Cafe Botanika in Freising - the Schafhof, which translates into Sheep Farm sits overlooking the valley of Freising, the copper tower of the local brewery rising up far on the opposite hillside was the location for a very intimate outdoor concert last Saturday.
A small but cosy stage, flanked by a roaming band of sheep that in Winter are herded into the huge wooden domed hall via an ingenious gradually ascending ramp. In the summer months this sheep haven is used for weddings and other special occasions. Apparently sheep have been kept here since the 19th Century by some eccentric Earl or Baron that used to own the buildings and surrounding land.
It was a beautiful location, the audience sitting among apple trees, (with apples ripe enough to let gravity take it's course upon them) that made up a scattered veil of a canopy above them and above that, the stars.
We were honoured to have a very special guest with us. Standing in for Julian Hesse as one of the 'Brass Boys™' was Ludwig Url, the Father of Johannes Url, on Trumpet and Flugel Horn.
The word 'musician' often instantly evokes a culturally clichéd response of 'Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll' or 'Can you make a living from that?' And so one can imagine that for many parents, the idea of their offspring embarking on the path of a musician may not be something they are quick to encourage, making music certainly, but only as a hobby.
In The Lone Dining Society, which is in it's own way something of a family we have four Fathers and a Mother who are also musicians, and despite knowing very well the implications of such a career have been very supportive and have helped to bring forward to the world the emerging musicians that they are - Johannes Url as our enigmatic drummer and Carles Camós (E-Bass, Keyboards and Strategical Mastermind), Julian Hesse (Trumpet) whose Mother is a semi-professional Organist and avid singer, Matthias Zeindlhofer, son of a Horn and Trumpeteer who was a conductor of the local wind and brass bands & Eileen Byrne whose Father sang in a Scottish-French-Irish band with his siblings.
My own father, although not a musician, rather a music lover has always supported me in my musical endeavours since my first ugly noises on my cornet at the age of 8 right through all of my projects to the present day, where he has the role of both my number one fan and general advisor and patron.
So perhaps here we can reflect upon and metaphorically raise our glasses as a toast to our Fathers (and / or Mothers) who have had such an influence and impact on our current direction both as individual musicians and collectively as the band known as 'The Lone Dining Society.'
If you think perhaps you might feel at home in our LDS family, you're most welcome! Here is the first step (or click) towards the adoption process! See you at the next family meeting!