Self-portrait (english)

(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.