Music has always been an important part of my life. I play the piano, the guitar and the djembe. (This is a skin-covered hand drum shaped like a goblet. There is a lucky word-play associated with this instrument. According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke dje, anke be”, meaning “everyone gather together”.) And of course, I sing too. I took singing lessons with the concert and opera singer Liselotte Goetz and with Ursula Becker, who is a jazz singer as well as a therapist for Sound, Body and Trance.
When I was a small girl I remember listening to a Mahalia Jackson LP, which my parents played every Christmas. I don’t know what she sang, but I was so greatly moved by her voice that I wept. “The music is so beautiful”, I said to myparents, when they asked what was wrong. “OK, replied my Mother; “she is singing in English about God”. “Who is God”, I wondered, and “what is English???”
On my first time in a church
I heard a choir singing. It was so lovely that I immediately told my parents, “I’m going to sing in a choir!”. And so at the age of six I became a member of the children’s’ choir at the local church. Later I joined the church choir with which I then sang for many years. About this time, like all my contemporaries, I was listening to the Beatles, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and so on. And soon afterwards I discovered the world of jazz, from Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole to Norah Jones and Diana Krall and many more.
Music is my lifeblood, my soul-food. I listen to music when I’m up and I listen when I’m down. In fact I could listen to music, or sing and play the guitar all the time. To feel happy and to be at ease with the world I really need music every day. I could do without coffee, do without chocolates, do without many things, but never without music.
Somewhere down the road I realized that singing in the choir was not enough for me. I wanted to sing other songs and I wanted, above all, to be able to sing better. So I undertook several years of training and later gave concerts, mostly singing jazz standards, with the pianists Bernd Kämmerling and Eberhard Menne.
In 2008 I came to the decision to turn my love of music into my profession. Up until this point, as a qualified gymnastic trainer, fitness and personal trainer as well as a teacher of Yoga, I had been running my own gymnastic studio. One after another our sons then left home, so I felt that the time had come to devote myself to my passion for music. I began to write lyrics. And to each song there emerged quite naturally a corresponding melody. In the same year my first CD, ‘Deep in my Soul’, appeared. All of the songs on it were original compositions. And they were all strongly influenced by my religious experience and spiritual energy.
In 2009 Wolfgang Bossinger and Katharina Neubronner published a book of healing songs (German title, „Das Buch der heilsamen Lieder“). It contained songs promoting emotional and bodily self-healing processes and included two songs from my ‘Deep in my Soul’. The proceeds from the sale of this book support the work of an international initiative (‘Canto Initiative Singende Krankenhäuser’ / www.singende-krankenhaeuser.de) that sponsors and furthers singing in hospitals.
In 2010 I made the Maxi CD ‘Langeoog – Insel fürs Leben’. I have known and loved Langeoog, which is one of the chain of small islands off the north coast of Germany, since childhood. The songs on this CD are dedicated to this lovely island, which has grown so close to my heart.
I am sure that nothing in this life happens by pure chance. And I am certain that it was no coincidence that around 2009/2010 I got to know the award winning Irish lyricist, Buddy Sutton. From his pen flowed most of the lyrics for the songs on my third album, ‘I asked He said’. Many, many thanks, Buddy.
All my CDs were created in a wonderful, mutually trusting teamwork with the producer, sound engineer, saxophonist and flautist, Volker Kaczinski. Working with him continues to be a tremendous enrichment for me.
Following one’s own star is the great adventure of every artist. For me, it is the immersion in my innermost self that is so completely gratifying and satisfying.
I wonder where my star will lead me next.
Please visit Anke her website, click here.