Category

Call Me Adam

Category

Black or White

BEYOND THE SILENCE. A SELF-EXPERIMENT.

I have no idea why I share my beautiful home with such an egotistic being, who can’t muster up even an iota of understanding for my situation and makes my life intolerable with his arrogance“, my can opener hurled these words at me with a flush of anger in his face. In your eyes things are either good or bad, valuable or worthless, beautiful or ugly, black or white. You think someone either has an athletic body or looks like a pudding, there is no second or third place, only first and last. I only hear the terms mediocrity or average from you when you are referring to someone else, because the world revolves around extremes in your opinion, without grey zones or colours.”
I simply don’t understand! Weeks before he had been so secretive and spoke in riddles. His secrecy was so obvious that it practically stank of a catastrophe. His behaviour set alarm bells ringing in my head, warning me in the shrillest tones of the approaching disaster. What was all this about? What was he up to? And then the moment of disclosure had obviously arrived. „So tell me, what do you think? He stuttered like an excited toddler. I really put a lot of thought into finding the best way to optimise our work-life balance! What do you think of our holiday destination this year? Only silence, spirituality and new stimuli. No responsibility and no stressful sightseeing-programme. I was speechless. He wanted to lock us up behind monastery walls, maybe even with an inclusive fasting, self-discovery and yoga course. I flashed my claws for a moment on a wild impulse, but, with our silk wallpaper in mind, just about managed to get them under control again. I struggled to keep my composure but gave nothing away. I slowly turned my back to him and walked out of the room in slow motion with my shoulders stooped and dragging my feet. On the threshold I said with a sepulchral voice: „You don’t seriously think that I’m going to spend my well-deserved holiday in a silent monastery just so you can work on your failed self-discovery fantasy!“ I definitely won’t spend the night in a barren cell and listen to you gnawing on a biscuit that you managed to smuggle in. After all I have certain standards. Besides, you won’t stay the course anyway. I’m going to book a holiday now that suits my status and my social standing on this planet. I’ll write you a postcard if you give me the address of your bunk!“ I then closed the door quietly from the other side and revelled in the astonished silence. But not for long. The screaming that followed, along the lines of the start of this text, could be heard three streets away and could only be quelled by an emergency visit from the doctor, a sedative injection and the subsequent administering of a double whiskey. „For goodness sake, man, pull yourself together, you’re stressing me out so much that I’d voluntarily go into a monastery to get away from your screaming! Life is one big pilgrimage“, I continued to convince him, while he cried in a whimpering voice and I rocked him in my arms like a baby, who simply does not want to understand. Real life is not black and white, it’s as colourful as we are!“

 

 

 

Copyrights © Manuela Dona

SEVEN

SOUL SINGER SEVEN (38), WHO HAS BEEN FIRMLY ESTABISHED IN THE SWISS MUSIC SCENE FOR YEARS, MADE HIS BREAKTHROUGH IN GERMANY IN 2016 IN «SING MEINEN SONG – DAS TAUSCHKONZERT» AND ON TOUR WITH THE FANTASTISCHE VIER. THE NEW ALBUM «4COLORS» SURPASSES EVEN THE HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS.

It was evident from an early stage of his now 15 year-long recording career, that Jan Dettwyler alias Seven, from Aargau, attached more importance to content and style both in his albums and his concerts than most of his musical competitors. He does not focus on short term success but on quality and self-fulfilment. Like his inspiration, Prince, he is less concerned with a hit single and more with the convincing piece of art. In an era, in which legal and illegal downloads of individual songs supercede the classic albums, he presents in «4Colors» an ambitious concept album instead of a mainstream CD, which would have been a safer option to keep the captured television audience on board.

Concert dates:
26.10. Zürich Volkshaus
03.11. Bern Bierhübeli
04.11. Baden Nordportal
www.sevenmusic.ch

«The crux of the matter was that I wanted to make four albums because I had four stacks of different new songs on my table, but I knew that the scale of that workload proved impossible and would be completely daft», Seven remembers. He suddenly realised: «Hey, there are actually four music styles, four moods, four colours. So I‘ll make an LP from four EPs – as we used to call the small albums.» The solution to his problem gave him both the concept and the title. He composed a film music intro to each piece, which he recorded with the Arts Symphonic Orchestra in London.

«Blue is melancholia, cold, electronica, Iceland, maybe a tad of Björk», the musician begins to tell what the colours represent and demonstrates with an image overload. «Yellow is for Soul, community, late summer evenings at half five, the sun shines transversely into the city, then a bit of Neo-Soul, Badu and D’Angelo. Red is repetitive, the aphrodisiac of the 90s-R&B. It is quite clearly late at night, with a dancefloor and smoking is permitted! (laughs) The last four songs are purple and reflect Funk. A homage to Prince, although that sounds a bit megalomaniacal. I only though of that – honestly! – at a later stage.»

Seven has been working with ex-Prince keyboarder RAD in his band for three years, a musician who would have used her power of veto if she hadn’t thought that the genius up on his cloud, who died too early, would have approved of numbers like «Partytown» or «1978». The opportunity to get RAD on board arose when the American musician and her German husband moved to Constance, when her child began school. Seven called RAD and invited her to a session in a rehearsal room in Zürich. «We played a few songs that we were both familiar with. After «I Can’t Make You Love Me» from Bonnie Raitt we just looked at each other and have been inseparable on the stage ever since. It was musical love at first sight!»

Seven‘s love of his wife Zahra and his seven-year-old son has not suffered due to his success in Germany. «I perform three times more than I used to and usually don’t come home after concerts, but I devote three days completely to my family if I have been away for five», says the singer, who broaches subjects such as transcendence («Zeit», feat. Thomas D), military tanks («Die Menschen sind wir», feat. Kool Savas) and pain («Thank You Pain») on his new album. «Today we are always in mode: We look good, are happy, healthy, sporty, in love, successful and ultra-busy», explains Seven. «I feel we should just once say thank you to pain, because it forces us to change something in our lives, to progress.»

 

 

 

Photos Copyrights: Sven Germann

MEN, KINDLE THE FIRE!

Men are even sexier in summer than in winter, with ‘sexier’ not being a verb of course. However it does not take much to make a man really attractive: a little bare skin, a little taste and, of course, a little thirst for adventure. That is from a woman’s point of view. Unfortunately, many men believe that sex and summer are mainly achieved with components like ‘grilled sausage’ and ‘pork collar steak in barbecue sauce’.  I know, these are harsh words but women find greasy sausage fingers that try to reach out for them about as attractive as the idea of having a discussion about the best barbecue charcoal lighter. The nasty griller also tends to keep sauce leftovers in the corner of his mouth and smell too much of garlic butter. What I want to say is: Getting a woman into bed with a barbecue does not work.  Women cannot be impressed by explaining the grilling procedure (“Hey, have you never heard of a smoker? That is really complicated!” If you say so.) Instead, fill a nice picnic basket filled with salads and appetising sandwiches and drive to a nice fruit tree orchard where the bees are humming! That scores points! Especially as it is also more  exciting to succumb to a man’s charm in a secluded orchard than in the home garden where the farting next-door neighbour repeatedly looks over the fence. You can then still ignite a small fire in the evening (of course only in places where it is permitted) after having collected wood yourself. THAT is manly. Well, that’s my opinion.

 

 

 

Copyrights: © Hilbrand Bos

CONFIDENCE IN FINANCE

ADAMS PERSONAL INVESTMENT IDEAS 2017

The days have barely started to get longer and Hamburg‘s convertible drivers are already folding back the tops of their cars and putting on their sunglasses. And they are not the only ones with a passion for fresh air – vintage racing bike enthusiasts are again showing off their models. The cyclists do not only have a sense of style but can appreciate value too. Because a 40-year old classic from Bianchi, Cinelli or Mercier is a promising investment. If properly maintained, this type of bike can certainly generate a return.

Investing as a sensory experience: biking around town and country on a narrow saddle is not the only way to invest. For one, investment boutiques have good ideas. However, in this regard Adam‘s creed tallies with Warren Buffet’s demand to: „Buy what you know „. And also what suits your personality and your style, one might add. It may be an apartment in the city, which inspires Adam. This could turn out to be an expensive affair as property prices have become extremely high after years of boom– even if the increase in value in today’s and tomorrow’s trend metropoles is expected to continue.

To the example of stocks and shares. In a world with low interest rates, which are likely to continue this year, they promise share price gains and dividends. For friends of the two wheeler that means that solid securities with a good reputation are an alternative to a direct investment in steel bikes. For example the gear and chain specialists Shimano. The shares may be expensive, however the company is free of debt and one of the most renowned in its branch worldwide. An alternative is the Dutch Accel Group, with known brands such as the US classic Ghost and Raleigh. The company makes 50 percent of its turnover with e-bikes, is profitable and pays dividends.

For those, who prefer more powerful bikes, there’s always KTM Industries. The shares from the profitable investment company, to which the motocross specialists KTM and Husqvarna belong, have been listed on the Zurich stock exchange for a few months.

In light of the countless securities and funds reissued daily, identification and affinity provide sound orientation in the investment world of 2017. Perhaps, when Adam met her, Eva was driving a Nissan-Coupé 350 Z – also called Fairlady – and Adam loved it as much as he loved her. He could not do much wrong with the shares from the Japanese company – they are inexpensive, the manufacturer is solid and invests in the automobile world of the future with electro mobility. He would also be safe with the Swiss special chemical stock Clariant. The company developed a designer fuel from straw that, like the electric car, should lower exhaust emissions in Europe in the future. Adam follows his own path with regard to investments. Important for him: his titles have to remain solid. Then he can stay calm, even if he suffers some setbacks, which are not uncommon on the stock market.

 

 

 

Photos Copyrights: Shutterstock,  Illustration:  Manuela Dona

LIGHTNESS ON MY SKIN

A CAT CLEANS UP

Once again I am sitting elegantly on my hand embroidered cushion at the window and looking into the garden of our chic „upper class cabin“, while I allow myself the luxury of reflecting on the past few days and weeks. Today I am playing the tourist in the place I live. There are nooks and crannies that I don’t know yet. I simply start out and go on a journey of discovery…

The turn of the year this year was really challenging. Champagne, caviar and breath-taking fireworks, which nearly cost me my hearing and subsequently gave me a matt coat, had my stress level escalating into deep red.
Our pad was packed and as loud as an airport at the start of the holidays. One could see how little my can opener was troubled by all the attentiveness by the fact that he refused to believe that the whole world was crying out for deceleration and not for packing the hut full of 100 totally unknown friends of friends. I hate noise and I hate noisy pseudo merry people even more.

„No person is replaceable. Each one of us is made up of wonderful small details“, I add this thought, not entirely convinced, into a thought bubble that is hovering above me, but straight away there’s a loud „Plop“, the vision bursts and I see Adam in front of me. He is sitting on his new meditation cushion with a mad look in his eyes among a mountain of senseless presents while abusing my sensitive hearing with the nerve-racking sound of squeaking cellophane and listening to „Barry White whining“. I can picture George Michael turning in his grave!

I bare my claws! Why do human beings define everything and everyone through material possessions?

What makes us different from others is not what we receive but what we do with that which we have. (Nelson Mandela)

Why is he so attached to all this plunder, when it’s all about giving and receiving love. „We only buy things to distract ourselves, instead of creating order in our heads.“ I retracted my claws and clicked with my paw. Instead of constantly clinging to material possessions, we should do a desert run or clear out the attic. Suddenly everything appeared completely logical – if he couldn’t let go – I could! I began by clearing out the previously mentioned attic. Generations of meaningless presents, boxes with photos, books that were never read, clothes that had long gone out of fashion, yes even presents that had never been unpacked flew through the little skylight into the garden.

When I had finished with the attic, I continued downstairs. Adam’s walk-in closet, the shelves and cupboards emptied themselves noticeably. I became increasingly lighter inside with every piece that flew out the window. Finally it was the turn of the table clothes, curtains, cushions and the entire teak elephant collection. All Adam’s baggage, which had accumulated over the years, piled up in the garden to a formidable, flammable heap. Our previously luxurious house, decorated in Versace style, had been transformed into a barren monk’s cell, which desperately needed a touch of colour.

In a trancelike state I finished the job by tipping a litre bottle of lighter fuel over the whole heap making a really large, liberating bonfire! I felt it, the lightness on my skin. I felt free. Letting go was glorious! The fresh breeze stroked over my shiny fur, I felt needed!

The next memory is Adam, standing beside me and desperately trying to extinguish the blazing and smoking heap with the garden hose! I hear him call desperately: „For God’s sake tomcat, what have you done?“

And I answer: „Let go mate, you are loved for who you are! Aren’t you?“ Miaow!

The Rebellious Dance Genius

Sergei Polunin’s story is the stuff great movies are made of. The ‘Dancer’ documentary film, portrays the probably most gifted ballet dancer of our time who had achieved everything at the age of 20 and then hit rock bottom. An impressive story about his rise, fall and rebirth.

Sergei Polunin is a star in the ballet world. No one jumps as high, as elegant, as expressive, with such a brilliant technique that challenges gravity as he does. His story?
Such a moving story that even Hollywood could not have scripted any better.

The Wonder Child

It is the story of a wonder child. Sergei Polunin was born into a very poor family in Ukraine on 20 November 1989 and his mother noticed early that he moved more elegantly than other children. He started training at the age of four – first as a gymnast and then as a dancer. Blessed with a unique talent, little Sergei soon outperformed all the others. His aim: to become the world’s best dancer. Thanks to a scholarship, he attended the legendary Royal Ballet School in London at the age of 13 where he lived on his own far away from his parents. Dancing, sleeping, dancing that is how he describes the time during which not pain but perfection was all that mattered. Carrying on his shoulders the burden of hope of his family who invested all they had in his training.

The Way to the Top

His career? A supposed fairy-tale life. After his graduation in 2007, he became a group dancer in the ballet ensemble of the Royal Theatre and then a demi-soloist in 2008, a soloist in 2009 and a first soloist in 2010 – and thus the company’s youngest-ever principal male dancer. Sergei Polunin had reached the top – and was lonely. He came to grief over the unfulfilling system of the dance world, the realisation of his lost childhood and his life ruled by discipline. That was all too much for Sergei Polunin and his fall started. Alcohol and drug abuse, self-injury, missed rehearsals and numerous tattoos are the summary of a downward spiral that ended with a big bang when he spontaneously terminated his contract in January 2012. “I felt free for the first time on that day,” recalls the highly gifted dancer today. He first reappeared in summer of the same year – as first soloist at the Stanislavsky and Nemirowich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow that offered him new personal development opportunities. But it did not change his wish to quit dancing for good.

The Rebirth

The turning point was a telephone call from the photographer David Lachappell who talked Sergei into taking part in a film shooting on Hawaii in 2014. It was meant to be his last dance but in the end it was a new beginning. “During the nine hours on the set for the ‘Take me to Church’ dance video”, said Polunin, “it became clear to me that I could not completely do without dancing.” He meanwhile dances classical ballet again as a guest soloist but today primarily sees himself as a freelance artist and actor.

Photos Copyrights: Johan Persson

David Guetta

No one has had more influence on the European single charts in the last ten years than David Guetta. We met up with the enthusiastic House-DJ and music producer in Berlin, who didn’t let the divorce war from ex-wife Cathy slow down his continuous series of hits such as “Dangerous”, “Lovers Of The Sun” and the UEFA Euro 2016 hymn “This One’s For You”. On 19th October he’ll be appearing in the Zurich Hallenstadion.

The official UEFA Euro 2016 hymn “This One’s For You” and the spectacular performances at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and at the opening and closing ceremonies have still not satisfied David Guetta’s hunger for success in 2016. Now, just in time for his autumn tour, which will take him to Las Vegas, Ibiza and Zurich, he has given the Charles & Eddie soul classic “Would I Lie To You”from 1992 a modern sound guise. The electronic beats have – typical Guetta – not robbed the analogue soul from the song. That can also be attributed to his choice of singers – in this case Chris Willis, with whom he began his rise in 2002 from mere disc jockey to popstar DJ.
After him and Sia, he has discovered another talent on his current album “Listen” in Sam Martin. “Before we went into the studio together, I only knew the songs that he had written with Maroon 5, but not his voice”, according to the 48 year old Parisian. “When I heard it for the first time, I was totally shocked, because it is unbelievably good. I was blown away, especially by the high notes!”

When Guetta began to make his first vinyl mixes at the age of thirteen and then three years later started working as a DJ, House was still a subculture and it was inconceivable that someone could become famous through this music genre. “My parents said that my choice of profession wasn’t an actual job but an absolute catastrophe!”, he recalls with a laugh.

The rebellious son thought it was totally cool how Club-DJs at pirate radios played their funk albums and developed the new mainstream from the combination with electronic music and hip-hop, with which he, Avicii and Calvin Harris dominate today’s charts. Even if “Forbes” estimation of his annual income at 30 million dollars is only approximately correct, his parents must have stopped worrying about how their son is going to fare by this stage. The separation and divorce battle after 24 years of marriage has however been a painful reminder that money isn’t everything. “I experienced some of the saddest moments of my life. But I don’t want to complain, primarily because the years before consisted of partying in sexy surroundings.”

To distract himself Guetta made new songs and worked as a DJ again in classy clubs and gigantic arenas. “As soon as I am on the stage, I forget everything – even myself”, he explained and admitted that that could also be dangerous. “But I don’t take drugs, don’t drink and don’t smoke. The music and the energy of the fans intoxicate me and send me into a delirium. The feeling of sharing a unique moment with the crowd and being one with them, is something very special!”

Photos Copyrights: Warner Music

A Rib Eye Forever!

Enjoyment is a matter of style

A RIB EYE FOREVER!

I recently completed, just for fun, one of these trivial self-tests titled “Are you a bon vivant?” in a popular men’s magazine. The result was, as expected, complete nonsense but it strikingly reminded me of my pleasure-loving tin opener ‘Adam’.

Are you interested in the result?

You are an absolute bon vivant and focus your entire energy on yourself. You are open to something new but also like to keep it occasionally down-to-earth when it comes to culinary delights. You treat others with respect provided that they do not serve you your steak well done. You think practically, interact cooperatively, are emotionally resistant, live spontaneously and enjoy life and the moment but nevertheless react humanly every now and then.

After a long laughing fit that I had to shake from my fur, I set about exploring the contents of the oversized fridge because my sensitive stomach urgently demanded a cultured meal. Perhaps a titbit of smoked trout fillet or carpaccio as a small snack.

The cold light of the gapingly empty fridge made me spontaneously freeze with horror. Such unforeseen stress situations make me shiver and consequently ruin my shiny fur. I therefore interacted cooperatively by informing Adam about the necessary replenishment and suggesting a barbecue in the garden. As expected, his far too human brain had already forgotten the empty fridge since breakfast but he was very pleased about my spontaneity and promised improvement with a pleasurable barbecue after work. On my advice, he ordered a carefree package, i.e. a few steaks of ‘Heritage Angus Beef’ and ‘dry  aged T-bone steaks’ – of not less than 400g  of course – from this 5-star restaurant in the city centre of Zurich and I filled the waiting time until the evening with a down-to-earth tin of white tuna fillets in olive oil and freshly baked spelt chia bread.

By the way:

As you will certainly have noticed by now, as befits a stylish tomcat, I am very experienced in culinary delights and guide my tin opener, Adam, whom, compared to me, I can only rate as an ambitious hobby cook, in the right direction when it comes to crucial grocery shopping decisions.

Between long raids on the vegetable and fish markets, at his trusted butcher, delicatessens and alternative bakeries, we have heated discussions about the ideal knife, French meat cuts, natural sourdough, the ultimate recipe, the alleged barbecue bible or the best wood type for smoking. In short: Thanks to me, our men’s household is in the habit of cooking and eating excellently. Yes, we develop a real competition to outperform each other.

But back to our barbecue: That day, Adam ended up in the emergency room. It was not my fault: I did warn him that the embers were not yet ready and that the steaks had to be well drained but as usual he reacted just like a human.