, the feedback from authors only reaches me through corners, and of course they know just as little about the thought processes that go on with us, and why we make which decision and how. If there had been no contact restrictions, I would have happily gone there to collect as much consensus as possible. But it still worked to everyone's satisfaction.
I had been writing material for years, and this year I finished the first texts with my co-writer Jenny Chenney. Jenny is so important because she helps me translate my texts into English. Why does a German songwriter do this? Well, on the one hand there was the desire to just sing again in English, and on the other hand I really think that these self-reflective texts in German would probably be too clear. German is incredibly precise and in English some hooklines “fly” a little more. Certainly a complex topic, which I cannot summarize in three lines here. And actually don't want to. Text ready, now what?
In the middle of the first lockdown, I was able to use my time and do one layout after the other in the studio. These demos were then used (partially edited and transposed) to record the lead vocals. Then it went into the production phase with a live band. The other way around ... With the drive of sensible vocals - which also means that I have my head free on the instrument and not already calculating the next 12 steps - we recorded bass and drums in a live session with four people. That was a real experience.
With Katja Stoffels (bass), Marc Rohles (keyboards) and Denis Sarp (drums) I had the perfect session band. Markus took care of the technology and the sound, Fabian Brümmer produced and I enjoyed it! Finally again with a band in the studio. Experience how the musicians put more into the song with every bar. How they push more in the second part of the verse, how bass and drums play in ecstasy when soloing ... That was just great. Pure gratitude! Be curious! The second lockdown prevented progress now, but that's okay for the moment.
It should also be mentioned that Mirjam von Eigen (vocal coach), a singer who worked on the songs with me, was also present at the vocal recordings and coached her to a great result. Absolute luxury for me: Finally the other way around! Someone is coaching my singing from the direction.
I've already written my own article about „Dezemberzeilen“, you can find it here.
The project was awesome, the result - despite Corona - actually hard to believe. Lots of sales, lots of feedback. And I would like to go into that again separately.
2020 was a year of appreciation for me. Incredible, and actually hard to believe what kind of messages people were sending us. From tears in the eyes to pictures of the common Advent breakfast with „Dezemberzeilen“, everything was there! We really couldn't believe it and are very grateful for that. This mood was also reflected within the team. There have never been so many hurdles to overcome and never has a team confirmed itself more through performance and heart than here. Since three out of four are the rurtonproducing team, I think it's clear that this applies to everyone involved. After we had all found each other at „Dezemberzeilen“ and the last inconsistencies had been eliminated, the project was finally defined between all the heads, wishes and expectations and an original team member left, „VIERDAFÜR“ were born.
Sometimes scary: How appreciative we were to one another, how appreciative we were from the outside. Again a mirror.
In this sense: A great year is coming to an end, and at the same time a terrible one for many people.
Take care of each other!