|• 1963_||Born in Kassel / Hesse, lived in Heiligenrode, a small village
nearby. Three years later my sister was born, five years later my brother.
On the first picture little Droehnich is just a few weeks old, on the second about 10 months, on the third about 3 years. His love for Lego cubes lasted for some time, in 1975 he was even awarded the "Berlin Lego Championship" which earned him a free trip to Legoland for the entire family.
|• 1969||Moved to Berlin to the "Maerkisches Viertel", then a quarter under construction near the Berlin Wall consisting
of a number of multi-storey buildings in a basically rural area. After the quarter was completed in the mid-70ies it had 60,000 inhabitants, i.e. a quarter of the total population of
Reinickendorf, the district in the Northern part of Berlin where it is located.
At first this satellite town was not exactly beautiful (especially if you were originally from the country), but apartments were spacious and the rest of Northern Berlin was quite green (about 35% open space and 9% lakes and rivers).
In the course of time the "Maerkisches Viertel" turned greener, too, as trees were planted and large garden plot areas were allotted.
|• 1969 - 1980||Elementary school, Greenwich-Grundschule, in a rush (I skipped 1st grade), then secondary school,
Bertha-von-Suttner Gymnasium, graduated in 1980 majoring in music and physics.
The year before we had moved to a little row house at Luebars, one of the last conserved original villages on West Berlin territory. Now we actually lived in rural Berlin. But sadly my dad didn't live too long to enjoy it, he died of cancer in early 1981 at the age of 43.
In the picture you can see the above mentioned row houses, in the front there is the "Kloetzbecken", a little artificial lake.
|• 1981 - 1982||1½ years vocational training as a retail salesman at "C&A Brenninkmeyer", Cologne, a chain store specialized on
clothing. Shared an apartment with several other trainees from all over Germany. For several reasons I left the company after attaining the certificate and returned to Luebars in order
to study in Berlin.
On the picture you see the view from Old-Luebars over the pastures towards the "Tegeler Fließ", a rivulet flowing into the river Havel. At the time there was still the Berlin Wall on the horizon, the border between West Berlin and the German "Democratic" Republic (GDR). Today you just have the road to the neighboring (former East German) villages Glienicke and Schildow.
|• 1982 - 1985
• 1986 - 1989
|Studied electrical engineering at Berlin Technical
University (quit when I was half way through).
During that time I hurt my 3rd and 4th finger of my right hand. This should not have been too much of a problem, but thanks to the doctors it ended up with the 4th finger notably reduced in its range of motion (the extensor tendon as well as the PIP joint are more or less ruined), which is not exactly helpful in playing the organ – but I still do.
Teacher training (majoring in Math and Physics at TU Berlin (photo: mathematics building). Discontinued that after my second internship at a Middle School in Berlin Schöneberg (8th and 9th grades with youngsters nearly stabbing each other during class) preferring to convert my former part-time job in computing (software development, programming, layout, training) into a full-time free-lance job. I'm always happy to have new customers and challenging new orders :-)
Just have a look at my profile and portfolio of activities here (PDF download in German only).
|• 1989 - 1994||My time as a free-lancer at System Consult GmbH in Berlin-Nikolassee was
absolutely perfect, I worked in an old villa in Grunewald, Lake Wannsee (see picture) was round the corner, so I could
go there during a prolonged lunch break or after work. I had flexible working hours and nice colleagues who were also nice to party with.
Too bad the company went bancrupt in the end (which was definitely not due to its working conditions but because it focussed on a gigantic system development that, sad to say, entirely missed the market (any resemblances with this little caricature would be mere coincidence...)
Concurrently my brother and I developed a simulation and counseling software for mobile phone tariffs that we sold by the millions via Connect, Stiftung Warentest (German consumer protection magazines) and others.
|• since 1994||In a way, this led to my switching to the training business, first for the E-Plus Service GmbH, then taken over
by its parent company E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, outsourced again in 2002: The "Service Center Potsdam" was taken over
as a whole including its coaching division by the SNT Germany AG and again restructured (seems to be the "magic word" in German management).
Since May 2007 I'm working as a freelance trainer and consultant for different companies.
|• Faith / Church
|Actually, this is not a quirk but to me it's essential.
I'm convinced that the world – our world – and we as human beings are not the result of a mere chain of coincidences ("Big Bang", "Evolution", etc.) that we do not accidentally
continue to exist, again controlled by coincidence, without plan or motivation, but that behind this all there is an ingenious Creator – God or JHWH as the Bible calls Him – who had
something in mind when He created us.
Sadly, as a believer in God you nowadays meet with little or no understanding or even get mocked at in the sense of: "How can anyone today be so irrational..." But almost everyone believes in something. Even a belief in coincidence which evolution demands, is, strictly speaking, "faith". Recent statistics revealed that 77% of all Germans believe (more or less) in astrology, 42% in four-leaved clovers bringing luck(?), 41% in Jesus, 40% in shooting stars bringing luck (?), 35% in chimneysweeps bringing luck (?), 28% in the number 13 bringing bad luck (?), 24% in "eternal life"... Now why should believing in God be "foolish" while putting your faith in all those irrational things including esoterics is considered "up-to-date and good"? Since I've been confronted with this time and again and since many people have been lured into wasting money on their superstitions I did some extensive research on this topic. My findings were published by Hänssler Verlag (co-authored by Sabine von der Wense). Click here to purchase the book, click here for a short extract (PDF file, 150 KB, in German only).
Before I left the Roman Catholic Church in 1988 for good because I had seen that some of its teachings and traditions are unbiblical (e.g. the Pope being considered the representative of Christ on earth and the veneration of all sorts of "Saints") I was in close contact with Jehovah's Witnesses for about 2 years. After I first had to admit that some of the prejudices I had against them were unfounded, I almost became a member. But through studying the Bible (and not the "Watchtower") I later found that JW is a cult spreading fatal errors and taking advantage of well-meaning people, a cult which, in the final analysis, robs people of the Eternal Life that Christ offers them.
All my findings on Jehovah's Witnesses, collected in several years' work (which is the main reason why I didn't spend enough time with my studies in electric engineering) are summed up in a book that I wrote during that time. The book, last revised in 2008, is called "Der schiefe Turm von Brooklyn" ("The Leaning Tower of Brooklyn", in German only) was published by Haenssler Verlag, Germany in September 2006 (paperback, 142 pages, ISBN: 3-7751-4534-6, EUR 9.95). Click here to purchase the book, click here for an extract. A concise information on Jehovah's Witnesses ("Zeugen-Jehovas-Kurzinfo") is available online as a PDF file (170 KB, in German only).
If you would like to dig deeper into the topic, I would recommend this links to the Ausstieg e.V., an initiative organized by ex JWs to help others who are concerned about loved ones involved in the cult or who are themselves contemplating to leave and to the Bruderdienst.
After I was through with Jehovah's Witnesses I got to know the United Methodist Church (this definitely is not a cult as people may think. It is a Protestant denomination, cooperating closely with the national church (EKD) in communion and preaching and member of the Evangelical Alliance. I first went to the Lindenkirche in Berlin-Wittenau and later, to the Erloeserkirche or "Church of Our Redeemer" in Berlin-Tegel and now in the Kreuzkirche or "Cross Church" in Berlin-Lankwitz where I'm in charge of the sermon download page.
By the way, the Evangelisches Jugendwerk Berlin offers fantastic summer camps for children and youths – if you're interested go to the Zeltlager Holzheim homepage.
|• Church Organs
|I guess there were two incidents that led to this quirk of mine: As a five-year-old I once visited
my uncle's organbuilders' company in Brunswick and I was absolutely fascinated. He explained all things to me and gave me two books on
organbuilding that I practically devoured.
Then, instinctively, I pulled from the shelf the only organ record my parents possessed. It was "The Great Toccatas and Fugues" by Bach, played by Helmut Walcha on the Schnitger organ at the St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar (87 ranks, 53 voices, III). This one I played on and on and on on Daddy's stereo (I still pity my parents for having to endure the same music all day long - but they lovingly did).
From that day on it was clear that I would become an organist and organbuilder. But, as a matter of fact, at age 5 I was still too young to even think of playing the organ. At age 8 I started taking piano lessons and for some years organ lessons as well – long enough to be able to play major Bach organ works (Bach is the Greatest – YEAH)!
At age 12 I played a mass for the first time. That was in St. Martin in Berlin-Maerkisches Viertel on a small 19-rank Spaeth organ and I was soo excited! After a while I gained more routine and was able to serve as temporary organist for various churches in Berlin. My favorite organ on which I exercised on a regular basis was the large Seifert organ (109 ranks, 74 voices, IV) in St. Matthias on Winterfeldtplatz (see picture).
|To this day I haven't obtained my official organ exam, though. Still I was allowed to play on many interesting organs. Well, organ players are nice people,
after all (most of them, anyway ;-), and in general they are quite pleased if you show an interest in their instrument. I still remember that very special day, some 25 years ago, when I had
the opportunity to play the Ottobeuren Trinity Organ (74 ranks, 49 voices, IV) for an hour or so
(see picture). Some other highlights have been
• the Steinmeyer/Eisenbarth organ at Passau Cathedral, GER (326 ranks, 229 voices, V)
• the Rieger/Marcussen/Späth/Metzler organ at Freiburg Cathedral, GER (203 ranks, 142 voices, IV)
• the Willis organ at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, UK (194 ranks, 150 voices, V)
• the Gabler organ at Weingarten Basilica, GER (169 ranks, 63 voices, IV)
• the Krisman/Mauracher... organ at St. Florian Collegiate Church, A (156 ranks, 103 voices, IV)
• the Fisk organ at Lausanne Cathedral, CH (127 ranks, 87 voices, V)
• the Marcussen organ at Linz Cathedral, A (120 ranks, 70 voices, IV)
• the Geissler/Haas/Kuhn organ der Lucerne Collegiate Church, CH (115 ranks, 84 voices, V)
• the Schnitger organ at Hamburg St. Jacobi, GER (98 ranks, 60 voices, IV)
• the Stahlhuth/Jann organ at Dudelange St. Martin, LUX (89 ranks, 72 voices, IV)
• the Clicquot/Cavaillé-Coll organ at Versailles Cathedral, F (65 ranks, 46 voices, III)
• the Aebi/Kuhn/Füglister organ (1435!) at Sion Notre-Dame-de-Valère, CH (10 ranks, 9 voices, I)
You will find a complete list of the organs I was able to play, including their pictures and stoplists –
click here, for sound samples click here.
|• Loudspeakers||If you enjoy music the loudspeaker and hifi quirk is just a logical consequence. Good sound calls for a good stereo set and especially for good
loudspeakers. My parents gave me a pretty good stereo set (maybe they only wanted to get rid of that legendary organ record in the living room ;-)
As I had always been interested in electronics and as I badly wanted to apply what I had learned through my electronics construction set I regularly opened all electronic appliances to see what was in them and how they worked. As an elementary school kid I didn't understand too much, except for the loudspeakes: when some years later one of the JBL loudspeakers broke down and fixing it would have cost as much as buying a new one I dared to invest my little money into building a new one myself. Admittedly, this one was loud – but it didn't sound too well.
So for the next years there was nothing to do but save up money to develop better loudspeakers. It was only six years later, in 1983, after reading tons of specialised literature and many attempts in construction and soldering, that I finally managed to construct my first really good sounding speakers in a raw MDF cabinet (see picture – the genuine freaks among you will recognise the Dynaudio and Seas chassis). Now at last a church organ sounded like an organ and anything else like it should as well.
|• Loudspeakers||Somehow news about this sound spread and I found myself designing and constructing loudspeakers for all sorts of friends and relations and even complete
strangers (way over a hundred to date, and they are all working fine!), giving me a way to finance my studies and the extension of my own stereo equipment.
When in 1986 I bought a 2,000 Watts party stereo set to organise school, church or office parties together with my brother, this led to the acquisition of correspondingly large loudspeakers. Each speaker measured 6'11 x 1'8 x 1'8 (2.10 x 0.50 x 0.50 m). They had 2 Visaton 15" (38 cm) woofers each. The whole set, together with all else you need as a student was sitting in my 11 square yard (10 square meters) bedroom. The sound, e.g. in drum solos or with large church organs was smashing in the truest sense of the word. By the way, this is how I got my nickname "Droehnich" – combine the German word for "booming" (droehnen) with my last name "Doering".
|In 1992 I reduced these loudspeakers, admittedly slightly oversized for living room conditions, to two sets of disco speakers
and sold one set. Apart from that I built some more "regular" hifi speakers.
In the course of the years more developments followed that I'm planning to describe and show on my md klangdesign (md sound design) loudspeaker homepage.
|One of those new developments is the md reference system: two slender
loudspeakers equipped with Dynaudio ESOSTAR systems and assisted in the bass compartment by two arched subwoofers
with 15" (38 cm) basses.
Even though by now enlarged to a surround sound system the old "Luxmen" (CO2 preamplifier and 4 M02 main amps) that I had to do hard shift labor 30 years ago are still the centerpiece of my whole stereo set.
|• Loudspeakers||Now even being sumptuously equipped with subwoofers still the reproduction of the sound of those 32' organ pipes the large church organs have, producing
frequencies between 16 and 32 Hz (subcontra octave), was unsatisfactory. So it had to be an additional infrasonic subwoofer. This one
contains four Peerless 12" (32 cm) special chassis that make it possible to have a breathtaking 1.8" (4.5 cm) max. membrane excursion thus permitting the reproduction of frequencies
down to 8 Hz (this is the lowest tone of a 64'!) in a fairly small cabinet.
The infrasub is sitting across the actual stereo almost invisibly behind the sofa. In order for it not to literally run away with higher sound levels it had to be weighted down with steel plates. Now this loudspeaker being just 34" (85 cm) high weighs a total of 265 lb (120 kg). You wouldn't really steal that one, would you?
It may sound weird to have a special loudspeaker only for the 64' and 32' levels but if you ever listened to one you're hooked. And, as a matter of fact the reproduction of body sound – especially in large church organs – is part of "high fidelity" as well.
|• Loudspeakers||For the allocation of frequencies to the main loudspeakers, the subwoofers and the infrasub I developed my own switchgear and card layout for an
active frequency crossover network which I put into an extra flat casing. On the left side there is a power supply unit of ample dimensions.
The two cards to the right side in the back accomodate the filters that share out the signal between the main loudspeakers and their subwoofers. The filters on the two cards in the
right front take the signal to the infrasub.
When I extended the whole system to surround sound I added a full HD video projector that casts a 158" (4 m) picture on the wall – total home cinema. So it all adds up to 2,500 W total sinus power. Some of my neighbors do find it hard to appreciate this ;-)
|• Platform Shoes /
• The 70ies
|When I was still a kid I adored those platform shoes and bell bottom (or skinny) pants that had just come into fashion.
I have no idea why I adopted this freak, there was no one to push me into it so that's just the way it is. What I do know is that I'm very sad that men have not been included in the
platform shoe revival in the 90ies and later.
I think it's not fair anyway that there is so much more space reserved to women's wear than to men's wear and then the little that is offered to men all looks the same. Just have a look into the windows of a gentlemen's outfitter – how absolutely boring. If you look at men's shoes in the last 40 years, the same stuff for all those years. We were more advanced in the 70ies (not to mention the 17th century!) – at that time there was anarchy in fashion and no one frowned when a man was wearing platform shoes.
Today, on the other hand, people may have a go at you for this – maybe they just don't know how to react if something does not fit in with their mindset and instead of thinking about it or being tolerant they'd rather go at you verbally... Whatever. I don't care. I'm wearing this stuff anyway and if anybody doesn't like it – he doesn't have to look at me.
By the way: about 300 years ago, high heels and overknee boots were exclusively (!) worn by men in high social positions. Here, in my opinion, something went completely wrong. Just 50 years ago women wearing pants were considered sluts. Luckily things have changed. Today a man wearing platform shoes and bell bottoms is automatically considered gay – that's sickening. Platform shoes, high heels and bell bottoms are as little gender specific as, say, sneakers. Concerning this I can only say, "Folks, reconsider your mindset" and "Guys, it's about time you become emancipated and dare to turn up in more interesting clothes!"
One thing to illustrate this: there are some local as well as Internet stores that do platform shoes for men. Obviously they would not offer them if nobody bought them. And this makes me suspect that these things are worn in secret or maybe on parties. It would be high time to be a bit more daring. We shouldn't be slaves of this year's fashion anyway – it's going to be outdated next year – instead we should live our own way, "You were born an original – don't die a copy!" Or, as Fanta-4 say, "This guy is weird, but he has a tail wind".
|• You've Got Mail:
• From Droehnich
|Want it or not, we are dumped with advertisements every day. The large companies spend billions of dollars on advertising – in the long run it is us who pay for it. Now some of those advertising campaigns are so desperately stupid that I've been asking myself time and again why they waste so much money on them. As a matter of fact I cannot keep them from doing so but I thought I could at least write some nice little letters to the companies and institutions in question. This way I could inform them of problems as I saw them and give them some helpful advice. Interestingly enough I did get a response to many of my letters, and some of them are really worth sharing with you. Click on Droehnich's correspondence and find all letters and replies in a PDF file (sorry, in German only).|
|All this correspondence started as a reaction to an advertising campaign that had been going on for many years – find my – hum - slightly edited version on the right (original version: "Stinginess is Real Cool", "Geiz ist geil", my version: "Stinginess is Shit"). I think stinginess is anything but cool. Stinginess is wicked ("Geiz ist gottlos", see the corresponding website) and it only serves to enhance the social and economic problems we are already facing in our society. To put it differently, we are on our best way to killing our economy , destroying our own workplaces or causing them to be shifted to countries with lower production costs just by the way we pick the goods we buy. In the long run stinginess and a craze to save money will lead to less diversity, quality and finally even a deterioration of our educational standards. In short, everything will go down the drain. Apart from that, this company cannot possibly mean that stinginess is an adequate base for happiness in a human society. Personally, I detest any advertisement supporting and even glorifying such a position.|
|Well, I decided to follow their advice anyway, I'm too stingy to shop at that certain chain of stores. On the other hand... maybe I'm too much of a fool to understand their advertising. Which, then, would mean that I wouldn't pertain to the target group of another of those chains of stores either. ("I'm not a fool" is the slogan of another electric appliances store chain in Germany, part of the same corporation as the ones mentioned in the first place).|
|• Cooking &
|There is little to say about this. It's fun to cook and have a nice meal with wonderful friends on a wonderful evening. If I have enough time I enjoy
cooking myself (I love to experiment), else it's time for our "cafeteria", i.e. the BECERRO steak house
in Berlin-Reinickendorf. Actually, it's me who designed the logo, the menus and some of their homepage.
By the way, this restaurant doesn't only offer good meat but also a lot of other dishes as well as side dishes and waiters are very friendly.
|• Photography||I love it – but, alas, with all the work I have I don't have the time to do much about it. If I do have time I enjoy making pictures, a lot
of them, and finally even digital ones, as I got a Canon EOS 20D in 2004, upgraded to a 7D in 2011 and again in 2017 to a 5D Mark IV with several zoom lenses from 8 to 400 mm).
I'm planning to include slide shows here some day. Until then you can see a lot of organ and church pictures at the picture area of the Organ Site..
|• My Mottoes||As I can't decide on just one I'll include some of my favorites:
• "Always look on the bright side of life!" (Monty Python)
• "This guy is weird, but he has a tail wind." (Thomas D., Fanta 4)
• "Platforms – life on a higher level." (My ex boss)
• "Plateau macht froh." (Droehnich) – how would you translate this one? ;-)
• "All folks are born originals. Most of them die a copy." (John Mason)
• "If you don't command yourself you'll stay a servant forever." (My Dad)
And how do you like these (miscellaneous authors, source unknown :-)
• "My work is so confidential that even I myself do not know what I'm doing."
• "How should I know what I think before I've listened to what I say?"
• "I drink, therefore I am. I'm drunk, therefore I was."
• "Beethoven was so deaf, that all his life he thought he was painting."
• "All days have the same length but they differ in width."
• "God is dead (Nietzsche). Nietzsche is dead (God)."
• "Tut Ench-Amun, was Nofre täte?" (only funny in German ;-)
• "This sentence no verb."