April Joy!

It has been one year since I recorded this monstrous double album in Athens. The one named Traveler. The one I was planning to do since 2016. The one that is going to change everything for me. Whatever this is supposed to mean.

After one year of postproduction those 24 master files have been delivered to me. It is done. And I am going to be releasing those 24 songs little by little over the course of those next months, while playing live shows, blogging, and creating content for you guys.

So. The first song “Traveler” has just been released and what I am going to try to pursue here with the Travel Diaries blog is taking a closer look at the song, its background, its musical approach, the lyrics, and its personal meaning as well as what I was aiming to achieve with it.

You see, writing songs can have many reasons. Money, love, pain, the need for connection, the need to express oneself. In my case, I think, it was a bit of everything, but mostly the strong need to connect with my audience. I didn’t want any barriers. I didn’t want a “genre” to separate me from potential fellow souls. This is why Traveler is not a genre-driven piece of work. It may camouflage itself as “Pop-Rock”, but it’s many styles really. Or, to put it in the words of my current “Bandsintown” Bio: Those Pop-Rock songs about life, love and traveling – containing lots of ethnic influences, ranging from Latin and Mediterranean music to Jazz – were always intended to be heard and sung by an international audience all over this beautiful planet of ours. The need: connection. The mission: oneness. After all, aren’t we all travelers in this big, big world?

So, that puts it in a nutshell, I guess. My niche in this case is NOT a genre audience, but people. Real people. People like you and me. People who have traveled a lot and may feel a bit lost on their journey right now. Or maybe they know exactly who, what and where they are, but tend to lose it every couple of months. If this sounds like you: Welcome to the club!

Maybe you feel the line from the song “Traveler” then, that goes something like:

“Still don’t know who I am

A passenger maybe, another lost soul

A traveler even, alone in the world.”

That gets pretty close to how I have been feeling for most of my life. Being a TCK, a third culture kid, traveling has been a major part of my life. Letting people and places behind, just after I got used to them. Not being a “real” Greek, not being German either, being a stranger in Belgium, being a Greek with fluent German in Austria, introducing myself as a European in the U.S. and Asia.

In other words: Not having a real sense of home. That’s the feeling. Feeling the need to connect with like-minded people and trying to ease their pain, telling them: It’s all right!

THIS is why Traveler is so important to me. This is why this project stands out for me. And compared to my other projects, I think this might be the most approachable for people around the world. But in retrospective, everything I have done so far, was driven by the same force. The need to find a home, a safe space, and people to gather around that fire with. Writing fantasy novels and fantasy folk songs, traveling through other worlds … I, for my part, can see a clear connection.

What I am trying to create with Traveler is exactly that: A fireplace for all those souls out there, seeking, finding, losing again, finding again, wondering and wandering constantly.

Thank you for being here!

So, let’s take a closer look at the song, shall we?

„Traveler“ – the first of twenty-four songs came out on April 20th, 2023.

First of all, and I really don’t want to be too emotional here, but this is the first song I intentionally wrote for project “Traveler” back in 2016. After two months of soul search on the Greek island Zakynthos, I went to New York for three months, where I started writing songs again … after a long, long time. The riff of the song Traveler was the first thing I wrote on a cheap acoustic guitar I purchased there, while spending my maniac days in the magical mystery tour of Manhattan. But that’s a story for another day.

The piece starts off with a children’s choir singing the “Children of the World Theme” which is the intro of the very last song as well. I was trying to create some African vibes here, playing around with the pentatonic scale and trying to make it more interesting with some harmonic movement in the background and rhythmical variations. Then the “actual” song starts, being introduced by this desert blues riff on the electric guitar. This is where the song actually reveals itself as a rock song, I guess. At least that’s what I was aiming for. Taking my time, I decided not to use any lyrics in the first verse. There may be a radio version of the same song, where this verse is erased, but I’m not sure about that yet. I always felt that a song like that needed its time to unfold itself. It is the second verse where we introduce the lyrics; some of the simplest lyrics I have ever written, yet – at least for me – some of the most honest I have ever written. Frankly, I like that straight forward approach in songs. After a reprise of the “Children of the World Theme” on my classical guitar, Verse 3 kicks in. And this may be one of my favorite moments. A highly poly-rhythmical way of saying: This is fun! Drums turn into a badass 12/8 Maghreb rhythm, while Bass and Keyboards are playing an eight-note-riff with African vibes. At the same time the vocals, doubled by electric guitar, perform the melody as it was in 4/4. I love this verse! Well, and then … My love for Fusion kicks in, resulting in an Outro, highly inspired by people like Al Di Meola and Chick Corea. The melody in the outro is a (rhythmical) variation of the main melody in the verses, with me scatting, trying to sound a bit African and featuring the children’s choir once again. I think it’s fun!

So yeah, that pretty much sums up, how this song was arranged and performed. And you know what: In this case I don’t care if it’s too complex for mainstream radio lol. There are plenty of 3:30 minute long songs without an intro coming after this one, so I’m okay with that.

Please, let me know how you like this piece of music! Your feedback helps a lot! And please stick around and be part of this if you feel like it. Maybe that’s a constructive way of using the internet. Creating content for like-minded people and enjoying life together, whenever we aren’t able to connect in real life a.k.a. at concerts and stuff like that.

Thanks for stopping by!

I’ll see you very soon with Page Two, looking at the next song “Longest Highway”.

Also, if you want to know more about Traveler, how everything started and who I am, I invite you to subscribe to my E-Mail list. There is plenty of subscriber-only stuff going on over there and I’d love you to be part of this!



PS: I thought I’ll add some personal notes at the end of each blog post, giving a short insight into my own journey right now. So, here it is:

My current dairy pages

  • I am dreaming super intensely of the past. There is an extraordinarily strong longing for youth and light-heartedness.
  • Having published books and albums before, I know that shortly before launch everything seems impossible and hopeless. Fear kicks in big time. With the launch of TRAVELER, I didn’t invest in fear and perfectionism, and I am proud of that.
  • I am still working on the videos.
  • I am still preparing the electronic press kit. What’s missing is a nice live show portfolio which is the reason I play a bunch of gigs in Vienna right now, taking professional pictures and filming.
  • Therapy is going fine, and I can feel my subconscious going frenzy currently.
  • Slowly but steadily, my personal life is getting in shape.

You like what you see and hear? Or you hate it, but for whatever reason, you still want to buy me a cup of coffee? I highly appreciate this!


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