Snapsnap

One click, one moment; captured. Next moment, next chance to capture something special.

I always admire visual artists and find them scary. They capture moments in time.

Musicians keep time, especially drummers do. Visual artists capture moments. It’s a small, but wildly important distinction. Keeping time and capturing moments, both goes hand in hand, but isn’t the same.

Same as it is fun to run, grasping tightly your beloved’s hand on a high-on-love night out, it is equally as much fun to, for a moment, let go of the other’s hand, jump onto the roof of a car, sing “Me and Bobby McGee” and “I believe I can fly” while grinning madly and piercing deeply in the eyes of your loved one and then to jump down and hold hands, tightly, ever so tenderly again.

Two artists whose ability to capture and create moments I love are Timothy Schaumburg and Joseph Kadow. Check them out. Again, here: Timothy Schaumburg and Joseph Kadow. Checked them out? Yes? Good!
I admire their respective eyes for movement in still moments, for shapes and expressions.

Joseph has a great dialog of images with another artist called Czar Kristoff. I looked at it a few times, showed it to my wife and we laughed a few times – other times we thought about the connections and about what we saw. Looking at those pictures in that succession is watching a real exchange happen.

To me, this dialog is musical. This isn’t just capturing individual moments, these moments have now been consciously composed. Some pictures take time to soak in, others you could flick by, they seem like an off-hand, quick, witty response to the prior pic. This composition has a rhythm to it. We are now in the realm of keeping time.

Today I took a hella loads of pictures of my kids in the park. It is easter sunday as I write this and it was a nice day to go out. After a while I lost a little interest in the next typical pic of my smiling cutie-pies for the grandparents to swoon over, but became more interested in the movement, shapes, stillness, very much inspired by the guys mentioned before (Timothy Schaumburg’s or Joseph Kadow’s  (Yes, I really hope you check them out and no, I don’t gain anything if you do)).

I, in no way, want to make the impression that I could ever play on their level of visual creativity. It’s not my ballgame at all. I’m freaking colour-blind. Talk about insecurities, visual art is something I feel incredibly intimidated by.

Still, I wanted to share this picture with you. Because it captured a, to me, lovely moment.

love,

Chris

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ps: say hi to me on snapchat: moist.computer

Nostra-dance-mus

 

“Telephon” by Palais Schaumburg. What a simple song. Rocks my world! My 2 and my 3-year old can sing along to the entire song. We dance to it nearly every morning.

I really wonder what goes on in their heads when they hear someone sing “ich glaub ich bin ein Telephon” (“I believe I am a telephone”). They laugh, sing along and find it silly, when we’re dancing to it.

The song is from the early 80s. Nowadays everywhere we go, my kids see people staring at their phones. Sometimes we sing the song when we see someone absorbed by their device. It’s Funny. And weird.

Have these once dadaistic lyrics now turned into social criticism? Or simply into an observation? Or where they never dadaistic? I guess I interpret too much. But, to me, that is fun. At least when I observe myself think these thoughts. 

I only really wrote this short piece for you to check out the tune and dance to it. Dance, baby!

Je pense je suis un téléphone, romantique, petit téléphone.

In case you wondered: here is the live version. I saw them live in 2013 at a reunion concert in Festsaal Kreuzberg. They REALLY rocked. Felix Kubin danced his ass off beside me. Great night.

Love,

Chris

The ripples within

The new Josh Waitzkin interview on the Tim Ferriss Show hit me ultra hard when I listened to it today. His views on parenting, learning and high performance really resonated in my core.

Josh Waitzkin is a chess master and jiu-jiutsu blackbelt and simply so reflective, deep-thinking, he authentically seems to be a deeply feeling human being. What he spoke about is now, hours later, still expanding inside of me. This episode is definitely one to listen back to again for me.

Why am I telling you about this? Two reasons:

First I think anyone trying to live a fulfilling life will get immense value from listening to it. So listen to it now.

Second I’m fascinated by the ripples. Let me explain.

Since Gary Vaynerchuk’s new masterpiece, the #askgaryvee book just came out, I have already listened to it twice. It’s brilliant, anyone wanting to learn about hustle, wine, social media, definitely check it out! Gary Vaynerchuk is (as in “equals”) ultra-mega energy. Like, hyper-ultra-mega insane energy in an insanely good way. He works roughly 200 hours a day and seems sensationally self-aware. That’s where the ripples set in.

Josh Waitzkin does not have social media and only takes on 8 clients at once. Gary “The Chief Jet” Vaynerchuk takes on the whole world. Josh speaks of avoiding reacting, Gary calls reacting his religion. One is grounded, compassionately calming and sometimes stutters ever so slightly, always careful to use language as a precise tool. One emphasizes meditation, the other avoids it. The other blazes through you with an overwhelming blast of love, harder and faster than Thor and Zeus combined.

Their differences seem huge, but their awareness seems so incredibly attuned on both fronts that I’d be scared to see what kind of super-brain-child they could produce, should they ever connect.

The inputs they give lead to these ideas which ripple out, like these questions, which are ripples from listening to their points-of-views, ripples from having had insights into their respective worlds:

What would those two do together to benefit the world? If their joint work were to be put into a song, what would it sound like (would you like me to make such a song?)? How would they do, if they switched boards with one another (if you don’t get the question, listen to the podcast)?

These questions are the ripples. My inner waters were still this morning, when I listened to Josh. His thoughts and ideas fell into my inner pond like pebbles and rippled out and touched ripples produced by big rocks that Gary had empathetically, with all his brute force thrown into there as well the last few days leading up until yesterday.

My bet would be that the two would set out to revolutionize education. Both men are fathers with issues about the common education system. Josh has a wonderful foundation for education (anyone reading this planning to be a teacher, educator etc., the foundation is actually setting up projects right now and are looking for good educators. Connect with katy@jwfoundation.com, if you are interested). Gary has great ideas on education (check out his book) and could help market the foundation in a huge way.

Another project could stem from the fact that Josh coaches huge investors. Gary is a succesful investor. So maybe that’s another area where they could connect.

Of course this is all theory. I doubt they will ever connect in such a meaningful way, but I’d like to think both of them could 10x there impact if they joined forces. But maybe I’m just playing armchair professor here and don’t really have any clue of what I’m talking about.

Nevertheless I find thinking these thoughts inspiring, I find them moving enough to write this blog piece, which is probably far too long by now. Why am I writing it? Because I want you to recognize that the stillness you cultivate within let’s you connect unconnected dots without disturbance. I write this because I love watching the ripples meet, create new shapes for a moment, then morph out again, slowly disappearing into stillness.

 

And then you choose a stone or choose who you let throw one into your lake and you watch new ripples emerge. Maybe this piece here moves you to watch the ripples as well. Should this be the case, I would like to thank you for reading here and letting me throw a stone into your lake. I do not take it for granted (plus, throwing pebbles into lakes is a lot of fun).

Love,

Chris

PS:  If you click on a link to amazon, you are going there via an affiliate link. If you buy anything there then, it won’t cost you anything extra, but lucky old me gets a tiny little commission. Just thought you should know that.

Microphone check, one two, what is this?!?!

 

It goes so fast. I remember watching the Tribe documentary about 5 years ago and being so happy that the medical treatment had worked. Now Phife Dawg has passed away after all. I’m so sorry for his family and his Tribe and all the others who loved the man, the artist, the entrepreneur.

I actually wanted to write about my fear of visual art. That has now been delayed. Old feelings, really well known feelings overcame me, when I heard about Phife’s passing. It’s weird, I never knew the man, I am definitely not the biggest ATCQ fan on the planet, other musicians have moved me a lot deeper than he did, but I feel we all just lost someone special. I’ll take a deep breath now. Should you need me, I’m out, making music.

(the last sentence just reminded me of the best speech I think I ever heard called “Make good art” (Phife did). It is funny and full of love and by an amazing writer called Neil Gaiman. Check it out here, if you feel like being inspired.)

love

One pure thought

I write because writing requires me to be precise in my thoughts. Writing forces me to be clear and accurate and caring and full of love. Writing requires me to sit down, turn my phone to silent for 15, 30 or 60 minutes and focus. It works on me like meditation and like meditation makes me feel more connected. Unlike meditation you can be reading this written word here in the year 2024 and feel a connection to me, even though I might have morphed into a robot in the meantime and uploaded my soul into THE CLOUD. (Possible, but unlikely, if you ask me)

I like writing. I like reading. So when I write I have more to read. Going through my old note-pads, some of them 15 years old I find it astonishing what I have written over the years. Crazy stuff, things where I’d laugh if I heard people talk such nonsense on the bus. But among the five thousand terrible lines there might be half a line that shines a little from within.

When I stumble upon such a small extract of pure precision and love and care (and swag, baybeah), I become emotional. That one line encapsulates a feeling long gone, a version of myself not existent anymore. I listen back to beats I made in 2011 and wonder how (and usually why) on earth I did what I did. I can’t do it like that anymore. Gone. Zip. The past Chrises and the my present self share essential ideas and core values, but 99% on top is different.

I encourage you to write or Vlog or choreograph or design or record your singing daily. Through encouraging you I encourage myself. Let’s find one pure thought a day, capture it and, if you dare, share it. You might just save someones life.

Love

 

One thought that gave me energy when I needed it

WARNING: This post may disturb you. There are no adult graphics or gorge or anything which might be considered gross (except for the odd curse-word, I guess), but this post is an insight into my inner workings, and trust me, what you see ain’t pretty.
To make it clear: these conversations went on in my head. I wasn’t standing in my bedroom at 5 am and talking this shit out loud. You were warned…

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My alarm went off yesterday at 4:59 am. I was never a morning person. Back when I was super-broke living on the couch of a friend, I was usually still up at that time, smoking pot and vegetating. But thangs done changed on this side (meaning inside my head n heart) and by the time the alarm went off yesterday I had been going strong as an early bird for a few weeks now.

But yesterday was different, man, yesterday REAALLLLYYY sucked. No, I mean REAAALLLLLLYYY sucked. NO REAAALYY, REAALLLLLY, REEEEEEAAAAALLLLY sucked. Seriously sucked. I think you get the point…

I have my alarm-clock on the other side of the room so I had to get up to turn it off and then I was just standing there, totally zombied-out. A (not very good sounding) choir went off in my head:

quartet choir: “GET BACK TO BED!”
feeble me (stuttering feebly): “no”
church choir: “OF COURSE  GO THE FUCK BACK TO BED, OTHERWISE YOU’LL DIE!!!”
zombie-feeble me: “uhm” (too zombied out to move)
chanting army: “ONLY THIS ONCE!!! The kids and Anne are going to Kindergarten anyway at 8, you have time then to do what you want to.”
near-dead me (now standing slanted sideways, slumped and drooping, basically turned static while falling): “hmm, makes sense”
vulcherous armada of army-choirs: “there you go, glad you see sense.”

so overwhelmed, dead on my feet and beaten I was just about to stumble back into bed, when…

me (last breath-style): “wait, just one thing: why did I actually want to get up so early in the first place?” 
army: 
“uhm, dunno, who cares?”
me (first time slightly daring to look up): “I do. I’m not that crazy, I must have had a reason to set my alarm so early.”
church-choir: “probably not that important. go back now!!!”
me (shoulder going back now): “oh, I remember, I got up to work on my #moistcomputers #album (SIDENOTE: please, dear reader, believe I think in hashtags, please, please!!, ok back to story: “…got up to work on my #moistcomputers #album), to meditate, to exercise, to be the person I want to be
chamber-choir: “that’s kinda gay.”
(to any gay person out there, I am sorry for having had this thought. I had it though, it sadly is the truth. My dark side stinks. I apologize. You are awesome, dear friend! Go love how and who you love!!)
me (head back, muscles-tensening, broad-chested (well, as broad as my chest becomes, cut me some slack)): “FUCK YOU! I know why I set the alarm.”

Then some superhero-music set in and I went over to my music room and rocked my morning, happily ever after.

So, why I told you this is obviously to out myself as an insane, torn and insensitive brat. BUT I also shared this with you because I believe there could be something of value in this story for you as well.
You see, when I stood there, being battered by the thoughts in my head, I saw the situation I was in as an independent one, with no real consequences for my life. It was just this moment and nothing else.
When I asked the “WHY?” I suddenly remembered the story I have (consciously and willingly) created for myself. I recalled that getting up before the sun is kind of my Rocky Balboa moment, my hero’s journey. The truth is, asking that single WHY? changed my entire day. It gave me energy when I most needed it and consequently I achieved way more than I had hoped for in the entire day (I actually finished writing my historical musicology paper on number symbolism in the renaissance… yeah, exactly, it is less exciting than it sounds and you need a whole lot of energy to finish something like that).

Yesterday was a good day. And a good day leads to a good week, to a good month, a good year and a good life (hehe).

Love.