On a dusty corner in Berlin stands a grand old café called Sankt Oberholz. Inside you may find the odd table of friends, the odd couple having an awkward first date… but what will strike you upon entering is the number of people sitting alone with their macs (it is rare to encounter a pc person!) .. it’s strangely beautiful to see all the lonely people together.. lonely together.. einsam zusammen.. a very modern phenomenon..
When i first moved to Berlin i was there often and I sometimes wondered why we don’t just talk to each other.. but being shy i just continued to upload demos to myspace (this was pre-facebook and pre the skype-whisperers you encounter there now)..
anyway.. this song was inspired by this new kind of loneliness i discovered in a time when our inherent need to *search* (be it for love, or a job, a place in the world or meaning in the universe) was being slowly but surely replaced by a far less challenging ability… to *google*
i have had a love-hate relationship with the internet ever since. I have spent entire nights watching Ellen interview Nicole Kidman or wasted hours typing messages to men i knew i would never meet.. I have killed time whilst all the while time killed me watching Meryl Streep win her Oscars and Catherine Tate be “not drunk enough” .. time i could have spent writing music, or a letter to a friend, or being out there *in* my life where i *might* actually meet somebody unphotoshopped and in 3D! The internet has oft led the way to self-loathing and frustration.
On the other hand, without it I would not know about fainting goats.. or fighting giraffes.. or otters holding hands.. I would probably not have learned of many of the great musicians, artists & poets who now inspire me daily.. I would not have been lucky enough to witness such incredible performances, be it Joni Mitchell singing “Both Sides Now”, Furtwangler conducting Brahms’ 4th Symphony or a little boy singing in front of a Bart Simpson poster who would go on to have the world at his feet .. I would also have not encountered much of the inspiration for my songs.. crazy facts i find when one click leads to another and i am led off on tangents of wonderment and awe. I have also made some real-deal true friends online and met some fantastic human beings. And people are also able to find me and my music, for which i am grateful.
Recently for example, the wonderful singer and songwriter Teitur was touring Germany. In each town he and his manager were searching via Facebook for a local support act. It was a lovely idea and there was great enthusiasm on Teitur’s page from bands and songwriters sending links to their work, hoping to be chosen. Very late the night before I knew Teitur and his manager would be choosing the Berlin act, I quickly wrote a little song called “Good morning, Teitur” to introduce myself.. well it worked.. and at 4pm the next day I got the call from the manager asking could i be at Lido at 6 for soundcheck.. I was having coffee with my friend Katja at the time and I asked “wanna come play cello at a concert with me?” and she said “ok when?” and i said “right now” and she said “ok”.. meanwhile Stefi out at Traumton was grabbing a box of CDs and hurrying for the train.. I love my friends! It was such a special night and a great opportunity to do a live performance one week before my CD release concert. The best part of the whole thing was to hear Teitur himself.. his wonderful being.. his spirit.. his voice.. his lyrics.. he is truly inspired and inspiring. I’m definitely a Teitur fan now.
so i guess to be online isn’t always to be offlife after all..
listen to my song “sankt oberholz” and download the free app for your smart phone here.