In the summer of 2017 I spent a few days visiting a good friend in Bremen, Germany. It was my first time visiting this commercial industrial city in the northwest of Germany and without any real plans for my time there I was happy to wander around and let my ears and eyes do the discovering.
I hadn’t seen my friend for about five years so we were keen to simply wander around and catch up on things. He’d lived in Bremen for a number of years so was well placed to show me around. I told him I was keen to head out to do some recording so we tried to find some good spots. I brought my portable recording rig with me which consists of a Sound Devices Mix Pre 6, a pair of DPA 4060 mics, a DIY stereo bar and a Gorilla Pod. This gave me two options for recording, setting the mics up on the mini tripod, or wearing the mics in a stealth setup.
We headed out early on my first full day in Bremen and decided to pop by Finndorf Market to grab some food. I set my recording rig up in stealth mode, attaching the mics to either side of my backpack straps, with the recorder tucked away in the bag. I was able to start and stop recording via the Wingman app on my phone, so I was able to blend into the crowd without anyone realising I was recording. I proceeded to slowly walk through the market, capturing the essence of the hustle and bustle as locals bought groceries and sipped coffees from a local cafe.
In the centre of Bremen is the city’s main train station Bremen Hauptbahnhof. It is a focal point for passenger regional rail as well as a being busy with freight traffic. As we continued to explore throughout the day it became apparent to me just how easy it was to access the train tracks all around the city. My friend confirmed that there were no barriers or gates, and told me about one particular area just outside the station where different lines converge. We decided to head there just before dusk and record some train-bys.
My time in Bremen was short but I’m happy to have made the trip. It’s a small, laid back city but with fantastic character and very friendly locals.
Photo courtesy of Peter Köves
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