1991 Martin Kolbe: White Light
After having separated from Ralf I took a lot of time to develop a new musical concept. I was living as a house-husband in Switzerland those days (my former wife is Swiss and it was a lot easier for her to feed our family there than it would have been in Germany). I was appreciative of the fact that I did not have to go on tour for a while.. Gradually my new musical direction showed up. It was not pure guitar music, that was for sure. By no means another guitar duo. Been there, done that. Moreover, I did not want to compete with Ralf's new project “Circle”, which was successful right from the start.
I threw myself into the world of MIDI (Musical Instruments Digital Interface that is used to trigger electronic instruments with a keyboard and/or a computer). At last I was able to use sustained sounds as string or wind instruments or keyboard sounds. In the late evenings when all the household work was done and the kids were asleep I fell into my own world of music and soaked in all those sounds at my disposal. I First I thought of realizing a band project with all the songs I had written dealing with my experiences in mental hospitals. However, these songs were to be released only many years later on the CD “Songs from the Inside”.
One night I was playing with sounds and musical possibilities as usual (my ideal creative setting is to play with sounds like a kid plays with building blocks). Out of nowhere an instrumental piece emerged that combined a string orchestra, drums, bass, tablas, electric and acoustic guitars and a piano. I strung it all together into something new and exciting: “Sound Man” (“sound” in the sense of “healthy”).
I had found the direction and from now on I focussed on that. There were two labels that took interest in my new music. After a horrible time of negotiating (one of the most despicable aspects of the music business for me) “White Light” was released by the US label Narada specializing in New Age and Adult Contemporary Music – whatever these sale-tags mean. I did not fit in those categories and would not have felt at home in any of them. This may be the reason why the CD did not get much attention, which is a pity, since I consider it quite good. I guess the almost total absence of guitars on this CD was the biggest shortcoming for the German “marketplace” (I hate this word when it is connected to music). I reckon in this region my name will be forever associated with acoustic guitar music.