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moulin rouge

Last week I was in Marburg were I visited an old colleague and friend of mine, Andreas Urff.
He works at the Stadttheater Giessen as a stage technician. His wife has a ballet school and they do a performance with all the students every two years. This time the theme was “Moulin Rouge” and the story was about a young girl who comes to Paris to learn to dance and become a dancer at the “Moulin Rouge”. I helped with the lighting.
The time in Marburg was very exiting and also very exhausting. First of all because of the Urff family. Two extremely energetic parents and four non the less children. There is always party time.
And then there was of course the performance. The Performance had three parts.
The first played at Mont Martre, the second in a ballet school and the third in the “Moulin Rouge”. Andreas built a big windmill, about 8 meter high with rotating wings and flashing lights. We had about 350 children on stage.
You can imagine what it takes to stage such a big performance. Alone the logistic to bring all children in time to the applause. Making more than 400 costumes. And so on.
After this week I was so exhausted that one day at work I had vision disorders.
Now everything is back to normal.
  • Current Mood: calm calm
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Opera! Who needs opera!

Maybe I do not understand Opera at all.
On thursday I went to the dressreheasal of "the flying Dutchman" from Richard Wagner.
It is an open-air performance by the "Staatstheater Braunschweig" at the Burgplatz of Braunschweig.
It was the first time I have seen an opera by Wagner. Maybe I was preoccupied, but what I have seen and heard was boring and very silly.
Maybe the funny parts were intended by Wagner? Who knows. I was under the impression that Wagner is very serious and very dramatic. Again, I am very easily preoccupied.
The staging of the opera did not help to take this whole thing serious.
The stage is a theatre in the round but the singers where acting for most of the time to the front where the orchestra is sitting. This actually is the place with very few seats. The male choir supposed to be seamen but behaved like men from the choir. The female choir was dressed like fancy dress dolls from the fifties. They acted quit to there part because that's what they are in normal live anyway. (Sorry for my rant, they are not that bad. Its only they should not only be singers but performers as well, if they work for an opera house).
  • Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

Summertime is Orgeltime

Every summer in Braunschweig there is a series of concerts called "Summertime is Orgeltime" (Orgel=Organ)
Every Wednesday there is a concert in one of the many churches in Braunschweig.
Today it was the third time [info]shrike_15 and my attended one of this concert.
The first one had quit a good program  but the organ was loud as hell! I thought they want to raise the dead. And the organist was performing very poorly. And the Introduction was very protestant.
The next concert was at St. Katharinen. This time the organ had a decent volume. I liked the first part of the concert best. It was the Peer Gynt Suit No.1. The second part was "Peter und der Wolf" by Sergej Prokofjew. They did some alteration to the original text to give it a more adult (Comedian) feeling, but this dos not work for such a traditional story.
The concert today was one of the strangest things I attended for a long time.
It was, like all the other concerts, in a church.
It was given by an organist who normally plays church music.
But his true passion is the theater organ. So he played Broadway and film music.
There is a time and a place for everything. But this felt totally wrong. And he didn't stop by playing the old Broadway and film tunes.
He also played "Mama Mia" and "Thank you for the music" by ABBA! And the Star wars theme!!
I think he has the wrong job. He should go to America and play a real theater organ in a pizza parlor.
  • Current Mood: embarrassed embarrassed

music all over

Hi, I am back. Not only from China but also to the live journal.
I am now in my fourth week into my holidays.
Since this week I am relaxing a bit, I think.
This means not that I am lazy. ;-)
There's loads to do. Gardening, reading, going to the museum, doing Pilates, listening to organ concerts and trying to learn the guitar.
Its now 15 month since I started again to play the guitar after more than 20 years doing no music at all.
Yesterday shrike_15 and me played some music together for the first time in history!
We played "A Port" from "Sir Gordon of Straloch's Lute Book" arranged for harp and guitar by shrike_15 . I think it came of very well.
It is now two weeks since shrike_15 and me went to Bremen to visit an old colleague and frind of her and [info]mathiasroesel .
For me it was a first time to meet this to people. It was a wonderful and inspiring weekend.
It was also the first time we met someone who we came in to contact via the internet. Mathias was not a complete stranger because I knew he is member of the German lute society.
I am also a member even if I don't play the lute (jet). One of the founder is Matthias Schneider, my first guitar and lute teacher.
Mathias Rösel promised to visit us in the near future and that we play some music together. I am absolutely looking forward to it.
Next week Shepper is going to maintenance my Fender Bass guitar. So I can have not only fun with "old" music but also do some Rock 'n Roll as Shepper would say. For me its more everything from Abba to Zappa but no techno or "Volkstümliche Musik".
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
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Tonight premier of "A Clockwork Orange", tomorrow I am going to China for a week.
This is probably going to be funny journey because of some red chairs. What this is all about I will tell you when I am back.
For now I am scared a little about next week.
Its going to be a long week away from home and worse, from my beloved one. :-(
  • Current Location: Work
  • Current Mood: scared scared

Decision making

After being in Braunschweig for two years now, I finally came to some decisions.
First, I am going to quit my job at the Staatstheater Braunschweig after the next season. This is due to the fact that most of the people doing their job are not devoted to the art of theater. People here see only their department and not the whole story.
Second, I quit my membership at Lichtgestaltung e.V. Also this is to the fact that this association is about something different then I thought. I wanted to support lighting design in all his aspects as it is written in the articles of the association. But the people in the association only want to support the degree course for lighting design at the theaterakademie in Bavaria. A noble thing to do but has nothing to do with me.
The bad thing is that it takes me a lot of time to realise all such things and even more time to make decisions.
The good thing is, at the end, i do.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope its not a train.
  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

Easter holidays

After the "Tanzwelten" dance festival I had wonderful easter holidays ending today. shrike_15 and I had some gatherings with our braunschweig friends, did a short session of calligraphy, had some delicious homemade carrot cake, some home made white bread and cross buns. I was just lazy when ever I could. The only disadvantage was the weather. It was snow all over, hail, freezing cold an dark. Not something that would make you thinking it is springtime.
  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: cold cold


It is over and done.
Seven days of “Tanzwelten” are behind me.
“Tanzwelten” was a festival for dance theater in Braunschweig with companies from all over the world.
We started with a company from China, followed by dancers from Austria, Denmark, Togo, Germany, India and France/Egypt.
I did all the planing and preparations for the shows. This was kind of hard for me because I had to get up at 7:00 every day for 7 days:-( and I could only see some of the shows.
The most interesting experience was to see that every country had there own way of working and there own way of lighting their show in almost a cliché like manner. I only had the chance to see two shows but had some glimpse during set up and rehearsal.
The Chinese had a wonderful exposure to color and stylized looks.
The company from Togo came with some shopping-bags filled with some gunnysacks. They unfurled them and actually sat down and sewed them together to get a 10 by 6 meter backdrop. They had two live musicians and the light was not done by calling lighting cues but by mixing the lights during the show. Every thing hand made.
The Indian company did a mixture from bollywood show and modern dance theatre. The choreographer and the lighting designer are mainly doing bollywood shows and fashion shows. The show was better than I thought it would be but the lighting was a bit like a low budget bollywood / fashion show.
The odd thing was that for the preplanning of the show they sent me an email containing to files. One was a coreldraw file and the second was a zip file containing the same coreldraw file and an excel file containing again the coreldraw drawing. The original drawing was actually imported in to careldraw and not readable. The next drawing was made with powerpoint! It is always a surprise what you can do with computers ;-).

I start to hate windows, realy

OK here is my short story about windows, mac and people not doing there job in a proper way.
A couple of month ago I started to think about using a windows lighting control program on my laptop which happened to be a MacBook. Because I wanted to keep my MacBook clean of Windows I thought about an external hard disk and BootCamp for that matter. I went to Gravis ( a Mac Shop in Germany) and asked about using an external hard disc and Bootcamp. The boy at Gravis that it would be fine if I had MAC OS 10.5. because the beta version of bootcamp is no more available. Because I could not afford the upgrade and the new hard disk I waited till last Thursday. To day I installed the new OS and found out that the bloody Windows can not boot from the external hard disk. So I bought the external hard disk for nothing. Thank you Gravis!
And have you ever tried to buy a new handy in Germany? The people in the shops can't tell you what handy meets your needs. And in most shops you can't try the functionality. I think most people think a handy has only to look good.
That's that for today.
Hear you soon.
Yours Alexander
  • Current Mood: annoyed annoyed