(As at spring 2006)
Staring red-eyed at the mirror in front of me, having spent another day and half of the night with my computer, I ask myself fundamental questions: Why radio ? Why documentary ? Answer: No other medium can provide me with more freedom of creation and investigation. It meets my urgent interest in reality and the desire for a “musical” expression. The material (der Werkstoff) is sound. And sound always surrounds us. And: I’m not so much interested in the description of stable situations, but in processes. Our medium is not space, but time; our stories are not glued to the ground, but have motion, life … That’s why !
In 35 years of making radio, I’ve done everything from 3 minutes to — well — 16 hours non-stop. Those mega-programmes were pre-produced and broadcast live by Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt/Main. The first — ONE DAY IN EUROPE (1999) — was the result of touring together with Heidrun, my wife, all over this continent for about 40 000 kilometres, mostly by car, sleeping in the back of our van on campsites. The second “radio day” — EIN TAG IN DER STADT (A Day in Town) — depicted acoustically the life in a middle size German town from dawn to dusk.
I was born in 1940, one year after the Hitlerians had instigated the war, as part of the German speaking population in former Czecho-Slovakia and deported in 1946 to Germany. Initially, our train (composed of cattle trucks) was determined for Southern Bavaria. But a nervous provincial railway officer decided: “Get out here !” And more than 1200 deportees crowded on the platform. So the town of Fulda accidentally became my and my wifes home town — her’s at the age of 4, mine with 6.