This part of the page is about my person - My hobbies, likes and dislikes. If you are interested in my academic and general career
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I was born in Frankfurt am Main, pretty much smack in the middle of Germany, and grew up about 20 kilometers further north in a small village. My childhood was quite uneventful without any brothers and sisters and cared for by my grandmothers with whom I stayed nearly every weekend. My grandmother on my father's side introduced me to hiking and during the tours with the hiking club I was suddenly surrounded by many grandmothers and grandfathers. I guess that's where I found my love for stories because they always told me stories of their youth and other stories for my amusement. My grandmother in her turn taught me many songs and poems that I cherish and still know by heart. My other grandmother, on my mother's side, was rather a traveller than a hiker. She went to such exotic places like Egypt and Mexico or St Petersburg from where she brought souvenirs that decorated her house. She instilled in me the wish to travel, to see the world and its wonders.
I think I owe a great part of my personality to my grandmothers - travelling, singing, poetry and last but not least cooking.
The picture on the left shows my Greenwood Whistle, which I am very proud of. She was handmade by Mr Boisvert (USA) out of ebony garnished with silver. Her true worth, though, lies in her soft, yet clear sound...
And here I am getting sidetracked already. I have always loved music and was introduced to a broad range of musical styles. My parents listened to everything that they heard on the radio and the oldies from the 60s and 70s. They also liked Irish folk, which came to influence me very much later on. My grandmothers listened on the one hand to operas, musicals and Russian choirs, and on the other hand to German folk music. The list goes on from here.
At the age of six I wanted to learn to play the piano, but my mom made me start with the recorder first, and that is what I stuck with. Thus I came into contact with baroque and other classical music. When I grew into my teens I became increasingly interested in Irish Folk and started playing the tin whistle. My grandmother meanwhile encouraged me to sing. With increasing age and monetary power, so to say, I was able to buy myself an Ian Lambe Low Whistle and upon returning from Hamburg I started to play irregularly in a session that consisted friends and friends of friends.
I am still a hobby musician, but the music I make, I make with heart and passion. The collection of instruments that I have come to accumulate include two Jaw Harps, a frame drum (which I am still learning to play), two Tin Whistles, the Greenwood, the Ian Lambe, two Indian flutes, three Overtone flutes, some recorders (sopranino, sopran and tenor), an Ocarina and a Guitar (which I am also still learning).
Concerning the music I listen to, I cannot say that I do not listen to a certain genre, but I can say that I tend to rock and metal, classical music, irish folk and folk music in general from as far away as Norway or Mongolia.
In my Arts Major classes at school I came into contact with photography and the aesthetics of photos. In our graduation year, we went on a study trip to Tuscany. I took the old reflex camera of my mom with me. No digital photography for me, I wanted to try the real thing so to say. I was fascinated by the camera.
In the small gallery I have uploaded here, we have pictures from a small sea-town, Lucca, Florence, Siena and some nature photographies. To be sure, the quality of the pictures is not what we are used to nowadays, but I love those photos because I took more time than others to decide whether the view was worth a shot and I had a control over focus and focal aperture that the others did not have.
But it became obvious that the analogous photography would become too costly too soon, so one day (I don't exactly remember when) my parents made me a present: a small digital camera. And I, though a bit disappointed because I could not play with it as much as I could play with the reflex camera, loved taking as many photos as would fit on my computer.
After my semester abroad in India, where that camera was used abundantly as well, I bought a digital reflex camera for my fairtrade shop, so that I could take professional photos of the wares that would not only have a higher resolution but also would work with more difficult surroundings - extreme proximity for example.