Norbert Dams – a remembrance

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Blog, music | No Comments

I wrote D’Angelus for Norbert’s 60th birthday and will perform it on my coming tour of Germany and Holland. See dates here.

Norbert Dams was a great man. He loved to dance, explore and enjoy every aspect of life. After the passionate pursuit of the guitar from every angle, he decided to buy a Jaguar in his last year. I met him at the GFA in Mérida in 2003.  We subsequently arranged concerts for each other in our home areas and visited several times. We shared a passion for the Renaissance way of life (as we call it now). You also could say we were at the forefront of the DIY movement: both played lute, guitar, composed, recorded ourselves (with German microphones), edited and published music, edited and published our own CDs. We also shared the same birthday, November 22 – he was one year older – along with some pretty top notch company – Benjamin Britten, Joaquín Rodrigo, and others. [see my Birthday Concert program]  In his daughter’s words, “Norbert got his heavy sleep (as he called it remembering John Dowland)  at the 9th of May 2014.  Thank you for keeping him in mind and heart. Tab”  [Tabea Borchardt] She sent these words from Norbert’s website.

The nickname Daminus soon became Norbert Dams company name. You might not expect Daminus Records and Edition Daminus simply to be a one man company. So how did it start?

As many of us way back in the sixties I started strumming some chords on the guitar and to play Pop music. Soon I fell in love with the magic of the sound of the guitar so I studied guitar at the universities of Bremen and Berlin. Teaching is one of my passions and from 1973 – 1996 I was head of the guitar-department of Musikschule in Walsrode. Since 1996 I am working freelancing with the guitar for the guitar, founding my own guitar-school. Opposite to many other guitar players, I started playing chamber-music befor many years later I concentrated more on solo playing. One of the combinations our guitar duo “Die zwei Gitarren” is still existing. Since the beginning in 1981 I am a member of the team of ZEVENER GITARRENTAGE, the oldest guitar festival in Northern Germany.

In 1981 we recorded our first LP with the guitar duo. This was the initiative to form my own record-company. As I had the privilege to cooperate with some very interesting artists, the catalogue soon included some first recordings of unpublished music. In 1990 after a severe illness – I was not sure if I ever would be able to play the guitar on stage again – I founded the publishing company, to be able to offer the recorded music as scores. And, as things happen to be in life very often, now the publishing aspect turns out to be more vivid then the recording… and I am happy to tell you, that since many years I am back on stage.

I have performed in many European countries, either as a soloist, or in different chamber music projects.
Since more than 25 years we are working with the guitar duo DIE ZWEI GITARREN together with Tilman Purrucker. One of my major interests is to study the music on period instruments, as the interpretation of a work gets a very fresh approach, once you change your “working tool”. From time to time I also find the possibility to write music, but I don’t consider myself to be a composer.

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