Just a brief summary here, I don't want to provide a full dossier of personal details:
I was born in Hamburg
, northern Germany
, and had a fairly peaceful but poor-ish childhood, first outside Hamburg, then we moved into the city. I have one older sister, who is a country vet. My parents are both retired and now live in the countryside too. (I don't think I could, though – I'm too much the city-dwelling type.)
The only type of travel we could initially afford as a family was summer holidays in Denmark
and occasionally visiting friends in other parts of the country, or even abroad – a trip to Paris
when I was seven was a HUGE adventure trip to the other end of the world!
On the other hand we did a lot of interesting and adventurous things, not just on holidays but also regularly at weekends, locally, when we'd always head out somewhere: to the woods, the coast, the harbour, a peat bog (sic!) – see why this interest
As for schooling: most of the time I quite liked school, as I get easily enthusiastic about new topics. I've always hated sports classes though. Or anything with too much "group dynamics". I didn't mind a bit of football or stuff outside the school context, but school sports was always my weakest "subject". I had my phases with maths and sciences, esp. biology, but overall I've tended to be better at languages and humanities/arts.
I took to music early on, played in the school orchestra for a while, then, in my "rebellious" (well, only mildly) youth years I turned to rock music. The usual way, first covering personal favourites of a traditional sort (Rolling Stones etc.), then getting more adventurous and independent, also moving from the guitar to synthesizers. I had a string of bands and wrote increasing proportions of the material myself. I also did experimental stuff solo, moving into more "avant-garde" weird stuff. See under the rubric music
for more on my tastes and personal views in this area.
As I thought I couldn't afford the time any longer, I decided to put my own musical activities "on ice" as I approached the more intense exams phase of my university studies. Sadly, I never got around to picking music-making back up properly later, the occasional experimental project on the side notwithstanding.
But as I went into the final phases of studying I drifted into academia. I did a PhD after graduating with an MA from Hamburg
University – and then went off to Great Britain
for years, back to the continent, back to the UK, on various lecturing jobs … but for all that see academic background
My personal life also came in phases of ups and downs. But suffice it to say here that I am now happily married to my lovely English wife Sally, who I met while in Bradford
, England. We now live in Vienna
. All's well. The only 'dark' elements on this front are just dark in an artful stylistic way: we got married in a former coastal fort in Cornwall which we hired for three days and where we held an outrageously flamboyant gothic wedding
ceremony … black dress, decorations and food
, dark music
, and we even involved a theatre prop coffin in the "first dance" – we never had more fun than over that long weekend. I can honestly say that my wedding day really was the best and biggest day of my life!
But so much for private details. More aspects of my background can be found in the other sections under 'about
' – and also under 'other