Photo by Mara von Kummer
1. Robert Wyatt | Maryan
Robert Wyatt wrote so many unbelievable songs, it's hard to put out one. Maryan was my first personal Robert Wyatt Hit. The harmonies float into each other so naturally, but they are definitely not the usual ones, his way of singing is unreachable. I so much adore him for his musical genius, while being totally modest. 7 years ago I wrote a song with him called Camouflage, everything went by normal post, I had letters in my postbox from Robert Wyatt and still get postcards from time to time.
2. Blumfeld | Viel Zu Früh Und Immer Wieder Liebeslieder
Oh, my God, I get really emotional listening to this song. Falling in Love, being twenty, riding my bike. Blumfeld was one of the most important German bands in the early 90s, because of them German lyrics became accepted and cool. The importance of lyrics raised from this release on. The sound is Punkish, but more in the sense of Shellac and Sonic Youth. When I visited one of their shows I thought: This is simply Truth!
3. Justus Köhncke | Was Ist Musik
We got to know each other in the 90s, became fans vice versa. His lyrics are fantastic, the question: What Is Music - Was Ist Musik? is the main question of all times (if you are a musician). How great to put that in a Pop song. His sound is warm, Disco-esque, beautiful - needless to say: we collaborated already and did again for my new album Doppelstern. One of the best German composers - he should definitely go for Eurovision Song Contest!
4. Moondog | Down Is Up
I did not realize that most of his songs are circle songs until I started conducting a choir in Berlin (Chor Der Kulturen Der Welt) and tried out one of his songs. Because of this composition tool his work has such a simple beauty, I love his sound! Very inspiring Music. Down Is Up was the very first piece we sang with the choir, hard to conduct, because it's in 5/4.
5. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott | Sock It 2 Me (feat. Da Brat)
Production milestone! Timbaland became a Sound role model. Of course, unreachable, such a huge inspiration. Her background tremolo-uhhs, her Rap style, great. FAT! I tried to copy her uhs in my song Der Augenblick from my album Fjorden in 2000 - just try, why not?
6. The Normal | Warm Leatherette
Generally I realize that Music has the strongest impact on one's life when you're a teenager and I'm pretty sure that's because of all the hormone-trouble, which makes you more open for the emotional and unspoken messages of Music. This Daniel Miller track is Pure Sex, Minimalistic, strong - one of my teenage Dance hits. Even greater to meet Daniel Miller in person decades later!
7. Joni Mitchell | Blue
A songwriter that's never been reached again. I more and more realize that I love Music I do not understand in terms of Composition. I can not follow the process of Joni Mitchell's compositions... True, simple stories in an overwhelming Musical costume.
8. Bon Iver | Perth
Same for this one - I absolutely can not imagine how he wrote this fantastic piece of Music! It goes into directions you can not predict and still is Folk/Pop Music. Great.
9. Sufjan Stevens | Should Have Known Better
There are moments in Music that represent Heaven for me - Sufjan Stevens came to this point in the last two minutes of this song. It makes me cry, I feel like on the top of the mountain, Sadness and Joy at the same time - that's the Compression of Power Music holds.
10. The Bulgarian State Radio And Television Female Vocal Choir | More Zajeni Se Ghiouro (Ghiouro Marries) (from Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares Volume 2)
A Bulgarian Traditional choir, but absolutely Modern. Their sound is fantastic - strong female voices, strange rhythm forms, different ways of Harmonisation (than our Western Harmonisation) - and for me: great moments of Pop - I love it! They were one of the reasons to take the challenge to become a choir conductor.