(This post has been drafted right before the disastrous fires in California. For some reason I felt I should publish later. Now we know… This is not meant to take lightly what is happening, but to reflect on a different level what is always there and all too easily being overlooked).

In ancient times people used to dignify the natural elements we are confronted with, mostly in the shape of gods and goddesses.

I feel there is a lack of this approach in our times, even if there’s no way of returning to ancient practice. We should honor from time to time what is mightier than us and lies at the base of our existence. Fire is an elemental force, at the same time warming, delivering energy, and threatening. A sense of this, which has been very lively in our ancestors, still lives on in every one of us.

past time commitments


It is sometimes baffling and surprising how systematically we are pushed towards certain objectives throughout our lives, only much later being able to see the pattern in it. Seeing this, I feel encouraged to go with the flow and to trust my feelings even if I should now be unable to derive any sense from them.

Indulging in my own past I found I had been preparing what I’m doing now literally for decades. Only then no one could see a pattern in these diverging aspirations, including me. As an example, this shows a psychedelic picture I drafted when I was about fifteen years old, combined with a piece of music I recorded in June this year.

guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox ToneLab, Tube Trem

next floor


Strange muffled sounds reaching your ears – where could they come from?

Is what is supposed to be a door leading anywhere? In any case you’ll have to enter the unknown after you managed to open it. Maybe it just falls off its frame instead of opening, and you will be facing the void…

Meanwhile the clock on the wall might turn out a Salvador Dali “flexible” or “soft” one, rather irritating than showing the time. Melting away. Take a step out of time, out of your believed-to-be-safe life. Enter the next floor.

glimpses of nirvana

That’s what the British Rock Group Procol Harum (also one of my favorites) called it on their enigmatic tune “In Held Twas In I”.

And that’s what I was so blessed to experience through music and sound these days. After a period of uneasy waiting, desperately seeking for something to do while my only motivation was to expand my musical environment in order to take the next step – now the really best amplifier I ever heard with electric guitar finally hit my studio. And it’s mine.

I suppose only few of you can imagine how – well, non-materialistic, almost spiritual such an experience can be. Unless you are infected by the same virus as me, it may be just an amplifier to you, designed to annoy the neighborhood.

But it’s much more. It brings a vision into life. It fulfills a lifetime dream of mine, one I didn’t even really know I had, for lack of knowledge. Well, I only knew this amplifier’s bigger brother, the legendary AC 30, when I was young, but nevertheless this is the final point of a several years’ research, of my search for the right amplifier. This one has the smoothest and most pleasant high frequency response I ever heard. It’s just the right size for my studio and it makes any guitar shine…

To explain the cult around a thing one could consider as a simple tool: for electric guitar players the amplifier is just an extension of their instruments, almost part of these or rather one out of two instruments played simultaneously. A tube amplifier kind of develops a life of his own, reacting to the dynamics of the player in a very individual and vivid way.

So it’s no wonder the whole thing turns me (the player in this case) upside down. It will also take some time until things get settled in order to record new material with this new equipment for the blog. I have several amplifiers here to be tested in different settings with different speaker cabinets, some of them being loans. Everything needs to be built up from scratch now, until I will hopefully regain command over my equipment.

While I am feeling like a pioneer and an archaeologist at the same time, delightfully plunging into sound, I must have you waiting. There are some posts on stockpile, though. So as you can continue listening and looking here, you will now know what I’ll be doing in the meantime…

The Vox AC 15 Heritage is an anniversary reissue of the very first Vox amplifier which was introduced in 1957. With the lights low, you can see the tubes glowing behind the “diamond pattern cloth”. Much better than watching TV!

to a friend’s birthday


A few days ago I looked more closely at a drawing hanging on the wall that was one of the last examples of my drawing or painting efforts. It was made on October 7th, 1976, when I was sixteen years old, and about to embark on the musical trip rather than on fine arts.

Although the picture shows some not too idyllic houses of my home town, I always liked the atmosphere provided by the blue skies around them. Pondering what I could do to honor my friend Elspeth’s birthday, I read the numbers on said drawing, and discovered it was just the date of her birthday!

Elspeth has inspired me by writings and pictures on her blog Now Is Wow in the short time since I have known her, and I simply enjoyed several collaborations we did together.

I’d like to thank you, Elspeth, and wish you a happy birthday!

clouds (1)


This is actually not on clouds alone, but on the interplay of light and water in the skies.

Take your time to stop and watch what is shown up there every day! It’s for free, and it’s terrific.

guitar & gear: Gibson Les Paul Special, Vox ToneLab SE, Gerd Schulte Phaser