Diary

07/09

we’re off for summer break. simply because it’s summer. and because you are transpiring a lot while playing, especially during summer. which is closely connected to fluid loss, a fact that we clearly reject. we surly enjoy taking up liquids, but we do not like to give them away afterwards. reason enough for taking a summer break.

brandstötter is not only off for the summer, but rather for the entire year. because he says that since he’s transpiring while playing also in winter he will take an autumn break right after our summer break also followed by a winter break.

fine with us, if he thinks so.

we, in any case, did ask albert, whether he would like to join in a bit while brandstötter is skiing. albert very happily agreed, since he’s not that much into skiing anyway. and he has a super-huge tuba, which is great to begin with. and he plays like a real champ, which is great, too. and he rarely transpires while playing, which is another forte.

and since our diary has rather been a monthly journal than a diary for quite some time now, it will also take a break. for an indefinite period of time. since a diary without days is nothing more than a book at best und here tastes are quite different as you know. thrillers are recommended during summer, something rather literary during autumn, at christmas it is mostly christmas gospel being highly popular, and during spring it is clearly the guide for correct sowing of the agricultural cooperative’s warehouse.

take it easy!

 

01/15

a little while ago, zoltans apartment in vienna was burglarized.

so far so bad.

and his trombone was stolen.

so far so good.

and then things got really strange.

zoltan did post his tragic loss on facebook, thus raising a lot of indignation from everywhere and guess what happened: a compatriot from hungary got in touch with him, stating that he just had acquired exactly that trombone from a complete stranger in a restaurant close to the austrian-hungarian border for the price of 50 euros (that’s for the real value of a trombone, if you deduct the sentimental value and glissando shebang and only judge the sheer facts).

this person proposed to meet in said restaurant to re-settle the entire transaction against 50 euros in cash, of course.

zoltan arrived at the restaurant in time and both met. during their conversation however, it became clear at some moment that the value of the trombone all of a sudden was no longer 50 euros, but had rather increased, virtually overnight and on account of being an extremely beautiful trombone, to 150 euros (as we all know taste certainly is a matter of choice).

prior to the conclusion of the transaction however, both agreed that it is absolutely mandatory to eat and drink well, as is common practice among hungarians, and, since they already were in a restaurant, why not take immediate action?

well, what can we say: it was way past midnight when all eventualities were finally completed, when the last bell-pepper chicken was eaten and the last vodka consumed, that the value of the trombone had decreased to a realistic 30 euros in the process.

following a mix of philanthropy, sentimentality and sheer trombonist madness, zoltan stated big-heartedly to nevertheless accept to pay the price of 50 euros originally agreed to re-purchase his trombone.

due to so much chivalry both were embracing one another one last time, shedding tears of pure emotion. then both left.

and what have we learnt from this little story? any price beyond 150 euros for a trombone is clearly way too much. furthermore prior to any business transaction one should never forget to eat and drink substantially in order to approach a realistic price structure.

discounts of up to 80 percent might not be uncommon.

 

01/12

we are rehearsing all out, completely focused on our new program.

the choreographers are rock-hard, the blown melodies honey-sweet and the lightshow is going to blow you away – as is always the case with mnozil-shows! to top it off, we hired a dancing bear specifically for the show. due to animal protection regulations and the like, these are quite hard to find nowadays. our dancing bear (named bodo), however, applied voluntarily, since he didn’t feel like being retrained for rabbits for a petting zoo. so everything fine on ethical grounds here.

what we haven’t taken into consideration though, is the fact, that bodo is only traveling business class and that he, given his size, needs two to three seats.

looks like this will be the most expensive mnozil brass show of all times.

 

10/14

right now we’re in iceland. today, we did the complete tour of tourist attractions.

crevice-geyser-waterfall.

crevice was okay; waterfall was fine too, but that geyser-thing we don’t believe at all, honest to god. water starting to boil all by itself, splashing high up in the air every other minute and all that. not in our backyard. we are sure that there are a couple of icelanders sitting in the basement, two of them boiling water with an electric kettle and three or four of them having a blast pumping it all up, you bet. and one floor up all of them tourist get misty eyes due to that nice bubbling and splashing. and the entire island is making its living off  that wonderful natural spectacle. since apart from that there’s absolutely nothing here, except for some moss and lichen. and every other year they pump a bit more, subsequently resulting in an eruption of some volcano with some bizarre name which, in turn, will ground all air traffic throughout europe. so the island is constantly an issue of discussions.

pretty cool marketing strategy!!

10/11

yesterday we played a wonderful concert in st. albans. and today we decided to walk to the train station, with brandstötter being firmly convinced to exactly know the way. a mere ten-minute walk, half a mile, so we all did follow. 35 minutes and 6 miles later (at least it felt like it) it was only brandstötter being still convinced to know the way

well, there’s always another train to take.

 

09/20

we are back on tour again. everything’s fine fine and groovy – a real pleasure.

in order to get from a to b even faster we rented a rental car, to be precise a rental car from hertz car rentals. what a superb company!!! those people already seem to know that we are often in quite a hurry, and that‘s why they gave us a car with tread-free tires. real slicks, so to speak. the kind of tires they use in formula 1.

yeah!

so far we believed that tires are subject to a certain minimal tread depth to be allowed for normal traffic, but we’re sure that hertz is much better informed on that than we are. and we are getting from a to b a lot faster.

as long as the sun is shining and roads are dry.

anyways, we have to inquire with hertz about how this applies to wet roads. we suppose that they will be setting up a paddock somewhere along the motorway, the moment it starts raining – just like in formula 1. and we’re making a pit stop and have our tires changed in just below four seconds.

cool, cool, cool.

thank you, hertz.

 

09/11

our summer vacation comes to an end and some way or another, we all are trying to get our lips back into proper vibrating shape. all notes sound very much like summer, ocean, mountain-hiking and holidays. there is some rustling and hissing and gurgling that makes your heart skip a beat!

just robert is in perfect shape. according to yet unconfirmed reports he spent this year’s vacation at the market square of krakow in poland. as you all know, there, a firefighter is blowing a trumpet signal each day at every full hour from the top of the tower of  st. marian’s church in all four cardinal points – the so-called hejnal. a tradition dating back to the 14. century which is still being practiced without respite!!!! to remind the people of a tartar invasion of 1241, during which the signal trumpet player unfortunately was slaughtered by an enemy arrow right in the middle of blowing his signal. well, anybody not being a trumpet player might understand those tartars in full, but the trumpet player community all over this planet still is suffering badly from this humiliation.

moreover, it was exactly the firefighter being scheduled for blowing the signal this summer, who was seen during the entire july and august at the upper adriatic region, next to rimini, happy as a sandboy and fully equipped with a snorkel and swimming towel. and, strangely enough, at the same period robert was seen calmly walking from a coffee house in the market square of krakow to the tower of St. Marian’s church every full hour.

and, at the same time, the mayor of krakow received a couple of calls, indicating that the signal from the tower did somehow sound a bit different now, possibly quite a bit non-polish i.e. not that dadaadudu everybody had been familiar with so far, but rather like schnetterepängpängpänggg. quite an issue, given the fact that for the last 700 years it had been rather that dadaadudu.

so far robert does not want to comment on that, but his tones do not sound very summery at all.

 

07/05

we’re completely done with the day, having just finished our “brassweek samedan”. you won’t believe how little sleep you actually need and that you’re indeed able to handle an instrument while still half asleep.

our personal and indisputable highlight was the inauguration of the brand-new swimming pool in st. moritz, which we had the honor to accompany with a little fanfare. the whole event got us on the verge of a circulatory collapse, though. first, due to the above mentioned lack of sleep and second, because of the fact that indoor pools are generally characterized by rather damp and sultry climate conditions, in our case an actual feeling of 110o F room temperature and a humidity of well around 92 per cent. but the final and substantial reason prompting our circulation to nearly explode was a team of 12 extremely attractive synchronized swimmers, presenting a very challenging choreography first outside and then inside the pool – wearing what we’d call only a hint of a bikini. to be precise, that kind of choreography we’re surely all familiar with from those bad adult movie flicks. so before we even had the chance to finish our first tone we were already forced to practice gasping and panting respiration, let alone to get the slightest hold on any musical focus at all. prof. paul and roman couldn’t hold on for any longer and  jumped right into the so far completely virgin pool (apart for those mega-gorgeous synchronized swimmers) – right in the middle of our little musical interlude and dressed up as they were.

the original schedule was set for an immediate opening of the swimming pool to the public, right after its opening ceremony. unfortunately, this had to be postponed for two days, due to massive water pollution, though.

since two days is approximately the time it takes to drain an entire pool and re-fill it again with fresh water.

 

06/15

everything ran smooth, everything was cool and easy!

up ‘til now, all cab rides went well, with only one minor train delay and one minor cancellation of a train connection, but that’s not worth mentioning at all, of course. things like that can happen anytime, you know.

dear great god of all cabs, your mercy does reach us in humble awareness which we, being the truly unworthy, do not deserve the slightest bit. 

 

06/12

we are very curious to know how our tour through the netherlands and germany this week will eventually turn out, because last week the god of all cabdrivers was not very disposed towards us. which he made us feel as follows:

day 1, shrewsbury: the cab arrives at the airport 30 minutes late. physical arrival of mnozil brass ten minutes prior to the start of the show.

day 2, perth: the cab arrives 45 minutes late at the train station to pick us up. the cabdriver is in tears, swearing that he’d been there for 2 hours already, unfortunately waiting at the wrong platform

day 3, paris: the cab arrives at the airport on time, but is way too small for seven people. So, once again, we’re forced to practice our well-known technique squeezing in like sardines. by contrast, the taxi from the hotel to the venue doesn’t show up at all.

day 4, nantes: the god of all cabdrivers is luring us into a false sense of security, preparing himself for the final blow.

day 5, megève: the cab to megève airport arrives 45 minutes late and stops at the wrong terminal.

day 6, journey back home: the cabdriver from megève to the airport misses the airport exit and we all end up in a huge traffic jam. the cabdriver gets completely lost, exits the motorway somewhere just for the hell of it, subsequently admitting upon our request that he wouldn’t swear on his mother’s grave that he’d exactly knew where we actually were. arrival at the airport 30 minutes prior to departure, again forcing us to put on our black eye-patches boarding the airplane once again without a ticket.

oh great god of cabdrivers, grandmaster of cabs, what did we do wrong? where did we fail? why are you that angry with us most undeserving? what shall we do to appease your anger?

we hereby solemnly declare that we never will complain again about exorbitant fares or detours taken on purpose, scruffy or drunk cabdrivers, dirty or way too tiny cabs as well as highly imaginative extra charges for luggage. never ever we won’t!!!!!

if you please only will stop being angry with us!!!!

 

05/18

at the moment our shows are a bit rough because robert can’t control himself at all. only the day before yesterday he got an intractable fit of laughter right in the middle of a very very quiet, almost lyrical and extremely soft solo of roman. that fit of laughter went like that; first, roberts shoulders started to tremble followed by an intense bending of the entire upper part of his body, so that the whole person starts to shake with his face starting to glow in some crimson shade of red, since he must not laugh out loud during a concert. this stage lasts about 15 seconds, after which he starts laughing out loud anyway, because he simply cannot hold it back any longer. this last for about another 30 seconds. after that you can literally see how hard this poor guy is working to get a hold again in terms of internal control. another ten seconds. then, quite comparable to earthquakes comes the first aftershock with an average duration of approx. 20 seconds. repeated struggle to regain control, repeated aftershock, this time a lot milder, though, etc. overall duration of the whole intermezzo about two to three minutes.

hell, we wouldn’t mind if it happened only once, but yesterday he got another laughing fit again, almost at the very same moment.

what is happening to this person?

 

05/16

the last couple of days we have been in Belgium, there staying every night at the same hotel. this is awesome! you know, normally, we spend each night at a different place, meaning that we have to check in, unpack our suitcases, put the toothbrush properly into the bathroom, do our concert, go to sleep, have an early breakfast, pack our suitcases again without forgetting the toothbrush of course, check out and then it’s bye, bye.

but this time it’s just unpack your suitcase and enjoy!

so, the first thing robert did was to put some flowers in his room. gerhard, by contrast started right away to do a whole wallpapering job due to the rather worn-out wallpaper in his room, while prof. paul simply tore down a wall to the adjacent room in order to have a more spacious accomodation.

only zoltan wants to stick to his habits and thus is moving every day into a new room within the hotel, saying he simply needs that type of change.

 

05/06

verona, cividale, limoux, höchstädt, eggingen, ramstein, compiegne.

not a single train was delayed, we didn’t miss any train connection, all planes took off as scheduled and arrived even a bit before schedule, we were treated with utmost friendliness at all check-ins, our baggage was always with us and even in restaurants the waitresses and waiters greeted us with a friendly smile.

something is wrong here.

 

04/29

we‘ve just completed a terrific voyage.

moscow, baerum, kristiansand and aalborg.

everywhere superb concert halls; kristiansand and aalborg even featured two brand spanking new concert houses with an amazing architecture.

however, it was travel logistics which was quite short of scuppering our concerts one more time again. after the passage from norway to denmark with the ferry we assumed that a cab from aalborg was waiting at the pier to pick us up and carry us to our hotel. well, there was nothing. no cab, no message, no nada. and what is more, for the purpose of personal convenience, the organizer had turned off his mobile phone. so there we were like ordered-but-never-picked-up. after a while some maxi-cab arrived delivering a tourist party at the port that didn’t have anything to do with us, strictly speaking.

yet, that was when our hour had come: as per superb old-fashioned norman-viking tradition we folded down our black eye patches, boarded the cab and forced the cabdriver, who was shaking in his boots, to bring us to aalborg. during the ride we were drinking rum and raucously singing shanties. we had the impression that the cabdriver was extremely relieved when dropping us off in front of the hotel though, since he left quite in a hurry. the moment we realized that it was not the right hotel, he already was far away, that miserable landlubber.

the organizer apologized well into a thousand times, faithfully promising that the transfer to the airport the next morning was guaranteed a hundred percent, he even cried a bit.

well.

the next morning at 07:30 sharp, we all were ready and waiting in front of the hotel, but there was no cab. the organizer, for the purpose of personal convenience, had turned off his mobile phone. another miserable landlubber.

our call at the cab dispatcher revealed that they were very aware of the reservation, but given the time of the day and a huge workload of requests, they were simply not in a position to send over a cab at 07:30 am. only problem here: our flight was scheduled to depart at 08:30 am. at around 07:50 the first cab came cruising round the corner, cool and easy, its driver  not having the slightest clue what we were requesting and not in a hurry at all. some 25 minutes later the second cab showed up…

we were lucky because the airport is but ten minutes away from downtown and furthermore such a tiny building that ground personnel is welcoming each passenger here with a handshake. somewhere else we could have kissed our flight goodbye.

dear concert organizer: especially in our modern times full of stress and hustle and bustle it is extremely important to allow oneself some time off, very deliberately doing without any new media. and yes, this is precisely why you were acting properly switching off your mobile phone on both days, in this way clearly demonstrating your freedom and independent attitude towards our modern times.

dear cab dispatcher of aalborg: we think it’s great that you did maintain your independence. a cab reservation may, but not necessarily must, be met by all means. that’s how life stays spicy and full of juice, with cab passengers continuously maintaining their flexibility to any situation coming up. since nowadays everything is completely planned and scheduled, every situation where the unpredictable and rather capricious, wild side of life can be felt and lived out to its max, is hugely welcome.

04/09

right now we’re at rome airport. with lots of time to spend, since one had plausibly informed us that sometimes checking-in and security procedures indeed take up some time etc. and as always in cases like that our check-in was completed in about 3 minutes, with security being done in two minutes including queuing up. which leaves us about 90 minutes to have our espresso. robert is already having his fifth, with thomas clearly in the lead having his sixth, and both are already twitching their feet rather awkwardly. they seem to be quite exhilarated radiating an alertness completely inappropriate for that time of day.

let them have just one espresso more and they’ll probably be jumping up to walk back from here to vienna right away.

 

04/08

just arrived in rome. in lille our chauffeur missed the right turnoff so that we just so made it onto our train bound for paris charles de gaulle airport. in rome, however, we had to pass through the better part of the airport since our meeter was waiting for us completely somewhere else. he didn’t speak english and we don’t speak italian which, naturally, is quite some challenge for today’s mobile phone communication.

never mind we made it, we’re here!

follows our schedule:

4:00 pm arrival

5:00 pm quickly stopping by at the holy father‘s, including a brass-serenade and wishing him all the best on his way. to play at mnozil brass is not a children’s birthday party to begin with, but to head and guide the catholic church which is, as we all know, responding to any change very brightly and in an astoundingly open and cooperative way is indeed the much more difficult task, no doubt about that.

6:00 pm warm-up

7:00 pm pizza feast (possibly with pope francis, if he succeeds in finding some cardinal or other to read the evening mess in his place. francis’ll surely work that out, since rome is full of eager cardinals.)

8:00 pm having a nice espresso or, respectively, grappa

8:30 pm showtime

tomorrow morning 6:00 am, departure to the airport.

you see in terms of checking off major cities we are much faster than many a tourist from the far east. they do three cities in six days – we’re doing it the other way round.

 

04/07

we’ve got some tough days behind us, man.

first of all we had to restitute the original state of the musikverein. we’ll spare you all the details, but it was a lot of work, believe me. could’ve been carried out by somebody else just the same, that’s true, but for educational reasons they requested us to do it all by ourselves. so that we can understand and learn from it and will never again play that loud in future. they will surely be surprised the next time we’ll be coming play this place, because we are resistant to education. and quite creative in terms of behavior and very inflexible as to well-meaning advices.

by now we’ve already been touring for some days: switzerland, france, portugal, france with italy coming next tomorrow. well we travel those countries a bit like other people are getting on and off a streetcar at the respective stops. unfortunately the weather is not at our side at all. while it’s all warm and sunny in austria, it was raining in portugal, pouring down non-stop. with chilly temperatures alongside.

well, this is where you start to wonder: you’re travelling to a top tourist destination and then it’s raining cats and dogs all the time.

 

03/28

today we have the honor of being supported by an entire symphony orchestra, yippiieehh!

to be precise it’s the tonkünstler niederösterreich, a really amazing orchestra. and we all are playing in the golden hall of the vienna musikverein, which is exactly the venue where the new year’s concert is also taking place.

that is, has been taking place so far.

so, what we’ll be doing tonight is checking out that golden hall to see how resilient that place is. and to verify if those loads of gold is genuine gold or what. let’s see.

should that gold resist then everything will pretty much remain the same. should the hall however show some slight signs of wear after this evening, the next new year’s concert will take place in the gym of oberlaa. this also is quite a beautiful and appropriate venue, moreover with a thermal spa in walking distance. which would clearly enhance the whole new year’s shebang, making it much more tourist-friendly than before.

 

03/21

roman has now also been appointed professor. of applied lip-logics and warm air distribution in small brass things. in other words a plain teacher for trumpet. but we are of course far from using any such lapidary terminology. quite to the contrary, for us roman is now floating high above on equal levels with prof. paul. what he, in turn, does not want at all. he asked us instead to continue calling him with his first name, since he wishes to keep on remaining down to earth. a bit like pope francis, but presumably without childern’s blessings. from now on he will share his immense knowledge as well as his huge humaneness at the academy of music at private university of vienna passing them on to future generations of trumpet players.

we all burst with pride.

03/20

well, you won’t believe it, but honest to god, yesterday at the flight from vienna to stuttgart, roman’s luggage got lost. baggage tracing (operated by lufthansa…) at stuttgart airport promised delivery of said luggage right in time for our evening show yesterday. which did not happen at all as promised, so that roman appeared one stage once again in plain clothes. phone call today at baggage tracing, vienna airport, since nobody did pick up the phone in stuttgart. Yes, sure, yeah the luggage was right sitting here at vienna airport luggage deposit, and no, nobody had been calling from stuttgart etc. etc.

hey, it’s large-scale bullshitting that’s what we call it.

but apparently on an open-ended scale – bullwise.

enter luggage this very day today 30 minutes prior to the start of the concert…

 

03/03

a dream has come true! literally gallons of tears of happiness were spilled, thanksgiving prayers were directed at all deities possibly involved, a bonfire was lit and a lamb was slaughtered.

brandstötter‘s suitcase finally arrived!

after three phone calls and a little slump in the service hotline of austrian airlines/lufthansa of only about 90 minutes including four calls being cut-off, the suitcase was delivered in a rather mundane way. just like that. without any extra charge. without any bawling-out. without much fuss.

brandstötter can hardly believe his luck.

thank you lufthansa!

 

02/28

in the meantime brandstötter has a somewhat slightly elevated blood pressure, but sure no suitcase yet. passing a phone request to lufthansa on monday proved to be completely impossible, requests by e-mail have not been answered up to date, since lufthansa does not like to get into contact with paying customers that much. however, a request at the baggage tracing dept. in frankfurt was indeed answered within ten minutes, containing a very detailed information as well as a tracing/process ticket. what a shame that the baggage tracing dept. frankfurt does not operate flights, since in that case, brandstötter immediately would only choose baggage tracing dept. as his primary carrier in future, due to the fact that the ladies and gentlemen working in that department are quite a bit faster compared with lufthansa. said request however revealed that the suitcase currently is in dubai?????????????

looks like it is taking a quick vacation that little rascal….

by now the suitcase has been travelling for an entire week, without the slightest response to e-mails, without the slightest chance of getting any information on the phone… what a great example for a model-type customer service.

we recommend all operators of service hotlines to take lufthansa as an example.

thank you lufthansa.

 

02/24

what a great day.

prof paul, robert and brandstötter went to the lufthansa lost-and-found counter at vienna airport to clarify the whereabouts of the suitcases. the lady at the counter simply told them that she was not responsible, clearly indicating at the same time that they should have stayed at frankfurt airport by all means until their suitcases would have been handed out to them. strike or not, it is crystal-clear that the mistake was undoubtedly theirs. police or not, they were wrong in leaving the airport without their suitcases and, given the fact that their return flight from stockholm to vienna had been operated by airberlin, the whole issue was even less her responsibility. they’d better take care on their own to get those suitcases back. period.

well, one could well argue by mistake that the term customer friendliness clearly also encompasses the term friendliness. the tone the lady stroke in her communication however proves this arguing completely wrong, rather implying terms such as snappy, edgy and sharp. what we recommend instead is to fence off the lost-and-found counter of austrian airline/lufthansa at vienna airport with barbed wire warding it off against all intruders, and additionally supplying all employees with rubber nightsticks as well as other tools supporting reasoning and announcements to clearly underline any communication. who knows who might come in future requesting to get his suitcase back…

we thank everybody for this practical example of austrian hospitality and once again do not wish to know how austrian service personnel is being perceived by people of other nationalities.

thank you lufthansa.

 

02/23

we are trying to get our suitcases back, with the help of an online form of lufthansa. an endeavor unfortunately  proving to be very difficult, because we are receiving constant error messages. so, today we’ll be playing one of those concerts where the audience can also smell us since we don’t have any spare clothes. we are thinking about our suitcases in frankfurt: how will they do there in frankfurt? or are they maybe already in gothenburg? or maybe someplace else?

thank you lufthansa.

you see, a strike is one thing, informing your paying customers is another.

02/22

yesterday was one of those days that weren’t that terrific. we wanted to fly from frankfurt to gothenburg and the day’s schedule was about as follows:

06:00 am gerhard exchanges our railway tickets for dortmund-frankfurt, because they have announced a strike of the security personnel in frankfurt and lufthansa, the airline we are flying with, has requested all passengers to arrive as early as possible at the airport. departures are guaranteed in any case, since not everybody is participating in the strike.

07:00 am departure from dortmund

09:30 am arrival at frankfurt followed by checking in. the people at the check-in counter do not inform us in any way whatsoever about any potential upcoming issues.

10:00 am we are 160 feet away from the check-in counter waiting for the security people to show up.

11:00 am we are 160 feet away from the check-in counter waiting for the security people to show up.

12:00 pm we are 160 feet away from the check-in counter waiting for the security people to show up.

12:15 pm enter the police requesting all waiting passengers to clear the area because the security check is closed due to the strike. well, while waiting we‘d figured that out too.               as a nice touch the airport police is making their announcements also in english resulting in lots of fun among all people present.

12:30 am our flight has left. we are thinking of taking a cab to stuttgart, trying to catch a plane from there to gothenburg via berlin. won’t make it though, since that flight is scheduled at 14:40 pm and it’s approx 130 miles to go.

01:00 pm nobody knows anything and nobody from lufthansa is available for information. meanwhile, it looks like waiting passengers are queuing up for about 12 miles, with them loudspeakers untiringly announcing what flight is leaving at which gate, great.

01:30 pm in a truly heroic act, thomas is trying to get our suitcases back – an endeavour which naturally, is at the same time as ambitious as hopeless.

02:00 pm we travel by train to düsseldorf, because britta from südpolmusic, our agency, has found a flight departing at 06:30 pm from düsseldorf  arriving at 08:00 pm at gothenburg. so, the concert promoters in gothenburg will be informed to postpone the concert a bit.

05:00 pm lufthansa is sending out an email requesting air travelers not to come to frankfurt airport because of the strike. we are happy, together with lufthansa, since they finally have  got it, too.

08:20 pm we leave gothenburg airport

09:45 pm arrival in vara at the concert venue, entering the stage directly from the cab. the audience is in a very good mood because the promoter has announced happy hour at the bar and all beverages were off 25 percent. we are doing our concert in jeans and t-shirts, since we don’t have our suitcases with us, and help ourselves in terms of props with whatever there is.

12:00 am the concert is finished and everybody is happy.

 

02/20

we’re on tour again. yesterday we played at the Alte Oper in frankfurt: great hall, super acoustics, everything super in all.

today it was the dortmund concert hall: great hall, super acoustics, everything super in all.

 

01/27

right now we’re on our flight back home, returning from a small four-day tour of france. and the number of tour days exactly corresponds to our gain in weight.

france is terrific!!

it was raining the whole time, it was chilly and the weather was extremely unfriendly – but all that doesn’t matter in the least.

the french truly invented the art of eating and they sure do know how to celebrate it right.

that is in the form of a soup followed by a small salute from the kitchen, with a little hors-d’oeuvre coming right afterwards, followed by the main dish and finally, to round it off, some sweet dessert complete with coffee and as a farewell the compulsory cheese platter.

and all this, if possible, twice a day – at noon and in the evening.

simply great!!!!

 

01/19

yesterday a meet-and-greet was scheduled after the concert. so we started mingling with the audience after the concert, chattering a bit with everybody who felt like doing so.

stupidly enough, nobody wanted to talk with robert, though.

neither with brandstötter.

so both ended up standing around looking quite lost and forlorn while trying to make eye contact, smiling, sipping their respective glasses, smiling again, well, the whole shebang you’re doing when you want to be noticed. but nobody showed the slightest interest in talking to them.

so they started meeting and greeting each other, as if they’d never met before, in the process finding out that both were musicians. both also playing a brass instrument on top of it.

what a coincidence!!!

finally, when one of them told the other that he was part of mnozil brass, it completely knocked their socks off, since the other one also was playing in the same band. and nevertheless both hadn’t noticed each other ever before. you can imagine that both had a lot to talk about, and finally it turned out to be a quite enjoyable evening.

in the end they even shared phone numbers, solemnly and sincerely promising to keep in touch from now on.

 

01/17

Well, recently we wanted to fly from salzburg to bremen. salzburg is just a tiny airport, rather an airstrip, where you’d normally arrive at check-in 30 minutes before departure time, are being checked in 2 minutes later and, after you’ve passed security, are all set with lots of time right in front of the gate.

that’s exactly what we did: arriving at departure hall rather tight but in very good spirits and completely unsuspectful and then…: hundreds of people

holidaymakers’ change of shift.

each of them with a huge trolley suitcase, carrying a pair of skis.

this morning five flights departed from salzburg to moscow alone, the other ones to destinations who knows where.

and us right in the middle of all that.

everything worked out fine ultimately, but was quite tight, though…

 

11/28

now, what remains to be done for 2013 is one last itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny tv appearance not even worth talking about, and then we’re practically back again full circle at the nice things in life: rehearsing the trumpet, rehearsing the trombone and rehearsing the tuba.

at least that’s what each of us is swearing to do.

on a more off-the-record note the nice things in life are of course: eating, drinking, being happy, skiing, giving santa claus a hand in wrapping all those christmas gifts, having a nice mug of mulled wine with all those angels with their golden curls (the ones buzzing around  christ child) and looking at life from an utterly non-musical perspective.

that’ll be an easy one for all of us!

 

11/25

australia was really worth the trip! meanwhile we’re back on our way home, but there’s a slight problem. we’re flying emirates airlines, in fact from melbourne to dubai and then to vienna. at least that’s how the flight was booked – including one stop-over. but right now we’re stopping over in kuala lumpur to discharge some passengers and taking some new ones on board. so everybody has to leave the airplane taking his entire luggage with him and has to pass security a second time before boarding again. well, if that‘s not what we call a return flight with two stop-overs, we’ll be changing our band name with immediate effect to the original merry hintervorderuntertalers. but given the fact that emirates is an air carrier in distress, simply not having enough airplanes we immediately established an emergency aid group offering the airline to gladly accept further stop-overs also in abu dhabi, izmir and hanover. we do not know yet the airport of izmir anyway, so we’re always willing to help out!

 

11/23

we are currently in the process of verifying the ratio of one to ten. we’re spending our week end in Australia to play two concerts – one in sydney and one in melbourne.

that is you can approximately figure 40 hours of air travel for 4 hours of concert. we departed thursday from vienna airport, arriving in Sydney late on  friday. today is our first concert, followed by another air trip to melbourne to play our second concert there in the evening. right after the show it’s directly to the airport to catch the return flight scheduled to arrive in vienna monday evening.

well, you should actually be into flying…

and even a bit more into playing concerts…

as an offset, we had a nice cup of coffee next to the sydney opera house, a hot cup of coffee in an equally hot outside temperature of 82o F in bright sunshine. currently, vienna can’t simply deliver comparable values in terms of outside temperature.

and the applause tonight, however, was not one to ten but a straightforward one to one, like everywhere else, too. furthermore upon arrival yesterday we did not one to ten at the hotel bar …, you know, but at the max only one to one-point-five or so. at the very most!! rather going one to one-point-four…

 

11/18

oh happy day…

today, we had the chance to travel from dresden to berlin in a train coming from brno via pardubice, prague and dresden with final destination hamburg. one of those authentic, beautiful, old czech train with an equally authentic diner including true waiters excellently knowing their trade as well as an authentic cook preparing each and every dish fresh – furthermore doing so in a true kitchen and not in a microwave oven.

the menu offered dishes such as czech cabbage soup and wiener schnitzel. and stuffed corn-fed chicken-breast. and of course those famous pancakes from bohemia. and a lot more other delicious things. not to forget that famous pilsner urquell – right on tap!

not a single bit of that kind of “food” supposedly created by witzigmann, lafer or other masters of cooking, that is then being shrink-wrapped in plastic to be warmed up again in a microwave oven. food that exactly tastes the way it was prepared.

no, we’re talking true, authentic, fresh food with a taste here.

lucky czech republic!

 

 

11/17

just now we’ve been travelling about in england. day before yesterday it was reading, yesterday it was Coventry, and actually we’re hanging around at heathrow airport. that is because as of today we’ll be travelling about in germany. going to berlin and dresden. and after that we will be travelling about in australia. in sydney and melbourne. all this in one single week, that’s quite something, isn‘t it?

to whomever it may concern being responsible for inventing a direct flight from vienna to Australia, please do not hesitate to contact us. we’ll definitely be going for it!

we do not wish to have a stopover coffee in abu dhabi. and Singapore, too, does not mean that much to us, at least in terms of transit. arguably, may be dubai a beautiful place, but…

and where did this whole concept of beaming go, for god’s sake? for a long time there hadn’t been any news about that at all. an idea which indeed would be hugely convenient. dinner at home together with the family. followed by a concert in melbourne. finally topped off with a decent bottle of wine later the same night, again at home amidst your beloved ones.

come on, that can’t be that difficult!

 

10/14

again, we are blithely flying from one country to another, in the process getting in shape for our tour in the united states.

yesterday, we flew from manchester via frankfurt to vienna. this is why lufthansa sold us an airplane ticket, giving us exactly 45 minutes leeway for changing planes at frankfurt airport – which is quite hard to meet. given the fact that you are required to pass security check and passport control again, this schedule is not to meet at all – which we didn’t know beforehand.  so, we were racing through the greater part of the whole airport arriving at our gate precisely at the time of departure, where we were informed by a quite succinct hostess that the gate had already been closed. thomas, who had been a somewhat faster runner here, was however allowed to board some 120 seconds prior to us, in the process proactively informing the lady at the gate that the rest of us was close behind. with no effect.

no chance, the hostess simply didn’t let us board the plane (which, of course, was still sitting at the gate…)

so we were obliged to book another flight and had to wait some three extra hours.

what we didn’t hear though, neither at the service point nor at the gate, was the simple phrase:

we are deeply sorry and apologize for any inconvenience.

well, we shouldn’t be too finicky, though. since we all know that lufthansa is just a carrier and not a service-oriented enterprise and that frankfurt airport is nothing but a tiny regional  airstrip with very short distances and quite certainly not a problem in terms of capacity.

 

07/28

this noon we played an open air concert. which is nothing extraordinary as such. however, this sunday is the hottest day of the whole year, that much is already for sure by now. so it felt like 60o Fahrenheit, with the thermometer indicating some 54o F – in the shade, mind you.

since our area was not covered at all, we had to play right in the blazing sun. so it felt like 60o F, with the thermometer indicating some 61o Fahrenheit, though.

hey, we couldn’t care less you bet. since we’re really cool, a fact that paid off today, once again.

prof. paul had the least problems, since he decided some seven or eight years ago to never ever sweat while working. and he surely sticks to that.

so he entered the stage, bone-dry, again leaving the same stage after our two-hour performance as bone-dry as before.

this guy definitely is no limp noodle, merely sucking away on his mouthpiece. 

 

07/23

apart from the fact that roman and robert, for reasons that could not be explained, had been put on hold as standby-passengers on our flight from biarritz to lyon and were again allowed to board the airplane only at the very last moment, the organizers of our concert yesterday wanted to bring us all together to lyon airport in a large van. stupidly enough, gerhard had to catch a plane an hour earlier than the rest of us though, a fact of course requiring two such vans. this, however, was impossible to organize, again for reasons beyond any explication. completely impossible to fulfill this request it was – a second transfer within 24 hours, c‘est pas possible, sorry, no chance, rien ne va plus, etc.

the only option that remained was that good old cab again, naturally against the payment of a corresponding euro amount.

 

07/21

you know, there are those days…

yesterday we travelled from trier to hasparren, near biarritz, france.

in trier, the cab that was supposed to take us to the train station arrived late. it worked out though, and we got on our train in time.

unfortunately a slight delay was building up on our way from trier to saarbrücken. however, the conductor kept assuring us that there’d be no problem in catching our connecting train in saarbrücken. when we finally arrived at saarbrücken train station, our intercity express to paris was just leaving the opposite platform. looks like communication is not one of the fortes of  deutsche bahn. so there we were, together with some 35 more passengers, all eager to get to paris.

thank you deutsche bahn!

stupidly enough, we had to catch an airplane to biarritz in paris, though.

thank you deutsche bahn!

although the lady at the information point was very friendly though, she was not able to help us at all, since her orders from karlsruhe by telephone were to inform us to take care about our problems ourselves.

thank you deutsche bahn!

so we took a cab from saarbrücken to paris. hey, we’re talking here only some 250 miles, so no big deal. and forget the fare…

thank you deutsche bahn!

as you know we’re seven people requiring us to take two cabs, most naturally doubling the fare at the same time. meaning that yesterday we took one, two cab rides, respectively, from saarbrücken to paris in all adding up to a four-digit euro amount.

thank you deutsche bahn!

we arrived at paris airport 30 minutes prior to departure and that’s where the nice part of the story begins: first, we were checked on a preferential basis, then the ladies at the counter really put in some effort to make us catch that plane. since the plane was completely booked out though, roman and robert didn’t get their tickets yet. the rest of us boarded, informing the captain about our turbulent day. and he personally took care that roman and robert received their tickets. indeed, a full airbus was waiting 20 minutes for those two guys, since otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to play our concert scheduled for that same evening in hasparren.

a threefold cheerio to air france!!!!

thank you deutsche bahn!

07/17

he didn’t want to come up with the truth again and again. he only gave in when we started putting on some pressure threatening him with the idea to be forced to play the tenor horn from now on.

brandstötter had been in mörbisch.

attending an operetta.

normally, you do those kinds of things if you’re well past ninety.

only drawback was that those ninety-year old ones showed up there all dressed in sneakers and jeans, making brandstötter, with his neat middle-class intellectual bourgeois outfit (including tie!!!!) quite an unpleasant sight. he really had a hard time to be admitted to the venue to begin with, but in the end an usher took pity with him.

and now he’s really sad and low, not knowing at all when to put on his only suit in the first place.

as usual our compassion is quite reserved.

 

07/14

today, brandstötter really put some effort into dressing up perfectly. and how fine he smells, too. radiating a fragrance of musk and violets with a slight touch of toothpaste.

that is, he also brushed his teeth.

at the moment he’s not sure whether to put on the yellow-green-red striped tie or rather the black one with that little blue piggy motive. we’re holding back with our advice, since neither of those ties fit with his brown suit. besides, he’s also considering to put on his blue shoes… or still those silver clogs?

what’s this man up to?

 

 

06/27

at present we’re featuring three programs in parallel.

blofeld, happy birthday, and hojotoho.

not always an easy task though, due to the fact that three different programs might be scheduled on three consecutive days, which, in turn, calls for completely different props, respectively.

in blofeld and happy birthday for example, thomas needs a chewing gum, whereas in hojotoho he doesn‘t. in hojotoho we all need an evening star and a festival theater, which are otherwise completely unnecessary. and, in general our costumes are very different in all three programs, including our shoes, unfortunately.

you wouldn’t believe what you’re able to forget at home. then, approx. five minutes before the show, you’re suddenly starting to realize what you haven’t taken along, thus triggering quite some hustle and bustle.

only robert is always cool.

well, he’s constantly forgetting that he needs an open bottle of beer in happy birthday. never mind him, we’ve been doing this show only twenty or thirty times so far.

so what we’re doing now, as part of our routine, is alerting robert two minutes before the show with the result that he, striding along at leisured speed, is setting out to look for a suitable bottle, returning again after exactly five minutes successfully waving that bottle of beer.

that’s precisely why our show happy birthday is always starting three minutes late.

within the band we’re already racing bets whether he’ll ever be able to memorize that beer thing.

 

05/26

our travels are getting increasingly complicated.

the day before yesterday we played in montreux. to be with us, gerhard took the plane from munich to zurich, and from there the train to montreux. all others took the plane from vienna to zurich, continuing from there in a rental minivan. roman was returning the same night, immediately after the concert, back to zurich in the minivan, flying back home to vienna early next morning. gerhard, robert, brandstötter and prof. paul instead, took the train yesterday to paris. yesterday zoltan arrived in paris by plane, immediately catching his train to lille. and thomas was staying in montreux for the purpose of work.

today brandstötter, prof. paul, gerhard and robert all took the train from paris to lille. roman took the plane from vienna to paris, continuing from there to lille. thomas took the plane from geneva to paris and from there the train to lille.

and zoltan is doing absolutely nothing today, since he’s already there.

any questions?

 

05/04

yesterday, we all took a flight from vienna to malta.

including prof. paul.

well, he’d originally booked a flight for the day before yesterday, wishing to have some time to explore malta a bit. a wish he’d completely edged out in the meantime. so here he was at the airport, together with us, ready for checking in, but wasn’t allowed to, since he’d booked a flight for the day before, etc…

as usual, he solved the problem with utmost elegance and without attracting any attention with the help of a credit card, accompanied by lovely words like “what a d..n, bloody s..t, f…ing airlines, what a s….y piece of a f….d up year” , etc. etc.

what we recommend in such cases is an entry-level course in time management, followed by the purchase of a pocket calendar as well as the use of a mobile telephone complete with reminder functionality.

 

04/30

early this morning, our flight from new york arrived at vienna airport. it was a calm flight with nice fellow passengers.

what we didn’t know though, was that aua (austrian airlines) is nowadays using nostalgic airplanes on their overseas routes. our airplane felt like having clocked up around 90 years, its seat covers stood out by an exquisite state of worn-outeness, their color alternating from military-green to greyish-brown, and the flight’s entertainment program featured the ladies and gentlemen of the flight attendant staff presenting us personally drafted sketches, since the TV screens, usually presenting movies, went partially blank.

hey, we think it’s great. it’s showing a tremendous amount of courage that our austrian top airline is again placing greater emphasis on retro chic, deliberately refraining from equipping its airplanes on high-calibre routes such as new york-vienna with state-of-the-art technological achievements. just an incidental note: what we actually missed in this context were those songs around the campfire to encourage that group dynamics even more.

 

04/29

our tour through canada/america is coming to its end. prior to our last concert yesterday afternoon, we actually had three days off. three complete days!!! those we spent canoeing, hiking and roaming around in the woods, since maine predominantly consists of woods and lakes. gerhard and roman were particularly industrious in this context, their hands, for the first time in their life, showing calluses. and their upper arms displaying some muscles. from canoeing.

if there’ll ever be a canoe-paddling contest among all brass ensembles of this planet those two would be ranking right at the forefront, you bet.

 

04/25

what to do with a day like this?

get up at 5:45 am.

taxi ride to winnipeg airport at 6:20 am.

departure on the winnipeg-chicago flight at 8:20 am.

departure on the chicago-philadelpia flight at 11:40 am.

departure on the philadelphia-bangor flight at 4:40 pm – with delay of an hour.

the culinary choices at canadian and american airports are reciprocal to their size. furthermore, you are as far away from a glass of cultivated white wine as mongolian pop stars are from carnegie hall, new york.

solely brandstötter did offer us something quite amusing when trying to open a bottle of water, he’d stuck between his thighs while seated, with his left hand. the result was a big stain on his pants, exactly there where it’s most inappropriate.

what a big show!

leading to the only possible, logical conclusion: this person is suffering from extreme fear of flying severely impairing him to control his physiological functions any longer.

04/21

we are in in the midst of eternal winter.

we thought that here in canada spring would finally begin even for us, but far wrong. we’re right now in calgary, and it’s snowing outside

it cannot be.

yesterday we were in saskatoon, and temperatures were even colder there. a feature the people of saskatoon couldn’t care less about, because until last week it was about -13o F. for them temperatures just around freezing are considered comfortably warm, so we actually did see more than one of the local dwellers running around in shorts. this said, last week in sardinia, temperatures there of about 68o F are considered way too cold for the season, that’s why everybody was heavily muffled in down jackets and woolen sweaters.

it‘s just a matter of opinion.

 

04/18

currently we’re thinking about maybe introducing a new time zone, just for our own purpose: the so-called mnoziltime.

the last eight days we had 11 flights, with something like three times leaving and entering different time zones, with the result that nobody knows his way around anymore. that’s why we need a truly viable solution for sure. right now we’re considering the most simple version, i.e. dividing the day into three units: time unit no 1: concert; time unit no 2: rest of the day; time unit no 3: killing time at some airports, consuming dubious and overpriced beverages, eating ghoulish airline food as well as standing in line in front of various check-ins.

 

04/15

back home.

phantastic weather.

04/14

right now we are in england.

phantastic weather.

 

 

phantastic people.

04/13

right now we are in portugal.

phantastic weather.

phantastic food.

phantastic vine.

phantastic people.

04/11

right now we are in italy.

phantastic weather.

phantastic food.

phantastic vine.

phantastic people.

 

03/06

it’s wednesday today. today, we are playing in berlin, on the occasion of the tourism exhibition, presenting some parts of our wagner program.

for roman, however, yesterday was already today. that is wednesday. in other words: wednesday on a tuesday.

and that’s why he went to the airport in vienna yesterday, absolutely wanting to check in to berlin. the lady at the desk tried her best, but was unable to find a roman in her digital documents. and even had to tell him that a complete stranger had already taken his seat. which, in turn, obviously prompted roman to protest. then the lady at the desk had a closer look at his boarding pass…

we assume that roman simply is way ahead of his time.

but if roman were a really cool guy, he would have taken a plane to berlin yesterday, doing the entire performance all on his own. but obviously he’s not that ahead of his time, though.

 

03/02

yesterday a very special honor was bestowed on us – us originating from a tavern the name of which we are allowed to use with pride – because we were authorized to inaugurate a bar in tokyo. christian, one of our friends, living in tokyo for 15 years now, did convert a warehouse into a bar together with his japanese buddy, and was inviting us to test it on its opening night for functionality, hospitality and capacity. an invitation which we were very pleased to accommodate.

today’s concert was accompanied by some touch of headache, this we have to confess, on the one hand. on the other, though, we are now benefitting from a branch also in tokyo offering austrian veltliner, rowan berry eau-de-vie and, especially for zoltan, goulash.

our hearts are filled with profound delight!

 

02/27

right at the moment, we’re at the airport waiting for our flight to tokyo. gerhard is grinning like a completely overeaten rocking-horse and brandstötter has a hard time as well getting his facial expressions under control. both had been skiing for two days and are now beaming with joy like teenagers having a crush on the high-school quarterback. well, so far we thought them both would be serious musicians, but far wrong! as soon as you send them out into the snow to go playing they immediately forget everything around them. they had been deep-snow skiing at mount teine and are only flying with us to tokyo now ‘cos they are stone broke. otherwise, they’d both hibernate there enjoying themselves until the thawing period. they are only playing their respective instrument, because they have to! and to finance their ski-addiction! looks like before long we’d better send them to an asa reunion. asa stands for anonymous ski addicts – maybe they might be able to help them.

 

02/24

man, japan is completely far out. we are on hokkaido and here’s so much snow that  kitzbühel, st. anton and st. moritz all together would turn green with envy. tremendous piles of snow everywhere and how do the japanese react? what do they do?

nothing.

they’re sooo cool. all trains are on schedule. no use of salt to melt the snow, instead they are simply trampling it down or driving their cars into it leveling it down and everything works perfect. compare this to back home where, as soon as it’s snowing about 1 ½ inches downtown, everybody starts to hyperventilate, fearlessly engaging in a sheer fight for survival armed with snow shovel and ice scraper, and public life and utilities are completely paralyzed. nothing like that to notice here. could it be that the japanese finally are better mountain people than we are?

tomorrow we’ll ski a bit in sapporo and then we’ll see…

 

02/21

now, we are fairly back on track again. we have rested and that greenish color our face had has also disappeared. which is okay anyway, since today we’re off to japan aiming to show our special gifts, i.e. presenting ourselves with super-smooth lips and rosy freshness.

 

02/16

man, we ain’t doing well at all.

we’ve had two great anniversary concerts in vienna celebrating our birthday a bit with some friends, somehow along the lines of young twenty-somethings full of hope with a slight incidence of mental lapse and not like grown-up thirty-year-olds. and for two days now we’re trying to recover from this disaster, experiencing in the process how it feels to be stuck within the body of a ninety-year-old.

zoltan is our new king. on the first night he put up a good show until 4:30 am, on the second he did well even until nine o‘clock the next morning. the rest of us went to bed only insignificantly earlier.

we’ll skip our next milestone birthday.

we too have the right to life.

 

02/13

today we are celebrating our anniversary!

10 years of mnozil brass.

and we still all are so surprisingly young!!!!

yippiiieh!

who hit on the idea that we as a band would already be 20 anyway?

what an abstruse notion. given the fact that we members of the band having hardly reached our 30th.

in this context prof. paul did present us a copy of his passport which clearly states that he’ll be having his 29th birthday coming april. this makes him the oldest member of the band though, but still, 29 years is by far no reason to get nervous.

ah, how young and chic and sexy we all are.

roman just returned from retrieving his chest hair toupee from the pawnbrokers.

trallala.

 

02/12

the day after tomorrow and the next day we will be celebrating our anniversary!

20 years of  mnozil brass.

yippiiieh!

just two more nights to wait!

yippiiihurrray!

however prof. paul has a point here in raising the question how old we actually are as members of the band. Given the fact that the whole band has already turned 20.

wait a minute, that makes us approximately –

so we should then be around –

hey, not us, to be precise, but prof. paul., since he’s older, to begin with –

and maybe robert too, since he ain‘t exactly what you’d call a – anymore

oh my god.

are we perhaps right now in the middle of losing the charm of juvenility?

are we not any longer an up-and-coming reckless band?

no sexy boy group?

may roman still present himself bare-chested or is everybody immediately thinking about keith richards?

and what about roberts nude calves?

and while we’re at it, brandstötter recently stated that he got puffed while climbing stairs.

and thomas remarked that eating is the sexual pleasure of aging.

 

02/11

the day after tomorrow and the next day we will be celebrating our anniversary!

20 years of  mnozil brass.

yippiiieh!

just two more nights to wait!

yippiiihurrray!

 

01/20

we’ve just finished a small tour in switzerland full of obstacles, in the process almost missing our fist concert in berne. departure from vienna was scheduled at 09:50 am, but had to be deferred due to heavy snowfall. so we waited until 12:00 pm, until 02:00 pm, until 04:00, and were still in vienna. that is in the amazing new skylink, to be precise, an architectural chef d’oeuvre of the 21st century. its construction costs had been slightly exceeded by a mere 100 percent, but making up for it, this modern gem excels through the allure of an open-plan office from the ‘70s with an exuberant catering at very decent pricing. toilets are easily accessible to handicapped via some stairways one floor below and passenger conveyors are running in only one direction, since there wasn’t any room for their installation into the opposite direction. what a magnificent masterpiece. sincere thanks from the bottom of our hearts to the responsible politicians mr häupl and mr pröll for their efforts at the service of the people.

furthermore, crisis management was equally of the highest caliber, since the longer we were stuck there, the less regularly announcements were made – between 12:00 pm and 04:00 pm nobody felt responsible for us at all. but we were extremely lucky and were able to take off at 07:30 pm. this, however, was announced in an very hushed way, so that some passengers did not board at all, resulting in the unloading of their luggage, and delaying actual departure again by quite some time.

we finally landed at zurich at 06:30 pm, arrived at berne at 08:30 pm and started our concert at 09:00 pm. the audience had been waiting patiently condoning our late arrival.

thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

01/03

slowly but surely it’ll be a real tight squeeze. only three days left until the premiere.

although we are all in peak shape and are meanwhile riding better than all arabian stallions together, but you‘ll never know. maybe it wouldn’t have been such a bad idea to actually do our rehearsing on all those days blocked for rehearsal.

instead of visiting every other day this magnificent new thermal spa resort. even if it has been extremely relaxing. and even if the sauna complex they‘re having there is super-cool – let alone that awesome waterslide!!!!! one time we slided down all seven of us in one go clinging to each other to form a worm. man, that was fun! one thing is clear, when the moment comes where blowing our instruments won’t work out as it used to be, we all will be working in such a spa joint. as a pool supervisor. and as a water slide tester, and as an ice-cream vendor. and  as a sauna infusion expert.

 

12/06

it might be that robert actually did hit the jackpot! although he has to sing all the time, in the process constantly wearing out his vocal chords quite in the style of a true heroic wagnertenor, it looks like we‘re even worse off. since today our choreographer anne marie declared that us remaining six will be the horses for the ride of the valkyries. and that this ride is currently calculated to last 23 minutes. in addition, we have to play during this ride on our instruments of course. all the while carrying real valkyries on our back with some 260 pounds live weight each. and as a somewhat mumbled afterthought anne marie kind of added that the training of the US navy seals was nothing but a candy-ass program compared with all she had in mind of doing with us within those next six weeks. 

 

11/30

it’s weeks now, since we’re rehearsing wagner. yes, wagner, wagner, and wagner yet again. by now it’s about enough. we’re really fed up. strange enough, since this guy has such a harmless  name, though.

richard wagner.

but hey, who might mean any harm behind an inconspicuous  name like that? a plain and simple common name, just fine for a baker or a tax accountant or maybe even for a bank clerk. but not for a composer, for heaven’s sake.

composers are called beethoven. or mozart. well, even verdi will do. but richard wagner – hearing a name like that you simply start thinking in other directions.

what is more, this guy is composing operas to begin with, just bursting with cryptic notions and profligacy, illegitimate love affairs and fights. star wars is nothing but a ridiculously cheap copy compared with what this guy came up.

and here we are, in all seriousness trying to create a suitable show. what an idea. given the fact that in those 27 hours of music this person has delivered, you’ll find at most two funny moments – if you really listen closely. the rest is nothing but stone-cold seriousness.

let alone those never-ending arias. thank god it’s exclusively robert who’s singing all of them. we’ve asked him whether he’d like to sing a nice song, too in our show and he accepted. what he didn’t tell us however was, that this nice little tune is about 120 minutes long.

 

10/22

if you take a trip…: kick off was on tuesday in kusel where we were invited at a party at a friend’s place after the concert.  there was a lot of music-making in the apartment, but when the police showed up in front of the house at about 2:00 am, everybody was quiet comme il faut. then, in bremen we experienced the hottest october day ever since the beginning of temperature recording at all and enjoyed the day in various sidewalk cafes wearing shirts and t-shirts.

in france, in turn, we had a wonderful concert – audience-wise. the stagehands, however, didn’t speak a single word of english and didn’t find it necessary to study the technical rider. and on the next morning, while waiting for our driver at 6:30 am to transfer us to lille where we had to take the train to paris to continue from there via plane bound for oslo, there was no driver. although about 5 hours earlier, at 1:00 am to be precise,  he sure had explained us in an extremely verbose manner that he’d show up already at 6:00 am, in order to have breakfast with all of us. but at a closer look, his verbose explanation was accompanied by that large glass of chardonnay he had in his hands…

well, it got a bit hectic then, since due to the location of the hotel it was not possible to call a cab within 5 minutes. but finally, a kind soul of the hotel took pity on us driving us with the hotel bus to the train station, where we caught that train only just. so we’d almost have been late for a concert in norway only because somebody had to sleep in in france.

in norway, in turn, everything was wonderful! great concert hall, great sushi restaurant right in front of the hall and a super bus transfer from and to the airport. a bus which is normally carrying norwegian rock bands, to be precise, comprising of a soft and cuddly seating area, large flatscreens, internet and coffee machine as well as a well-stocked fridge.

it’s good to be alive.

 

 

09/26

and yesterday it’s got robert. early flight from auckland to melbourne, followed by a half-a-mile long line of people waiting in front of customs at melbourne with final arrival at our hotel at 1:00 pm. well, we wouldn’t have realized the slightest bit, but at half past seven somebody from the concert venue kinda reminded us that we‘d actually were seven people, right? and so far there were only six of us present. telephone call to the hotel where robert finally picked up the receiver after letting it ring about ten times. he sure showed up at 8:00 pm on the tick, you bet, to go directly right on stage and present his completely crunched, sleepy face to approx. 2,000 people. the audience went delirious.

thank god there still are vigilant people, since we probably hadn’t realized only at the intermission that he wasn’t with us at all.

09/24

at the moment we are touring australia and new zealand. up til now everything went quite fine, except that we had to get up at 4:15 am already three times to catch the plane to our next concert venues which, clearly, led to a certain state of overtiredness. today we left wellington early in the morning to fly to Auckland, in order to make our appearance in a TV morning show including an interview at 10:00 local time. since zoltan figured sleeping only a few hours isn’t worth it at all, he didn’t go to bed in the first place, making the night pass more quickly in the company of a couple of friends visiting some bars. which resulted precisely in the fact that he fell sound asleep during the TV show gently reposing his head on the shoulder of the female presenter.

 

09/07

we started the rehearsal process for our wagner project in bayreuth, germany.

so far everything is running great: terrific compositions from thomas, leonhard and gerhard; terrific director philippe arlaud; terrific spirit within the team, terrific ideas, extremely high notes and extremely low notes.

however, all that is overshadowed by an incident none of us ever expected.

prof  paul did buy himself a new pair of shoes!

he never ever did that before. we always knew him wearing only his pair of green shoes of the “waldviertel” brand. he had been wearing those shoes since he joined our band. because, in his opinion, a single pair of shoes would completely do, and furthermore because his old pair was not completely shredded yet.

now, he has bought himself a pair of brown shoes, though, and we all are actually having a hard time recognizing him. sure, he’s there, but it’s kind of like looking right through him, because he cannot be recognized in terms of visual perception. had he but bought himself at least a pair of green ones again…

we’re thinking about donating his old pair of shoes to a museum of local history. 

09/02

we did indeed put sheets of music in front of us on our stands.

sheet music from a piece by buxtehude, to be precise.

but we did not look at them.

since what we actually played was the brinpolka and bohemian rhapsody, like we always do. and everybody enjoyed our performance a lot, with an unusually laid-back atmosphere for a marriage ceremony…

and this is without even mentioning the party following afterwards.

 

 

08/23

sebastian asked us whether we’d be willing to play two or three pieces also during mass.

from sheet music. since he’s an opera singer now, you know, he’s by now even able to read sheet music. that is singing and reading sheet music at the same time.

well, we don’t know yet how he’s figuring it to work out. see, doing this while singing okay, but while playing…

meaning that we’d equally have to read sheet music, press our valves and the whole shebang in one go.

no way.

08/16

next week, sebastian fuchsberger is getting married and we’re all invited. what a killer! he’s marrying his darling kerstin and the ceremony will be completely in traditional costumes. what an even cracking killer! we’ve all been measured for lederhosen in order to show up there appropriately. real austrian lederhosen made of buckskin. so eight innocent little deer had been slaughtered because of us. in fact, one deer per lederhosen would have done with six of us, but one of us needed two deer indeed, on account of girth and such.

double murderer.

05/24

both opponents agreed upon shooting with live ammunition. the real thing.

that is, shooting a football from a distance of 62 feet (20 meters) towards the instrument of the respective opponent; three tries.

and here it showed once again that musicians are musicians.

prof. paul didn’t even accomplish the agreed-upon distance of 62 feet, his ball simply stopped after 55 feet (17 meters), not in front of the tuba, though, but kinda sideways of the tuba in an angle of 90o degrees. Brandstötter, however, took an awe-inspiringly long run-up, but was simply too tired after his run-up to aim straight. in mutual agreement the distance was shortened to 31 feet (10 meters).

alas, similar scenario with the 31-feet distance: prof. paul shot off the side-view mirror of a car parked in some distance, with brandstötter tripping in running up, thus not being in a position to do serious harm to the bass trumpet.

in mutual agreement the third try was called off.

handshake, slaps on the back, discussion of the experience in general. two hours and three beers later one might have gotten the impression those two contestants had just been wrestling down fc chelsea.

 

05/22

we’re back in our usual concert business, touring again, but this time with the usual amount of audience, normal sound level, normal food and normal conversation.

that is, almost normal conversation.

prof. paul is in brandstötter’s bad books.

you know, brandstötter has this new melton tuba, his one and only, his baby darling, etc. well, nothing new to us, we’re quite used to this whole shebang given his earlier instruments. every time he dragged along something new, he completely freaked. this time, however, prof. paul, without thinking, dropped a remark in quite a private circle, that a tuba is always a tuba, no matter whether old or new, no matter whether large or small.

he even was a bit more straightforward by chapter and verse, describing the tuba in general as the tube of horror.

stupidly enough, brandstötter sat directly behind him and listened in on that remark. then he rose, completely calm, ashen-faced, but with a deadly stare in his eyes and, bowing only slightly, addressed prof. paul as follows: “i challenge thou to a duel.”

 

05/12

holy moly!

there weren‘t 400, but 35,000 people present – goddamnit! and we’d been the only ones who hadn’t been informed beforehand. clearly, we didn’t have enough notes to hand out in the first place and the whole process of handing out those few notes turned into a complete disaster, too. roman didn’t even make it back on stage, because he got stuck within the mass of people. robert didn’t return either, but he, in turn, got stuck in front of a beer stall. so it was us remaining five who finally played the rhapsody. and of course nobody sang along, since there weren’t not enough notes with the lyrics, to begin with. what a miserable planning, actually one of the worst kind we’ve ever seen. furthermore there were TV cameras everywhere, another fact nobody had informed us about before, either. and that atmosphere, similar to a soccer stadium. much jeering and clapping and all that.

hey, we ain’t no f……, silly pop band. we are a serious brass ensemble, that’s what we are. do we look like justin bieber or what????? what in god’s name got into them to freak out that way??? We can’t f…… believe it.

 

05/10

tomorrow, we’ll be participating at the opening of the vienna festival on a large open air stage right in front of the town hall. what we’ll be performing is the bohemian rhapsody and we are indeed looking forward to the audience singing along with us (according to the organizer’s information which slightly varies in this respect, between 400 and 20,000 people are being expected). unfortunately, as to the rhapsody austrians are not too letter-perfect. that’s precisely why we’ll be handing out xeroxed slips of paper with the complete lyrics approximately ten minutes prior to our appearance, hoping that it will work out then. at the moment we’re in the process of preparing slips for 500 people, since we have serious doubts that there will be more than that present tomorrow. 20,000 people, who on earth believes that?

 

 

05/01

norway and sweden was quite something, too.

well, you’re already rather familiar with them norwegians, all those stories about those vikings and such, quite hardy, no problem with the cold, not prissy at all. they’re running around in shorts and t-shirts as soon as it is 45o F outside, sometimes giving you the impression you’d be right in the united states.

but this ain’t nothing compared to the swedish: so we’re playing a concert in Gothenburg, being subsequently invited to a little private party afterwards. little private party in sweden means about 80 people. and there were also beverages available. however, prior to each drink, rather prior to each sip, to be more precise, you had to sing a song. and to be allowed to drink your booze you had to raise you glass at least three times, meaning that you were also in for three songs – this rule actually being applicable to the first glass of booze. with a reduction of the amount of songs to sing to two with your second glass. and with your third glass of booze, finally, it was all down to only one song, followed by a complete cancellation of mandatory singing at all. the only thing we weren’t aware of was that among the party guests there had also been some undercover finns eagerly waiting only for the cancellation of mandatory singing.

that’s why we wish to state the following: everything that has been written and spread around about finns, in particular with respect to their customs and traditions, is true.

 

04/28

and what incredibly nice people those danes are, after all. right now we’re in copenhagen and it seems like the mayor’s wife or his cousin or the niece of his cousin apparently has lost something here. and now everybody’s joining hands to help finding it. this goes on for a couple of years already. they’re digging up the whole city. proceeding very meticulously, indeed. since they haven’t found yet what has been lost. huge road works everywhere, and construction sites with earthmovers and cranes and the whole shebang. and that’s where they’re searching.

and we appreciate that a lot, that kindness of them danes. since, in case someone among us would lose something, group-wise speaking, let’s say robert would lose his mouthpiece once again, just to give you an example, or even better yet, his entire trumpet, then, let’s be honest, nobody would help him searching for it. well, we might support him in his search, but sure enough not in finding it. well, furthermore assuming that prof paul would actually find robert’s trumpet, again just hypothetically, he’d surely not give it back to him, since prof paul has a brother-in-law who’s a professional scrap metal dealer. so giving back the trumpet to robert would result in compromising himself.

you see, the common dane has a somewhat different mindset in this respect.

 

 

04/27

yesterday we played our first concert in denmark. a place we’d never been before. the audience was so extremely excited, to such an extent we don’t experience it often!!!

those people laughed and laughed and laughed

upon introducing us the presenter did however tell two or three dirty jokes, so what we’re assuming is that these jokes were so-called transpiring jokes with the audience literally started getting those jokes row by row and beginning to laugh in the process. since at the end of our show it was the rearmost rows cracking up with laughter implying that even those in the far back finally also dug them.

afterwards we went out to a little bar where two danes immediately started hitting each other. a little mix among friends so to say. something we all know from our past in the countryside, virtually pastimes. and of course to let off steam and energy. since, you know, a youngster has so much power and energy that he more than once doesn’t actually know where to get rid of it. so what better way than a little brawl. your energy is being kinetically dissipated und you’re immediately feeling much better afterwards. very reasonable people here in denmark after all.

 

 

04/10

we’re back home again, safe and sound, and have to recover from steaks and burgers. unfortunately our arrival coincided with easter weekend, not in the least contributing to any alleviation of the situation at all, in particular in the stomach and belt areas. that’s why we’re right now seriously considering to play the coming shows sitting down, because it’s simply more comfortable.

 

 

 

04/01

yesterday we went out to the ritziest steakhouse in kansas city to have dinner. each one of us wobbled down a well-hung steak (at least eight weeks, actually rather going two months) complete with all necessary fixings (french fries – brussel sprouts – mashed potatoes – tiny carrots – something yellow-greenish we weren’t unable to identify – asparagus – sauce hollandaise – as well as some other bits and bobs). all this was served with beer, wine, grappa, whiskey, ice wine and soda pop. when it finally came to paying, we suddenly realized that we had completely exceeded our monthly budget. would’ve been fine with us to do the dishes, no prob, but apparently nobody appreciated our offer. rather, we were expelled quite roughly to the outside, where four extremely huge and broad quarterback-type men told us that this was not the way at all how restaurant bills were handled here. we acknowledged their explanations in a thoroughly obedient manner, subsequently trying to engage them in a technical discussion on the benefits of a rotary-trigger trumpet vs. a perinet trumpet, but to no avail. since those philistine people didn’t give a flying fart about the topic. well honestly, a couple of years earlier we‘d just been hightailing it, but you’re not getting younger to begin with. and, by the way, our hotel was about 12 miles away – quite some run in the end.

fortunately, a somalian taxi driver brought us back to our hotel, that is all seven of us in one go. How each one of us succeeded in folding himself into the taxi, we cannot recall anymore, alas. but one thing we know for sure: it was a very pleasurable tour.

03/26

unfortunately, brandstötters tuba was actually delivered right before the start of our concert. what places it had been travelling nobody knows, but now it is here, back with us. with three triggers missing out of six, though. well, somebody must’ve been swiping. brandstötter doesn’t give a flying fart, stating one-and-a-half triggers will surely do for him having to play those few notes he needs to do in our concerts. and as a fact his sound was exactly the same as always.

what a bummer.
03/24

today we flew from vienna to washington, d.c., continuing all the way down to new orleans. reason for this is we finally wanted to make our dream come true and capitalize on our big opportunity in america!!!

from riches to rags!!

unfortunately somewhere along the way brandstötters tuba got lost. a united airlines employee informed us that the tuba hasn’t been loaded in vienna in the first place. one of his colleagues told us, don’t worry, it was in washington. and in washington another employee claimed that it surely was among the luggage unloaded, but could not be located at the moment, though.

hey, we couldn’t care less. again at last one concert without tuba, that’ll be great!!!!
03/16

dig this, man! we received a request by orf (austrian broadcasting corporation) to be part of a casting show!!! we are incredibly happy!!this is our opportunity, the big one!!

all we need to do is to apply and participate!! and probably pretend as if we haven’t ever seen a studio from inside and a stage from above.

our reply was along the lines of expressing our moderate interest pointing out that the whole shebang seemed kind of dubious to us, since we actually had been already performing outside of austria, with performances even at places as far away as south tirol and bavaria. the reply of our beloved broadcasting media of record, however, was not along the lines of, but rather verbatim:

dear mr brondstötter, we are taking note of your mail.

best regards

well, fancy that!

 

 

03/12

it’s always great to fly! this morning brandstötter wanted to fly from pau to paris, having received two tickets as usual: one for himself and one for his baby darling, his tuba. and like many times before, baby darling didn’t pass the security check scan, since baby darling is a bit too large for that. normally no big problem, because you simply go to another, larger machine. voilà, mission accompli.

this morning, however, security staff at pau airport did not agree to this procedure, stating instead that either the tuba shall pass through exactly this machine or must be checked in like a normal piece of luggage, meaning that baby darling would be travelling in the belly of the aircraft. to be honest, it’s a well-known fact that loading staff at airports is handling suitcases and the like in an extremely tender way throwing them around like, no way further than 10 feet (3 meters), thus the whole thing clearly suggesting a total write-off for baby darling.

this in turn, brandstötter was not willing to accept arguing instead, that when air france sells you a ticket for an additional seat you should also be entitled to use it. a little discussion ensued, lead by brandstötter in french (poor), english (quite acceptable, unfortunately inhibited by complete cluelessness in terms of this language on the part of the security guy in pau) as well as german (proficient both orally and in writing, this time however interspersed with some idioms and expressions that should not in any circumstances be used at home or in the presence of children (leading to an equally pointless effect, suggesting that german and english being buddies, sharing a flat in the same areas of consciousness of this person)).

the discussion was followed by a little pushing and shoving, before finally a solution was found which clearly proved elegance à la française: the tuba was checked in completely in compliance with official requirements and was handed over to brandstötter again by a charming stewardess upon his boarding the airplane to take it on board.

there we go.

thank you air france!

 

12/09

we really had a blast in narita, and we ain’t exaggerating, you bet. we started by consuming two rounds on gerhard’s tab. then it was brandstötter coughing up some money for another one because of christmas approaching, you know. then it was thomas’ turn, since he’ll be having his birthday soon. and then we unpacked our instruments and started playing, first christmas carols, followed by a mix of various songs and finally chants. then we started singing and did also a bit of dancing. then we donated a round to various people present. then we wanted to board the plane, which however was not possible, since the plane had already taken off four hours earlier. as a result we reassured us by mutually donating a consolation round to each other followed by a joint effort to change our booking to another flight. destination hawaii, since it’s much warmer there. well, that actually worked out smoothly, but didn’t come cheap, though. subsequently we spent two days in hawaii before finally deciding that it’s too warm there after all and we’d nevertheless better fly home.

where we arrived yesterday.

better avoid any kind of alcohol on airports.

 

 

12/03

today we’re are heading home!

morning watch at 06:00 (am!!), departure at half past six with six minutes delay, since gerhard firmly argued that somebody had told him yesterday our departure was not before 06:40 am (nice try to conceal personal oversleeping (never mind, he’s gonna buy us a round somehow or other, no quarter for him in this respect (and besides his little drowsy eyes spoke volumes))). hence, arrival at sendai airport at six minutes after 07:00 am for scheduled flight at 08:00 am. since two!! check-in counters for international departures are generously open at sendai airport at 07:00 am in the morning our check-in is terminated at 08:00 am sharp. and at 08:20 sharp we’re sitting in the plane which is promptly taking off at 08:30.

there we go.

and now we’re hanging around in narita, pondering what to consume next on Gerhard’s check.

there we go even more!!

and there still is plenty of time until our connecting flight to vienna is leaving, hehehe.

 

 

 

11/29

yesterday evening we returned to the hotel after our concert. so far so good.

when thomas opened the door to his room he found an elderly japanese gentleman in a suit and tie but without shoes sitting on his couch. since thomas supposed to have mixed up rooms, he left the room first, then re-entered it again and found the gentleman still sitting there. so thomas explained him in very polite terms, that he – said japanese gentleman – surely must have mixed up rooms on his part. however, this explanation did not make the slightest impression on the gentleman which was due to two facts: first, he didn’t have sufficient command of either german or english and, second – an even more aggravating circumstance – because he was so heavily plastered that there was nothing of the sort of comprehending, let alone answering anything thomas said. the only sound thomas was able to educe from him was some sort of grumbling. when the gentleman furthermore set to work to stretch out on the sofa to have the sleep of the just, thomas finally called the front desk. they sent up somebody who unfortunately wasn’t able to achieve a great deal either, because this gentleman assumed complete reluctance towards factual arguments such as the flugelhorn sitting there on the bed was proof enough that this was in fact thomas’ room. this gentleman still was absolutely sure to be in his proper room. second call to the front desk with the effect that the police showed up. they gladly wanted to discharge their duties but could not though, since meanwhile our japanese friend was actually sound asleep. of course the rest of us did not want to miss out on the entire scenario either, meaning that finally about 12 people were clustered in thomas’ room subsequently agreeing on granting this gentleman his righteous sleep. thomas was transferred to a new room which we subsequently all frequented without further ado, eager to try to get to the bottom of the miracle in the framework of a little room-warming party (by now it was only 10 people, since the police officers just refrained from joining us) what exactly it must have been this gentleman had been consuming to reach this kind of truly nirvana-like state.

 

11/24

There’s a catch somewhere when traveling by train in japan, but that’s not due to japanese railways. that’s due to us, since as europeans by trade we aren’t used to trains departing on schedule. and also arriving on schedule. all the time!!! what’s happening here????? it’s driving us to despair.

during our first four days alone, we missed trains no less than four times. first, because as austrians by trade, we arrived on the track twelve minutes too late being completely sure our first train will depart with the usual 15 minutes delay anyway. second, because roman quickly got himself something to drink, convincingly assuring us no train on this planet whatsoever does depart on time. third, since robert simply did not want to enter a train at 02:26:40 pm that closed its doors at 02:26:50 pm subsequently departing exactly on time at 02:27:00 pm. robert thought this one was just the preceding train, in this role departing too late though, but nevertheless quite on time for our standards. hence he rather chose to wait for the next train which he believed to be the right one. and the fourth time finally, since one trombone player was dwelling on his thoughts extremely relaxed on the john, apparently relying in complete confidence on his knowledge that transfer time was still a couple of minutes ahead. well, if you do not leave a shinkansen exactly on time, then you simply have to stay on it for the next 150 miles.

how do the japanese arrive at that? trains on schedule? always!

we’re once again right in a state of cultural shock.

 

 

11/18

as to flying there’s quite a catch somewhere at the moment. last week it’s got zoltan, thomas and odwlmppp (after trashing his dignity quite unpretentiously called prof paul again). they wanted to fly from paris to vienna, an endeavor turning out to be not that easy. the first airplane was simply broken, they probably hadn’t put enough grease into the engine.

as a result everybody had to change planes. as soon as each seat belt had been securely fastened, the captain started to worry about the complete and proper stowage of the luggage. so, without further ado all pieces of luggage were unloaded and put onto the runway allowing each passenger to put his personal piece of luggage by his or her own hand back onto the conveyor belt and individually watch their stowage in the aircraft belly. meaning that the early flight turned into a late flight. (this said, we advise not to reveal anything about single-handed personal stowage of baggage to ceo of ryan air o’leary, since he probably will approve that idea and adopt it right away for a new ryan air slogan: load your bags yourself for only a small premium on my shelf.)

this week it was gerhard’s turn, though. the plan was to travel from salzburg via vienna to tokyo, but very unfortunately, the plane didn’t take off in salzburg, thus making it impossible to catch the connecting flight to tokyo, in turn risking to create a quite stupid situation concerning the concert the next day, since the japanese audience was firmly proceeding from the assumption that mnozil brass is made up of seven musicians. (what they ignore, however, is the fact, that we’d prefer being six anyway, since dividing up the fee would be much easier that way…but who’s telling that to gerhard?)

well, gerhard had a serious conversation with the captain (which was not the same person as on the flight from paris) with the result that he carried out a thorough investigation etc., etc.

subsequently, the captain himself unloaded gerhard’s luggage and, still all by himself an in person, did call gerhard a cab to carry him from salzburg to munich and in an exemplary manner further tended to the process of booking gerhard onto an alternative flight from munich to tokyo. hence, gerhard arrived at the venue no less than three hours prior to start of our concert, in short: way too early.

to warm yourself up on a brass instrument for three hours – that’s simply not feasible, since you’re running a high risk of getting paralyzed lips well before the start of the concert.

 

11/15

after exactly three days odwlmppp simply trashed his dignity, thus winning back six buddies. no more tailcoat, no more patent-leather shoes or, as odwlmppp remarked quite appropriately: you can’t eat dignity and much less drink it. even less so alone. and, in particular not at all when you’re currently in japan. because the japanese couldn’t care less about any odwlmppp as a matter of fact, but we do.

except perhaps some bass trumpet japanese.

 

11/08

odwlmppp bears his award with utmost dignity. in the meantime, odwlmppp developed a remarkably upright posture. odwlmppp also restricts his speaking to bare necessities to clearly underline his importance. by the way, odwlmppp still has not yet doffed the tailcoat he was wearing during the award presentation ceremony, even though those patent-leather shoes already show their first scratches. in short: odwlmppp has become a person to be respected.

so in future, odwlmppp will have to drink his beer all alone.

the poor guy.

 

11/05

for the first time we have a veritable laureate amongst us.

awesome!

well, it goes without saying that only a true personality can be awarded a prize. consequently, it also goes without saying that not every john doe will be entitled to such a prize. hence, in our case, it was only logical that prof paul was the person eligible.

with immediate effect he has the right to call himself the winner of the lichtenburg-preis des musikantenlandes (lichtenburg award of the land of musicians). he was awarded that prize in the town of kusel in the Palatinate uplands. we are all very proud and deeply moved and have now actually understood what a luminary person prof paul really is.

in order to duly express our heightened appreciation we thus decided unanimously to address our honored member from now on only and exclusively as “our dear winner of the land of musicians’ prize prof paul”, in short odwlmppp, and also “our highly-esteemed winner of the land of musicians’ prize prof paul”, in short ohewlmppp.

 

10/15

the new program blofeld is great!!!!! there’s one piece where brandstötter is blowing his mind to heavens doing a completely needless tuba solo right at the front of the stage, sparing us at the back some free time for the nice things in life.

like talking, drinking, setting notes on fire etc.

yesterday, robert even got the idea that the wide opening of brandstötters tuba is perfectly suited for triple pitches using wadded newspaper. brandstötter won’t notice anyway, since he’s more than fully stretched with coordinating his tongue and finger movements and inhaling and exhaling – and the overall thinking process as a whole, but hey, let’s drop that one! looks like there are still a couple of deficiencies in this respect, resulting from his accident – notwithstanding the fact that we have quite some exercise during our show.

yesterday evening we only did free throws, maybe this night we can arrange a little match between trumpets and trombones.

 

10/08

brandstötter is more or less well again. however, he’ll probably have that long ugly scar forever, but what the hell. he ain’t visible to anyone behind his tuba anyway.

you know, with tuba players it doesn’t matter at all what they look like to begin with. and it basically doesn’t matter either how they’re playing. and it doesn’t even matter whether they’re playing or not. since nobody gives a f… at all. on the other hand, it’s of course quite a good thing that tuba players are integrated in a music band, because in this way they are not able to bring about damage elsewhere. and since they need both their hands to hold and carry their instrument they don’t get into mischief a bit either. essentially, tuba players are doing physically taxing work, they are heavy workers believing to perform an intellectual activity in an artistic profession.

what an error.

 

10/03

no tour without casualties.

prof paul slammed a door right on brandstötter’s skull. well, actually he has opened a door with much verve and brandstötter ran right into it, to be precise. the consequences are serious: a nice cut right between the eyes like it was drawn with a ruler. now brandstötter looks like harry potter without hair and specs.

the presumption of innocence is well applicable to prof paul.

brandstötter’s head is still thumping, but that’s not too bad. it’s a rather nice progress indeed, considering the silence dominating this part of his body before. and in terms of tuba playing said thumping is completely insignificant, since thumping always remains thumping.

 

 

09/30

yesterday was the day.

the first concert after our vacation.

after all, five out of seven band members appeared on stage indeed. not present were zoli and prof paul, since the latter squeezed in one more week of vacation.

from the five musicians present, four were ready to play, since unfortunately robert’s mouthpiece still hasn’t surfaced yet.

so, in terms of line-up, we were a quartet plus singer (robert indeed excelled in featuring some of his trumpet parts on a tenor-like basis).

thomas and roman played trumpet, gerhard did the trombone and brandstötter was found right at his tuba.

we played like a string-quartet. no hold it, correction! not like a string-quartet, but much more beautiful than a string-quartet.

the audience was simply enthralled.

 

 

09/28

our first concert after the summer break is actually scheduled for tomorrow.

that’s why we met today for a rehearsal which, however, turned out to be a total disaster.

our intonation was completely zero, hardly good enough for three village brass bands.

furthermore, robert has no idea whatsoever where his mouthpiece might be.

the good news is that two out of three triggers are working on thomas’ trumpet, which, on the contrary, is not the case at all with roman’s trumpet – none is working, they simply dried out.

prof paul seemend quite unmotivated, constantly mumbling something about a killer vacation in las vegas.

brandstötter is able to recall only 10 percent of the blofeld repertoire at a max, and zoltan sent us an email from Australia informing us that he’ll extend his vacation a bit, but will surely be back in vienna on december 15 – scout’s honor!

only gerhard was in high spirits, dancing very intently, telling us in the process that we imperatively have to play as many concerts as possible starting immediately, because he’s so darn broke that he don’t even dares setting foot in his branch bank. and since he’s really in dire need of money at the moment anyway, couldn’t maybe anyone of us help him out and pony up the cabdriver who holds his trombone as pledge?

well, perfect conditions for the start of our autumn concerts.

 

 

05/30

eia poppeia, heia, heia, hear, hear, no oh dear!

premiere was well so all is well.

we’re lost in rapture, shall the sun us now capture.

trallala, trallala.

everybody is loving each other.

 

05/22

now, our nerves are definitely raw.

only five more days to the premiere. we’re working full throttle, fine-tuning the transitions and musical scenes. during the days we have our dramatic rehearsals and during the night our musical ones. ferdinando is completely wrapped in a pondering silence whispering something to one of us from time to time, there is talk of lucidity, transparency, exchange of ideas, free flow of emotions and all-encompassing presence on stage.

after all, thomas is allowed to be a barley ear still, however one in the west wind slowly getting up.

robert is cursing under his breath time and again, affirming when requested that of course this ain’t directed to anyone of us.

only zoltan is the same as ever, being late from time to time and dreaming of a career without any compulsions, restrictions and targets.

just him and his little trombone.

 

 

05/10

oh boy oh boy, slowly but surely we’re actually reaching our limit. that about does it!

for a whole week now thomas has been acting a barley ear sadly swaying hither and thither in an easterly wind softly calming down in a deserted caucasian steppe dimly lit by a half moon. and now our mister choreographer-director is all of a sudden getting the idea that it would be way better he rather acts a wheat ear instead, since this would correspond to the atmosphere far more adequately.

how in heavens name is thomas to adjust himself to the new challenge just like that with only two more weeks before the premiere?????

we are talking completely dissimilar sequences of movements, an aesthetics entirely different from the ground up, with the philosophical background not correlating in the least any longer.

that does challenge everything!!

we have to start out all over again.

to hell with director’s theater!

 

05/02

unfortunately not.

prof. paul did indeed return. bringing along ferdinando chefalo. the silver bullet from calabria. and chefalo did make us get moving – in the truest sense of the word.

now we have to rehearse esoteric character dances for each of prof. paul’s seventeen pieces. robert, for example, has to hug trees existing only in imagination, roman has to do impersonations of newly hatched foals and the rest of us are gently swaying as crop ears in a soft breeze.

prof. paul savors it all not saying a single word.

 

04/26

by now, we are able to play seventeen highly complex compositions by prof. paul by heart and backwards again. and yesterday he tried again to impose three more upon us. without a single word we unpacked six baseball bats. without a word prof. paul simply left the room. and without a word as well, we all flung our arms around our necks.

should we indeed have cast off the yoke of the tormentor?

 

04/18

this week prof. paul presented us seven new compositions, putting them on our music desk as usual without any comment, this time however clearly indicating with a gesture of his hand the swing of a base ball bat.

all right, we got the idea. we swear, we’ll rehearse.

 

04/09
this week we actually had to rehearse three times!!!!

three f…..g times!!!!!

for eight hours in a row – each time that is!!!!

it was prof paul who sent us some friends – again without comment – who, in turn, requested us – without a single word – to simply fulfill our obligation as musicians.

we wanted to object, honest to god, but unfortunately those friends of him are involved in a business where total working time is not accounted for by days, but rather by hours. when showing up, those gentlemen did furthermore carry some rather heavy-looking wooden clubs with them, commonly also known as baseball bats. with engraved notches. well, ain’t that strange what types of people our professor actually knows?

 

04/02

yesterday prof paul came up with a new piece putting it on our desk – without any comment.

many, many notes. notes without end.

and syncopations.

and composed in b-minor, a key being immensely popular among brass musicians.

could it be that this person is actually thinking he’s the legitimate successor of johann sebastian?

thank goodness this piece will never be performed, since we stopped rehearsing indeed!

 

03/21

lately, we played quite a lot of concerts. without any rehearsal beforehand.

we are all in a great mood!! everyone of us is feeling completely at ease, we are cracking jokes, kidding and hugging us at the same time! yes indeed, we like each other!

conclusion: we’ll stop rehearsing with immediate effect!!!!!

 

03/04

we had another rehearsal again yesterday to which brandstötter brought some small stage accessories, since he figured to kinda help us in this way…

so, what he brought along was three hand puppets among them the punchinello and the frog, a baby’s rattle, a funny blowpipe, a musical clock, a whole-body chanticleer’s costume, a hog’s nose, a hairpiece for bald heads (for potential use by roman or leonhard) as well as two rolls of toilet paper. so far he hasn’t yet come up with a coherent answer to our question what the hell we should do with all this, though.

 

02/28
after some wheeling and dealing with god we arrived at the following agreement: we are doing the show basically on our own, but he’ll send us over the holy ghost from time to time with a little glass of swiss pine schnapps for reasons of inspiration, as it were. furthermore, the guardian angel of prof paul got a slap on the wrist for not taking adequate care when the professor had been climbing up that ladder. the reason for his endeavor, incidentally, had been a little tasting of said swiss pine schnapps with the holy ghost himself.

and so the circle is complete.

those muses, the young ones, we’d better forget about them at all, since he hasn’t enough of them at hand anyway. and he surely needs the few remaining for the completely gonzo and freaked-out fashion designers.

 

02/19

god called us just this minute, letting us know that this whole business of whining and whimpering ‘oh god’, ‘oh my god’ and ‘good god’ wouldn’t help us a great deal, either. instead, we’d better come up with a proper solution on our own.

he, who’s letting himself in for a show has to face the music all by himself.

and unless prof paul isn’t finally starting to take his medicine, he, god, won’t be able to do a single thing in this respect, either.

well, he ain’t completely wrong on that, as a matter of fact.

but then again, he created the world, didn’t he? and in the light of that, it wouldn’t actually be that difficult for him to give us some hand with out next show.

whereas, if you have a closer look at the world, mind you…

maybe we’d better sort it out all alone. in that case we’d gladly appreciate it if he would chip in a couple of muses at any rate, which certainly is the least he could do for us.

and honestly, we really aren’t asking too much of him here, are we?

02/15
and on top of that, he is ailing now, laid low by a severe influenza. where is all this going to lead us?

we should be rehearsing our new show blofeld full throttle and he’s idling around in bed instead. devastated by a couple of viruses. good god! which subsequently also leads to the crystal-clear fact that he isn’t even playing bass trumpet at present. this guy ain’t playing any f…..g thing at all right now!!!
no trombone, no bass trumpet, no recorder, no nothing!

the max he’s doing in that direction is playing with his ideas.

that won’t ever work out! our opening night is as early as may! with only four minutes of the new show being completely finished at the moment! oh god, oh my god!

 

 

 

 

02/12
first of all, in terms of physical abilities.

recently, for example, prof paul fell off a 26-feet ladder. actually, he did fall only 13 feet though, since he hadn’t ventured climbing up much higher in the first place. that’s why he currently is playing almost exclusively the bass trumpet, since sliding the trombone doesn’t work out that well anymore. so, speaking about physical abilities, prof paul is serving since then as a kind of negative, “fallen” case study.

and we aren’t talking about any physical abilities in sexual terms yet.

 

02/08

and it sure ain’t getting any easier the older you get.

 

07/02

 

everything is very, very complicated.

 

10/24

a renowned brewery group offered us a lot of money for acquiring the licensing rights of our beer-in-beer solution. a huge amount of money, to be precise. an almost incredibly huge amount of money, to be even more precise. unfortunately, roger is against it. he says that while he has a lot of money though, even he has not the slightest clue what to do with that tremendous amount of money that group is offering us.

and that’s why he’d prefer to refrain from the deal.

we are kind of moved, since he still has that modest-guy attitude after all, so we dismissed the bid of the group point-blank.

furthermore, we decided to give roger our little bottling plant so that he never ever will have to worry about his retirement allowances again. we, however, want to focus again more on drinking than on brewing.
and besides, we don’t actually need that money, since we got ourselves.

we wish roger the best. may he find his luck in the heart of the swiss mountains with that bottling plant. maybe some day or another, he’ll invite us to his mountain cabin or his homestead or to his villa or his secondary residence in monte carlo or to his tertiary residence in miami or his fourth residence in kenya.

 

10/20

we are close to yet another breakthrough.

by now, we’ve pickled every single thing we ran across here in asia in beer: sushi, noodles, mangas as well as everything coming in baked, roasted, fried and deep-fried form. and it was only by coincidence that we found out that beer pickled in beer has by far the best taste of all. well, had thomas finished his beer completely and had robert not refilled his still half-full glass – we never ever would have gotten it!!!

you see, the best solutions are often the simplest.

beer in beer.

we clearly believe that we should be awarded at least the nobel prize in mathematics and world peace for our sensational discovery.

 

10/14

thomas informed us that it is absolutely impossible that the cyclist’s name is neil armstrong, since neil armstrong had been a very famous trumpet player, who unfortunately deceased quite some time ago. and our mr armstrong didn’t contact us again either, but a friend of ours told us that this person, in addition to our beer, also injected a bull fattening substance into his behind to increase his performance and is nothing but mooing since then.

whatever. we’re in asia right now, continuing our experimental research on the issue of taste. yesterday evening, for example, we pickled sushi in beer – didn’t taste that bad, actually. further experiments are planned for tomorrow.

 

10/06

our business model works pretty darn well! by now we’re wholesale beer sellers, currently supplying six countries.

most recently a racing cyclist contacted us wishing to participate at some tour in france. name is neil armstrong or something like that. he says that the beer’s specific smell of tennis socks is perfectly suited to cover up other substances. to be honest, we’re not quite sure what he’s talking about.

for all we care, he might as well drink five gallons of our beer.

but he says he’d prefer to inject himself with it????? since everybody is doing it that way????? oh well, we couldn’t care less – different strokes for different folks.

we’ll continue drinking beer, shall other people inject it.

 

won’t before long and some other guy’ll show up wishing to inhale it.

 

 

01/10

things are really picking up speed!!

those cows simply love our beer and so do the pigs. meanwhile, the kazaksthan weight lifters association got also in touch with us. apparently there’s an athlete among them who, as a result of the ingestion of our beer, is able to lift 44 lbs more. well, they are strongly interested to test this phenomenon on a broader basis.

we, for our part, are buying a larger bottling facility to begin with.

roger is happy, since his pension scheme seems to be backed. furthermore, he stated that he’d rather like to do beer commercials, instead of being the poster child for some kind of coffee nobody ever needs anyway.

 

09/27

slowly but surely the whole affair is picking up speed after all.

first, those pigs swig the beer like crazy. meaning that we aren’t delivering any longer per bottles but rather per kegs.

second, we changed the beer’s tagline: mnoger federer – and you’ll be dead lucky, too.
and third, it rather seems that cows are also going crazy about that beer.

 

09/20
we finally decided to sell the beer namely under the name mnoger federer – a beer for delicious dreams. unfortunately, we haven’t sold the expected quantity yet.

to be precise, so far we did sell exactly 44 bottles. delivered to a farmer from western hungary raising pigs under strictly biological aspects. he says, his pigs love this kind of beer.

roger has serious concerns about his retirement plan.

 

09/10

roger federer called us.

he seriously considers marketing the beer with that smell of old, non-washed tennis socks, since now being only number two in the world ranking, he is seriously concerned about his future income. and furthermore it’s simply this smell, a smell he knows too well because it went with him as long as he can remember. it’s that smell that really gives him a feeling of home.

we’re still in the process of thinking it over.

 

 

09/06

 

well, somehow the idea of carrying along our own assortment of cheese while being on tour doesn’t work. first we played in the czech republic. they told us that our cheese seemed to be quite okay one way or anther, but didn’t of course have a single chance compared to their quargel from olomouc. then we traveled germany and were subsequently kicked out of two intercity express trains on account of the penetrating smell of the various types of cheese. then we entered france and the french told us right away that without any doubt our assortment of cheese was quite nice, but by far not creamy and soft enough in all. and yesterday we played in belgium. the people there regarded our cheese for a very long time and, after thorough and careful consideration, simply pickled it in beer finally. now we don’t have any cheese anymore, but successfully created a type of beer with a taste quite comparable to tennis socks that have been washed very rarely.

 

09/01
we took a little vacation. and we enjoyed it.
as an example, robert attended a cheese-seminar with a specific focus on an indigestible type of cheese with a heavy smell from northern brittany. the main issue of this seminar was above all goat’s cheese from billy goats since these are deemed especially fully-matured in terms of their aroma. all relevant details were discussed in this seminar: maturation, fermentation, intestinal gasification as well as final defecation.
with immediate effect we will therefore always carry along a small assortment of premium cheese to be well prepared for that little snack on-the-go.

 

 

08/10
brandstötter came up with something!!!

yesterday, from far away a chanting was to be heard, first very low and faint, then increasing in loudness as it came closer until it reached an alarming forte. leading a cortège of hundreds of chorale monks all dressed up in pure white there was brandstötter, with a flambeau in one hand and his tuba in the other, walking directly up to georg. two monks grabbed georg forcing him onto his knees. then they erected the stake out of string basses which brandstötter set on fire with his flambeau. pale with fear georg immediately abjured all wind music and provided all the money he had obtained by fraud exclusively to single mothers raising children having once been fathered by brass musicians on tour. furthermore, he was banned for the next five years in a row from approaching a brass band for less than 1.5 miles.

in addition to that he also has to balance all hotel bar checks of mnozil brass for an indefinite period of time – naturally on a completely optional basis. that one’s gonna hurt a lot!

 

08/03

somehow we can´t help the feeling that we have been taken for a ride. so far we played three concerts for georg and transferred the pay for each concert to him. now he proposed to keep going exactly like that, meaning we go on playing the concerts and handing over all the money to him. he, on his part, is giving in completely to some kind of long-term sore throat as it were. well, to us it looks like it´s exactly the same as it was before, with the slight difference, though, that we don´t receive any money now.

we sent a letter to the monastery asking brandstötter about his ideas on this behalf.

07/25

georg has a sore throat and isn’t able to play.

so what we suggested to him was to fill in all six of us and take over his part. after mulling it over quite a long time he finally gave in, based on one condition, though: to cede the entire pay to him alone. so far he’s still pondering whether to reimburse our transportation expenses or not. the only thing that’s crystal-clear is that there’ll be no catering, but we have clear permission to bring along some sandwiches from home.

thank you, georg.

 

 

07/21
what a disaster! georg and his girfriend broke up.
meaning that from now on mnozil brass consists of only one string bass.

 

07/16

with immediate effect, the new concept of mnozil brass is counting on one viola and one string bass. everything else is deemed completely redundant representing nothing but accessories. incidentally, the viola player happens to be georg’s girlfriend. artists’ salaries remain unchanged.

there is something fishy about the whole set-up. we are not sure whether we’re talking strictly music here or something else.

 

07/12
georg says why not supplement those three remaining trumpet players by two violins and a viola – a great idea, seriously, he says, because the overall sound would benefit incredibly, you bet. we aren’t too sure, but well, he should know how the wind blows. he furthermore points out that the fact that a brass music septet is made up of four strings really is a stroke of genius. in terms of promotion, in terms of the overall concept, in terms of music and in general terms.
we can’t deny it – there sure is something to it.

 

7/07

the thoughts about who is to quit at the trombones have been solved.

georg holds that, strictly speaking we could play without trombones as well, since they are not able to intone that well anyway – and we are not yet talking an exactly played scale. All members agree, so that from now on mnozil is three trumpets and one string bass.

and one singer-of-chorales-in-training of course, but it’s very doubtful whether he’ll ever surface again. rumors have it that the vienna boys choir announced interest in brandstötter on account of his beautiful soprano voice.
06/29

well, our georg really is one clever dude.

he now came up with the proposal that we’d cut down on a trombone since it’s way easier to divide our proceeds by six. prof. paul was completely thrilled by the proposal, immediately stating that it would be best if gerhard quit since he has a number of other things going on anyway und shouldn’t really waste his precious time with mnozil. for the time being, gerhard is still in the process of thinking it over.

 

06/24
if rumor has it right, brandstötter is undertaking a thorough training as a singer of chorales in the convent.

this kind of music is acknowledged as surely calming down the nerves, thus helping him to get over the loss of his beloved animal. we don’t know whether and when he’ll come back, since there a quite a few chorales to sing and, until he’s through with all of them… well, might take a while.

georg breinschmid is now playing in his place, that is string bass instead of tuba, and we think it’s a perfect fit.

first of all, compared to a tuba, a string bass has of course a much more elegant sound.

second, georg is always amiable, even without a rabbit.

and third, this guy is one hell of a savvy wiz – he even has his own personal homepage, the whole thing completely to himself!!!!!! hey, we have to share just one homepage and you’re talking the seven of us!!!!

 

06/18
brandstötter is having his back up against the wall.

he was so deeply saddened over the fact that he couldn’t even determine the gender of that sexless pygmy rabbit thing, that he, full of grief, unfortunately caressed that pitiful animal to death. initially, the rabbit surely liked being caressed a lot, but somewhere down the road he or she or it couldn’t stand it any longer. however, brandstötter failed to notice the animal’s refusal and simply kept on caressing it, until – bang, the animal rolled its eyes, first straightened its ears, then let them sag and that was the end of the little pygmy rabbit’s life.

well, we actually don’t feel too bad about it, since as you all know, you can make a nice roast, delicious jelly, or black currant sauce from rabbit, but brandstötter isn’t amused at all by our culinary suggestions. he called us a stone-cold, cruel bunch before retreating into a convent for an indefinite period of time.

now, thomas happens to know someone who’s quite an acceptable string bass player, standing in for brandstötter at our concerts for the time being.

but prior to that we’ll feasting on some rabbit, you bet.

 

06/13

robert asked brandstötter whether his fluffy something is a male or a female. and brandstötter didn’t know! so robert said he’d be happy to take a look and check it out. what he immediately did. in order to have an unobstructed view he first had to shave the animal’s tummy being a very hairy part of its body. now we aren’t any wiser either, because chances are that robert did a bit too much shaving.

what we know though is that brandstötter now has either a female pygmy rabbit or a male castrato pygmy rabbit. or how do you call it exactly?

pygmy rabbit bullock? pygmy rabbit mule?

pygmy eunuch buck rabbit?

castrato buck?

meaning that it now can sing particularly high?

 

06/10

indeed, brandstötter did get himself a pygmy rabbit! could as well be a rabbit or a guinea pig, though. kinda hard to actually tell those little critters apart.

right now the animal and its owner are in the phase of getting familiar with one another. brandstötter strictly told us not even think about coming closer than 33 feet to that running wig on four legs, so that their relationship could smoothly develop and consolidate in the process…

 

07/06
brandstötter was acting really strange lately. kinda jumpy. and he was grumpy, too!

now he told us quite honestly that he simply can’t stand this loud trumpet playing anymore, even less so when it’s all loud and shrill notes. thomas remarked in this respect that to him this represents a regrettable example of a personal tragedy. roman said that unfortunately there’s no way at all to do anything about it.

and robert sneered telling brandstötter he’d better get himself a pygmy rabbit to calm his nerves. and that he should never forget to caress the pet at least three times a day!

 

05/05
and now we’re right back home again.

zoli didn’t want to leave his business john at all again, because it is far larger than his apartment and features air conditioning in addition.

the exposition was really awesome. we’ve seen so many people from different nations, mainly chinese men and women though. looks like there are quite a lot of them particularly in shanghai, since you meet them everywhere in that city. you’ll find them in cafés, in all kinds of shops, in the street, in taxicabs, they’re simply everywhere. being represented indeed in quite a large number, too.

so we’ve decided to fly to shanghai again this autumn to check out whether they’re still that many then.

maybe they’re really not that many in a typical month.

maybe the chinese central agency had simply sent all chinese to shanghai this time to really leave a lasting impression on us foreigners.

 

 

04/29

today, we’re off to shanghai to pamper the shanghai expo with some heavy metal brass sound for three days in a row. during the flight all of us are entitled to seats in the business class, and a special business john, about twice the size of a regular john, has been prepared for zoltan as well. by now he smells only a little, since he took very many showers in the past weeks and was spending the rest of his time at all sorts of cosmetics departments of large shopping malls having almost all parts of his body consistently sprayed with free perfume samples.

he’s even thinking about starting a formation as a perfumer right away because of that nice tingling of the skin when getting sprayed.

 

04/22

at the moment we’re in the studio recording once again some pieces for a new cd.

zoli is playing better than ever before.

but he’s also smelling quite strongly, though.

and we haven’t any idea at all how to deal with it. even the more so since he’s such a hero, proving his superb character by jumping right into the danube only because of us, in this way risking his life as it were and because he’s simply an awesome person etc. etc.

on the other hand it’s simply almost unbearable for us, being crammed all together in that small studio. for the time being we bypassed the problem by putting one hundred air fresheners with deep forest fragrance within the studio – those little air freshening trees you normally hang inside your car. didn’t help much, though, now it’s smelling a bit like some type of green-forest-outhouse scent.
tomorrow, we’ll talk to him.

 

04/17

yesterday evening zoli was knocking at our door all of a sudden.

soaking wet, cold and exhausted, but all smiles.
apparently he had lost orientation on his easter egg hunt, completely going astray. and since the night was already setting in, getting darker every minute, he decided to wade through a small river assuming a road at the other side. while crossing the river zoli got caught in the current and was washed away. shortly after he remarked an old bathroom-door drifting by allowing him to cling to. and two or three days later he was hauled out of the river by some seamen of a pushing boat subsequently taking care of him. it soon became clear that the small river zoli had been crossing was indeed the danube and that he had been drifting past hungary all the way down to serbia during those two or three days. zoli desperately pleaded that the cargo ship should turn and go the other way so he would be able to rejoin us in time!! what a gentleman!!!

 

his pleading was however only met by an incredulous shake of the captain’s head forcing him in this way to stay on board the ship as a ship’s boy and journey along all the way down to romania. on account of having firmly held on to that old bathroom-door for three consecutive days, zoli didn’t actually smell too well and was thus scheduled for cleaning the pit latrine. once the ship had almost reached the black sea, one night zoli simply jumped onto another ship that was coming the opposite direction and thus returned back upstream. to be precise he returned as a stowaway, this time securely hidden in the engine room. some place downstream not far from vienna zoli jumped back into the danube and let himself be washed very precisely into the mouth of the vienna-danube waterway thus reaching downtown vienna where he luckily succeeded to scale the banks of the waterway and was staggering back home from there.
what an adventurous trip!

so, beet is out, because he, in fact, doesn’t have the slightest chance character-wise compared with zoltan!!! zoli forever!!!!

the only thing we pray for though, is that his smell will soon go away.

 

 

 

04/12
it’s indeed interesting we live in: zoli is gone and beet hasn’t been leaving his hotel room at all so far. quite the contrary, he rather is allowing a fan, to be precise only the female ones, in his room from time to time and roman has started using a hair dye, plucking his eyelashes and is wearing all of a sudden a somewhat stronger perfume. prof paul told us furthermore that roman paid a visit to prof pauls cousin in her beauty parlor yesterday, asking her to put a cucumber mask right into his face.

roman still sticks to his opinion that beet – on strictly artistic grounds only – has no business whatsoever to be in the band. it goes without saying, however, that everything is based on artistic grounds only and has nothing to do with individual vanities at all.

 

 

04/10

 

second show without zoli.

beet introduced himself by playing a concert for comb and mnozil brass by vivaldi, then starred in a solo piece, the very popular one at the time composed by richard claidermann or kleidermann or gleidermon or whomsoever, some type of tearjerker dedicated to a certain adeline or so. finally, he presented a medley of some of the most beautiful opera arias by puccini, verdi, wagner and lachenmann. after our concert, beet – and that’s unfortunately the one and only truth – invited all those longing ladies into his hotel room and we, meaning the rest of the band, all had a hard time to get to sleep.

roman is completely pissed and is pushing for firing beet with immediate effect, of course on strictly artistic grounds only. and furthermore he personally undertook to launch a search party to find zoli.

 

04/08
zoli still hasn’t returned yet – yesterday we had to play without him.
there is, however, a certain stagehand at the berlin ensemble, who really isn’t bad at blowing a comb at all. that’s the one who was helping us out yesterday. everyone just calls him beet, but his real name is alfons. besides, he is quite a handsome dude, even looking better than roman and is quite an expert in telling all kinds of jokes. so should zoli not show up as quickly as possible, his days as a member of the band surely are numbered. and furthermore the sound of the comb all of a sudden adds that special kind of dreamy lyrical touch to the band.

as far as we are concerned no objections at all on beet joining us as the new member of the band. only roman is still rejecting our plan, naturally on artistic grounds only, as he’s constantly claiming.

 

04/06

tomorrow, we’ll play our first concert in berlin after our easter break.

unfortunately, zoltan has not returned from his easter egg hunt yet. his wife told him that the eggs were all hidden somewhere in the garden, while in reality, they were all inside the house stocked neatly behind the flower vase, though. first, zoltan looked in their own garden, then checked out the neighbor’s garden, before extending his search to the nearby woodland. then he focused his search on the lobau, a nature reserve in the eastern part of vienna. that’s the last place he was seen so far.

we’re strongly wondering whether he might return by tomorrow.

 

03/25

the day before yesterday we’ve still been in chicago, today we’re already back home.

and there’s one thing that’s definitely worth mentioning: temperatures in vienna sure are some degrees up. that’s why taking our farewell from america wasn’t actually too hard a thing to do. we got over the usual parting ceremonies, like smoking the calumet, consuming cold drinks, the general hugging and kissing, buying some presents for the beloved ones back home at the airport real quick, bribing customs officials, checking the on-board bar, as well as asking the flight captain whether flying is always such a bore or what he thinks to this respect, etc, etc, and successfully did reintegrate into everyday life (going to bed before 5:00 am, having breakfast before 10:00 and not only at about 3:00 pm, using decent language and not adding the four-letter word after every third thing we say, in short: showing general good conduct).

well, a superb tour is over.

 

03/20

yesterday we took the plane from billings via denver and chicago to dayton.

what a marvelous experience!

we had to leave our hotel at seven o’clock in the morning and arrived in dayton at 10:00 pm.

including two transfers, a connecting flight we missed in chicago and nobody willing or able or in a position or responsible to book us into other flights.

ah, how we love traveling!
and yes, you surely can live a complete day on the food they serve you on board, that is crackers, fat and calories.

and no, it doesn’t taste at all!

03/18

the day before yesterday, zoltan and thomas aka zoli and thommy, as the standard american uses to say, did buy a snazzy white rolls royce convertible and a ferrari f40 – of course in red – in beverly hills for their own use. somehow you gotta impress all those chics in one way or another. first, they thought about buying a porsche, but nowadays every nincompoop drives a porsche here – that is as a third car. and it’s a fact that the girls in beverly hills are definitively more into solid value than anything else.

but since neither of them holds a driving permit, they both are still sitting in their classy cars right in the middle of the car dealer’s premises, though, and not a single chic is noticing anything. all they do is turn the radio on and off, fiddle about their steering wheels trying to look real cool.

well, they aren’t allowed to drive all the same.
shit happens.

 

 

03/14

 

we got over and done with new york, and as far as we are concerned everything worked out well. the only stupid thing, however, is that you aren’t allowed to sleep in this city because otherwise you might miss out on something. yesterday we made a trip to washington, where it rained without cease. which didn’t bother us too much since we were invited for tea at the obamas anyway, and as a matter of fact it is indeed beneficial under such circumstances when the weather isn’t too nice. unfortunately, gerhard fell asleep more than once since he still was extremely weary because of new york. for the better part of our invitation his head lay in the dish with the biscuits. barack and michelle – with both of whom we got along extremely well right from the start, since prof paul, being the oldest person at the table, suggested to drop the polite form of address right away and say “du” to each other – are really very nice people wanting to know everything from us on the topic of brass music in the middle-european region.

 

 

03/11

we arrived, we’re here! right in america, the land of dreamers, no, the land of our dreams, well, the land of the dreams of some people!

though it wasn’t easy at all. almost all of us arrived at the vienna airport in time, but only almost all of us, alas! roman, not quite familiar with the correct use and handling of alarm clocks was at that time still sound asleep in blessed peace at his home. how he nevertheless managed to pack his bags, jump into a cab and arrive at the airport within 25 minutes after reception of our wake-up call will always remain his personal secret. what he didn’t bring to the airport though, was any money, thus not being in a position to pay the cab. and his credit card didn’t work either. and the cabdriver didn’t seemed too convinced when roman started swearing on a stack of bibles that somebody would show up very soon to pay him.

the flight was without any problems, with brandstötter, as usual, enjoying to completely devote himself to the on-board video program, admiring one more time the high art of acting of the injected lips of angela jolie. furthermore worth mentioning are two facial expressions of tom cruise: cool and shark’s grin.

upon entry into america everything went along fine. without any argument customs officials in new york accepted our declaration that all the 2,000 dvds we carried along were only for promotional purposes. however, it’s worth pointing out in this respect that robert did press a little, pretending to be ready at any moment to start his warm-up on the trumpet. that definitely is shutting everybody up. well, those guys didn’t bat an eye and we entered america!

 

 

 

03/08

the travel bug is definitely catching us.

thomas is already flying today, but not in order to allow himself some nice days prior to our first concert. nope, his decision is based only and solely on grace of charity! because, the moment we credibly asserted that there ain’t no such things as vegetarian tofu-burgers in america, nor any other kind of vegetarian food, robert was on the brink of canceling his trip. rather, what they have over there, is only hamburgers and roast beef and steaks. and to calm robert down thomas volunteered to undertake the heavy burden of searching for appropriate restaurants. since only a happy and well-fed robert can blow the trumpet right.

thank you thomas!

 

03/04

looks like that by now nothing stands in our way for our trip to america – we’re ready to go. all flight tickets are paid and we hold all required visa (nowadays the application process for a working visa for the united states is real fast – took them hardly nine months), so it’s time to start preparing our lips for american conditions – meaning playing faster, higher, louder! yes, we too, we want to finally make our dream come true and thus are aiming to blow down everybody and everything getting in our way during our ten-day tour.

 

we even found the right motto for our american tour: from riches to rags!

 

02/12

today was the day of the ultimate showdown between prof paul and gansch, taking place in a renowned institute for sports science.

several scientists were busy for no less than four hours to enter the body height and the weight of both contestants into a complex computer system. the computing machine did its calculations for exactly 14 minutes, then it imploded. in a quick process, additional mainframe computers were connected and switched on, doing their respective complex calculations for another 17 minutes before delivering the final result: gansch and prof paul have an exactly identical body mass index. a result prompting prof paul without any further comment to take his nail scissors out of his bag and starting to cut his nails. a procedure which, ultimately, resulted in a better body mass index as compared to gansch, giving him the opportunity to leave the place of battue as the definite and proud winner, accompanied by jolly rejoicing and cheering of all attendees.

gansch started crying – for the first time ever in 32 years.

 

02/08

for days there’s a competitive fight constantly moving back and forth between two members of the band.

gansch wishes to down prof paul, but the latter proves to be hell-bent. once gansch is fasting, prof paul is also fasting, a bit harder though. once gansch is out jogging prof paul also does, however covering a slightly longer distance. and when gansch is doing his aerobics according to jane fonda, well, it’s prof paul who’s also working out, quite longer than gansch of course, and furthermore based on a secret aerobic program especially developed by the US forces.

besides, prof paul is constantly pointing out that gansch is obviously playing foul, since on account of the fact that he, gansch, hadn’t simply grown that much during his adolescence and thus can rightly be called sub-tall in a direct comparison to him, it now clearly is nothing for him to equate him, prof paul, in terms of weight. and that’s why, as he’s relentlessly adding, he imperatively requests a thorough evaluation of the respective body mass index.

gansch accepted.

 

 

01/27
brandstötter has been defeated! up until yesterday he was living in constant stress, because he didn’t want to be heavier than gansch. so he worked out and did exercises, aerobics according to jane fonda to be precise, furthermore turning into an untiring stair climber who was consistently disdaining buffets on top. unfortunately it was exactly yesterday when a splendid example of the aforesaid clearly got in his way leading to a complete emotional breakdown on his part over a platter of cold cuts. brandstötter cried like a baby. and now he’s eating again!

prof paul is next!

 

1/21

gansch did indeed lose some weight and thus is severely disturbing the balance of the group. until not too long ago, he was among the more weighty ones of the group. now he’s left robert behind in terms of becoming a lightweight, also overtook zoltan without any effort and is now having his sights on prof paul and brandstötter. for the time being, both appear quite unimpressed, but have both been seen to refrain from having their dinner yesterday evening, though.

 

 

01/18

from today, the new year is smacking us right in the face again without any mercy.

we’re back on the road.

day before yesterday we played a warm-up concert in belgium.

boy, oh boy they sure have a lot of different kinds of beer.

 

01/13

in the meantime robert’s health has been restored quite appropriately so that he’s now able to move again in a fully normal way. not the slightest sign of bodily stiffness anymore. he’s agile as ever and, when bending over, can even almost touch the floor with both his hands. that is he’s reaching exactly his knees.

unfortunately his ear couldn’t be found though, we assume that it was eaten by the avalanche rescue dog, figuring that a little snack in between coming nice and handy surely wouldn’t do any harm. deep-frozen food this time for a change…

so out of dough we made a new ear for robert. which was quite simple: you only have to knead the dough real hard, add some spittle, mold it and finally put it aside to let it dry – and here we go!

robert says that he hears even better with it than before.

but as always the question remains which standard to take to start from in the first place.

 

 

01/09

no, it wasn’t the tofu though. it was rather the fact that robert couldn’t keep his balance on account of his body weight already having increased again and thus fell headlong into a snow-gap. he was found there yesterday by an avalanche rescue dog. and since he was forced to spend two full days in that gap it’s our job now to restore him with utmost caution to his former health. that’s why we put him against a radiator, and it looks like very slowly life is returning to all his limbs. all of his ten toes are starting to waggle again. unfortunately, one of his ears broke off during the rescue, but that doesn’t matter much. he’s a trumpet player anyway – he won’t even notice.

 

01/06

it’s simply terrific. we’re able to control our weight and are feeling great. since we’re now residing in a more moderate five-star hotel, conditions of life are by nature somewhat more rustic, meaning that currently we are desperately looking for robert. about two hours ago he went for the jakes and since then hasn’t showed up again.

too much bean curd?

 

01/02

actually, meditating is not the real thing either. by god, we sure made an effort, but it turned out to be a quite tough one. first, this constant sitting around for hours and thinking about absolutely nothing. already quite a big challenge.

second, this stupid soul-searching and listening to your inner voice. most of us didn’t hear a damn thing. except, of course, their own stomach desperately calling for food.

which leads us right away to the third point: honestly, nobody can live on 3,000 calories per day. and much less if it’s such strappers as we are. hey, we sure ain’t no anorexic lean-type models doing commercials for some sort of flabbily sagging lagerfeld clothes. what we need is food!

that’s why we bade farewell of our six-star super-luxury hunger hotel, taking up quarters in a straightforward, unsophisticated five-star hostelry instead.

now we’re feeling good again: the menu offers schnitzel, roast pork, blood sausage, dumplings with lard greaves, bacon, ham, scrambled eggs and a lot more other delicacies.

and all that for breakfast!

 

 

12/25
we definitely had a big blast lately. indeed, we literally went over the top, and that’s precisely why we now will be retreating to a six-star hotel in lech near arlberg for meditation. you know, it can’t actually go on like this forever even though we’re currently having unlimited funds. at our retreat, we will be ingesting not more than 3000 calories per day and will be exercising ourselves in renunciation also in all other matters. as an example, we decided not to give ourselves anything until next christmas. and what is more, we’ll try to always breath in only what is absolutely necessary.

 

 

12/22
we’re having wonderful days!
since we successfully launched a fund just for ourselves to which we’re having access at any time, we’re celebrating and partying ad infinitum! we’re inviting each other, making it an all-nighter all the way and are singing soulfully and repeatedly the three most beautiful christmas carols we know: jingle bells, bohemian rhapsody and smoke on the water. what a wonderful time!
and the best thing is that this fund will never ever run out of money since we are backing it and, at the same time, also taking from it! indeed, our financial consultant told us one time that this is a real slam dunk. looks like we just happen to have invented the perpetuum mobile!!!

 

 

12/18
every single one of us expects to receive a christmas gift, but nobody wants to give one. well, that’s the sad and only truth. since giving christmas presents would of course mean to contemplate, to go shopping, to wrap the individual gift in fancy paper, to write an Xmas card and to also hand over the whole ensemble to the respective presentee on time. that’s precisely why we came to the conclusion that we’ll donate the money set aside for christmas presents to a fund for unsuccessful music students. this specific fund has been established 18 years ago and is since then exclusively looking after the interests of seven musicians being, coincidentally, brass players, and waiting for years to have the opportunity to once appear on stage in the wembley stadium. but for some reason or another these poor guys so far haven’t had the chance to get there.

 

12/13

robert thinks that thomas will give him an antiperspirant as a christmas present.

thomas is thinking exactly the same about robert.

well, they’ll surely know why.

roman is hoping for a pre-owned hair band as his personal christmas gift from prof paul.

prof paul, in turn, wants a perm-machine from zoltan.

gerhard wishes for a scallop with potato salad from brandstötter.

zoltan wishes for a german dictionary as his present from thomas and for clean fingernails from gerhard. unfortunately, that won’t work out since everyone of us only has one single wish.

meanwhile, brandstötter is ranting and raving for days about this sordid consumer stress, raging against materialism and capitalism – stubbornly refusing to spend a single dime for christmas presents. by the way, he himself would be really pleased with a tuba with remote control, as a matter of fact.

 

12/9
we decided to give each other christmas gifts this year.

at the moment everyone of us is speculating what he might get from the others.

 

 

11/23
today roman treated himself to his weekly shower bath.
while showering he noticed that we, indeed, did shave him everywhere. we reckoned that he would break down crying – but far from it!
instead, he started moisturizing his entire body with lotion, and then we have been playing tag with him for three hours. he sure hasn‘t been such fun for quite a while!!
we simply can’t catch him since he’s awfully slippery.

 

11/20

the day before yesterday we sheared him.

cutting it all off.

not sparing a single part of his body.

now he wants to file a claim at the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg for wearing long hair as a basic human right. well, he’s surely free to do so, since now he’s looking like a human being again.

 

11/14
by now he’s living off a daily diet of soup and some rice grains only. naturally, the soup is dripping and, in the process, also coagulating in his beard. very, very gross.

so he started to kind of braid his beard in order to hold that flimsy meshwork together in one way or another.
even more gross!

precisely this is why we all agreed to have thomas buy a beard trimmer at the group’s expense this monday. one of those noiseless but very efficient ones.

 

11/09
once rindberger has found a role that really suits him to act out, then he’s absolutely going for it. and the way it looks, it’s the hermit which is the role of his life.
he’s currently in the process of growing one of those long hermit beards. to be precise, one of the extremely ugly ones. very long and very flimsy. not a beard of the type thick and heavy full beard, but rather the exact opposite. what a waste of a face that in former times could have been called reasonably pretty!

 

11/06
two days ago, brandstötter gave in.

he just needed to go to the john once.

and after returning, he simply didn’t stop talking.
by contrast, rindberger seems to be enjoying his new role quite a bit. as before, he still doesn’t say a single word and is acting the hermit. meanwhile, we simply put him in a corner where he’s not annoying us too much. when it’s time to play a concert, however, we simply take him and after the concert’s done we put him back there. for all we care it may well go on like this.

 

 

10/30

we put earmuffs on their ears as well.

now they’re doing it with their eyebrows.

 

10/27
we tied their arms to their backs, but they’re still refusing to talk to each other. they began wiggling their ears instead. looks even more stupid!

 

10/26

well, you won’t believe what stubborn asses those guys are indeed. neither of them wants to make the first move, on the one hand, and start talking, but, on the other, they haven’t really a choice, since they’re forced to constantly communicate with one another. so what they do is communicating by sign language which looks completely up the pole, since the haven’t the slightest clue of what sign language really is and how to use it right. simply waving about in the air with their arms and hands, that’s for sure not it. and besides, neither of them doesn’t dig a single thing, they’re completely at a loss – it’s only about not losing one’s face.

 

 

10/18

brandstötter and rindberger were arguing with one another. meaning it particularly well, brandstötter played a tuba cantilena with a vibrato with the result that roman even with the concert not yet done, gave him a clear hint that what he was doing was nothing but high art at a very low level. with brandstötter retorting right away that this was still way better than doing no art at all at a very high level. since then they haven’t been talking to each other.

 

10/15

europe has us back again!

on our return flight from australia, brandstötter watched no less than 11 feature films.

an absolute world record.

prof paul did request the stewardess/flight attendant no less than 16 times asking for a small pack of peanuts.

and robert did again fall asleep even before the plane had yet started in brisbane waking up, as usual, after landing at vienna airport. at the moment we are somewhere in switzerland and robert is still feeling somewhat sleepy. maybe he’s suffering from a genetic defect or something along that line? or could it be that he wasn’t allowed to go to bed early as a kid? or maybe he’s simply scared shitless when it’s dark and is always sleeping for this reason?

 

 

10/6

and today we saw koalas.

they are very cute small bears who don’t do anything but sleep the whole day long. when they’re not sleeping, however, they’re eating. and then they doze off again.

we, as members of the band, unanimously agree that God must clearly have had those koalas in mind when he created robert.

 

03/10

the absolutely inconceivable befell us entirely by surprise.

we are shocked and completely at sixes and sevens.

we did indeed see a kangaroo.

 

09/28

flying is great!

today’s the day; we’re finally off to australia, happily looking forward to a 24-hour comfy flight well-cushioned by those generously large, oversized and soft seats. pampered by a friendly on-board crew, enjoying the flight with cultivated people sitting next to us as well as the entertainment program of the airline of our confidence. at last, brandstötter will have all the time to watch all angela jolie movies, rother will doze off as usual, as soon as he has entered the shuttle bus at vienna airport arising again not before our arrival in melbourne, and zoltan, well zoltan, what shall I say…

well, to cut a long story short: zoltan finally wants to know what the term on-board bar means in its entirety.

and gansch’s booty made inquiries at the booty union in advance to find out whether constant, 24-hour sitting is in compliance with union regulations in general.

 

09/24

our assumption is now truly confirmed.

in austria, men are working as mountain guides during summer and as skiing instructors during winter.

well, and in australia men are working as kangaroos during summer and as mickey mouse performers during winter.

at least that’s what told us a genuine australian guy now running a crocodile breeding farm in austria. afore he was an actor, his name being crocodeal dandy or something like that. well, his crocodile farm business is not running too well though, because them poor crocodiles are always cold in austria. that’s why he’s now thinking about establishing a traveling circus with skiing kangaroos. in other words: with austrian skiing instructors dressed up in real kangaroo outfits. hey, that’s exactly what we’d call a negative spin-off of globalization.

 

 

09/21

next week we’re flying to australia one more time. and this time we sure won’t be taken for fools once again, you bet! last time we’ve been there, we found out that there aren’t any kangaroos there at all, even though everybody tried to tell us exactly the opposite. well, we for sure didn’t see a single one – and that’s it. period.

they’re doing this whole roo stuff only for the tourists. putting grown men into kangaroo suits telling them to hop around in the landscape all the time. and those men are all coming straight from disneyland by the way, were they have been running around in mickey-mouse outfits all day.

 

09/11

the schagerl company, our sponsor in terms of instruments, withdrew from their sponsoring agreement, reasoning that on account of the fact that we are completely tuned into playing hard-rock from now on, they don’t feel like delivering a completely new set of instruments to us each time we play a concert. well, these company guys don’t have the faintest idea about what a real good show is. Brandstötter’s beard has already grown by some 2.5 centimeters or about one inch, the one of thomas by some 1.7 centimeters or 0.7”. only prof paul apparently doesn’t get really started, he, however being the only one to already show some quite impressive flowing scalp hair, a fact his two other colleagues by any means cannot quite claim to be the case so far.

 

 

09/05

we’ve done it! our first hard-rock compact disc is finished!!

however, we don’t know yet when it’ll be released since we first have to grow real long beards for an authentic cover photo and of course wait until our hair’s real long as well. a fact causing quite some heavy problems among at least roughly 50 percent of the band members who, on account of a genetic condition, prefer a rather super-modern, up-to-date crop. the compact disc surely will rocket the respective hard-rock charts because we absolutely got that volume issue right. and furthermore, in closely keeping up with tradition, we smashed our instruments right after the recordings.

hard-rock is an ace!

 

09/01

well, here we are again, sitting in a recording studio completely twisting our lips to get something fairly recordable pressed on to a compact disc. it’s really horrible!!! nothing works out in the first place, everything needs to be repeated and redone at least ten times because all is totally wrong and out of synch and time. and it’s always somebody else’s fault, of course – well, nothing new here. our sound and recording engineer is getting more and more pale-faced by the minute, since he knows too well what the whole thing means for him in terms of post-processing and dubbing.

and the outside world is bathed in bright sunlight and all the birds are chirping too.

 

08/28
and again, everything is running like clockwork!
yesterday, the audience in the first two tiers had to leave the hall on account of excessive volume, because zoli simply had one of his magic moments. the drawback, however, was that some soldering joints did burst open in the process not being able to withstand the far too large pressure. that’s why zoli is now thinking of maybe switching over to a trombone made of cast iron hoping in this way to get a more stable instrument and to achieve an even more beefy sound. brandstötter agreed to help him carry the instrument given the fact that such a cast-iron trombone is quite some heavyweight.
besides, in winter you could well use that thing as a stove and roast chestnuts in it.

 

08/26
yeah!
we still can do it!!
yesterday, we played in limoges, france, and everything went well, generally speaking. although zoltan said that he’s still two or three decibels away from his normal volume with thomas afterwards showing blue lips and robert adding that his c’ didn’t sound as mellow as it used to sound. however his c’’’ did sound even better than before our holidays. prof paul remarked that he’d liked the red wine better the last time and roman did only two minutes of cooling down on his instrument, before he devoted himself entirely to night life. and brandstötter is simply happy not to have to practice any longer.

 

08/23

thank god our holidays are coming to an end!
the only thing we really want is getting a chance again to blow our instruments!
we feel that this constant driving around and chilling and relaxing and getting a decent tan and summer philandering and feeling-ah-so-fine business is completely overestimated after all!!
we want to be allowed to be truly ourselves again!

who for chrissake needs a latte macchiato on mallorca?
or gondolas in venice?
or stupid alpine climbing of quite pointless mountain peaks in Switzerland in thin air?
or disneyland in france?
let alone a beach vacation at lake millstatt in carinthia?

definitely not us!!!!

hot air and loud sound leaving our white-hot horn,
for this one and only mission we are born!

 

08/19

finally, it was gerhard and thomas who talked to brandstötter.
well, they tried to – as a matter of fact.

since brandstötter holds the opinion that practicing on a tuba requires even a lot less brain activity than watching an angelina jolie movie.
and that’s why he prefers practicing.

he simply doesn’t want to waste any unnecessary energy during his vacation.

he definitely got a point here, no doubt about that.

 

08/16

brandstötter is practicing.
on his tuba.
during his vacation.
nobody actually knows for sure what’s the point here.
what is he expecting of his rehearsals?
to improve his tuba playing? to become a better player?
to be honest, who, for Gods sake, needs a better tuba player?

well, nobody actually needs a tuba player in the first place.
so consequently nobody needs a better tuba player either – it’s that simple.
well, seems like someone has to talk to the poor guy.

he’d better relax and chill, at least once.
spending his days reading a book.
or at least a comic. one of the kind that are full of easy-to-understand illustrations. and a simple plot with a clear story.
or he’d better watch a movie with angelina jolie – any kind of movie starring angelina jolie. that’s a kind of past-time allowing him to almost completely switch off his brain activity.

 

08/13

roman blew it.
at the fitness test.
his lactate values were quite similar to those of the team massager.
this one unfortunately weighing 238 lb at an overall size of 5’ 5”.
and being 56 years of age.

there goes the neighborhood.
no transfer.
no million-euro deal.
no villa for momma.

which resulted in considerations on our part whether we should actually allow him to play in our band again in future, given his current conditions.
only good looks that’s by far not enough!
what really counts is intrinsic values, they have to be right! such as lactate values, liver values and triglycerides

 

08/11

roman sent us a picture postcard from the training camp of the italian national soccer team at neusiedl am see!??
initially, he wanted to go to neusiedl to windsurf on the nearby lake, was apparently then taken for one of the soccer players and is since then churning out interviews without respite. on topics such as women, soccer in general, the italian soccer in particular, cooking, his momma and how his family clan means an awful lot to him. rumors have it that he’s considered to be a serious contestant for a transfer to the british premier league. involving a sum in the three-digit million euro range.
naturally only provided that his momma can reside in a decent villa there at the expense of the respective soccer club.

 

08/08

during his summer break robert will be doing what he always has been doing during holidays.

gaining weight.

 

08/04

we don’t know anything about where prof paul intends to spend his holidays. so far he announced plans to meet with some acknowledged european snail specialists and researchers of the highest caliber. to exchange ideas with them and, in particular, the latest scientific findings and results on the matter of the viability of naked snails or slugs and clothed snails in bass trumpets (preferably those tuned in flat) in an arid environment. we all are very curious about the new insights and facts this research project will undoubtedly unearth, the more so because prof paul’s bass trumpet must be indeed considered a rather humid habitat. at any rate his groundbreaking findings will serve to help on the human species a large step ahead in its query for understanding forms of life.
08/01

well what can you say: brandon and zoltan like each other to such an extent that they decided to spend their summer holiday together. to be precise, inside the aforementioned john of our preferred bar in finland. since both appreciate the open, creative and communicative atmosphere which is prevailing there. and furthermore because the place offers optimum acoustic conditions to rehearse and practice. an unbelievable 1.4 seconds reverberation and echo effect and once you activate the toilet flush any listener is immediately and automatically reminded of haendel’s water-music.
the absolutely perfect place for true artists.

 

07/30
you bet, there are facets we haven’t even dreamt of before.

the door to the john of the only bar in town wasn’t lockable. meaning that while doing there in that typical sitting position what you absolutely have to, you have lots of friendly conversations with the people passing by. in the process trying to convince them of three personal, fundamental requirements: a) that you are seriously meaning to definitely occupy the seat you’ve taken for another minute, b) that you are not in the least interested to share it. and c) no, not even for half a minute.
furthermore we ran into the three youngsters of canadian brass – joe burgstaller, jeff nelsen and brandon ridenour. great guys and real gentlemen on top. we all took turns in guarding the john’s door from the outside to give the respective gents using the facility the chance to enjoy three completely worry-free minutes.

afterwards we checked out the discotheque. there we talked about everything except music having agreed beforehand that whoever says the word music had to pay for a round. for anybody saying the word brass, it was two rounds. and for the poor guy mentioning the word canadian or mnozil by mistake it was even three.

already at this point of time and without exaggerating we can rightly call this a truly unforgettable evening.

 

 

07/28

tomorrow we’re off to finland, to be precise it’s the town of lieksa we’re heading to.

to play our last two concerts before our summer break.

two years ago we were already there and have been truly fascinated since then by the culture of the country. all those people being so friendly and warm, wearing exclusively lumberjack shirts in grey and blue in the evening when gathering to have a drink. during the day, while gathering to have a drink, they were wearing exclusively lumberjack shirts in red and green.

at that time, a hard-rock band played live in the only discotheque in town – the fellas also wore lumberjack shirts. the ladies and gents of the band were masters of their five guitar riffs, succeeded in playing louder than we could and started their first set at 4:00 am sharp. which resulted in wrenching a great deal of admiration for them from our part!

finland is simply great and maybe this time we can discover some more facets of this country!

 

07/17
yesterday we played in the completely sold-out opera house of munich.
right at the start of our show, robert, who hadn’t put his glasses on, tripped and fell into the uncovered orchestra pit. then he refused to get out of the pit, because he’d remarked a magazine with lots of photos and not too much text lying there on the music stand of a cellist.
photos of people with only sparse clothing.
to be precise, photos of female people who, to be precise again, actually didn’t wear nothing at all.
thomas, wanting to help robert out of the pit, quickly changed his plan and simply stayed down there with him.
so did roman.
well, this was one of the shortest operas ever performed.

 

07/14
this week we are presenting three different programs in germany.
irmingard, la crème de la crème and magic moments.
could be quite a risky venture since nobody can memorize so many notes.
right now we’re pondering if we weren’t better off condensing three shows into a single one.
only in case…
nobody’s going to notice anyway.

 

 

07/11
we have arrived again in full in europe.

it’s raining in vienna.

yesterday we played a concert in the town of interlaken in switzerland, and the hotel bar closed up precisely at 23:30 pm. without in any way being considerate of us and the huge revenues to be expected.

the train to the geneva airport had a 10-minute delay.

british airways was able to find a valid reservation in their computer system for the tuba though, but no clue whatsoever if the extra seat had been paid already. that’s why it took brandstötter an hour to check in.

furthermore internet use inside the hotel is no longer free-of-charge!

in short, we’re indeed back home!!!!!!

 

7/09

roman saved us!

we’re back in vienna!

after already having been hanging around at the airport for two days, exempt of tickets (thank you, gerhard), without any cash (thank you, credit card expiry date) and without the slightest glimpse of hope (thank you, lord), roman tormented by hunger and being hell-bent on doing something, resolutely unpacked his trumpet and started playing the homesick melody. it was after not more than four-and-a-half seconds when a nice airport manager showed up inviting us to a complementary flight to a destination of our choice, if only roman would immediately stop playing his trumpet.

thank you, roman!!!

 

7/07

sure, we would love to fly home.

gerhard got his memories together, but unfortunately couldn’t come up with something precise, though. in his opinion, the moment we arrived in tokyo, we’d agreed that each one of us was supposed to be responsible for his respective flight ticket on his own. potentially.

well, on account of quite a number of evenings spent in quite a variety of places, he wasn’t even able to claim that definitely.

insufficient powers of recollection because of an advanced degree of insufficient powers of recollection.
7/05

tomorrow we’re flying home!

maybe.

since gerhard, being responsible for arranging our flight, unfortunately can’t find the tickets as a matter of fact.

naturally, he still had the tickets on our incoming flight, but after that his memories show quite some sings of serious fading.

he can’t really remember for sure whether he a) swapped them in a bar in osaka for some cash or whether b) swapped them in a bar in tokyo for some miscellaneous or whether c) swapped them in a bar in hiroshima for some liquids.

in his most prominent voice, prof. paul formally asked him to kindly try to get his memories together.

 

 

07/02

we just returned from having lunch in a running sushi restaurant.
unfortunately, robert mistook the name of the location and was constantly running besides the conveyor delivering the different food during the whole lunch. because he wants to lose weight so much. what he did though, was running and eating. all at the same time.

fact is he was very hungry, thus eating more compared to the amount of calories he was able to burn while running. that’s why we have no other choice than clearly stating a negative energy balance here.

the whole thing wasn’t too comfortable for the other guests in the restaurant either, the more so since he started gasping and sweating after a while.

we’ll be better off going to sitting sushi next time.
07/01

yesterday evening we went to an original bavarian beer garden.

which offered exclusively bavarian delicacies!

like miso soup, rice and tofu.

great!

 

06/28

miso soup with rice for breakfast.

rice with miso soup for lunch.

and for dinner it’s miso soup, rice and tofu.

great!

 

06/25

we found a solution: the austrian department of infrastructure spontaneously agreed to offer their japanese colleagues special training courses on the topic of how to really manage a railway, in this context focusing on the following critical points: how to successfully manage a railway system in order to offer trains delayed not only by mistake but rather in a constant, systematic manner by implementing a specific “retarding” element. how to successfully maintain a railway system to that effect that the respective traction unit (commonly also called the engine) is defective already at the point of its departure. how to appropriately offer excuses for all busts, misfortunes and break-downs resulting from such successful management.

the most important matter of this training is however how to efficiently and successfully subdivide a company into a sufficiently large number of business units in order to make sure that one hand has absolutely no clue what the other one is doing.

as early as now we are already feeling quite relieved.

since the japanese colleagues are incredibly quick in grasping situations and learning new content, they will undoubtedly succeed in offering us a few delays here and then. one point they might probably be struggling with is the issue of delays without any reason, but for that matter we’ll surely come up with an appropriate idea on our own.

 

06/23

we have problems adapting ourselves to japanese culture.

we use the train as our exclusive means of transport – the suburban transit system as well as the ultra-fast shinkasen, and during the first fourteen days of our tour we haven’t experienced not a single delay. not a single one, really!!! not even a tiny delay of one minute!!!!!!!
we cannot stand this any longer!!! this is wearing us down!!!

as frequent customers of the austrian and german railways we are used to the fact that any given train is at least ten minutes late. if not 15 or 20 minutes. but the japanese railway doesn’t even grant us one single minute! well, we are reliant on the fact that we are missing our connecting train at least once a week on account of an operational breakdown. we are entitled to our delay!!!!

here we always arrive on schedule!!!!

where will this all end up? there must be somebody somewhere assuming responsibility for that kind of grievance! a railway without any kind of delay isn’t simply a real railway!

please, grant us five minutes only once, so that we don’t lose our faith in the goodness of mankind.

 

06/19

robert undertook to lose weight in japan. that’s why he’s going to the gym in every hotel, talking there with all the male trainers about the various sports equipment they have to serve his purpose. then he’s talking with all the female trainers too, about how they’re stacked equipment-wise. and since so much talking wears him out he needs to absolutely have a little snack afterwards. followed by a little siesta shortly before the afternoon coffee break is knocking at his door which, in turn, is accompanied with a variety of japanese dessert.

we are not quite sure if his concept will really prove successful.

 

06/16

not much has changed since our arrival. on account of our short stay here in japan of only one month we decided not to pay heed to daylight saving time meaning that we are still continuing to plan our time according to familiar central european summer time. so shortly after getting up in the morning (evening in japan) we do a concert and then we are ready to start our day (night in japan). in the evening (morning in japan) we go to bed as usual. not without however having relished the culinary aspects of japan in detail.

we sincerely love this country! somehow it’s quite like in sweden during the wintertime. it’s always night and you certainly don’t need any suntan lotion.
06/11

we arrived.

although we have to admit that we arrived a day later than initially planned. because by mistake we landed first at manila airport as a matter of fact. since in the cockpit, robert and his new buddy, our pilot, were absorbed in such a nice conversation, exchanging ideas and opinions on sunglasses, watches and discotheques that both didn’t really pay too much attention to what destination they were actually flying to. in addition the stewardesses were seen disappearing in that tiny cockpit there up front conspicuously often, loaded with those tiny vodka bottles and little snacks. a fact consequently leading to the problem that somebody else had to take care of the business of serving a meal and offering drinks to the passengers at the rear of the plane. a job we remaining six were of course glad to undertake in a generous and noble manner. in doing so we carried out the catering and, in particular, the beverages service of the bar on-board the plane in strict accordance to their final purpose, rounding off the whole task with some spontaneous playing. since we saw it as our duty that everybody on board should feel really well during that long flight! so there was some dancing, mainly cha-cha-cha and rumba, and maybe also the begetting of one or two children.

upon our arrival in tokyo, finally, a pack of passengers slightly in tatters but nevertheless in a very cheery mood tumbled out of the plane, pledging everlasting loyalty to each other and then scattered, everyone heading for his or her individual destination.

 

06/09

today’s the day!

we’re flying to Japan staying there a whole month!!
to play twenty concerts!!

robert is excited most of all. he has got permission to sit in the cockpit right next to the captain during the whole flight. because the captain is the cousin of a friend of the operator of a tanning salon just around the corner where robert lives.

to prepare himself appropriately for that experience, robert rode the chairoplane at least once a day during the last few weeks. to avoid getting sick. besides that he bought himself a classy pilot’s watch, a pair of ray ban sunglasses and a real aviator captain’s bonnet. reportedly he was seen dressed like that in the hottest discotheques in Vienna more than just once.

seems like somebody here really wants to find out for sure…

 

05/23

yesterday, we were at the klausen mountain pass to do some shooting for a film.

everything went really smooth and we all did a great job! but as soon as we wanted to head back it suddenly hit us that the keys to the car were stored safely inside a backpack which, in turn, was stored equally safely in the luggage compartment of the rental car. and we also found out that this car was locked completely safe. although no one of us had locked the car by himself before. well, it turned out that this is a car of the kind that locks itself quite simply on its own as soon as you close the luggage compartment lid. after quite an hour of telephone calls and another hour of standing around and waiting, finally the breakdown service arrived, informing us in a rather succinct manner, after an inspection of about one minute on his part, that there wasn’t one single possibility to get into the car. unless you had a spare key. or you’d want to smash one of the windows. as to the spare key, the gentleman went on telling us, right now it was somewhere in zurich, stored safely as a matter of fact. again, we did some phone calling and did indeed receive the spare key today. to be able get the car back from the summit.

which ¶“¿¿¿, “¡¡≠0, ¿¿’E, completely fu„„„¶[| engineer is responsible for having that distorted kind of a brain coming up with such an utter bullshit.

thank you vw passat, thank you vw technical engineering, thank you vw.

 

05/20

zoli is still there – waiting.

he’s right outside the stage door, all alone, waiting. we sure bring him some food and beverages from time to time – in order to save the poor guy from starving.
beaming with joy he told us that indeed a girl did show up yesterday. however, it turned out that she’s the girlfriend of the trombone player of the band which had its gig a day later at the same location. double knockout.

 

05/16

what a nuisance!

everything did indeed work out fairly well: the premiere of our concert was over in no time and we even had an audience who did pay for their tickets this time. so, being in a rather triumphant mood, we headed for the stage exit, to calm down our screaming fans, to kiss the babes, to exchange telephone contacts, to take care about all those sweeties expecting us at the stage door, to turn night into day and stay up ‘til the morning light, poised to make every rock band look really stupid.

we were waiting for our groupies, but there were no groupies, no sir!!!

not a single one!!!!!!

to be really on the safe side, we spent two hours there at the stage exit, but they simply didn’t show up at all!

not a single soul – not even the whiff of groupie to be seen nowhere.

finally, we collapsed crying.

life’s a real bore.

 

 

05/13

and once again we are almost on the brink of a premiere and indeed believe to have found the ultimate formula for success…

we gave ourselves up to prof. paul, subsequently rehearsing all concertos for bass trumpet that have ever been composed to this very day. actually we did not want to, but we were facing a clear case of Hobson’s choice, since he threatened us with playing a concerto for ocarina as well, in case we shouldn’t give in.

unnoticed, robert clocked the time of our new program. so, overall playing time of the entire concert of our new program is exactly 6 minutes and 23 seconds – on the dot. that is, already including the 20-minute intermission after the first three concertos for bass trumpet.

every single member of the band is thrilled since this is clearly the shortest show we ever did, obviously resulting in the fact that we have a great deal more time taking care about our female fans!!!

and let’s be quite frank, whoever actually needs two hours of music for brass instruments when indeed 6:23’ are about enough!!!!!

 

05/09

prof paul irrevocably holds that the entire program should be entwined around some really fetching concerts for bass trumpet. as he told us, he might well be able to condescend to one or two pieces having nothing to do with any bass trumpet solo whatsoever, but by no means more than three.

we are thrilled.

 

05/05

we’ll be making a new program.

we all agree on the fact of making a new program.

we even want to make a new program.

we are completely convinced that there’s an absolute must to make a new program.

unfortunately, we are not able to come to an agreement whatsoever on which pieces to include.

 

 

05/03

we are in real trouble. trouble of that really serious, far-reaching and extremely profound kind. in other words: we are facing a severe problem. nothing small, no, heavens no – it’s a clear and straightforward, large-scale problem! nothing of the kind you’d joke about. even alcohol is no answer. a problem that goes much deeper and is much larger and more alarming than we ever really wanted.

 

 

03/28

we just got back from two weeks vacation in hawaii.

since, eventually, mr ikea succeeded in talking us into selling.

how he managed to scrape the money together we do not know, but what we know for sure is that he indeed did buy that stupid sandcastle from us – and that for a real lot of dough.

now he has a sandcastle and we have nothing.

hey, you won’t believe how much money you can easily spend in hawaii.

robert was even forced to return the car keys of his brand-new ferrari convertible station wagon on his last day on account of not being able any longer to buy gasoline for it.

 

 

03/14

he called us again twice, that nice mr. ikea-man!

offering us even more dough.

but it ain’t working that way.

not with us!

 

 

03/11

the whole project is off.

because finally, we did indeed talk about money.

he offered us a figure about 200times higher than the absolute top end of what could still be called someway realistic.

must be thinking we’re dimwits!

but we won’t take that shit, you bet!!

figured on ripping us off the easy way!!!

wanted to whet our appetite, copy our system and then buzz off without ever paying!!!!
given the sum he offered us that’s what he had in mind, for sure – no single living person on earth owns that much money!!! let alone some small furniture business somewhere in sweden with two or maybe three branches.

nowadays the furniture business too is not the way it used to be.

just let him and his customers continue bolting and screwing together them furniture parts forever – well, we couldn’t care less!!!!!

 

03/08

yesterday we had our meeting with mr ikea. looks like he has not only a store in his hometown but also a subsidiary in the neighboring city. if we got it all right he’s apparently putting together his furniture on the basis of some sort of diy fastening system involving screws and bolts. well, to be precise, it’s his customers who have to put together the furniture all by themselves. they start out buying all the individual parts from mr ikea, all the same being required afterwards to put them together on their own. that way mr ikea is saving himself lots of work. so he has plenty of time to put in helping his brother in his electric hardware store every afternoon.

mr ikeas somewhat queer business motto is: did you start living by now or are you still installing?

and that’s precisely where there’s the rub. since mr ikea wants to abandon his old system changing over completely to our system which offers the perfect combination of sand and water and makes do entirely without any kind of connections to be screwed on or bolted in. in principle we are not disinclined, but should first start talking business. then we’ll see.

 

01/03

yesterday a certain mr ikea from sweden got in touch with us. as far as we know this mr ikea is apparently the owner of some type of family business manufacturing furniture or tables or some kind of similar products. he also mentioned something about producing and selling curtains, too. probably that’s his wife’s job sewing them together. and they’re also offering lamps. lucky mr ikea probably has a brother who happens to be an electrician being in charge of that product line. and their family business also comprises a store where you can get original swedish food. no big deal, by the way, when you are living in sweden.

so this mr ikea mentioned something about a proposal on account of the sand castle. to us all this sounds rather strange, but since we’re open-minded we’ll listen to him and have him explain his proposal.

he said he’ll contact us again within the next couple of days.

 

 

02/27

next week we’ll be touring in sweden. a fact that is giving us quite some trouble and serious headaches. we cannot under any circumstances leave our sandcastle all by itself for such an extended period of time. what will happen should it start to rain? will the mayor still remain loyal even when we’re not present? and who’s guaranteeing us that in the end, the children won’t attack our castle?
at the moment we are strongly inclined to cancel our tour.

 

02/19

yesterday, the mayor himself got in touch with us.
on account of returning the sand and stuff…

we asked him to a site meeting with the result that now we cannot get him out of the castle anymore. he is sitting there with his little yellow bucket and red shovel completely happy and satisfied, mixing water and sand to get that wonderful brown sauce that, first can be molded very well before finally turning into a material hard as a rock.

by now, he too is utterly convinced that it’s quite an impertinent claim on the children’s part wanting their sand back. as a result, he dispensed a couple of his party flunkies from their normal responsibilities to perform on-site staff and security duties with immediate effect, ensuring that we can play there without any trouble.

 

02/16

wow – that’s far-out.
we’re all completely dumped into it.
playing with sand is really fun!

we all joined hands finishing the construction of a sand castle that dwarfs everything known so far in this respect. it took us quite a few nights step-by-step pinching all the sand from every children’s playground in the close vicinity in order to be able to build our castle in genuine palace-type style.

now we’re taking turns so that two of us are constantly keeping a look-out and kicking out all the kids wanting to join us and playing. fact is however, that playing with sand is not an appropriate past-time for kids at all. playing with sand is something for the tough guys only!

meanwhile, the city council very cautiously approached us with an inquiry concerning the matter of possibly getting back the sand.
because of the kids and stuff…
and since all the other sand-boxes being completely empty now, you know.

Heh, heh, heh.

They’d better forget it.
02/11

but no sand is coming…

….because seven of the dump trucks transported the sand directly to naples – must be they’re having quite some large construction site there with involvement of a considerable number of honorable people.
three of the trucks weren’t fitted with the right kind of engines and simply couldn’t make it over the brenner pass.
another two of the dump trucks were completely overloaded being subject to complete and immediate immobilization by austrian authorities as soon as they reached the border.

and the remaining five trucks didn’t even start since Robert, while negotiating the transport charges, mixed up twelve with seventeen and thus did only pay the fare for twelve truckloads…

our trumpet players are quite depressed.

that’s why the low brass of mnozil brass spontaneously decided to spend one afternoon with their trumpet players at a children’s playground of their choice, to chase all children off the sand-box and not allowing them back in, in order to help robert, thomas and roman make their dream of their own sand castle become true at least for one little afternoon.

 

02/09

well here they are, waiting with their little sand shovels in their hands…

 

02/06

our great guys from the High Brass indeed succeeded in finding a state-of-the-art, top-notch, highly intelligent and at the same time completely convincing solution to the question of how to transport that sandcastle from italy to austria.
and that’s what they came up with: they simply gave each and every grain of sand its number all the way through to the last grain of sand, then shoveling the whole heap onto 17 dump truck, thus being able thanks to the precise allocation of numbers to rebuild the castle in Austria in its original size.
real whizzes, them boys, aren’t they? they not only know how to play their brass instruments, but are at the same time also highly qualified in technical terms and well-versed in engineering matters. what a solution they came up with in the first place…
02/04

actually, robert isn’t getting along in italy as well as he’d anticipated and wants to relocate the main residence of his sand castle to austria. a venture that could well prove to be a quite difficult one since the sand castle measures 44 meters or 144 feet in length, 38 meters or 125 feet in width and 16 meters or 52 feet in height. let alone those four watchtowers each one of them measuring 25 meters or 82 feet in height. so, thomas and roman took off for italy one more time to help robert in his efforts to find an appropriate solution.

well you see, as soon as we’re confronted with the tough challenges of the really important things in life this band of trumpet players gang is thick as thieves.

 

01/27

unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Robert today – we had to leave him behind in italy.

he was not in the mood and above all not in the shape to bid farewell to his sand castle which, in the meantime, he had succeeded in completely finishing in full size. seen from an architect’s point of view, the sand castle is a true mix of alcatraz, neuschwanstein and the mansion of paris Hilton, indeed with an assured sense of style. robert has serious plans to really get into business this summer, when the region is full of tourists, offering guided tours of his sand castle for some admission. furthermore, from now on his name is of course no longer robert rother, but instead roberto di rota, and his face being hardly visible on account of these really large sunglasses he’s now wearing. he has his hair combed back and held in place in that typical classic style with lots of hair gel and his neck and wrists are adorned by quite a few silver and gold necklaces and wristbands – all that perfectly underlining his transformation into a real entrepreneur in the sand castle business.
01/24

today, brandstötter did a real classic one.

despite the fact that he doesn’t speak any italian at all, he nevertheless ordered food in italian.

to his great delight, first arrived some antipasti – something with fish. followed by a second order of antipasti – something made out of fish, clams and scallops, still reason enough to make brandstötter happy a second time. afterwards, he finally seemed duly fit for some small main dish but didn’t reckon at all the third plate of antipasti – to be precise some fish au gratin served in little tidbits. well, after this third plate of antipasti something happened with brandstötter that you could rightly call a thorough feeling of satiety. however, what arrived at our table was the main antipasti, of course pasta alla siciliana con something on top, which brandstötter completely mistook for the main dish. after that he was given only one fork and despite a slight feeling of fatigue, he was happily looking forward to some delicious sweet dessert. but no such luck – because now it was finally high time for fish, being carried to our table in large quantities and various styles – deep-fried, fried, steamed and prepared in quite a few other manners. on account of the fact that the waiter, apparently considering brandstötter as not a quite trustworthy one, didn’t leave him out of his eye for a single second, brandstötter obeyed and completely finished everything until the last tail fin.

honestly, we don’t have a clue whether he’ll be able to play a concert tonight since for several hours he’s been lying on his hotel bed not showing any signs of life except uttering some small sighs every thirty minutes or so.
01/23

gee, did we end up right here in the middle of some harsh winter!

our posteriors are already showing clear signs of frostbite at a temperature of about + 60o F and it’s also raining cats and dogs nonstop.
of course we didn’t bring along any coat since the south of italy for us always sounds like summer, sun and some kind of easy going laid-back lifestyle and that kinda stuff, you know. robert already caught himself a real bad cold since he showed up here with nothing than a single pair of short trousers, two t-shirts, some breezy sandals including matching white tennis socks and his complete snorkeling gear.
today it’s the second day he’s sitting at the beach constantly wondering why the ice stand is closed.
01/21

rejoice! we had the great opportunity to leave our hotel as early as 4:45 am to get the early flight from berlin to munich. and in munich we had the pleasure to wait for two hours already sitting inside the airplane of our connecting flight to rome on account of heavy snowfall.

in rome we had the chance to transfer to brindisi thus arriving at our hotel in taranto as early as 4:00 pm.

on all three flights we were subject to offerings of sandwiches best to be described in terms of taste as somewhere between old cellulose and fresh putty.

oh, how we enjoy traveling!
01/20

today we flew to berlin specifically for reasons of duly getting in the right mood at our favorite italian eatery for our tour through italy starting tomorrow. so we worked ourselves through diversi antipasti before we finally arrived at the pasta and, after only a short stop there, quickly went on to various meat dishes from the piedmont (as usual, robert enjoyed his bean-curd pizza), followed by a quick culinary survey of a variety of desserts – all that being rounded off by a very laid-back finale in the guise of a cheeseboard for ten persons (since robert still complained about some sort of appetite). then we also watched various italian folk-dances only not to look like complete philistines after all.

 

 

01/01

last night we tramped the streets of moscow for the better part of an hour to find an open tavern which, incidentally, was only slightly frequented.
no doubt, the russians were all out, gathering at red square – russian innkeepers included.
we drank beer from large vessels as well as vodka from slightly smaller ones.
any spontaneous dancing performances on top of tables and benches found their quick and most effective end with the help of russian militiamen, all of them surely brothers of ivan drago and all of them also taller than 6 feet 5”.

today is the day of serious soul-searching and reorientation.
but not before afternoon…

12/31

thomas isn’t arriving on the early flight from bratislava via prague to moscow since czech airlines simply cancelled it – without any explanations.
thank you czech airlines.

now thomas will be on a twelve o’clock direct flight from vienna operated by air berlin.
thanks a lot air berlin.
we had to pay the full air ticket, though.
thanks czech airlines.

thomas is arriving at the tchaikovsky conservatory exceedingly on time at 06:15 pm.
at 07:00 pm sharp we start our completely sold-out concert in front of about 1,723 people.
thanks czech airlines.

12/30

this morning we arrived in moscow.
to be well armed for this metropolis we first headed for an atm.
the machine coughed up some dough for everyone of us – only robert spent an unusually long period of time in front of the automatic teller machine, afterwards returning without any money. well, he thinks it was the cyrillic characters that unsettled him, prompting him to push the wrong keys. we, however, think, he’d better have inserted his atm card in the appropriate slot instead of his plastic hotel room key.

afterwards we did the usual sight-seeing: ten minutes at the read square, two hours in the shopping mall gum right behind it.

this evening we’ll have dinner at various places typical of the country: prof paul and brandstötter will go to an american steakhouse, gerhard to a bavarian pork-roast eatery and roman, robert and zoltan will visit a curry house.

thomas isn’t coming before tomorrow morning, arriving on the early flight from bratislava via prague to moscow.

 

12/23

we have more or less completed our mission!
thank you robert!
immediately after his allergy against mulled wine had worn off, this hero of everyday life plowed through the christmas markets with threefold zip.
like a snow plow he parted the crowds, thus creating a lane and enabling us to fly like eagles from market to market to unerringly deliver our expert reports on behalf of our affairs.
robert, you giant amongst the little ones, you benevolent amongst the people in need, you capital fellow amongst all embouchure lickers.

may the christ child fulfill all of your wishes, in particular the one with the barbie doll you wanted most of all when you were little and never got though.

 

12/18

bertl is back!!

a man solid as a rock!

a fella like zeus!

a giant like hannibal!

a trumpet player like robert rother!

a, hmm…, forget it.

bertl is back!!

 

 

12/14

advent sure is a tough period.

at the moment our actual state of affairs as testers of christmas markets is 21 markets successfully completed. on account of exterior (weather) as well as interior (thirst and hunger) adverse conditions we have been prevented from checking out a sufficiently large number of christmas markets during the last couple of days. furthermore, completely out of the blue, robert began to show symptoms of hypersensitivity against mulled wine so that we had to count him out as a reliable tester. all of a sudden he started to see double and sometimes even fourfold at the same time completely losing his sense of balance. a physician who happened to be present immediately administered a diet of four slices of liptauer bread, bread with a special austrian spicy cheese spread, and advised him furthermore to drink nothing but clear water for four days to get his allergy under control.

this bodes us no good, indeed.

the remaining six of us now really have to stick together.

 

 

12/03

right at the moment we’re all doing great because there are no performances scheduled!!!!

so plenty of time to turn to the real important things in life.

every day we are meeting at a different christmas market in vienna tasting here as fully anonymous testers the different types of hot punch. in general, their quality is consistently all right, but for the time being we haven’t yet found a punch clearly to become the real epitome of all.

as of today we already visited seven markets with another 42 markets still to do.

per market we test on average 7.22 punch stands.

and per punch stand we need on average two to three hours since being non-partisan and fair testers we also check out hot children’s punch, mulled wine as well as rum toddy. furthermore also bacon, sausage as well as bread and dripping being offered there.

prof paul believes that chances are we won’t be able to visit all 49 christmas markets until christmas eve.

he’ll be surprised, you bet.

 

 

11/19

we all made up again! we’ve been in fürth for four days and found a great tavern there.

tapas and red wine.

that was it – no need for further comments.

for four days we drank the waters in a tapas bar, so to speak. very invigorating to our organism. and very healthy, too. like a fountain of youth. all organs being completely purified. and thoroughly purged.

life’s wonderful!
11/08

we’re on the road again. and yesterday, after the concert, we felt the urgent desire to restore our strengths through the consumption of wine. we succeeded in finding a tavern quite trustworthy for our purpose and immediately headed for it. inside, we had the choice of one kind of white and three kinds of red wine – riesling, trollinger, pinot grigio and some sort of wine variety whose name we hadn’t ever heard of to this day.

it was sheer disaster.

must have been quite a while somebody had been daring to offer us something that gooey, jelly-like and sugared like this kind of riesling and trollinger.

as to the pinot and that other kind of wine whose name we hadn’t ever heard before, they had a taste so suspiciously identical to the other ones that we figured they must’ve been filled into bottles from the same can.
driven by sheer necessity we emptied all four kinds of wine in one, achieving an overall result significantly better compared to its respective single components. in the end it became a quite funny evening, since we immediately endeavored to seriously discover the best ratio of components.

speaking of today: well, it’s quite a normal day – eyes could be a bit larger and heads a bit smaller…

 

10/27

it’s done.

after a week of rehearsals, we finally completed our first performance in the golden hall of the musical society of vienna. the musical artists were in top form and the director christian jäärvi drew nuances from the score so far nobody ever knew they existed at all and we blew at our best so that the stucco fluttered silently from the ceiling. great cheers on the part of the audience and a little party afterwards with about hundred guests which turned out to be quite a heavy one, too.

in terms of music we moved around somewhere between bach, schönberg and zappa, in terms of volume rather somewhere between ac/dc and metallica.

greeeeaaaaaat.
10/20
finally, the time has come! tomorrow we’ll play, for the first time ever, together with a symphony orchestra. well, we’ll see, we’ll see. we promise to give our very, very best, everyone of us already having bought a nice dress coat, having polished cleaned his fingernails, and our patent leather shoes are being polished twice a day to utmost brilliance.

 

10/10
now professor paul put an end to the whole racket stating that irmingard is his character once and for all. so when he says that she must not be pregnant in the first place, she simply is not pregnant as a matter of fact.
end of announcement.
what is left is a team of doctors being at odds with one another, two rather steep fee notes from the part of the lawyers and a contrite european higher nobility. the more so given the fact that it is extremely difficult in our modern times to father children of genuine aristocratic descent. since time and again something quite whit-bred is diluting the procreation.
what an unparalleled opportunity. irretrievably blown.

 

10/5

in the meantime we have transferred the whole affair to some lawyers.

simply leaving it up to them to argue back and forth on the issue of pregnancy or no pregnancy.

members of the european higher nobility also piped up clearly highlighting their delight in anticipating a possibly sufficient number of offspring in the near future.

queen elizabeth already agreed to adopt parenthood for two to three new royals as well as did prince charles. beatrix of the netherlands would love to contribute the baptismal candles.

frederic of denmark also came forward offering to open up his very small, private, 8,600-square-feet-large chapel for the ceremony. bertl called him back to thank him, explaining in this context, that he’d prefer to stay in his convent of melk. as for him, however, he’d be happy to receive all the crowned heads of europe on the occasion of the baptismal ceremony there.

 

 

9/25

now, it’s getting really complicated.

prof paul’s urologist has clearly stated that his patient is not pregnant at all.

irmingard’s gynecologist is claiming there’s no doubt that irmingard is pregnant indeed.

since both the gynecologist and the urologist are highly acknowledged experts in their respective specialty, quite an intense experts’ debate is under way at the highest level.
naturally, salzburg festival also started to interfere succeeding – on the grounds of having been the co-producing partner of the opera – in being granted by contract the right to actively participate in the naming of the forthcoming princes. herbert 1-7 they would like best, if need be, gerard coming next as for them, with heads dubiously shaking though, when the name jürgen came up.

ruhr triennial, in turn, is much more relaxed in this matter, however claiming, on the grounds of equal rights, four female first names at least, notwithstanding these names might be a little, say, unsuited for princes.

godfathers and godmothers wanted.

 

 

9/19

houston coming, houston coming, it seems like we also are quite at a loss at the moment.

yesterday, irmingard went to see her gynecologist who, full of joy, expressed her congratulations on her pregnancy. she sure is carrying seven little princes beneath her heart, each one of them with a tiny little crown on his head. bertl is completely overwhelmed by happiness, at the moment already looking for suitable accommodation for the forthcoming large family.

some type of larger castle somewhere within europe would already be quite acceptable for them.

from what we hear, they were quite taken with schönbrunn palace in vienna.

 

09/15

calling houston, calling houston – we have a problem.
irmingard is pregnant.

 

09/12

since we had been scheduled to perform in berlin yesterday, the band members did indeed reappear by and by. irmingard and bertl, the beautiful prince from melk, were making out with one another the whole time as if there was no tomorrow. a little kiss here and a little kiss there and, you know, the whole shebang.

irmingard shows slightly reddened cheeks together with that blink of her eyes quite appropriate to that of a meat-fly – of course having eyes only for her bertl…

and she’s coming up with that new strange little habit: she’s stroking her belly in a quite weird way almost all the time.

 

9/06
well, it’s kind of lonesome at the moment. not a single person to be seen at the whole scenery. absolutely nobody’s here – only from deep down in the surrounding woods interesting sounds indeed quite full of joy can be heard.

if only we hadn’t to wait for our pay that long we could well change our focus and start again with less strenuous leisure-time activities.

shopping for instance.

 

09/03
we did it!

irmingard is married.

who else but bertl, the beautiful prince from melk, finally succeeded in winning her over and is set to procreate at least 12 offspring.

at least that’s what he announced.

the rest of the participants made do with some or the other of irmingard’s maids, in the process immediately disappearing into the nearby forests to get to know each other in a more undisturbed surrounding and to exchange some of those “juices”.

should it be that the direction of the salzburg festival might happen to disburse our pay – quite overdue in the meantime – one could well start to rightly call the whole endeavour a successful opera up to its very last detail.

 

08/12

work got too much for us. so we simply dumped the whole shebang opting instead for some adventure vacation. rafting, hiking, biking, climbing, eating, drinking, sleeping, snoring, as well as a couple of other, equally dangerous activities. after drinking robert experienced some falling out of his bed in the process smashing his head. at the moment he hasn’t yet regained full consciousness, his present state should be fully sufficient for the salzburg festival, though. as long as he can perform some walking onto the stage…

 

07/20

it’s proceeding all right, but in a most tiring way.

the trumpet players are already mastering all of their parts – no big deal anyway, since it’s quite a child’s play to always do the melody and simply adding a third to it here and there.

the trombone players are still practicing their accompaniments like madmen – getting better at them every minute.

brandstötter, however, is undauntedly rehearsing and perfecting his b-flat major scale, since he believes that the whole opera is notated in nothing but b-flat major and is obviously aiming at muddling his way through it some kind or another.

In the end, that could well prove to be a big mistake, in particular since the second part of the opera is completely notated in e-flat major.

well, we ain’t pointing that out to him, he needs to find out all by himself.

 

 

07/11

we’re right in the middle of memorizing the opera.

what a …….. well, such ………, an extremely unnecessary …….

really, the director deserves to be ……. and the composers as well should be hanged to …….. let alone the initiators – first, they should be ……. followed by a good ………. and, finally, when they start begging for mercy, they should be ………….. on top of it.

that simply would be wonderful.

 

 

07/03

lately we enjoyed some flying round the world once again.

and it seems like nothing ain’t changing at all.

on our stopover en route to sweden, thomas’ luggage didn’t change planes like we did, and it was not possible at all to have his luggage sent to him to sweden. furthermore, it was not possible to have his luggage sent to his home address, either – just because of a simple reason: nobody had the slightest clue where his luggage might possibly be. a week later a suitcase was found at munich airport that happened to be his. it could well be that thomas’ suitcase simply refused to travel to sweden choosing munich as its favorite destination instead, having in mind to enjoy the local veal sausage of Bavaria there. and maybe have a beer or two all by itself. or something like that.

we love flying!

 

 

06/17
we’re right in the middle of the rehearsals for our opera.
irmingard did cool off a bit and is indeed, from time to time, not that rude to us. at the moment, our costume director is looking for high-heeled shoes size 45. these shoes have to come in white with a silver brooch on its front top and the heels mustn’t measure less than 7 cm (2.8”) in height, at the same time not exceeding 9 cm (3.5”). the heels (stilettos would eventually also be possible) should be detachable as well, in order to be able to possibly whack somebody. our director hasn’t taken the final decision yet, but did state that from his point of view an opera during which not at least four to five actors are ceasing to be shouldn’t be called an opera at all – it’s nothing more than an soap or an operetta at the most.

 

for the time being we have no idea yet who of us is subject to that premature passing away, the only fact that’s guaranteed is that per exitus we will present either an aria of the last farewell or, respectively, an aria of assassination of no less than 20 minutes at the least.

 

 

 

06/07

today we were granted an audience by our most graceful.

all members of mnozils had to approach her on their knees, then being allowed to kiss her powdered little hand. but before that we had been subject to two hours waiting before our beloved beauty choose to present herself. the audience itself lasted some seven minutes in which we were briefed to show up from now on at each rehearsal and performance completely laved, combed and well groomed as well as with clean fingernails.

the fact that at the place where we are right now, the world’s best trumpet players are giving supreme recitals and wonderful speeches is nothing but a mere coincidence to be neglected completely in light of the glamorous demeanor of our princess.

 

06/06

it’s not really getting easier with our princess here.

yesterday, the mare’s milk – naturally subject to thorough, daily changing – did not have the desired temperature of 38.3o C or 100.94o F, but was filled in with a temperature of only 37.8° C or 100.04o F. The result was a cascade of the nastiest accusations directed against everyone present including the mares. since our princess deigned to have herself granted a manicure during her bathing, it was not long before nail files and other accessories were darting through the room. quite a dangerous situation indeed.

 

 

06/04

at the moment we are at the international trumpet guild conference in banff, Canada, being a bit out of the ordinary here. since prof paul a.k.a. irmingard does not want to leave his persona two months before the premiere, and is indeed also quite unable to do so, he is attracting quite some attention on account of his rather eccentric behavior. first, he/she refused to be carried by car from the airport to the hotel, demanding a horse-drawn coach as an appropriate means of transport instead. second, upon arrival at the hotel he/she immediately commanded a lady’s maid to be at his/her service, showing quite some outrage when told that this requirement couldn’t be met on the spot. third, it was naturally he/she choosing the by far largest of all suites, requesting the jacuzzi to be emptied of its water and to be refilled with mare’s milk. and fourth, that little princess’ coronet is naturally always sitting neatly on top of this nice head – no matter whether when taking a bath or when sleeping – and don’t you dare to ask!

for the time being, the canadians are wondering a little bit.

 

05/27

on account of the fact that diverse gossip columns of a variety of papers from the yellow press are obviously publishing presumptions clearly alleging the contrary, we strongly feel obliged to stress once and for all in this context that the casting for our opera irmingard took place exclusively on the basis of nothing but criteria for artistic aptness. furthermore we want to clearly point out here that absolutely no member of mnozil brass is having a close relationship with the director of any kind whatsoever. this is nothing but guesswork to be completely ruled out, first and foremost, on account of how we understand professional work as artists and, second, because of our honest love for the opera as a whole.
05/26

after robert had thrown himself so disdainfully on the casting couch, we too, unfortunately, simply didn’t have any choice at all. the result was the immediate start of a fierce courting to win over the director’s favor with simply everybody willing to stop at nothing.

well, here is the cast:

prof paul will be irmingard, the princess

robert will be bertl, the beautiful price from melk

thomas will be seen in various roles, inter alia heralds and princes

roman will be the emperor

gerhard will be a prince form india

zoltan will be cupid

brandstötter will be a bastard price from the pinzgau

 

 

05/18

that’s the end of that!

it’s robert who’ll be playing the prince. why this is the case doesn’t actually deserve any explanation whatsoever at this point.

 

05/09

finally, the matter is settled.

it’s prof paul who will be playing the princess.

but to make it quite clear, the decision has nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that he might be best suited for that part. no, that’s not it, not at all! and it hasn’t anything to do with being pretty or intelligent or even both of it or something like that, either. or maybe because he’s such a genius with his bass trumpet. no, it isn’t anything of that at all.

the plain and straightforward truth is that he simply screwed the director.

and that’s it.

so, it obviously looks like we’re not talking art, talent or the something like that here.

once again it’s just about that one issue.

it’s so damn disappointing.

this vile opportunistic pig! we’d never ever believed him capable of something like that. what he’s selling us now in defending his act is that he didn’t do it so much in his function as prof paul, but rather in his future role as a princess. since, in this context he’s undoubtedly bearing a huge responsibility being subject to procreation of an offspring.

nothing but wish-wash and lame excuses.

the whole affair is particularly hard on roman.

in consideration of the fact that he too, and the director were having…

 

 

05/05

now it’s robert too, having hard luck. yesterday he just collapsed, crying like a baby.

for a whole week, he was trying to find a bra perfectly suited for a princess. but he was unable to come up with an appropriate garment for chest measurement 115 and cup size G anywhere throughout the whole of vienna. he checked out all lingerie stores in the entire city, but everywhere he went he saw himself confronted with staggered disbelief and puzzled bewilderment. and besides, customization would simply be way too expensive. the cloth alone would be prohibitive, let alone the cost of the three tailors who’d need to be paid for at least one full week of tailoring. and furthermore the fact whether to engage dressmakers or gentlemen’s tailors also pressed for clarification to begin with.

all in all way too complicated.

on account of all this, we now decided to have robert play a stable-lad, in this context even relieving him of the hassle of getting himself a new costume.

 

 

04/28

now, brandstötter isn’t qualifying either, as a matter of fact.

no doubt, his tuba would indeed be an optimum substitute for a princess’s handbag, unfortunately though, that instrument smells!!! after secret examinations of his tuba we are speculating on the following: some sort of animal must have found its gruesome death inside that instrument. furthermore, robert was able to recall that he, during our last recording session, emptied the remaining crumb of his pizza into the horn. thomas was very amazed finding out that one can indeed produce notes with this thing, since he always figured it to be an extremely beautiful, large ashtray, using it all the time accordingly. in this context prof paul felt bound to harshly reprimand thomas explaining him in straightforward terms that under no circumstances one must not throw cigarette butts into a golden camping john, undoubtedly the only real denomination of a tuba. but, given this correct denomination, one is of course always free to use it accordingly at any time, a fact he’s demonstrating at very regular intervals…

 

 

04/22

it’s everybody against everybody!

an ice-hockey match right in the heart of siberia is like a nice tea party on a lovely sunday afternoon compared to what is happening here. everybody wants to be the princess. absolutely everybody! and of course, no one is giving in.

thomas for sure isn’t any longer in a position to play that part, since, after a fierce boxing fight, zoltan punched him right in the centre of his beautifully curved lips with the result that they now look more like those silicon-injected lips of this watch-ma-call-it blonde from that beach whatever series, only two times their size. you know, just like one of those huge truck tires.

not necessarily a very suitable condition for playing a princess, in the first place.

and zoltan’s eyes also lost their shimmer, not reflecting anything at all any more, let alone that wild sparkle of real puszta. indeed, he can call himself lucky when he’ll ever be able again to get a glimpse of what’s going on around him given those swollen reddish slits with that blue-yellowish top color he once called his eyes. boom – what a wonderful left-right combination of jabs thomas landed right in the middle of zoltan’s eyes! the earth is still shaking noticeably from the repercussions of that blow.

in all, this reduces the number of remaining prospects to five…

 

04/17

no surprise, all of a sudden, everyone of us wants to be the princess!

thomas, because of the very sensual curvature of his lips.

robert, since any woman below 240 lb shouldn’t call herself a real woman to begin with.

roman, since his legs are slim like the legs of a young deer.

prof paul, since only a bass trumpet player is in a position to credibly play a princess.

gerhard, since he has the most beautiful ears.

zoltan, since the sparkle in his eyes reflects the puszta.

brandstötter, since he is able to stow away everything in his tuba you would normally find in the purse of a true princess.

it’s enough to drive us mad!

no one is interested anymore in playing the heroic prince, nobody wants to play the lady’s maid and performing music by way of an instrument is at the moment a matter of minor importance anyway.

so far, our complete rehearsals are postponed to a not yet defined point in time.

 
4/10

and again we’re right in the middle of a little fight.

all of a sudden robert has discovered his female side and now categorically wants to play the princess himself. we are, however, strictly against his intention since he, on account of his actual body circumference, is representing rather two princesses than just one. well, rather means in this context that he’s easily able to personify two princesses, to be precise he might even be suitable for two-and-a-half princesses. robert finds this observation completely discriminatory, since, in his opinion, princesses with a somewhat opulent body are the hottest anyway. we do not agree to this at all. since we’re simply figuring that it wouldn’t be very wise and above all very feasible to have him play this role since, at his present state, no one, with the exception of maybe a forklift, would be able to lift him up and carry him in his arms. and furthermore even the forklift driver would have to watch out not to keel over to the front.

 

 

4/07

we are already quite busy preparing our opera project for the salzburg festival. at the moment, we are a little bit stuck in assigning the different parts to be played in the opera, the reason for it being simple and straightforward: somebody has to play irmingard, a princess of noble stock but with a rather dubious behavior. Naturally, nobody wants to assume responsibility for such a delicate role. at the moment it looks like roman has to bite the bullet, since first, his good manners – should he ever have had them in first place – have suffered quite a bit in jail. and second, because he now has, on account of his strict diet on water, the ideal body mass index to credibly represent an anorexic princess. for the time being, however, he still is quite reluctant, but we’ll keep at it.
03/30

roman is free!

anyone of you knowing us, will surely be aware of the fact that we fought very hard for the clarification of this horrible error of justice that was done to roman in wrong. we ran from pillar to post, even informing amnesty international to get him free. all in vain, nothing did help at all. it was only when prof paul announced to do a charity concert on his bass trumpet for roman right outside the prison, that things started to happen very fast. within no more than 10 minutes roman was set free and prof paul was politely requested to refrain from his intention. well doesn’t that prove once again that you indeed can get things moving with art? by the way, roman is fine, he is lisse and lithom and, for the first time in a long time, completely well rested. once he has successfully completed his probation period we even might want to accept him again as a business partner. but this is only a maybe, because we don’t want to rush things. since, particularly in financial matters, you know, you have to always be very careful with ex-cons.

 

 

03/23

surprisingly, roman was transferred to another prison for security reasons, since rumors were afloat that an escape unit consisting of at least two women not being shy of even using violence planned to get him out at any rate. now he is doing time in a high-security prison and is cursing the very day he was born. his daily food ration comprising bread and water has been stripped down to only water.

 

03/20

yesterday we visited roman. apparently he has adapted pretty well to life in prison.

he has got some more muscles on account of his exercises comprising inter alia push-ups, pull-ups and the like. his stomach is decreasing noticeably. we have suggested vis-à-vis the authorities to have him on bread and water as long as possible, so that after a certain time he might qualify for entry into a social rehab program. in the meantime we are still in charge of the crude oil business. revenues are naturally split up into six since we simply do not want to have a con as an associate partner in the business.

 

03/15

somebody saw roman while he was fishing out an old plastic bottle of a recycling container. the police was called and he was busted immediately. during the process of explaining to the authorities that those plastic bottles were important to him on account of his participation in a large-scale crude oil project and that he already had ordered his rolls-royce, the public servants came to the simple and straightforward conclusion that roman was nuts. when he went on explaining that he is solo trumpet player with mnozil brass by profession, he completely blew the whole thing of taking him seriously once and for all. the officers simply decided this guy to be completely off the rocker. nevertheless, one of them gave us a call to check back with us and get things straight. we told him that we haven’t the slightest clue who that nut case might be and that they shouldn’t worry too much about locking him up for a little while. if possible on bread and water only, since roman has put on quite some pounds lately, anyway.

 

03/09
there might be a light at the end of the tunnel leading us out of our crisis:
a friend of us, to be precise a sheikh we know quite well, contacted us informing us about the fact that slowly but surely his country is running short of oil resources. that’s why he offered to buy all of our vinyl records at a quite acceptable price in order to re-melt them down to crude oil, thus obtaining enough raw material to manufacture himself records or plastic chairs or yoghurt containers or the like. we haven’t decided on his offer yet and are currently in the process of negotiating, but odds aren’t too bad that we’ll enter the crude oil business not before long. for reasons of precaution we already placed an official inquiry at rolls-royce for the price of seven white silver shadow models being delivered straight from the factory. in addition to that, zoltan wants to buy himself an authentic bedouin tent to be closer to nature in a more down-to-earth lifestyle.

 

03/05

now we really are in big trouble.

on account of several misunderstandings and quite a fuzziness in terms of communication, our record company actually did believe we indeed wanted to introduce our newest product into the market in the guise of an actual record. to be precise in the guise of a vinyl record. however, what we wanted instead was the market launch of our new recordings coming in the size of a vinyl record since we had been putting such a truckload full of music on it, but still in the form of a compact disc as its technical medium.

stupidly enough, we ordered two million units beforehand being adamantly convinced about the quality of our recordings and thus equally confident of being among the future prospects for the grammy and several other awards. so, once the hype would finally get going, we figured, we naturally would want to have enough cds on stock, etc.

instead, what we have in stock now in quite a sufficient amount is old-fashioned vinyl records, and furthermore we’re all quite broke, since nowadays nobody will ever buy these records at all.

 

02/29

we encountered a problem.

our sound engineer broke it to us, that you’re only able to put a bit more than about one hour of music onto a traditional compact disc. meaning that “star wars” won’t fit and “the ring” won’t either.

thus we entrusted him with the development of a completely new cd format for our purposes. he’s very confident that he’ll succeed in doing so. to be able to retain more music this new cd will approximately have the same size and diameter as the vinyl records we all know from back then.

maybe it’ll even come a bit larger.

the new compact disc can be played back as usual in a normal cd player, the only thing is that it’ll need to be folded up several times so it will snugly fit into the player. additionally, the compact disc might also serve as a spare tire for any type of bicycle or passenger cars with maximum permissible weight of up to 2,600 lbs.

 

02/27

yesterday wasn’t quite our day, because we simply weren’t able to agree unanimously on one single composition we wanted to record. the trombone players opted en bloc for pieces named like “the little trombone devil” or “the reckless trombonist” or “the trombone’s blaze at sunset “. naturally their choice didn’t succeed in getting a majority vote, since it’s beyond any doubt that nobody wants to listen to such nonsense. and somebody’s got to buy our album after all.

robert, by all means, wanted to record all highlights from “cats” and “the phantom of the opera”. unfortunately, he also volunteered to sing, an absolutely impossible proposition on his part and beyond any discussion whatsoever.

we adjourned our work to today.

and indeed, today was really great!

everyone of us arrived in a good mood, so the first thing we did in the morning was to record the complete soundtrack of “star wars” in a new, thrilling arrangement especially created by prof paul, our inimitable virtuoso as to matters of intonation, and specifically adapted to seven brass players. anyone versed in the movie knows that we were facing the challenge of recording no less than about sixteen hours of music. in the afternoon we mastered a couple of smaller pieces, among them the complete brandenburg concertos, several of mozart’s symphonies, finishing, as the crowing event, with the ring der nibelungen (the ring of the nibelungs). we sure are a cool bunch of guys, aren’t we?

 

 

02/26

the recordings for our new cd are running great.

we started yesterday at 9:00 am.

meaning that at around 9:30 we all were quite done with the warm-up at our respective instruments. with the exception of zoltan who overslept in and therefore was therefore finished with his warm-up not before around 10:45. at 11:00 we all were in high spirits plugging in the microphones, setting and adjusting them, a fact leading to the first of some small quarrels. since thomas opted for blowing directly into the microphone wanting to have a more punchy sound. robert, however, was not quite into that kind of procedure, since he preferred blowing not too directly in the mike wishing to generate a more coaxing sound. roman was completely against blowing into a mike, since he doesn’t like to work on mondays at all, etc.

as a result of these ambiguities, we opted for a large lunch break starting at 12:00 and ending at 18:00.

thomas took his lunch at an indian restaurant.

robert opted for chinese food.

roman went to a thai place.

out of reasons of economy, prof paul brought along a small sandwich he’d prepared beforehand at home.

zoltan chose a polish eatery.

gerhard went to an italian restaurant.

brandstötter was into greek food.

 

at 18:00 we all decided to continue our work the next day, since we all felt godly sleepy.

 

02/24

tomorrow we’ll have an appointment in the sound studio to get some recording done again. we’re all quite nervous.

the compositions to be recorded are extremely difficult!

trumpet parts are set constantly above c’’’, trombones have to master scales in staccattissimo and in c sharp major, and the tuba has to struggle with eighth notes almost impossible to play, these notes however being in the same tone pitch.

even prof paul has been practicing for the first time in his life more than twenty minutes in a row. since he’s a triple graduate, he normally always observes the whole shebang from the elevated position of a tenured bass trumpet player.

but this time even he is getting his nerves!

 

2/21

hey, don’t give me that begging look, diary!

i’ll fill your pages whenever i feel like it.

and lately i simply wasn’t quite in the mood to do so.

i’m the least of all to owe you an explanation, ain’t that right?

and, besides, why should i confide my most intimate secrets to you anyway?

who’s assuring me that you don’t happen to spill the beans?

and who’s furthermore ensuring me that my diary doesn’t fall in the hands of my mom and is being read by her on the q.t. as it was the case before, eh?

first thing i’ll do is getting me a large padlock. and then i’ll seal you off securely.

from then on i’ll only write in private. far more in private as hitherto.

 

01/31

the last couple of days weren’t exactly what we’d call fun.

in calculating our birthday party in advance, we had set up an already very tight budget which we exceeded by a multiple of its face value, leading to insufficient financial reserves in cash liquidity, as its bottom line. the direct result of this bottleneck in funds was the fact that we were subject to some kind of enforcement by dodgy henchmen acting on behalf of the well and truly repulsive owner of the club – a person well deserving this kind of characterization, as it became clear to us later – forcing us to carry out various menial jobs in his facility involving manual labor.

a very disgusting situation, overall.

our gentle and tender artists’ hands are ruined for years on end, not to mention the damage done to our sensitive minds and spirit as artists.

we probably won’t ever recover in full from this low blow.

 

01/25

the day before yesterday we had our birthday party.

since, exactly on january 23, 1993 we all have had our first public appearance.

and to duly celebrate this memorable day we allowed ourselves a little saturnalia.

to prepare ourselves in an appropriate manner, we all first had a bath in a tub full of mare’s milk, followed by an exquisite manicure and pedicure. then, everybody except brandstötter, was off to the coiffeur to get a fresh, hip perm.

then, at 09:00 pm sharp, the first bottle of champagne was opened at the currently hottest club in vienna, soon to be followed by countless other bottles. at 09:30 pm, twenty naked female dancers presented a small show, followed by the most famous horses of vienna, the lippizaner, presenting a ballet. at 10:00 pm the vienna boys’ choir sang the ave verum to honor us and 30 minutes later, the mayor of the city of vienna presented us the city’s badge of honor in gold. at 11:00 pm there was a small fight among friends and at 11:30 pm the bar was completely finished for the first time.
from midnight on recollection of things happening becomes a little blurred, being however, at that point in time, a matter of lesser importance anyway. at 01:00 am thomas lost a small fortune to roman as a result of a game of poker, followed by his loss of another, quite larger fortune to Gerhard, just an hour later. then there was another small fight among friends. at 03:00 am the female dancers came on stage a second time and at 04:00 am we decided to dissolve the group. at 04:05 am we decided in favor of the opposite thing. at 04:30 am we found roman blissfully drowsing in the restroom and at 04:50 am we were requested to leave the club.

 

 

01/14

we have taken zoltan again into the band with due honors not caring the least about his body mass index, though it’s well over 30. the important thing about a trombone player is knowing how to blow and not how to look good. rather, good looks might even be a drawback since it’s perhaps a bit harder to focus entirely on blowing the trombone.
well, the heck with it, there aren’t any smooth trombone players anyway, a fact resulting from this strange draw technique alone making the right arm growing in length by well over 10 centimeters over the years compared with the left one. the result is quite a silly overall appearance above all when wearing a suit, but is a significant advantage when seen from a professional, musical point of view. for a trombone player with two arms completely equal in length who as well doesn’t complain about tensions in the neck deserves nothing but suspiciousness per se.

 

01/7

zoltan is back home again.

due to christmas he suffered several attacks of uncontrolled eating. Unfortunately, pictures of him were taken by one of these nasty paparazzi during these attacks resulting in the fact that he was able the next day to see pictures of himself wolfing down cakes and biscuits in all of taiwan’s major newspapers and glamour-magazines.

what a bummer for his image as a fitness guru.

the result was that he had to resign as a minister, was deprived of his tv shows and was declared persona non grata.

for the time being he undergoes treatment in the betty ford clinic for the rich and beautiful, since he’s firmly convinced in his successful comeback.

and even though that won’t work at all – and that’s precisely what we figure – he, for our part, might as well operate the trombone at mnozil brass once again.

never mind gut feeling.
12/24

yesterday, on our return flight from taiwan we made a short stop in abu dabi to hold our annual christmas party. unfortunately, zoltan was unable to attend, since due to his responsibilities as a minister he’s completely bound to his various functions in taiwan. nevertheless, we enjoyed the party very much since we had asked a group of folk dancers from abu dabi in advance to convey this typical pre-christmas mood by presenting some original dances. and they really did a very good job, but showed up, however, with forty people in all, each one of them bringing along two camels as well. Furthermore, these dancers needed a typical abu dabi brass band able to intone native folk tunes – again, some sixty people.

the whole presentation was very, very impressive and full of atmosphere, but since our christmas stopover was scheduled to last only two hours, the complete party had to take place in the airport terminal which, as a result, almost burst at the seams. and what is more: the salespeople from the chanel shop weren’t not too happy that the camels did choose their shop as their common restroom.

a certain type of fragrance emanating from there somehow had this special magical attraction on those critters.

and once again a simple fact was confirmed in a very impressive manner: large animals are responsible for large piles.

merry christmas

 

12/21

yesterday zoltan was invited to four tv shows. his new sportswear collection will be created by armani – strictly in pink, of course. meanwhile zoltan is accompanied by seven bodyguards never losing sight of him on account of the high degree of celebrity. furthermore zoltan will become taiwan’s minister of sports affairs.

wow!

 

12/20

zoltan is getting his own tv show!

these taiwanese are completely crazy about Zoltan and asked him to become the nation’s spearhead of gymnasts.
furthermore there are plans of the construction of several sport arenas especially designed for trombone-draw hurling. actually we are speaking here about plans to construct real mega-domes comprising bowling halls, large-scale swimming complexes and fitnessclubs. there are also talks about the construction of an indoor ski-facility.
19/12

zoltan is actually becoming a real star! from yesterday on, people started to practize their gymnastics together with zoltan!
doing the respective exercises in the same way we all now so well from jane fonda and cindy crawford videos and other types of comparable films. every single person is dressed in pink and all of them are cheering as soon as zoltan appears. and when they’re finally through with their hopping around, they’re all hurling trombone-draws through the air. since there have been already a few casualties on account of various parts flying around in this context, all participants now agreed on one and the same, common direction of throwing.

 

12/17

very cool, completely far-out – that’s all i can say.

zoltan is taking his fitness program real seriously and is exercising like a madman.

and since we all are in taiwan at the moment – with a quite warm climate there right now – he’s exercising out in the open all the time. to be precise: in the park. right across from the hotel. doing his exercises in the morning and in the evening.
all the taiwanese people around him are carrying out their tai-chi exercises in a very thoughtful manner, only zoltan is jumping around to the beat from his ghetto blaster – right in his pink jumpsuit. naturally, he has a pink color-matching bandeau as well and pink
sweatbands ‘round his wrists. the dude simply looks terrific!
this morning there was already the first crowd of people watching our zoltan jumping up and down. after his jumping exercises, he’s doing some stretching to flex his body and then he hurls the draw of his trombone with gigantic, herculean power all the way through the park. in the moment of throwing the draw he’s of course screaming at the top of his lungs – quite similar a scream we know so well from actual javelin competitions.

 

12/16

zoltan wants to change his life – and we’re going to support his intention!

first thing is: he wants to lose 3.5 lbs in weight. a plan which requires discipline and astringency, that is keeping a strict diet and doing lots of exercise. with immediate effect he’s adhering to the very popular jojo fat-burning eat-halt-of-what-you-ate-before regimen. furthermore he wants to become an athlete in biathlon – to be precise an athlete in trombone-draw javelin and rhythmic gymnastics. so far he bought himself a tight-fitting pink jersey complete with leggings matching in color and is watching fitness videos of cindy crawford.

he sure is on the right path.

 

12/14

zoltan made it!

now, he’ll finally receive the badge of honor in gold from us!

it is the 25th time he successfully slept in since his start with mnozil!

this time in tokyo!

what a glamour boy!

but what are we to give him in order to help?

a pajama with a built-in vibrating alarm?

a fire-fighter’s hooter?

or a nanny swaddling him every evening at 8:00 pm sharp, feeding him and tugging him safely into bed, so that he’s able to get up the next morning completely rested?

 

12/11

apparently some of zoltan’s fuses actually blew and there’s quite some tumble in this poor guy’s brain.

today we did a concert in tokyo and man, was he fast –: he finished the concert in quite one third of time ahead of the rest of us by consistently playing one third faster than we did. about halfway of the second part of the concert, after having been already through with the encores, he simply left the stage after several bows. we don’t have the slightest intention to conceal the fact that, in all, the performance had that tiny little strange touch to it sounding a little bit awkward overall. luckily, the audience, however, completely freaked never ever having been listening to something wicked like that. completely far out in a way.

afterwards, zoltan’s rationale simply was that the pace of life here in tokyo is quite a bit faster than the life we are used to, so what’s wrong with adapting to it?

to do otherwise, would be no less than simply impolite.

by the way, he generally also moves faster by one third. a fact hardly to be noticed as it were, since afore he has always been some kind of slow-coach anyway, meaning that by now he has kind of finally arrived at normal speed.

 

 

 

12/10

no recollection at all.

this dude can’t recall a thing – nothing, nada, niente, rien.

zoltan’s brain is as empty as the brain of any common trombone player.

for crying out loud, what can we do?

once again, we are deep down in the valley of tears.

so much for the dream of a fast buck.

so, here we are again, ruefully practicing our scales.

 

12/7

well, daredevil, sure… forget about it!

the dude hasn’t any clue at all, can’t recall a single thing!

it was us who had to drag this bozo with that constant moronic grin in his face to the airport, get him to taiwan, put him into his hotel room, warm up his trombone for the concert and so on…

by now he’s again able to utter some sounds, talks a little – but the recipe is completely gone, wiped out from his mind!!! he hasn’t got a single idea what he’d mixed into his super-juice!!! and we already had fantasies about the money rolling in something like: “mnozil – now also available as wonder-juice!” or “drink yourself to happiness” or “one mnozil a day keeps the doctor away” and so on
red bull would’ve been dwarfed by us!

and coca cola would’ve packed its bags, too!

pepsi anyway!

now we’ve locked zoltan up, letting him only as soon as he’s able to get a grip on his brain and come up with that recipe.

what a drag!

this fella is mixing the drink of the millennium – and then something like that has to happen.

 

12/4

what a son of a gun he is, our zoltan!!
really phat his stuff, completely way out!

unfortunately he himself took double allowance and is still sitting on the couch with a happy, gleeful smile. he doesn’t say a single word, but there’s more important things anyway.

heroes don’t have to talk all the time.

heroes just have to be there.

 

12/2

whoooaaaa

 

11/30

 

bbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

 

11/28

yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

 

11/25

zoltan will be testing his ultra-new christmas drink right away on us, since animal protectors threatened him with the possibility of bringing charges against him should he plan to use cute little rabbits for the purpose of research to this respect.

and who has to take the rap for it?

us.

being forced to act as human guinea pigs.

to be on the safe side, he trussed us up a little bit, just in case we’d intend to bail out. excited by the thrill of anticipation he is dancing with quick light steps around a blubbering kettle from which spouts with a greenish glimmering are gushing up again and again.
11/19

poor zoltan! an unforeseeable cold spell completely messed up all his research work done so far. his drink had been designed only for temperatures above freezing, he simply hadn’t planned for degrees below zero during winter time. but undauntedly, he is already continuing his research and development, constantly murmuring something like ’have to make it stronger with more degrees, give it more power, give them some real hell once and for all, etc.’

we definitely cannot wait to see…
11/12

by now we’re already able to sing jingle bells and an irish drinking song together.

prof. paul however points out, that the irish song mustn’t be counted for our repertoire, since it is not a christmas carol in the strictest sense of the term. notwithstanding his remark we are nevertheless very proud that we can sing it, since it is precisely this song intonated and interpreted in the right setting that surely will bring a smile full of satisfaction in people’s faces. and nobody understands its lyrics, anyway.

zoltan is still working on his super-fantastic christmas drink, his kitchen being full of blubbering and hissing so intense that it’s a real pleasure to listen. he thinks that on condition that he’ll forge ahead at the same rapid pace as at the moment, he’ll be able to start the first animal test series with his invention not before long.
11/07

slowly but surely, we are focusing on getting ready for christmas. we are rehearsing christmas songs which we are humming away to ourselves. the smell of gingerbread is filling our kitchen and zoltan is busy preparing a particularly exquisite christmas drink.

 

10/28

yesterday we celebrated our austrian national holiday. commonly also called the day of the boozy breath. you really don’t want to know…

 

10/22

today we talked turkey with our pussy-whipped giving it to him in plain and straightforward terms what a nasty piece of character he is. okay, admittedly his old tuba hadn’t actually been a spring chicken either, having some wrinkles here and there, but besides that it had been a quite decent instrument. and that he should beware of not getting blinded by the shiny gloss of the new one.

first, he looked at us with very sad eyes, then he said something like why shouldn’t he be entitled to some little teeny bit of luck in his life, too?

what we didn’t figure was that he would be trying that whiny ‘have-mercy-with-a-poor-guy-like-me’ way on us.

now it’s us who are sad, too.

 

10/18

what is more, his current attitude clearly demonstrates that there hasn’t ever been any other tuba in his life. as if that was true! not a single wistful glance back, no gratitude, simply nothing at all.

typical example of straightforward midlife crisis.

in conjunction with a lousy character.

and we have been denied any contact whatsoever with his old tuba.

what a bastard.

 

10/16

oh my honey-pie here, my cutie there, my love, my sweetheart, you’re the best, and look, what a beauty you are, bla, bla, bla.

that’s how he’s talking to his tuba.

yesterday, we all went out to have dinner. along came he in a tight embrace. was giving it flowers, too, and afterwards even took it up to his hotel room. and well… you all know what is coming next.

we, by all means, hope that his “darling” will soon recognize what a lousy and thoroughly dubious subject in terms of character it got hooked on. an idea, we are almost unable to put in words.

 

10/13

well, in a certain way, we’ve seen it coming …
brandstötter loves his new tuba more than anything else on this planet.
and the more we are pointing out to him certain differences in opinion between us and him concerning the sound of his tuba, the more he naturally loves that thing.
in a conventional sense we would call his behavior as quite appropriate of a teenager making fuss about a new love. why is it only us who feel that both are not a good match? he, too, must feel the same.

to a certain extent, grunting still equals grunting, but on his old tuba, this grunting somehow had a more lyrical touch to it.
10/06

something really horrible happened: brandstötter finally received his new tuba. the horrible part is – it still sounds like his old one. and it also exactly smells that way.

all this despite the fact that nowadays one can find very good tuba players, as rumors have it. or bass trombone players, as a matter of fact. one time or another, even ones free of any smell – this, however, being rather an exception, though.

well, another new game, but not any new luck.

he’s on cloud nine – we’re still lingering on the first one.
10/03

today we took upon a systematic search of the whole of Australia to preclude any errors once and for all. not an easy task since australia being a bit larger than austria.

so what we did was dividing australia among the seven of us: thomas was responsible for the hotel swimming pool, robert for the exercise room, roman’s responsibility was the complete fourth floor of the hotel, professor paul checked out the coffee shop across from the hotel, gerhard his own money bag, zoltan various places of interest and brandstötter nothing at all, because he still felt ill from yesterday and had a very hard time getting up from bed. but he put the complete area beneath his bed through a thorough search, though.

everyone of us found one thing or the other.

take thomas as an example: he, for instance, found an old, worn-out bathing cap.

brandstötter found something used and damp.

only gerhard didn’t find anything at all. instead, he was confronted by complete emptiness pouring towards him in such a large extent that he immediately started to thoroughly reconsider life.

hence, the bottom line is: there are no kangaroos in australia. we’ll immediately leave.

 

10/01

the five days we were in melbourne, we’ve seen no kangaroos at all.

today we took the plane from melbourne to brisbane.

in the cab to the airport: no kangaroo.

at the plane: no kangaroo.

in the plane’s rest room: no kangaroo.

at the brisbane airport: no kangaroo.

on the transfer ride to the hotel: no kangaroo.

at the hotel front desk: no kangaroo.

in our rooms: no kangaroo.

inside the mini-bar: no kangaroo.

for sure, they’re all kidding us here – how else should we understand it?
09/28
today it’s the third day we’re in australia and we haven’t seen a single roo at all, you bet.
not a single one – we don’t believe it. for sure, those people here are putting us on!
this whole kangaroo business is probably nothing more than a make-up issued by the tourist ministry of australia!

 

09/24

thomas went to the doctor for his yearly routine health check.
the doctor told him that everything was fine, however pointing out to him in this context, his considerably increased liver counts.
zoltan grinned at thomas with a twinkle in his eye, at the same time repeating like a mantra what he’s been repeating for two weeks in a row now – rubbing it, not drinking it…
09/16

life is wonderful!

every day, we all meet in zoltan’s rehearsal room to practice together. what superb quietude there is – and afterwards, we’re in the best mood throughout the whole day.

zoltan is a genius!
09/13

we looked into zoltan´s rehearsal room because we didn’t hear him practicing. And, for sure, there he was. what was not there was a trombone, what was there, instead, was a bottle of polish buffalo-vodka. at our urging he told us that he doesn’t need to practice anymore, since he’s rubbing his lips with buffalo-vodka all the time, a procedure known to completely replace practicing.

only rubbing his lips with vodka, not drinking it – as he repeatedly explained to us with a whimsical smile.

 

09/10

it seems that all of us are slowly but steadily resigning to their fate again. all rehearsal rooms resound with soft tunes creating the impression that everyone is practicing or at least pretending to be.

brandstötter is the only one who’s not practising, he’s just grunting a little bit on his camping john which, by coincidence, bears only some resemblance with a tuba. what he’s doing sounds exactly the way it always does …

zoltan is the only one not to be seen and heard by anybody.

 

09/07

brrrr…..

 

09/04

it really does.

 

09/02

practicing sucks.
08/30

we’re back home.
how boring. and what is more, we have to start rehearsing again.
music is stupid.
08/28

our parents are coming to pick us up tomorrow.
worse luck!
it was all completely far-out. we never brushed our teeth and combed our hair. let’s hope our parents won’t notice. one of us even peed in his pants once. and another was completely scared by the darkness during the night so it was him we always played “scream” with. the only thing we certainly didn’t do at all was practicing on our instruments.
that was the most super-great experience of all.

 

08/23

last night thomas did something really funny. he smeared toothpaste underneath the door handle and it was our roman who, this morning, got a full load of it, afterwards running his smeared hands through his hair. what a gas and what a super-glue for his hair! we laughed so hard – roman, too. but first, he had been crying a bit.

08/21

we all went to a summer camp together to increasingly work on the personal relationships within the band once again. we all slept in one room in bunk beds for three people with the shower and the restroom outside in the hallway. robert was by far the luckiest of us all, since he was allowed to sleep on top in such a bunk bed. what an extremely funny experience, we all are very happy, playing a lot of games together. it rains a lot and the food is delicious, too. we don’t want to return back home at all.
08/07

we were invited by the queen of england for an extended stay at her summer getaway, since she has quite some experience as a specialist in unpleasant family matters, indeed. well, in all, being there with her was quite boring because we were prompted to drink lots of tea and furthermore had to constantly pet her dogs and horses. and she never stopped asking professor paul about every little detail of his exquisite fashion style, of course.

now we’ll stay together for good, since we aren’t really looking forward to experience all of this again one more time.
7/18

the trombones are back – and with them all the well-known problems, too.

indeed, the divorce is not yet history still, since, as it became clear now, one band member or the other has a secret lover. No one, we would normally know. thomas, roman, robert, professor paul, gerhard, zoltan and brandstötter are denying everything, of course. we’re in urgent need of a lawyer.

to be precise, we’re needing seven lawyers as a matter of fact.

then, we’ll all go to court to settle the whole affair once and for all.

and then we’ll see!

there surly will be a mean fight not sparing anyone, a war of roses in the light of which all quarrels of the royal family of england of the last 30 years will appear as a children’s birthday party for sissies happily sucking off their mouthpieces!
07/13

all our problems vanished into thin air, since we have been threatened by a wicked exterior enemy. our divorce has been cancelled. the spirit of the whole troupe is fine and we are helping each other out the best we can and wherever necessary. well, and who is it we are greatly indebted to for this development? it’s british airways, of course!

our dear trombone playing band members professor paul and zoltan have been waiting for six days for their trombones! on sunday they took the plane from newcastle via london to vienna – their trombones did not!

gerhard was scheduled to fly from newcastle to munich on sunday, too, but his flight was cancelled. as a compensation the airline put him on an earlier flight to munich on saturday – quite a silly decision, since that night we’d loved to have him with us – at our concert at Newcastle.

and, despite its extra seat duly booked and paid, brandstötter’s tuba was only allowed to claim it after hours of discussions.

thank you british airways!
7/07

we just finished our two-week marriage counseling sessions and everything has become far worse.

thomas still thinks we are playing much too soft and now constantly wants to talk about that problem. what is more, he starts crying all the time since his therapist advised him to give free rein to his emotions.

roman didn’t say a single word throughout all sessions, until we realized that he was constantly flirting with the therapist, inviting her to have some coffee with him. as a result, she had a crush on him, immediately discontinuing her therapeutic counseling with him, since she absolutely refuses to mix business and private life. apparently, this guy’s plan did work out perfectly.

robert bought himself some all-natural Birkenstock sandals and a pair of dungarees and is seriously considering becoming a vegetable farmer growing bio-tomatoes. besides, he is holding thomas’ hand any time he can’t help starting to cry again.

professor paul did not change his opinion at all, still judging all instruments except the bass trumpet as unnecessary gadgets. however, there is a slight tendency towards a more radical point of view to be noticed, since now he also assesses all musicians belonging to said instruments as equally unnecessary.

gerhard has been practicing for two weeks in a row the b-flat major scale to demonstrate that this extremely difficult and demanding scale can indeed be properly mastered on a trombone without any flaws in intonation. for the time being he’s still practicing at half tempo and seems to already master the first three notes from b flat to d quite convincingly.

zoltan bought himself a heavy sack for boxing pinning pictures from all of us onto it. we have absolutely no clue at all what he’s up to with that heavy sack.
brandstötter never becomes tired of pointing out that by all means and without any doubt it is the tuba quartet that must be considered as the pinnacle and final accomplishment in terms of brass ensembles, since the tuba being the queen of all instruments anyway, thus reigns supreme in all areas of music. besides, he is pissed at the therapist because he had a crush on her much earlier than roman and did not score all the same.

should we get a divorce? and what to do with our children?
6/27

we are deeply involved in ideological debates.

thomas thinks we are playing too soft.

roman thinks we are playing too long.

robert thinks we are playing too sharp. he believes that a man of his age should be very well entitled to a little bit more comfort and not having all the time to mess around with the f”’.

professor paul thinks that all instruments are worthless with the exception of his bass trumpet.

gerhard thinks it’s impossible to play fast on a trombone and, at the same time, always be able to intonate in an exact way. We completely agree with him.

zoltan thinks we’re all sissies.

brandstötter thinks that a brass septet including trumpets, trombones and a bass trumpet always sounds like shit.

we have made a request for admission into marriage counseling sessions.
06/10

well, to be honest, ten minutes was quite a brash announcement.

in fact, roman is playing five minutes.

in the end, it’s better that way for everybody involved.
06/5

we were all quite sure that not before long roman would complain that thinking in a proactive way was also too hard for him and thus would refrain from any kind of participation in the band at all.

we couldn’t have been more wrong.

after his announcement not to be willing to play the trumpet any longer, we received hundreds of e-mails from distraught and crying teenagers at the edge of mental breakdown, the majority of them being of female sex.

so, in order to prevent mass hysteria, roman will be playing his trumpet again and with immediate effect – to be precise, he will do so for exactly ten minutes per concert.

the rest of his time is completely dedicated to signing autographs.

 

 

05/25

well, he finally did it!

since blowing an instrument in general is far too strenuous and, in particular, blowing a cow’s horn is very detrimental to the lips as well as to the lungs, with immediate effect, roman will appear on stage without an instrument at all.

nevertheless, he swore on his mother’s grave that he’ll be thinking proactively at every concert.

what a noble person!
05/20

unfortunately, roman took up prof. paul’s suggestion and is indeed now playing a cow’s horn. he is thoroughly thrilled, since, in his opinion, the cow’s horn produces such a natural sound. in addition, the fact that this piece doesn’t have any valves at all relieves the strain on all the fingers he previously needed to push the valves to a very great extent.

well, one thing we’d like to know is how does this guy fix his shoelaces?

and what does he do, once he wants to use the remote control while watching TV?
05/17

god’s gift did indeed use the third valve one time – by mistake. the result was that he ran around for about half a day, his face contorted with pain, his ring finger being the cause of that unbearable pain. he believes that as a result of the heavy strain while pushing down the valve to surely have pulled said finger a bit. zoltan remarked in this context that he undoubtedly has pulled something in his brain, his finger certainly not being the cause.

be that as it may, roman is now up to having the third valve removed from his trumpet, to make sure that such a mistake won’t happen to him a second time.

prof. paul remarked to this respect that in that case he might as well start blowing a cow’s horn right away. well, once prof. paul makes a point, he simply is right.
05/14

god’s gift to women – that’s at least how he sees it….
well, for two shows now already, our beloved roman is refusing to use the third valve on his trumpet.

the reason for this is, as he states, not having that much power in his ring finger at the moment and thus having to take care of this finger a bit.

he assured us in this context that it’s absolutely no problem for him to play all tones required of him using only the first or second valve. and in the case it shouldn’t work out at all some time or another, then he would simply skip the respective, single, teeny-weeny tone. nobody would notice anyhow.

as an answer to our critical enquiries we were snubbed in quite clear terms: we better relax and don’t wet ourselves because of some tones missing. what a triviality anyway compared to the distress and hardship the whole world is constantly suffering as well as issues like environmental pollution, global warming and all that…
5/5

once again, brandstötter got away with it.

he allowed free access to the sauna area for all members of mnozil brass and, in addition, opened up a small staff canteen right outside the sauna serving snacks and beverages at affordable prices.

prof paul announced in this respect only wishing to visit the canteen, since he’s very concerned about contracting athlete’s foot inside the sauna.

well, as he wishes…
04/29

all of a sudden, roman thinks we’d better not kick brandstötter out.
how come he changed his opinion so dramatically? we couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation until we hit on it – he had been invited by brandstötter to join him in his sauna! you know how such invitations go: a little bit of sweating, some nice talking, followed by a decent beer or two…

roman is strongly denying that his change in opinion might be resulting from this invitation, instead he is arguing that it is only musical aspects which count for him and that nobody is able to grunt so lyrically on his tuba like brandstötter. and precisely that’s why it isn’t possible to kick him out, at least not until somebody else is found, who is able to grunt even more lyrically than him.
04/19

now, it’s about enough of that:

brandstötter has informed us in a quite casual manner that he is taking up his personal commitment to try for alternative sources of energy. especially in times like these, with the climate change being a top-priority issue. that’s precisely why he feels responsible from now on to operate his sauna with solar energy only. to do so, all he needs is a surface area of 12 square-metres to position a sufficient number of photovoltaic power cells, and apart from that, he’ll be only able in future, to perform concerts out in the open and under the condition that the weather is fine.

we’ll give him the boot and go looking for some undemanding, simple tuba player from a solid rural environment, able to do his few low grunting also without this solar energy stuff.

well, in that case, we’re talking about 40,000 people worldwide.
04/17

times haven’t got any easier, still.

brandstötter has actually realized his plan and has reinforced his BBb-tuba in such a way that he was able to attach a sauna to it (as well as a navigation system and all those other bits and pieces).

he insists on performing exclusively on this instrument in future.

what a madman!

it is because of him that we have to rent a truck every time for transporting this giant, monstrous instrument and, in addition, four transport workers mounting this golden piece of s… including its “sweat-chamber” on stage. and what is more, two of them have to support the entire construction during the whole concert. the only person not visible at all any longer is brandstötter, since he is leaving his stupid sauna only when he absolutely needs to go to the john.

and he is doing all that effort only to be able to emit those few pathetic, unintelligible and low grunting of his (which he refers to as the bottom line of the entire culture industry of the occident).
04/09

we have been through some hard times.

didn’t have a single minute for anything.

we had to search after brandstötter.

we were fearing the worst, since he was virtually untraceable.

we checked all concert locations of the past ten years looking for him – without any success.

we made inquiries with all tuba manufacturers – without any success as well.

in the process, we also wanted to question his friends – also without any success, since he hasn’t any.

well, maybe we haven’t been treating him the way we should in the past, but, on the other hand, it is a well-known fact that, according to darwin, the tuba player as such represents the link between the simian and the human being. hence, seen from that point of view, this species anyway doesn’t always completely understand what we are telling him.

yesterday, we finally received the news that put us out of our misery: brandstötter was found by gansch in quite a state of neglect in finland at the home of a manufacturer of saunas. as gansch reported, both were just in the process of heaving a small sauna on top of the tuba, an endeavor not being particularly to the benefit of the f-tuba, since it lost some of its height.

trance-like, brandstötter was constantly muttering: BBb-tuba, BBb-tuba, BBb…
03/21

brandstötter is once again delighting the world with that slight smirk of an idiot in his face, typical of a tuba player.

he claims having just started cooperation with some kind of company for the joint purpose of developing a mnozilbrass tuba.

that is a tuba with a cup holder for beverages, an integrated navigation system, a small sauna area and a cd player suited for all playback options.

clearly, this guy is off his rocker.

the only sauna area we know of might be found inside his mouth: it’s warm and damp in there as well and it also smells somehow funny.
03/12

the bass trumpet on the hook works great!

in the meantime, prof. paul has become the uncontested ruler of the scene.

not the bass trumpet scene.

the demimonde scene!

his right swings are dreaded all over and the bass trumpet in general is now marked an illegal weapon in Austria, being put on the same level with attack dogs and, respectively, switchblades.

meanwhile, prof. paul is appearing regularly in various tv talk shows and is widely appreciated as a trendsetter being interviewed and photographed for glossies and lifestyle magazines.
3/03

since the time gerhard probed a little in prof. pauls eye with his trombone slide, in this way not exactly benefiting the eye’s health, prof. paul is wearing a patch.

in black.

and being a very conscious and firm person in stylistic terms he’s also wearing a pirate bandana.

furthermore he is currently in the process of deciding to have a hook custom-made for his arm.

looks better and enhances his prestige in his circles to an even higher level.

in addition he wants to have his bass trumpet welded firmly to the hook, in order to always be ready for fighting.
02/28

gerhard is back.

you bet!

he brought his own bodyguards!

who, during the concert, somehow felt like pitting their strengths a little against leonhard’s protective squad.

it was marvelous!

with splendid participation of the audience a teeny weeny mass fight came about involving 60-70 participants at the most.

as a grand finale, gerhard poked his trombone’s slide into leonhard’s eye saying with a resounding voice: hasta la vista, baby.

thundering applause!

 

02/20
gerhard is in the hospital with a broken rib.

during a concert he unintentionally bumped into zoltan.

and then, everything happened very fast.
02/19
zoltan comes across oddly relaxed. and completely free of fear. we know the reason why.

he pays protection money to prof. paul.

prof. paul, in return, assured him that he won’t have to worry about anything happening to him in the near future.

but couldn’t guarantee however, to be able to keep the rate unchanged forevermore.
02/17
for the first time, since being in the band, zoltan played a wrong note today. as a result, prof. paul stared at him with a very earnest face.

immediately, zoltan burst into tears.

and once again, we had to terminate a concert prematurely.
02/16
today, prof. paul told zoltan in private to better watch out, putting on an ominous face.

while telling him, he flexed his chest muscles a bit so that his bass trumpet tattoo immediately doubled in size.

zoltan is scared.
02/14
everything is harder now than before.

somehow prof. paul has changed during his time in the penitentiary.

the fact that he had himself tattoo a giant bass trumpet on his chest – we don’t mind…

the fact that he makes us count up ourselves in the mornings and evenings – we don’t mind…

that fact that he always challenges us to arm-wrestle him – we don’t mind…

and his long hair – we don’t mind either…

nevertheless, it’s strange.
2/09

this band is like a large kindergarten.

this time, it’s brandstötter again …

he moved and now lives in the middle of a wine-growing area. and was, of course, visited promptly by the authorities for the examination and control of white wine at his new place of residence. four executive officers (among them the two notorious charlys (yes, exactly the two who, at the time, had been on duty at checkpoint charly)) made him show them his new dwellings very thoroughly, in order to be able to assess in the first place whether brandstötter is entitled at all to store the local white wine there. brandstötter even had to taste wine and the executive officers did not really assist him very well in doing so.

perhaps he also wanted to show off a little, who knows …

today, his otherwise rather rosy countenance is covered by a noble whiteness, though.

and he didn’t practice either.

his only remark to this respect was that in former times, members of the executive authorities used to be friends and supporters, nowadays, however, you are forced to carry out everything all alone by yourself.
02/03

prof paul is free again, although he still was to serve quite a longer sentence.

all he did was informing the direction of the penitentiary of his wish to start up
a prisoner’s brass orchestra to be able to play as a soloist also in future.

besides that it would be about time for him to start rehearsing again.

he was set free within hours.

unfortunately, his bass trumpet suffered some large dents when it was thrown after him from the penitentiary onto the road.
01/30

done.

everything went well, even prof paul was with us, being on a temporary release for the duration of the concert.

gansch covered up his tenseness quite well by entering own remarks in the visitors’ book.

the moment when he really is a bundle of nerves he’s always acting cool, but that’s not new too us anyway.

so what we did was forming a circle around him before the concert and sending him all our positive energy. robert had brought along a tree for him which he embraced for minutes – that also helped.

in addition, brandstötter attached a photo of gansch’s family on to his tuba’s horn which also contributed a lot to calming him down.

what a wonderful evening.
01/25

tomorrow’s the opening night of our new program “das gelbe vom ei” (la crème de la crème).

gansch is scared shitless.
rother is scared shitless.
rindberger is scared shitless.
prof paul is doing time.
füßl is scared shitless.
kiss is scared shitless.
brandstötter is scared shitless.

terrific conditions.
01/20

today we visited prof paul in arrest.

he seems quite well-balanced despite the ongoing interrogations.

there’s quite a possibility that he will be locked up behind bars for a long time, since the authorities, after thoroughly searching his luggage, found a pair of nail clippers, too. chemical analysis showed that this pair of nail clippers had been used by several persons, a fact arousing even more suspicion.

are we perhaps facing a network of the evil?

the association of insidious bass trumpet players?
01/16

yesterday something horrible happened.

prof paul was arrested at the vienna airport. charged with dangerous activities. his luggage had been opened revealing a lighter!

a lighter!!!!!!!!

how atrocious.

what was this man up to? planning a lighter attack? using it as projectile or as a flame-thrower?

even worse: perhaps he was planning to make the gas escape!! why, he is giving off gas anyway, not necessarily needing a lighter for that.

the lighter was immediately put under arrest by the present security guards!

great relief among all passengers.
01/11

today we were rehearsing our new program.

the pieces are difficult like hell.

the trumpets are challenged with incredibly high notes. they even have to hit c7. the boys seem a bit tense.

the trombones have to cope with technical parts even a flamenco guitar player would start feeling dizzy. there are even eighth notes to be found!!!
how sick must a brain be to come up with something like that?

it’ll be worst for the tuba, though: high, low, loud, soft, slow, fast and sometimes even rubato con emozione. something that hasn’t ever been before at all! brandstötter applied for early retirement.

only prof paul is bleating along quite comfortably on his bass trumpet.

strangely enough, it is mostly him composing the majority of pieces.
01/01/2007

here come our wishes for the new year:

gansch wishes for a new rother.

rother, for example, has sworn by all that is holy that everything will be different, namely better, this year.

the fact remains that he started into the new year by missing his plane for our first performance in 2007. when he finally made it just about in time, it was certainly him who was there, but not his instrument.

rother wishes for more understanding from the band.

rindberger wishes for 11 lb more weight. gansch and rother are willingly to help him out in this context.

prof paul wishes for more discipline in general, better manners and absolutely no more kisses being broadcast in tv.

füßl wishes for nothing, since he believes to also succeed in future in bluffing his way through everything.

kiss wishes for a tin of lip balm and two pints of genuine polish schnapps.

brandstötter wished all the best for every single person on earth in about 75 different languages from a much too small window in a much too large house in rome. quite a funny scene, since his appearance was quite a dignified one.
12/21

poor thomas.

he was not allowed to fly with us today and had to make his return trip home with the railways instead, since, according to the latest flight security regulations, passengers are only allowed to take liquids of max 250 ml on board. and this bulky, yellow thing on his forehead clearly contained more liquid than permitted. thus, no flying home.

we don’t care whether the railways will take him or not, since meanwhile, we’ll be already home.

perhaps he has to spend christmas in a quarantine office for gigantic pimples.

 

12/20

yesterday and today, we were scheduled for recordings of our operetta for the zdf/arte/theatre channel tv.

unfortunately, thomas showed up with a huge pimple on his front. in other words: a purulent lump on his forehead of the size of a mega-blain so that you could completely kiss goodbye any considerations of doing a recording. that thing on his head was just simply huge. and ugly of course. and a clear risk for the audience in the first four rows.

it just appeared over night. the make-up artist was completely powerless. the lump was simply too huge and could not be concealed.

now, we are making arrangements for a new recording date.
12/10

brandstötter has to ride this one out one more time. sure, he somehow is a human being too, but first and foremost, he is a tuba player, considered as an especially stubborn and “thick-skinned” species. hence, no mitigation of sentence for him. from tomorrow on, he has to polish his uncoated tuba to high gloss, by the way.
with a toothbrush.
for a whole month.
then, maybe, he will be rehabilitated into society.
as a tuba player.
not as a human being, since this would be completely impossible.
12/9

we didn’t ever think it would be that fast.

gansch paid everything back. including interest and compound interest. and even a little more.

brandstötter is begging for mercy. the man has had it. he’s a nervous wreck. worn and washed-out.

he has been regarding his own ID picture in his passport for a long time and asked us for mercy afterwards, his eyes full of tears. he would not even dare to think about punishing his worst enemy with that kind of retribution, he sobbed.

we’ll think about it.
12/8

we applied the so-called japanese “sake torture” to make gansch and brandstötter talk. we paid so much sake for them that their tongues were finally loosened and they started to talk. the truth, nothing but the truth, admitting the following in an honest and straightforward way: both of them had been undertaking a so-called quality check on various christmas markets in Vienna, that is they thoroughly checked the quality of hot beverages being served there. while doing so they might have exceeded their financial budget by far which, in turn, led to the idea of brandstötter’s lost passport subsequently resulting in the bet. of course, the whole thing was a set-up without leaving us the slightest chance.

both of them were sentenced to the following punishment: once a day, gansch has to play the solo voice of a maynard ferguson cd for us and has to pay 1 Euro into the club pool for every high note he misses. that way we will be winning back our money in quite a short time

brandstötter has to regard his ID picture in his passport once a day.

that will surely do as a punishment.
12/4
gansch has won quite a sum.

brandstötter is with us. he however keeps silent about the details, only claiming that his valid driver’s license and a nice smile did the job. he better forgets about that story right away! we rather assume that he pulled a few strings involving some sort of bribery, manipulation and other indecent things.

since two days now gansch and brandstötter are inseparable like Siamese twins as it turned out, even sharing their breakfast from the same plate.

furthermore, there’s another suspicion we cannot quite get rid of: did these two just made it all up? to rip us off? what if the whole thing was only some very cheap trick at lowest level?

dark clouds are hanging over us!
12/1
rother is rubbing off on us.
the day before yesterday, brandstötter wanted to go to the japanese embassy for the visa required for the tour.
this was however not possible, since he couldn’t find his passport.
referring to his passport as “having vanished into thin air” is a very poor wording in this context, since the document was gone to the maximum extent a thing like this can possibly vanish at all.
and, of course, this upright tuba player didn’t have a single clue where he had lost that thing. perhaps in a hotel, in the train, in the airplane, on stage, on TV or even on the radio? what we assume is that he handed it in as a security for various cold drinks in a bar in france somewhere along the way without any recollection of having done so the next day.
let’s see whether he’ll come up with a new passport and a valid visa for japan by saturday.
the bets are 1:5 against him.
and the reason why gansch made his bet in favour of him was simply because all others made theirs against him.

 

11/23

we watched the new james bond movie today.

thomas was completely taken by the movie.

roman was completely taken by eva green.

robert did not find the cinema.

gerhard now wants to buy himself a construction crane.

zoltan will do castings right away.

prof paul found the kissing disgusting, the entire movie too long, and honestly, the script not that convincing either, and if all that remains is discussing the soundtrack…

brandstötter is tuba player and therefore not allowed to watch those movies; since they presumably bother his lyrical intonation.
11/18

things are a little bit stuck at the moment.
brandstötter overslept in such a way that he couldn’t get a plane from berlin to the hague anymore, but was instead obliged to travel by train.
his fault – no sympathy.
right away of course, prof. paul shot his mouth off, but indeed, we have to take brandstötter’s side here. to be precise, prof. paul is always playing the great artist in the evening, while during the day, instead of working, he is sleeping everywhere in the whole hotel without any sense of shame.
what a wimp.

by the way, since robert lives with mummy again, he is back to his usual self. yesterday, he lost his trumpet somewhere within Berlin’s vast city subway network. the person finding the instrument is kindly asked not to return the thing, since robert finds it very convenient to travel without a trumpet. what he’d prefer most, however, is not having to perform at all – with full pay of course.
11/15

robert moved back in again at home.
he couldn’t stand the pressure any longer.
always having to go to sleep all alone.
brushing his teeth without any assistance.
managing his own money.
arranging his time in a completely free manner.
in all, it was simply a little bit too much for him.
now, he’ll stay with his mummy again for another year (who, by the way, handled this second move in an exemplary manner as well) and might then perhaps be moving into an assisted living facility for a start.
we are all very much relieved.
11/11

prof.paul should as well take care not to spend too much time with robert.

he left his bass trumpet in the airplane, to be precise.

during the greater part of the flight he was rehearsing, driving us nuts in the process. but then food was served and he immediately dropped his prized possession. after the meal he took his obligatory nap in exactly the way we’d all imagined: head tilted far to the back, mouth wide open and fire away with snoring! hardly any difference in sound compared to his rehearsal. but after having left the plane he started wailing that he had forgotten his bass trumpet beneath his seat. no clue, how he’ll do the show tonight.

11/08

robert’s mummy called. upon leaving, robert had forgotten to turn out the lights, had not locked the door and, what astounded her most, had put his evening shirt into the fridge. furthermore she pointed out, that he could impossibly be wearing any shoes, since all his shoes were neatly piled in the cabinet at home. and his mummy was absolutely right: robert arrived at the airport in his slippers, a fact quite easy to notice, since he wore those fluffy and cuddly rabbity-kind slippers with them large ears.

and of course we’ll get him a shirt, too.

11/03

yesterday, thomas received his marvelous new flugelhorn, as always a “gansch-horn”, of course. that is, he actually did not receive it, or, as it were, received it with a great delay. two prototypes were already finished and thomas had to choose one, so the one chosen could receive its finish. thomas made his choice and mister schagerl completed his master piece.

waiting time: 3 hours.

thomas blew his new horn and well, as it sometime happens, mister schagerl, with the reliable hand of a craftsman, had gotten the two prototypes mixed up finishing the wrong one.

in the evening, performing our operetta in the burgtheater, with thomas completely flipping, since he had had about 14 coffees in six hours – there was hardly any holding him back. furthermore, he, who is normally called the “master of slim singing”, had a vibrato in his voice this evening, which would have enabled him without the slightest problems to succeed in the heavy operas of wagner.
11/01

robert moved out yesterday.

during the last days, his mom packed all his possessions into boxes for him, wrapped his kitchenware in paper so nothing would be broken, folded his clothing neatly, and so on.

today, she brought him all of it to his new apartment, unpacked the boxes, put together the bed, fitted the lamps, put the carpets down and turned the heating on.

robert, who from time to time suffers from a tense back, as we all know, wasn’t actually able to help her actively, but supported her with tips and advice though, like on how to lift heavy boxes the best way and how to open a door holding one of those boxes in one hand.

he nevertheless became a little bit indignant, when lunch wasn’t waiting from him on the table at noon sharp, but once dinner was ready exactly on time, all of this was history again.

what a start into a new life!
10/29

brandstötter is quite an expert, too.

he went to wiesbaden with his beloved to attend an once-in-a-lifetime production of don carlos together with her, as he pointed out time and again.

unfortunately, this chief specialist saw wrong in the program, so the evening they both went to wiesbaden it was not don carlos which was performed but don quichotte. no opera, but ballet – no singing, but jumping around instead.

well, what a nuisance! quite an awkward situation in explaining it afterwards. how embarrassing!

well, you obviously still have to draw a straight line between musicians and tuba players. with the man undoubtedly having quite some craft skills, there was no peculiar need in taking up studies in music in the first place.
10/25
well, no final decisions taken yet. even so, robert came up with the following plan: to make it a bit easier for his mother he’ll move out as planned though, but only into the apartment next door, allowing his mom to still help him as usual, preparing him for a smooth transition into adult life. both seem very much relieved, and we are quite happy, too. what a dreadful thought, watching the dear man arriving at the airport, completely uncombed and with a pair of socks that doesn’t match in color – at an airport being not even the one we are waiting for him. all of this has already happened. just imagine him forgetting his trumpet at home. or being unable to find his car again. or his lipping. or his passport. or his beautycase!

keep on, mummy!

10/22
the moment you’re lucky being allowed to enjoy a rather smooth day, like, for example, yesterday (we also played some pieces of bosef baydn), the next one is straightaway knocking at your door with some strange surprises at hand.

here’s the story: recently, robert has purchased himself some new cars resulting in such an increase of his self-confidence, in turn, that he told his mom he wants to move out from home. not surprisingly, the dear lady was flabbergasted, remarking quite rightly that, being barely 38 years of age, he might still be a bit too young for such a decision. how would he master this fast and cruel world without her? who would do his laundry and sing him a lullaby? who would wake him up in the mornings, prepare his breakfast, have a pair of pleated jeans handy, coordinate his appointments, prepare his meals and keep his car clean? who would wipe the corners of his mouth with a hankie and spittle?

robert asked for some time to think it over and looks a little pale around the tip of his nose

10/21
tonight was the best concert for months. we only presented works by composers whose name starts with a “b”.

bach, brahms, bruckner, bozart, bahler and not to be forgotten our favorites leonhard baul and gerhard büßl.

people got all excited.

brandstötter didn’t once again come up with a composition, so he’ll be called vrandstötter from now on.

10/18
schenny was here!!!! she clapped her hands so hard, they were all raw afterwards, but seemed quite happy overall. boris called us yesterday to ask whether the concert would be held tomorrow as scheduled, anyway. well, boris, playing ball games is one thing but keeping track of his own calendar is quite another challenge.

10/13
time to finally talk about the all those who didn’t show up at our concert yesterday in the “schauspielhaus düsseldorf”. to begin with, angela merkel did not come. she had herself excused with prof paul in advance though, stating that in the evenings she sometimes doesn’t quite feel like listening to music. boris becker and franz beckenbauer both did not show up together – a fact we basically do not appreciate that much. even more so, since we did not receive any kind of excuse from them. furthermore, the following individuals did not appear as well: kofi annan, putin, let alone bush, but not even wolfgang schüssel found it worthwhile to attend. quite a critical result in our opinion – we absolutely refuse to be treated like this.

10/10
yesterday, we ran into roman, zoltan and gerhard in town. asked about the whereabouts of the three pretty ladies, they just shrugged their shoulders. if our three pretties now are once again embodying three rather non-pretties, we can turn to important issues again.

for example robert.

he succeeded in parking his car three times within the last two weeks without being able to find it again afterwards. so he bought himself a new one each time – because of financial reasons, one always less expensive than the other. he started out with a so-called “plasticine-bomber”, that is one of these tiny two-wheelers with a top speed of 40 km/h or 25 mph coming in the disguise of a car. his second model was even more under-motorized. and the third already required robert to pedal it all by himself.

but naturally, all models featuring a phat stereo system. and gold-plated handbrake levers and not to be forgotten a spoiler any maserati would immediately turn its heels on.

show-off.

 

09/27

bitch alarm!!!!!!!!!

jazzmin started a full-scale fight with herta, since herta pointed out jazzmin’s problem zones straight to her face. and in herta’s words we don’t talk individual problem zones here, but rather global problem areas.

as a result, jazzmin implied not being able once again in her entire lifetime to appear on stage at the same time with herta, since herta “would need to improve tremendously to reach the level of intelligence of an amoeba”.

later, prof paul explained robert what an amoeba is.
09/23

we discovered the reason why! herta had been shopping for shoes. in this context, some cold-hearted brute of salesperson apparently dropped the remark that herta’s calves were somehow like, you know, well, not quite heidi klum-like, rather more like marlon brando’s at the time when he’d reached a certain age.

herta was very hurt.

09/22

herta doesn’t want all of it any longer. but refuses to tell us why. her make-up looks a little smeared. has she been crying?

09/20

schakeline depilated herself. what she didn’t know was that you have to peel off the wax-strip in one go. she peeled it off rather slowly. the dermatologist we consulted afterwards told us under his breath that he’d never seen such injuries before, let alone at the back and on the legs.

09/18

jazzmin, schakeline and herta, as the three call themselves now, missed the train this morning, since they weren’t done with their make-up yet. furthermore, herta had a swollen ankle, since it still is a little difficult for her to walk in those high-heels. jazzmin colored the pushers on her trumpet in red so they’d better correspond to her nail polish.

09/17

jazzmin (write: yasmin), as roman calls herself from now on, informed us that it is impossible for her to accept being the only woman in the band. that’s why she immediately demands a 50% female share in the band. zoltan and gerhard agreed on a trial basis to be the female band members.

 

09/16

today, roman told us unmistakably that he’d play the princess from now on.

he simply was better at it than prof paul, he said.

and apart from that he wants his own woman’s checkroom immediately and, of course, his own toilet, since we never tip up the toilet lid after being done with ‘number one’.
09/15

you are the home of great daughters!

roman showed up in a dirndl for the concert.

something is going on inside this man.

his girlfriend phoned to tell us that she couldn’t find her perfume bottle and red bra any more. she was also missing a lipstick, four purses, her new silk stockings and six novels by rosamunde pilcher.
09/14

czech railways sure is on a level with austrian and german railways! we’ve seen all our connecting trains from behind

cool feeling!

at the third station where to change trains, thomas showed the first symptoms of hospitalism.

in the evening, we were performing the operetta in german in front of a czech audience.

much laughing on either side – unfortunately always at the wrong parts.
09/13

on account of the opening night of “friendship” in the movies, roman did really dress up today.

what a gorgeous…

he showed up in a little black…

…no, not dress. g-string!

we figured that he got his appointments wrong, thinking that today was the photo shooting for the “brass players’ erotic calendar”.

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08/19

it is raining.
prof. paul is in an extraordinary good mood.
so is robert rother.
something is wrong here.
08/18

suffering from yesterday’s aftermath.

after having finished our day’s work as early as 10:00 am, we did a sightseeing tour of the beautiful center of stockholm. after the first 50 meters we got stuck in watching a big band concert and had to prevent dehydration in the sun. after that we were invited to a small party at a large lake. there we had to prevent dehydration in the sun. later we returned back to stockholm onboard a ship. no one became seasick, nevertheless everybody had a bad stomach.
08/17

still sweden
03:00 am wake-up call
04:00 am sound check
06:00 am breakfast tv show starts
08:11 am first gig
09:54 am second gig

any questions?
08/16
sweden

it’s coming down in buckets.

prof. paul is dancing around in high spirits with a smile on his lips.
he has been seen cuddling and kissing his umbrella. we have to talk…
08/15

pontarlier

it’s warm and nice.
everyone is happy.
prof. paul is in a bad mood.
08/14

bad hofgastein
it still rains.
gansch has the sniffles.

prof. paul loves that kind of weather. probably because of an acquired attitude of protest.
08/13

tisens/south tyrol
it is raining.
07/17

traveling by train makes you happy and glad!
if you bring sufficient time!
if you don’t mind catching your travel connection or not!
in a nice, cross-national cooperative action, german and austrian railways showed us how to really manage delays, how to foster and cultivate them and, in particular, how to enlarge them and have them swell to a grand symphony of delays.

that’s what timing is all about!

thank you german railways, thank you austrian railways!
07/16

we have no idea how it could happen: by mistake zoltan addressed prof. paul with leonhard. thank god zoltan has already passed his time of probation, since otherwise prof. pauls look alone would certainly have him expelled from the band. immediately afterwards every one of us explained to zoltan in individual one-to-ones the great significance of etiquette in a brass band!
07/15

after an exhausting night-session we succeeded in convincing mister prof. paul that to us the address “prof. paul” is as respectful as “mister prof. paul” and are now allowed to address him again with a simple “prof. paul”. afterwards we were quite moved by the strong bond within our group and are thus all quite sure to still go far places together in the future.

07/14

our “dear mister prof. paul” told us today that we could as well skip the “dear” in addressing him, since he doesn’t attach any importance to exaggerated closeness in our relationship. to him, the term “dear” already implied something like a certain attachment to one another, and he would instead prefer a rather brief “mister prof. paul.”

any other address could be quite easily interpreted as a mistaken kind of comradeship.

07/13 prof. paul is annoying us. in the morning he ate up all of robert’s veggie food. on purpose.because robert always carries around oversized, badly packed travel cases which are taking up lots of space in the luggage compartment. then prof. paul described thomas as an “under-great” football player playing football like ronaldinho, though, but in a higher weight class than ronaldo.later, prof. paul planted himself in front of us, requesting us to address him from now on “dear mister prof. paul”, since, in his opinion, a mere “prof. paul” was too disrespectful.We assume that our dear mister prof. paul participated in a “how-to-find-out-about-myself” seminar in the “Waldviertel” and might have hugged a little too many trees there.07/12we know now why rother couldn’t be found in america. when departing he had forgotten his notebook at the security check and was simply trotting along with his empty notebook bag causing quite a hectic crowd of security personnel. since rother’s excuses weren’t that convincing he was taken into preventive detention.07/11last week we suffered from a serious tropical fever – that’s why we couldn’t play in hamburg: world cup-fever. a brazilian miracle healer promised to help us, but, unfortunately, turned out to be a quack. Were finally saved by a team of german, french and italian doctors. now, we are all well again.

06/13

they are talking about us.

horrible!

and again, only funny things are being reported!

Link 1
Link 2

obviously, we are doing something wrong!

06/11

as before, no extra seat available in the booking system on the return flight.

brandstötter gets a rage attack and is politely asked to step out of the line. new check-in at a different desk.

it works, but he has paid too much for his extra ticket.

gets his money back.

boards the plane and finds a friendly, elderly lady occupying his seat. The extra seat for the tuba is booked okay, but now he doesn’t have a seat for himself

air hostesses are getting into a state of hustle and bustle. brandstötter is quietly sobbing.

finally, a solomonian solution is presenting itself: as an exception to on-board regulations, brandstötter is allowed to spend the flight in the cargo compartment, but has to do without a meal

Thanks, Swiss Air.
06/10

and off we go to Switzerland! at the check-in desk nobody knows anything about a reservation of an extra seat for the tuba. another payment, everybody is waiting for brandstoetter and his golden camping john.

in the evening: all together, united. gerhard and zsoltan escaped, robert was on the wrong flight and the rest was desperately longing for them. thank god, once again a concert performance with all seven of us

only roman would have preferred to play alone. his eyes showed a somewhat strange metallic sparkle of coins

is he planning to kick us all out?

06/09

at the airport, roman ran into robert, who was just checking-in on the flight to philadelphia.

he will play a concert of only 4 minutes at the itg.
what a daring guy! with his parents being even poorer, he’ll give the americans a story that will certainly result in mass depression, but will nevertheless keep up the faith in the good
06/08

everything worked out fine!

roman did the concert all alone. professor paul didn’t feel like it and gansch missed the whole concert because he was checking out budschi’s computer games, while budschi himself is rotting in jail somewhere in the sticks of america.

the concert lasted about 5 minutes. Roman started with a performance of his most favorite parts from orchestra standards, being through with that after some 15 seconds. then followed his most favorite joke and an “I want to thank my parents”, who, desperately and at great cost, wanted to have him educated as an accordion virtuoso, but couldn’t come up with sufficient funds. so instead they made up their minds to finance him a training as a dishwasher.

there was great crying all over America.

afterwards collective high spirits at the landmark, since the concert was initially scheduled to last two hours and in the end we all saved us so many notes.

06/07

now brandstoetter is gone too.

did some rehearsal on the tuba in preparation for the concert.

was told to leave the campus on the spot and is being deported to Europe immediately.

thomas, roman and professor paul will do the concert as a trio

professor paul had to swear by the bible and the stars and stripes to use only the bass trumpet. trombones are also prohibited.

 

law and order has to be maintained, even in the land of the plenty.

 

06/06

now, we also lost zoltan and gerhard.

following a quick impulse, they both decided – after a short visit at the landmark (the only decent bar in the greater surrounds) – to take a leak out in the open. which is prohibited in america, especially when being watched by a police patrol while doing so. both willingly complied with the command “hands up and turn around”, staring at first directly into one gun muzzle, shortly accompanied by another, since the order they had been given did not clearly indicate to interrupt their activities currently in process. Showdown: here they were, both parties involved with their respective weapons ready to fire, staring at each other. since our heroes had already used up all their ammunition and were unable to pay the required fine of $ 500 on the spot, they voluntarily decided instead to accept the alternative 5 days imprisonment, each.

 

06/05

6:00 am: meeting place airport.

6:15 am: in the check-in line, robert discreetly asks brandstoetter if one definitely is required to have a passport when entering america. With a grin brandstoetter answers that a library card and a nice smile will surely do as well.6:18 am: robert asks professor paul if he would like, kind of know how, in general, things are basically going when wishing to travel to the united states. 6:19 am: robert hurries double-quick out of the waiting line at the check-in desk and, once again, has not been seen sincethe six of us had a nice flight, professor paul took roberts seat to stretch his feet. arrival in philadelphia ok. drive to campus, ok, itg ok, the accommodation certainly requires some further in-depth consideration, since there weren’t enough blankets, coat racks and chairs in the rooms. will have to store up on the required body temperature for the night in the next bar.

11.5.

didn’t fly from tokyo to vienna direct, because gerhard had left his comfort blanket in taiwan. so, via taipei to vienna.

finally sitting in the plane from taipei to vienna, when robert realises that he would like to exchange the heated blanket he had bought in abu dhabi on the way out for a heated blanket with additional massage function and infinitely adjustable temperature control. this came just at the right time for the captain – he isn’t happy with his heated blanket either, and wants to exchange it for a multifunctional kitchen set.

finally leave abu dhabi as well and watch the same films as two weeks ago. understand a lot more this time.

gansch thinks meg ryan is great. he can watch the film to the end in vienna. everyone else wants to get off the plane.

the crew is on gansch’s side, and only opens the door when everyone, except meg ryan and the bloke she has revived with a French kiss, is lying around dead.

 

10.5.

have found rother again. in the fitness club next to the hotel. in a massage chair. asleep.

had an instruction manual for recorders in his hand, in which point seven says: recorders are musical instruments and should only be used for this purpose. please follow the instructions to avoid damage or personal injury.

where was the man?

in a swinger club for recorder players?

 

9.5.

robert a fully assimilated himself and can now sleep standing up. unfortunately on the stage as well, yesterday. had to cancel the concert and ask everyone to come again in december.

on the way back to the hotel, when he again fell fast asleep in the metro, quietly changed compartment, and haven’t seen him since.

this evening, a friendly zen monk will be helping us out instead of robert. doesn’t play the trumpet, but doesn’t snore when meditating, either.

 

8.5.

zoltan does not want to be called budschi. definitely does not want to be confused with an ex-president, and certainly not with the current present of a slightly larger world power.

gansch’s acceptance in the lower brass section is really shaky, having contradicted brandstoetter unconvincingly and for no reason on some unimportant matter.

have completed 3 promotional appearances of 20 minutes each. the japanese laughed a lot.

aren’t we being taken seriously here?

we won’t put up with that and will be leaving shortly.

 

7.5.

rindberger’s shoe size has reduced from size 46 to size 42. in japan, like in all large civilised nations of this world (england), they drive on the left. if you want to cross the road, you have to look to the right first.

zoltan kiss’ new nickname is budschi, because when he plays computer games he always makes great noises that sound like busch, wudsch or budsch.

the deep brass of mnozil brass, also called slower brass, is a heart and a soul. the high brass has ideally three hearts and three little souls. gansch asked whether he could change to the slow brass section, at least mentally, because he actually feels like a trombonist. now he has to buy himself a slide trumpet.

rother wants to go back to taiwan. almost starved yesterday. having used rowing arm movements and a loud voice to make it clear to a waitress how large his vegetarian salad should be, she gave him a friendly smile and was never seen again.

 

6.5.

flight from taipei to tokyo

brandstoetter and professor paul sit next to each other.

brandstoetter isn’t paying attention, drops food onto professor paul’s trousers during the meal and doesn’t apologise appropriately. Professor paul immediately tells him to set his stick tuba-player’s tongue in motion. brandstoetter does this, but instead of apologising, calls professor paul a has-been French horn player who will only continue as a bass trumpeter.

professor paul challenges brandstoetter to a duel.

brandstoetter declines, because he doesn’t have a worthy adjutant.

cowardly dog.

 

5.5.

in taichung, we finally found that legendary moshi guesthouse, after which we were named many years ago.

moshi brass

in the course of our activities, especially in the german-speaking area, the name was slightly germanified, and we have now been called mnozil brass for quite a while.

it’s good to finally know about our own roots!

out of deep gratitude, had to immediately eat wiener tofu schnitzel and rinse it down with a few glasses of good asahi beer.

 

4.5.

professor paul thought about things.

he thought about things a lot:

the discipline of “inbrassiv impremierten artik” (ibipa) is concerned with the problem of the definability of emotion tanned by means of impression.

as the ibips do not take creativity into account, the mno factor is considered to be the most objective, and therefore most important, value. Consequently, it is all about determining the true quality of music.

an mno is worth it, …………….

which means that during a concert, mnozil brass pumps out music to the value of 48.19.

thanks, professor paul! science has again succeeded in bring mankind a bit closer to the stars.

 

3.5.

the world has scraped past an unimaginable catastrophe.

kiss has threatened to use the hungarian wonder-weapon.

a horse salami from 1973.

we must capitulate to save the population.

we offered him the following settlement: he is allowed to choose the colour of the alarm clock, and we can choose how loud it is.

late in the evening we signed the peace treaty, which will be entered into the history books as the peace of taichung.

 

2.5.

all i can say is zoltan.

11th time.

i won’t say any more.

i only say breakfast, lunch and supper cancelled.

i only say bilateral annoyance.

i say only consequences, sanctions, diplomatic negotiations at the highest level.

the situation is very complicated, hourly conferences, hectic rush, the ambassadors are alternately summoned, etc.

perhaps an alarm clock will help…

 

1.5

zoltan overslept for the 10th time since he joined mnozil brass. will have to go to bed tonight without supper and visit a piano factory tomorrow as a punishment.

this afternoon we visited the east coast of taiwan to go swimming.

the daring messers gansch, rindberger, kiss and füßl rented out two deathly mad hi-tech water darting-about things and splashed around on them so that even an experienced water drinker like mr brandstötter was gobsmacked by it.

the four were immediately offered highly-paid contracts for the world series of deathly mad hi-tech water darting-about things races.

naturally, they turned down the offer out of loyalty to the group.

in the bus, professor paul watched a dvd with lots of shooting. immediately left the bus and walked the remaining 24 km.

 

30.4.

following the visit to a piano factory two days again, some complained at the top of their lungs. so today, its a brass instrument factory.

look at it objectively, building a piano is great!

however, the boldness of the brass, the streamlined bell, the timeless elegance of the valve, that is art! raw archaics paired with the most delicate elegance which demands a spiritual suppleness that is so hard to find nowadays. deeply shaken by this temple of aesthetics and left it feeling internally moved.

must immediately discuss the experience in depth.

smoking ban for everyone.

 

29.4.

highpoint of the tour so far!

leonhard and thomas had a secret smoke in a bar yesterday.

today, we looked at the e 101 in taipei, at 500 metres the tallest building in the world. the two of them felt immediately unwell on the way up. once at the top they both had to lean over the edge, and then it started, but hello!

back at the bottom again, we were given a not inconsiderable bill for cleaning over a total of 1000 metres of façade – well, both of them had leant over on different sides…

although we played a concert to a full house again that evening, this tour ended with a slight financial loss. having 40,000 windows cleaned is not exactly chickenfeed.

 

28.4.

did some sightseeing today and went to a piano factory where old grands are polished up and sold to europe and elsewhere. they bear such tuneful names as gershwin, dresden and swing.

we never again want to hear it suggested that all brass players are somehow not exactly the same – never again!

nor where music is concerned, and so on!!!

anyway, when has a violinist or a pianist or even a conductor ever been seen in a workshop for brass instruments?

when we were getting changed for the concert, rother said that one of his ribs may have popped out during yesterday’s massage, and that he might therefore not be able to play as loudly today, and given the pain would only achieve 105% of his normal output, and was homesick and so on, blah blah blah…

malingerer!!!!!!!!!

 

27.4.

drove from the airport to taichung, where we didn’t check into the hotel, because we were too early.

instead we went for a massage, taiwan-style.

all the masseurs were powerful young guys who mostly used their knees on us, and drove their knees, elbows and other pointed objects into our tormented muscles.

gansch was the first to moan, and therefore lost.

brandstötter didn’t let out a single peep, and was probably asleep.

chilled out at the hotel from midday to 5 p.m. and through a special quick-snap technique slept for at least 15 hours.

then did the concert in taichung.

concert from 7.30 – 9.30 p.m., signed autographs from 9.31 – 10.30 p.m.

in addition to Hungarian and polish, zoltan can now also write his name in german and english.

thomas introduced us in flawless taiwanese and received tumultuous applause for it. as an encore, he then sang some dirty song, also in taiwanese.

rapturous applause again – a star is born…

what did we care, we didn’t understood a word.

 

26.4.

we have all recovered from the switzerland tour, met at vienna airport at 7.30 am for the flight to taiwan.

thomas recovered at a concert with gansch and roses in graz, robert, gerhard, leonhard and wilfried recovered during teaching. only roman and zoltan were a little unrested, and had no idea where to fritter away their eneriges.

we are flying via abu dhabi, because we’ve always wanted to go there to drink coffee and buy electric blankets. from there we flew on to taipei, where we arrived well rested at about 6 a.m.

watched the following films during the flight: matrix 1-3, the producers, harry potter 4 and something with sandra bullock and something else with a meaningless title.

leonhard also watched a film in which a man kissed a woman. being sensitive, he instantly turned of his viewing screen.

 

22.4.

zoltan kiss successfully completed his probationary year today, and is a fully fledged voting, blowing, drinking and nonsense member of mnozil brass.

on one condition, of course: he has to throw a major party for our women, our children and us and himself.

and while we’re talking about that: dear mr rindberger, we’ve been waiting for you to give a party for a whole year. so far, the party has always been postponed because of flimsy excuses: e.g. the sucking pig intended for the barbecue wasn’t in the mood. e.g. the carbonic acid unfortunately vanished from the beer barrel, and roman still hasn’t got round to sorting it, etc.

the most flimsy of all reasons: he preferred to use the time to practise…

as we’ve said, it can’t go on like this for much longer.

 

21.4.

had a really great concert yesterday and during the encores gave a medal to adrian räber, a true mnozil brass fan and hobby trumpeter.

we also played a c-major scale together with him.

the audience also got off its seats to sing the swiss national anthem.

what we didn’t know was that the anthem only had la, la, la as a text, except for a few words at the beginning. at least, that’s what the singers said.

dear swiss people, here is the text of your national anthem:

Trittst im Morgenrot daher,
Seh’ ich dich im Strahlenmeer,
Dich, du Hocherhabener, Herrlicher!
Wenn der Alpen Firn sich rötet,
Betet, freie Schweizer, betet.
|: Eure fromme Seele ahnt :|
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

 

please practise the words a bit, otherwise you’ll have bad scores at the football world cup!

the second verse will be sent to you on request.

 

20.4.

crossed lake constance on the ferry again.

everything went smoothly this time, partly because mr rindberger had taken the train around the lake.

everyone else felt unbelievably good on board this luxury liner, and did what people normally do on this kind of boat during a twenty-minute crossing: visited the casino, took a dip in the swimming pool, met some great women, had dinner with the captain, etc.

 

19.4.

we had a great crossing over the lake, with clear weather and no wind. unfortunately, mr rindberger was seasick and felt unable to play the trojan boat in the evening. he said it would make him feel sick again.

thank god seven was on the programme!

 

18.4.

today we had a swimming lesson, because tomorrow we are taking the car ferry across lake constance. better safe than sorry! messers rorther, gansch and kiss were noticeably more bouyant than the others. mr füßl on the other hand swallowed quite a lot of water. professor paul cheated: as the swimming pool was only 1.70 metres deep, he supported himself constantly on the bottom with his feet and pretended to make swimming motions with his hands. his kids’ penguin swimming badge was immediately removed from his trunks!

 

17.4.

today, only 396 different types of beer and 49 different types of whisky are on offer at pooc. what’s more, the oldest whisky was made in 1969.

 

16.4.

gave a super concert today in biel with the swiss winner of the “salzburger stier” cabaret prize 2006, as well as two of his colleagues (speciality: slam poetry). this was in a bar with really good 70s design: pooc.

we got changed in a sales room, where 400 beers and about 50 different types of whisky were on offer.

the oldest whisky was made in 1961.

 

15.4.

what a glorious day!

brandstötter had absolutely nothing to smile about, because the stage in uznach was so low that he couldn’t fit his unusual tuba mute holding device to his tuba funnel, and had to play the whole concert without a mute. ha, ha, ha.

he is now lying totally exhausted in the hotel, and doesn’t know how to get rid of the build-up of air from playing pianissississimo.

switzerland is a great country with great stages!

 

14.4.

flew back from vienna to zurich today.

everything arrive, not luggage was lost, we are feeling bored!

the concert in the mythenforum in schwyz was super, but we have to say something about the temperature outdoors. as far as the temperatures are concerned, a mexican is indeed slightly superior to a swiss and an austrian.

 

10.4.

landed in vienna at 6 pm.

gerhard’s trombone isn’t there.

thanks british airways!

perhaps they’ll send the trombone direct to switzerland?

we’ll be there from friday.

 

9.4.

it was nice, we had fun!

as easy as it is to see anything in a photo album, we found the finest hire costumes for yesterday’s concert.

brand “middle official in the mexican ministry of education”

after the concert was the regular evening tequila tasting, yesterday at a private party for a change.

of the concert, we can only say that, as always, we sailed through the evening without error, humour or fear.

sometimes without intonation as well.

british airways delivered our instrument and our costumes and everything else to our hotel bang on time – two hours after the concert ended.

thanks british airways!

brandstötter also stopped grinning for a moment yesterday, when rother spread the normal mating substances across the whole of his luxury body in the form of a double portion of commercial mexican saturday evening disco perfume, just before the start of the concert.

 

8.4.

yesterday evening we finally had the loan instruments together, and made our first tentative tryout with them.

we can say this much: the trumpet and the flugelhorn are ok.

zoltan will take part in the concert on a bass trombone, and give this instrument new dimensions in the upper register.

gerhard doesn’t let anything show, and is totally cool. he’s playing on a type of tenor trombone, which gives our small squeaks from time to time.

leonhard’s situation is the most interesting: he has got an instrument which definitely looks like a trombone for old music, i.e. about 400 years old. however, the trombone is definitely not more than 90-100 years old, as we worked out for sure from the soldering technique used in the repairs on the slide.

all we can say of the sound is this: this trombone sounds like an illegal weapon of mass destruction, so comes really close to our ideal sound.

however, as the trombone slide sticks firm, it can’t be used as a valve trombone because of a missing quart valve.

brandstötter is still grinning.

thanks british airways

 

7.4.

yesterday evening we managed a little margarita tasting, the quality was totally acceptable.

we are now organising instruments and costumes for tomorrow, as well as toothbrushes, t-shirts and other things, of course.

what’s more, british airways only flies to mexico city on mondays, wednesdays and fridays, i.e. we will definitely have to play the concert tomorrow using borrowed instruments.

thanks british airways!

however, as the hall only has room for up to 2000 people, that doesn’t matter, because we are almost by ourselves.

it will probably be harder to find seven matching mnozil brass costumes, as we only allow the most refined cloth against our bodies. also, medals with an adequate shape. also, matching shoes, recorders and no socks for mr brandstötter.

what’s more, he runs around with a grin on his face the whole time, because his tuba flew with him on an extra seat in the aircraft. that’s how to make yourself popular with your colleagues!!

 

6.4.

at 9 am today we dashed to the mexican embassy in vienna for a visa, because it’s better to be safe than sorry. the people at the embassy were very nice to us, especially mrs ita and the honorary consul.

departed vienna at 11.40 am, and had 50 minutes for the connection in london. the flight from London to mexico city was pleasant, but at 11 hours was a bit long.

unfortunately, we have just realised that although we made the connection in london, our luggage and instruments did not.

thanks british airways!

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