Did I mention that my album Polarcoaster – Endless Nights is out?

Some 20 years ago my brother got me into ambient music and this kind of odd experimental music has stayed with me ever since. Back then music was my life and photography was just something I did on the side. It was really music in all its forms that interested me the most. In fact, in those days I used to say that I’d prefer to be blind rather than deaf, which is an odd thing to say for someone who would end up becoming a photographer years later! And even though I was obsessed with music and loved it very much, I never had the dream of becoming a professional musician. At the time I knew quite a few musicians and frankly, all that fame and going on tour stuff seemed more hassle than it was worth. Honestly, I was also never a great instumentalist either, singing never interested me and how was I supposed to live off the experimental drone stuff that I enjoyed to make? Nevertheless, I enjoyed making music just as much as I enjoyed listening to it, so until I started uni it was something I did a lot. I even once made an album. It was all very experimental, drones combined with field recordings, all recorded on pretty terrible gear. I was never quite happy with it, because it didn’t turn out the way I imagined it. My gear was just too bad at the time. So, I never showed it to any of my musician friends, I never released it and then finally it got lost in a hard drive crash. It was quite a traumatic experience and it was actually so devastating for me that I stopped making music altogether. It wasn’t meant to be, that’s what I told myself and at the time I was still at an age where I saw this sort of thing as a sign! It was silly, really, but well, losing that album after all the hard work that went into it really got to me. Up to that point it was the biggest project I had ever attempted and it all got eaten by failing tech. Disappointing.

I only started making music again about 4 years ago which was a long time after I had lost my first album. What made me start again was actually my YouTube channel, because I needed background music for my vlogs and royalty free music can be really hard to find. There is so much of it, but the good stuff is buried among a lot of music that wouldn’t fit to what I do on YouTube. Before I started making my own music it took me forever to find the right soundtrack for what I wanted to make. In the end, after wasting many hours each week listening to music I didn’t particularly enjoy, I decided that it would be easier and more fun to just write the music myself. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about copyright or revenue sharing, there wouldn’t be labels coming after me and it wouldn’t take me forever to find the right music! So, this is how I ended up writing the soundtrack of my YouTube channel after not making any music for many years. I went with ambient mostly with a few more synth wave style tracks in between depending on the context, but as time went on it was really ambient that became the voice of the channel. Not altogether unsurprising, considering that this is where I started out with music originally.

Over the last few years many people asked me to publish my music on Spotify or Bandcamp, which has been a great joy and encouragement for me. I hadn’t really planned it that way, it was just supposed to be “a soundtrack”, but of course I wrote the tracks in the same way I would write music that could stand on its own. Eventually it felt like I was making videos to fit the music rather than the other way round. I also made a few videos that related to music, a guitar modding video, a DIY delay pedal I built and surprisingly those music related videos on YouTube were quite successful. More successful than any of my photography videos anyway. Eventually I realised that I was onto something with my music. So, why not release it then, I thought?

However, just as I was getting ready to start mixing and mastering my first EP something really stupid happened: The neighbours started renovating a flat in our apartment building, which meant daily hammering and drilling. For months! By the evening my ears were fried and I just thought, they’re going to stop eventually, right? Well, they didn’t though!? 1.5 years later they were still drilling, hammering, jackhammering, scraping, welding and doing whatever else. Of course the neighbours finished their silly flat, but by the time they were done, the building association decided to renovate the back facade. And by the time they were done, the apartment building next door put a scaffold on the front facade. Those guys were the most annoying actually, because they were jackhammering right next to my studio window for months!

Have you ever tried hunting for stray resonant frequencies while someone is welding nearby? No? Well, I have and it has driven me half mad! In the end the forced delay turned my EP into an album that I mostly wrote late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I have always suffered from insomnia, so writing music in such moments has become a way of coping with it. In the end I also mixed and mastered the album late at night because that was the only time when it was quiet enough for that particular job. It all took way longer than expected and it was a lot harder than it was supposed to be because of the additional strain on my ears, but then finally it was done 1.5 years later than I had planned!

And you know what? This time it actually came out the way I had planned! Although it still pains me that my first album got lost, maybe it was meant to disappear into the void, since it wasn’t quite what I had wanted it to be in the first place.

So, to make a long story short: My album Endless Nights has been out already for a while. I actually started writing this blog post when the album came out, but then got entirely distracted by building my DIY Eurorack synthesizer and by moving to a new house! We’re still plagued by construction noise, even there because they’re redoing the sidewalks and infrastructure of the neighbourhood, but I’m so used to the noise by now that I don’t mind working on my music late at night anymore. The next albums are already in the works and there will be more music released soon.

Until then you can listen to my album Endless Nights here:


The reactions to the album so far have been really lovely and I’m glad that so many people enjoy it!

If you want to see a video about how I made this album, there is also a video on my YouTube channel that goes into a lot more detail.

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