Max Kelm, huisblogger 4/5, ArtEZ Business Centre
As all of you know the current situation is complicated – especially for freelancing people and artists. We are all influenced by the circumstances COVID-19 inflicted to us and the shut down in Germany forced almost all public stores and locations to close, which means that no event location is organising concerts. Since I am playing concerts with my bands we have to wait until the measures relax (which might take a long time). Also my work at the restaurant stopped. At the moment I am earning almost no money. At least the music school I am working for has started giving online lessons, so I am teaching my students from home. Surprisingly, it works very well and it’s good that we can keep on practicing!
In Germany we are not allowed to meet up with people in public which exceed an amount of 2. So most of the time I am meeting up with some friends alone or spending the entire day at home. I feel a big stagnation in my life. Things started to develop and now it freezes for a while. On one hand it’s barely endurable but on the other hand I am grateful for the positive effects. I have time and space to let my thoughts and emotions flow. I really enjoy how the world is slowing down.
I am rethinking my decisions and am in a state of radical change. Thoughts like: “do I really want to do this?”, are popping up in my head and create doubts. And with “this” I mean living and working in Cologne and spending a lot of energy and time into music. Maybe I want to reduce it in my life, because I feel I am not very satisfied. And the strange situation with the virus gives me room to find it out – it gives me air to breathe.
I am still working at the music for the web-series KUNTERGRAU though the premiere has been postponed to October. At the moment I am writing a title song with Daria Assmuss and Danny Latendorf for the final season. Unfortunately, I cannot share any results with you as long as the series isn’t published. But the process is very difficult. I have 200 minutes of film material which makes it hard to keep an overview. This is by far the biggest project I have ever done! At the moment I am spending 3 days a week for writing and producing music. But of course I am not the one to decide if the music I have done for a specific scene is taken. The director has a vision of his product and he decides if it is appropriate or not. This step of finding out which musical language is compatible with the images we are seeing and the directors vision is a very complex one and takes a lot of nerves and energy. Sometimes I have to make 10 versions of a scene until both of us are happy with the result.
I’ve got a new job which is going to start in June 2020. Again it is a teaching job but at a private music school for composing and sound engineering. As soon as the situation defuses I can finally finance my life completely with music. In a way it feels good but as I described already before, I am not sure anymore if I really want that. But, anyway, I decided to do it and agreed with my boss to do it one year for now. It might be that I am going to do something completely different in summer 2021. Let’s see!
Max - Kelm Conservatorium Arnhem
I am Max Kelm and I graduated this year in Composition for Film & Theater at the conservatory in Arnhem. When you read that, you might think of Hans Zimmer scores with huge orchestras and big drums and epic melodic lines, but I am paving a completely different way. I am not a Hollywood-style composer! I aim to be innovative in what I do and I’m trying to create a completely different concept of live music presentation. Originally, I was born and raised in Germany (Essen) and came to the Netherlands in order to study. Now, 4 years later, I moved to Cologne to fulfil my visions and to earn a living with my music.