The Concert That Almost Wasn't


An eighteen-wheeler almost foiled our best laid plans for a fun, special show at the Zinc Bar. Fellow vocalist and friend Beat Kaestli and I had planned, booked and rehearsed for a double feature show and were ready to go on. The sound had been checked, the new piano admired (nice one, Zinc people!!!) and the camera set up for some footage to be used later for the all-important youtube clip. But Fred Kennedy, the drummer, and Matt Wigton, the bass player, had not yet surfaced from their drive into the city from Queens. Stuck on the Queensboro Bridge, was the last verdict I had heard. Friends and music lovers had taken their seats, drinks had been served, and I was contemplating breaking my rule and having a drink BEFORE the show, and still - no bass and drums. Eventually we decided to start as a trio, with just the pianist, Walter Fischbacher. Beat, in a last ditch effort, called the guys one more time, and finally, finally, they were just outside, parking. They did their sound check in ultra light speed, and, with only a 15 minute delay, we went on.
Fun was had, music was made and all ended well. And I had a lovely drink AFTER the show, as usual.
Photo by CO Moed

The Zither Expose


When I was a kid, I always wanted to learn to play piano. So, naturally, I was doomed to play the Zither, a traditional Austrian folk music instrument that is best known from the wavering music theme so essential to setting the spooky mood in the sewage system under Vienna in the Orson Welles movie "The Third Man". This piece of music is about the coolest ever written for the Zither (in my humble opinion), and, actually, quite difficult. Needless to say, I never mastered it. Because, you see: having to play Zither can only be described with one word: TORTURE. You have to press on a fret board with the fingers of your left hand and pluck the string you're pressing on with the thumb of your right hand, while plucking a bass string and at least three harmony strings with the remaining fingers of your right hand. The strings are mostly metal and therefore not conducive to tender baby-skin stubs such as mine, the sound is quaky and tinny, and you have to practice way more than my 10-year-old self could ever manage in order to build up your calluses. My primary school teacher and mentor at the time gave me way too much credit for my efforts by stamping me "Iron Liz with leather fingers". As far a cry from the truth, if there ever was one! In fact, I tried to get by on as little effort as possible (just touching the strings sent jolts of agony and angst down my spine) and winged it for as long as I could. Until finally one day I went off to boarding school where I lied my way into getting piano lessons at last. I have not looked back.
Check out a video of "The Third Man - Harry Lime Theme" played by Anton Karas

Respectfully opinionated

Over the weekend, as the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona unfolded and comments from politicians, spokespeople and your next door neighbor started pouring in, a huge collective magnifying glass was pulled out by some to look at the rhetoric that has been used on political platforms throughout the country. I will refrain from naming any well-trodden examples here, as I'm sure you all read about them and commented on them in your various blogs and social networks. I watched comments pouring in on the Facebook news feed, with heated verbal sparring going on, and, on some occasions, massive venting of the less than respectful variety. I do understand the need for immediate expression. But I also believe strongly in the power of words and thoughts, in the weight a word carries and in the wounds it can inflict. I have put my foot in my mouth plenty of times and am still working on getting better at being respectfully opinionated. The oft-quoted "vitriol" that political exchange is often soaked in these days permeates not only political stages but also our everyday lives. How we treat each other reflects on how we behave as a nation. I cannot directly change the level of discourse on national political level. What I personally can do is add a pinch of mindfulness to my own behavior as a human being. I can only, as always, start with myself. Or, to say it with Ghandi: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Ringtones NOW AVAILABLE!!!

I'm proud to announce that some of my music is now available in ringtone format. Go ahead and visit my website www.lohninger.net to check them out or click on the widget below! More music is to come, most likely more of Walter Fischbacher's stuff in addition to mine, so keep checking back, as I make the tracks available. Hope you enjoy!!!
PS: Just to avoid confusion: Lofish Music is the label both Walter Fischbacher and I own to exclusively release all our music on.