December has begun, the final month of the year. The end of 2015 approaches. Darkness and cold have us searching for comfort and protection and see us moving closer together. It's also impossible not to think of the many people who have fled the missiles and bombs of their unravelling homeland and seek exactly this comfort and protection here with us.
Slowly it is dawning on us all (?) that without solidarity – with the persecuted, the weak, the hungry of this world – there is no peace for us either. But I see with delight that sympathy and helpfulness is not just preached, but also comes alive in our society.
Time to reflect – time to dream too …
It was in fact a glorious year. Joseph Vilsmaier's film österreich – Oben und Unten, for which I was able to make the soundtrack and Brenna tuat's schon lang, Marcus Rosenmüller's documentary about my career came to the big screen. The new CD Federn was released. A tour that began in Greenland and led to Estonia and through all German-speaking countries in Europe had a finale in Hallstatt that couldn't have been more beautiful.
As the last sounds drifted away and later that night I lay on the shore of Lake Hallstatt, with the light of the full moon dissolving all sense of above and below in the mirror-smooth surface of the water, I was filled with gratitude for having been able to experience it all.
My current thoughts and feelings I don't want to share.
It's my experience that once a tour is concluded, I'm only prepared to share my life with my family and my closest friends for the time being. Those who know me are familiar with my need to withdraw. And they know how little I like to count my chickens before they're hatched – or to even talk about the eggs yet to be laid. These tender plants, or to remain with the metaphor: these thin-shelled, fragile thoughts shy away from the raw public climate.
But since the first concert dates are being published, it's at least not a secret any more that I'll be playing again next year. We've set ourselves some ambitious aims. America is on the cards, along with other more or less distant lands outside the German-speaking region.
I've also set myself the odd objective outside music. We'll see whether all that will be achieved.
The year that's drawing to a close was a great one. For me at least and I hope for the most of you too. A big thank you for affection received, for the feeling of being loved.
A merry Christmas to you all and an uplifting new year 2016
Salzburg, December 2015