University of Florida - Berlin 2008 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

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by Jasmine Louma

Matteo Kormannshaus
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Ska-punk Trumpeter Finds His Niche

Born in northern Germany, and relocated to West Berlin, Matteo Kormannshaus, 24, has lived in Berlin for 11 years.

As a trumpet player in a ska-punk band called Minni the Moocher, and a student of musicology and economics at the technical university of Berlin, Kormannshaus acknowledges that Berlin is a special city, full of unique opportunities.       

“I like the possibilities of this large city,” Kormannshaus said. “You can do whatever you want, and you really can choose what you are doing in your free time.”

Though Kormannshaus listens to different types of music, including reggae, funk, soul, jazz and classical, he plays in a ska-punk band because of the energy he feels when he plays. With its upbeat, lively songs, ska is the perfect genre to play live, he said.     

In addition to interacting with his audience, Kormannshaus finds it important to play with others as a form of “musical communication.” Through collaboration, he finds that he can create interesting sounds and beats by listening and responding to others’ music.

As the only member of the band from Western Berlin, he notices it is harder to distinguish a difference between people from the East and West as the years pass. Sometimes the architecture is the only way to tell that there was any division at all, but everything else seems to fade, he said.

Once he has completed his studies at the university, Kormannshaus would like to work for a record label and become a music producer.