Morbid charm (?) is the first thought entering my mind, which I do my best in using to cheer myself up when looking for the rehearsal room located in the backyard of a major home improvement store and a department store warehouse, navigating the car barely beyond walking pace, one hand on the steering wheel, holding hastily printed directions from GoogleMaps in the other, which require more attention than is good for traffic safety to be all honest. Raging rush hour out there on the main street, stressed out customers rushing about, back here the unadorned and bleak blankness left behind by a busy work day and a last minute’s storing away of scattered paletts and containers. Unimpressed by my bout of discouragement, the setting sun dips the dreary scene into a lavish bath of golden light, almost as if mocking me for this touch of despondence. Am I really being serious about returning to this atmosphere of dilapidation, which typically accommodates these meager spheres of creative activity embedded in anarchic chaos, thickly penetrated by a characteristic odour of mold-infested carpets, cold cigarette smoke, stagnant beer vapor and the dried sweat of probably hundreds of singers, musicians, stand-up comedians and poetry slammers before me, whose passion for their dreams, goals and projects seems to completely drown out the perception of this actually repulsive environment? Am I being serious about temporarily becoming a light-evading rodent on days, when others meet in beergardens and at the lakes, embark on bike trips or simply hang out on the front porch together?
In the early days, this strange melange of smells and sights was apt to create a feeling of familiarity, almost comfort in me. I was safe on my terrain, which I conveniently moved about. Of course, these feelings were boosted by the enthusiasm I felt over the music per se, the familiar interaction with collaborators and – last not least – the reward of getting acknowledged when coming back to the rehearsal room after a successful gig, going about unloading and setting up musical equipment, cleaning, sorting cables and eventually reconnecting them with the amplification, digging out sheetmusic, lyrics and cassette tapes from the depths of carry-on bags and car trunks, completing those tasks by eventually unpacking the instrument, tuning it and setting out to learnin new material. This was my little universe, nothing else could have born greater personal significance, every single minute spent was the best possible investment into personal quality time. Will I manage to revisit these feelings some 30 years later? Will I succeed again in pushing aside or even remove any counterproductive and massively debilitating sensitivities as if they hadn’t existed in the first place? Can I change back from having become an individualist, a square peg in a round hole and a loner as a result to an easy-going teamplayer, who puts himself second, third or last for 90% of the time, while being ready to extrovert himself a 100% whenenver the situation calls for it? Am I going to succeed in simply ignoring personal limitations, existing burdens and a host of questionable behaviours coming from the first in order to pretend they hadn’t been there at all? And does the situation really justify getting this dramatic about it, when all it is is a simple little audition bare of much expectation – or concept to begin with -, which is meant to no greater avail than to check, whether my and my potential collaborators’ musical skills are at a similar level of dexterity?
But before I’ll completely drown in self-questioning thoughts, which typically might lead to me doing a full about face, I force myself to digress. Seeing as I have arrived early on purpose in order to avoid the expectable stress from needing to hurry, I have about an hour to kill before the evening moves on to spending it in the above mentioned catacombs, photographed from outside. I grab my DSLR camera and set out on a little walk around the block. What starts out as an unassuming endeavour of taking a few snapshots soon acquires a totally different quality. But see for yourselves…
[view picture slideshow in the other post, click here, scroll all the way down]