In the summer of 2001 my father went on his last trip of his life for he already was seriously ill. The trip went to northern Italy -his girl-friend convinced him to sing in the choir- where he sang in churches in different small villages.
I bought a video-camera on friday-afternoon and left the same day in the evening to surprise him with my visit and to see him sing, of course. On my way to Italy I got stuck in a traffic-jam at the Gotthard tunnel at 6.30 in the morning and while being stuck there I noticed a couple playing Pétanque underneath an electricity pylon. I decided to take the exit.
I parked my car, took some pictures and then I heard shooting. There where people walking down the road that carried guns. I noticed a parking lot with lots of people holding guns. There was a shooting-party going on. I decided to have some breakfast and ended up eating bratwurst at 7 o'clock in the morning and filming this rather curious event. All people were very friendly and no one asked questions about why I was there and what I was doing.
During filming one battery after the other ran out of juice and I asked a guy at the registration desk if I could charge them. No problem, he said. Except for the fact that the charger that came with the camera turned out to be broke.
At the end of the afternoon I had 4 hours of footage and 5 empty batteries.
Like the photographer in this small clip I was the 'victim' of malfunctioning gear.
I took a hotel room in a close by village and some alcoholic drinks to ease down my frustration about a certain camera manufacturer.
The next day I crossed the border to Italy and at midday I surprised my father by walking onto the square of the sacred mount of Oropa where I found him sipping a cappuccino.
My father sang and looked great, the audience was great - there was applause between every single song. There was a seventy year old Italian lady that made phone calls during the concert, there was a dog running up and down the isle, electricity broke down twice and after that the audience applauded 3 times longer -with standing ovation - because the choir kept on singing in the almost complete dark church.
Too me all this is memory. There is not a single image of any of that.
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