Hubert von Goisern
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INTERVIEW

Miscellaneous: 1995

Hubert von Goisern: 1997 - I'm coming back!

Source unknown 1995 | Text: Bernd Schweinar

Interview with the musician after his retirement

Hubert von Goisern & die Alpinkatzen finish, Hubert Achleitner goes into film. The news in the middle of 1994 moves many fans into mourning. In the meantime the live CD Wia die Zeit Vergeht is released. And Hubert plans his own film. We met him in Munich.

Hubert, most people are interested in when they will hear from you and the Alpinkatzen again.

1997. It could be that I do something on the stage in some form or other. But I would like to concentrate on a film project in which I would like to deal, as screenplay writer and actor, with something especially important to me, but I still do not want to say. I think that this project will take up the whole of next year. I do not know how much capacity I can have free in between. It could be that something will then arise from this film music with which one could go on stage, but that must first develop.

I want to have finished writing the screenplay by autumn 95, and also pre-produce the film music as soon as possible too. It should then be filmed from the coming winter to early summer, edited in summer and the film released in autumn. I imagine it really naïvely more or less like this because I have never done anything like it before. In autumn 1996 I will then probably be able to begin to put together the stage show for 1997, with which I then want to be touring live as a musician again. At the moment though, I want to have my peace. I must turn to input again. For years I was only out, polarised to output and so I feel quite empty and exhausted. Indeed, pleasantly exhausted and pleasantly empty, but I must now read books again, talk to people again, go to the cinema again and play with my children.

Sabine Kapfinger and Hubert von GoisernYour current CD has the title Wia die Zeit vergeht. Is the title also a result of the reflection: from poor musician, to star, from father to entertainer, constantly on the road? Has time gone too quickly for you?

No, nothing has gone and nothing has passed me by. The CD title is simply just a reference to how some things have changed. I want be aware with this "flow" that neither my children or I are where we stood four years ago. My son is now 7, my daughter one and a half. Being there for the "many" at this time excluded being at home for my "few". Despite all the great success and the countless fans, I also became more lonely. I think that had to be. But now I must also feel this loneliness in all consequences.

Did the chance to change to film come at exactly the right moment? Film work is not as restless or ceaseless as concert tours, you can have your family around you.

My decision to draw a line under the concert tours was made exactly two years ago I already knew myself at that time that I wanted to dedicate myself to the genre of film - that was long before anyone came to me. That the director Jo Baier offered me the role of the farmer Matthias in Hölleisengretl, that Josef Vilsmaier commissioned the film music for Schlafes Bruder from me, actually everything came to me a bit too early. But the offers were too good and the people too interesting that I could have said that I'm not doing that yet. And so I became quite a bit smarter for the conversion of my own film, especially through the experiences with Josef Vilsmaier.

When you makes such a cut into your career, still at the top, as you have, do you also still think longingly of that time when you did not have money, when you were a "musician with a taxi light" so to speak? Or are you above all happy to have come out of this stage?

I think about it, but have noticed mind you, that things have not fundamentally changed. When I had no engagements, I was also very happy. I had more time for my friends at that time, I read two books every week and meditated a great deal, occupied myself with spirituality and faith, I was in the mountains a great deal. In the first two years in Vienna, in 1983 and 84 I had a yearly income of 2000(!) Marks.

And I lived on that. It worked! I did not become unhappy because of it and also did not doubt my music more than I sometimes do now.

Ringsgwandl recently wrote a musical and read at the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, Jürgen Buchner has been writing film music for ever, and Hubert von Goisern is also opening himself up to new horizons, thinking beyond the edge of musical success. There are only a few who do not define themselves as puppets of the business and want more. What do you want?

Ever since I can remember, it has always been about coming out of myself and my role. Earlier I did that geographically when I travelled around the world for seven years in order to get a feeling for my homeland and my culture. My way is that I lose myself if I am in one place for too long. In the last years my inner voice was only perceptible with great difficulty for me because I only ever listened to the others. Everyone just said: that must, and that must, and that ... But now I must get some peace, push everyone away, be quiet and be aware of the melodies and sounds with in me again. I want to be able to listen into myself again.

You are among those who stand for the new definition of the term "heimat" ("homeland"), but this means that you talk with each other more, are more intensively aware of your environment, above all the faults. Is it a chance for the concept of homeland, that it has been "noticed" by the intellectual, ecological corner?

I think so. It is about - apart from the tolerance - the fact that you see the things which happen around us. You have to become conscious of what happened in the last 30 to 50 years with our landscape. That is why next year I would like to make an exhibition in Goisern, where the structure is still very rural, about the forest. Is forest only the wood that stands there, or does forest have a higher significance? I asked many people rooted in Goisern for old pictures. I want to see how the Goisern valley looked before. The forest was always like a fur for me. And now our mountains look like a mangy chamois. In Goisern, as long as I just said that I want to have old pictures of our landscape, they were all enthusiastic and open. However, in discussion it then turned out that I wanted the pictures in order to show what was lost. And suddenly icy silence! The pictures were packed up again. I don't want to accuse anyone with my exhibition, I only want to show how it was and how it looks today. But suddenly people felt guilty who should not be guilty at all. I will do this photo exhibition all the same.

Does that also belong to the planned project Künstlerplattform where musicians, actors and so on want to comment on events of the day, as these other responsible personalities and institutions have begun to?

For example! That also has a part to play.

From whom does the idea come from for such an artistic initiative?

Apart from me were also Hage Hein, my manager, and the Salzburg children's book publishing company Neugebauer. But I would like to keep it all unpolitical. Nothing could be further from my mind than to say, we would now be a green movement. As such we would not reach many people again. For me it is all about information. Just the information is our chance. We have so much media and people will constantly be socked by it all - whether it is advertising or news. On the other hand, the church has nothing more to say. Nobody listens to the church anymore - that is right too, because they only spread fossilised thoughts and do not give their time and attention to the situation. Mind you, I do not believe that the artist is the new priest of our time, but they are in any case not one jot less priestly than a politician is.

What are your views on the church?

I left the Catholic church because I could not stand it any more. But I still have very many priest among my friends and also value their work. I am not of the opinion that everyone should leave, but I could no longer bring it into accord with myself any more.

Does that express itself in your work too?

I hope I will be old enough to do that sometime. Now I feel that I must express that differently. But I have begun to write a mass. The mass is one third finished, but I can imagine that I complete it. At the moment, however, that is not my life, I would have to pull myself back further, become still more spiritual. At the moment, it satisfies me when I can sit down and be quiet.

Musician and silence, that runs contrary to the laws. A musician articulates himself, a film maker articulates himself and even when you write film music, you have a feeling that you are setting a scene with sounds and thereby expressing something. Is the silence, your current wish for it, not also something you need in order to draw new strength?

Every sound comes out of silence. The sound is not noticed in the noise. Only if it is perfectly quiet can one work with subtle sounds. For each musician, the silence is very, very important as the source.