Munich by Abigail Press

Irgendwie bin ich Krank geworden. My last morning in Slovakia I caught a cold and in the eight hours of travel to Munich it worsened. At one point along my trip, in Salzburg, I boarded the train and found myself in a section that had defunct air conditioning. Sweating profusely I think maybe I should move to a different car. No, maybe I should sweat this out. I stayed, sweated, and slept.

Fully dressed in Oktoberfest garb, my host Natalie is wearing a beautiful dirndl when she greets me at the Munich Hauptbahnhof. O zapft ist! The train station is full of dirndls and lederhosen. It's the last week of Oktoberfest and the energy is palpable in the air. Wiesn. 

We go directly to Natalie's apartment in Theresienstraße. It is enormous and beautiful with antique furniture and chandeliers. Instantly more comfortable, I am so grateful to be stationary and in good company. I get some soup from the Vietnamese shop next door, but my cold gets continually worse. Natalie makes me pot after pot of tea and draws a bath for me with Eucalyptus oil. 

Sadly, after six months of emailing and outreach to venues in Munich, a city that I think of as a second home, there was nowhere for me and my collaborators to perform. I think this speaks to a number of different things about Munich as a city and also the music industry as a whole.

The music scene in Munich does not nurture the underground and experimental. I might even go so far as to say that going out to see live shows/different artists/new sounds in Munich isn't necessarily part of the culture. In the year that I lived here as a student I had to dig extremely deep into the scene to find any electronic music that I was interested in. The closest I got to finding that scene was Zehra Spindler and her Puerto Giesing - an empty shopping mall transformed into a center of underground culture. Shows with each floor showcasing a different DJ, NerdNites, art galleries, and dance classes. Sad to say, the shopping mall was demolished shortly after I found it. Too brief. 

Another side of the issue is that booking a tour as an artist without any management or booking agent is...different. There's always next time Munich. Sorry you missed out. Echt schade.

Still, being in Munich gives me a different feeling than anywhere else on my tour. In a way it feels like coming home. Walking the streets, I brush against the fabric of time and reminisce on the person I was three years ago vs. the person I am today. What kind of measurement is time? My mind brings back faded images and I walk through a mixture of memory and reality. The two blend with my fever and my eyes glaze over trying to grasp the present moment. 

I head towards my favorite cafe on Amalienstraße right next to the Universität. Cafe Schneller. Phyllis. Meeting someone you know so well online is such a funny but amazing feeling. Phyllis and I greedily pick out an assortment of different cakes. The 3D face from the other side of the screen. Both of us are grinning from ear to ear and laughing. Phyllis and I met randomly online (per usual) via I was typing some German in the chat during IC3PEAK's internet performance and Phyllis noticed. We chatted it up and have been FB, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat friends ever since; silently supporting each other via social media. Phyllis is an artist of multiple styles and media, uncategorizable. She recently made a music video for NYC based artist, Orrin and put us in contact to collaborate. She also works with the Street-Couture label Goldmundt based in Augsburg which also doubles as a creative/collaboration/interdisciplinary platform. They have a new line coming out in December that will include glitch art from artists around the globe. 

We walk to the Englischer Garten, one of my favorite places in Munich. This is Phyllis's first time in the gardens! So funny that it would be with me, this random german-speaking American girl. Phyllis brought her video camera so we start walking along the path toward Marienplatz and shoot whatever we feel like. It's so much fun and it feels like we've been friends for a long time. Good thing she's coming to NYC in January!