Nature, awareness, deceleration, meditation: 'shinrin-yoku', meaning 'bathing in the forest', is a recognised treatment in Japan. It's also spreading to Germany as a by-product of the general mindfulness trend. Why is it so popular? What does the bathing part involve? Accompanied by two guides, partners Carlos Ponte and Emma Wisser, COMPANION headed off to the Mangfall Valley, close to Munich, to test the waters and discover what this activity is all about. Between the trees and wet earth, we learned something about the healing qualities of the forest - and about ourselves as well.
Under the respective monikers Pam Pengco, Kimberly Kiss, Marcella Rockefeller, and Laila Licious, Olli, Kim, Marcel, and David have been performing as the group “Real Queens” in Cologne since 2016.
A Mediterranean climate and laid-back urban flair on the Côte d’Azur: Marseille certainly has more to offer than its reputation would reveal. The lively international port city, with its 300 days of sun per year and a particular passion for bouillabaisse and pastis, was long considered the French Naples, ruled by criminal gangs and the violence of its ‘French Connection’ mafia. Much has changed since then. In 2013, Marseille was named the European Capital of Culture, and pocketed significant subsidies that were invested in polishing up its appearance. France’s second-largest city now attracts growing numbers of creative minds and artists. Hot on their heels are the galleries, hip boutiques, and cafés. For the younger French generation especially, Marseilles is becoming a real alternative to the exorbitantly priced Paris due to its affordable standard of living — with a view of the sea included.
Once again, Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world. Horse-drawn carriages, Sachertorte chocolate gateau, 'Küss die Hand' - really now? Oh yes, says Zara Pfeifer. Thirteen years ago, she came here from Cologne to study and, bar a few short hiatuses, has stayed ever since.
Subtle and seductive, the aroma molecule Iso E Super was created in a laboratory in 1973. In 2006, the master perfumer Geza Schön bottled it pure to create Molecule 01 - a fragrance that fast gained a cult following the world over. Many more scents later, COMPANION visited Schön at his Berlin apartment and lab to get a whiff of the chemistry behind his 'anti-fragrances', and glean his take on the wellness industry's obsession with nature (hint: it's overrated).
Exploring Germany’s banking city with James Ardinast – a tour from bites to beats
Agents of Change
Marvin Schuhmann and Valentino Betz refuse to be pigeonholed.
A grand tour from culture to consumption.
In all its sophistication, Paris often feels very grown up. But the pleasures it holds for pint-sized bon vivants are manifold, if you know where to look. Xavi Vega, general manager of the new 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord and father of two-year-old Sofia, helped us plot out the city's treasures for les petits. The Catalan-born Francophile first moved to Paris in 2009, and returned in 2016, after a short intermezzo in Madrid. Together with his wife, he delights in raising his daughter amidst the culture, cuisine, intellectual rigour, and simple pleasures the city so elegantly embraces. Here are his secrets to sharing the Parisian art de vivre with your little ones on a weekend in and around Paris.
Drawing the Jungle.
Wine without Dress Code.
Art for a good cause - How does it work?
Bartender Jörg Meyer and restaurateur Rainer Wendt enjoy high-quality drinks and food not only as business partners but also as friends. For this issue of COMPANION, the duo share their favorite food pairing: a drink and sandwich that go as well together as they do.
Interior designers Andrea Kraft-Hammerschall and Armin Fischer tell stories using rooms.
Fran's Favourite Place in Berlin
Munich is known for a lot of things but exciting nightlife is not exactly one of them.
A Column on Suburban Life in Urban Neighbourhoods
Two guys, two bottles, two playlists.
Lessons about Attitude to Life.
Swimming in and around Berlin
Ines Czaya and Stephanie Wissmann of Let’s Dine have cooked up a new take on a Bavarian classic.
Joy and Mine at the interview.
Barbara Vinken loves Munich. Twelve years ago, Germany’s most elegant academic moved to the Bavarian capital.
Breathtaking beaches, spectacular natural scenery, rocky volcanic landscapes, Creole delicacies, and a veritable mix of cultures.
Of coffee, big wheels, and a trip to Bratislava.
Coffee to go in a paper cup is passé.
Okwui Enwezor is one of the most influential contemporary curators
Internationally inspired dishes made with seasonal and regional products are prepared with a distinctly French touch at Gesa Hansen and Charles Compagnon’s neo-brasserie 52 Faubourg Saint-Denis in Paris. The couple cooked a favourite for us to sample.
A travel blogger explains the city.
Joerg Meyer talks about hotel bars, highballs, and Hemingway
Shopping free of plastics.
Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof are making world-class fashion right here in Munich.
An interview with Joji Hattori.
Living healthily, saving resources, taking care of the environment, and, naturally, also of our fellow humans.
Design from Finland
An interview with Bobby Decker
Questions & answers by Erik Nissen Johansen from Stylt.
Dubile in South America
A portrait of Haya Molcho.
Five best practices for relaxed travelling.
Is Classical Music Outdated?
Summer travel recommendations by Stephan Luecke.
Explore the city by running.
Sn interview with Sonny Daze.
Bompass and Parr from London.
canvasco shows how to upcycle.
An interview about design and architecture.
An interview with Christoph Hoffmann & Bruno Marti.
An interview with Nils Jansen and Michael End
An interview with Karen Mester-Lichtsinn & Florian Kollenz
Project journey to Nepal with Viva con Agua.
The recipe for success at one of the best luxury spa hotels in the world at Elmau Castle is based on a special concept called “mental detox”:
Wayne McGregor is one of the most prominent contemporary choreographers of today. He will make his Munich debut in 2018 at Bayerisches Staatsballett’s annual Ballet Festival Week.
companion joins author and journalist Boris and illustrator Robert on a tour inspired by the Roaring Twenties
Nadiv Molcho is a theater and movie actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, and producer — all that at the age of 27. A talk with companion.
People in hotels are a peculiar species — and have inspired artists to soaring flights of creativity, as our columnist Rainer Moritz recounts
For Companion Theresia Enzenberger has created a very different kind of map, which highlights unusual Bauhaus locations to be discovered in cities that are home to our 25hours Hotels
A good week after completing his residency in the studio at the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse, Oliver Ross explains the extent to which a change of scenery affects his creative process and influences his artworks, whether his daily routine changes with the location, and whether art and hotels can function well together.
The artistic heart of the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse is the hotel’s studio on the ground floor. It is a workspace for international and domestic artists, who produce and prepare for their exhibitions, presentations, or collaborations on-site. Louis Schmidt stayed here three weeks in June 2018.
Haya Molcho and her sons, the family behind eatery empire NENI, have written a new cookery book about the people of Tel Aviv and their culinary histories. And it has recipes too. The most important ingredient? Friends with whom to share what you make.
Be it for a musical weekend trip with the family, melodious evenings at a winery, or experiencing the jazz stars of tomorrow performing live — COMPANION presents the best festivals close to our cities.
Mona Asuka combines two passions: playing the piano and baking. The Munich-born professional musician tells COMPANION why the two disciplines are in fact quite similar — and she also shares her recipe for the perfect summer cake.
Tim Renner is a legend in the music and culture business. As a manager at Universal, he discovered bands such as Rammstein, and from 2014 to 2016, he was Berlin’s state secretary for cultural affairs, initiating a digitalisation offensive. Aside from having worked as a music journalist and radio host, and founding his own media startup, Motor Entertainment, he also lectures at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg and writes books on the industry. In short, it’s hard to think of anyone with a better grasp on the present and future of pop culture. A conversation about youthful anarchism, the vastness of the unregulated internet, and what’s next for the music industry.
The music scene is a domain in which women have traditionally been on the passive side of things: as muses, as fans in front of the stage, or as groupies. Does that sound a little antiquated? Indeed it is! There have long been amazing women involved in front of, behind, or next to the stage. It’s time for gender balance to be introduced to festival lineups, for the gender pay gap to close in creative industries, and for women to take executive positions at major labels and established music magazines. Does this sound like a somewhat utopian fantasy? Hardly! If we take a look around the scene, we see significant female players who are making noise, creating new spaces, and, in doing so, changing the game. That’s why this edition of COMPANION is focused on the music world in Berlin, profiling women who make the industry so captivating: DJs, singers, event organisers, writers, and activists
Dasitu Kajela-Röttger and her husband, Michael Röttger, are a real dream team, both privately and professionally. They met and fell in love in 1985, at an African festival in their chosen home of Frankfurt am Main. At the time, Dasitu was organising an evening of Ethiopian Oromo culture, and Michael had just returned from a long trip to Africa and was enthusiastic about the music. Later, he also managed to convince Dasitu to become his accomplice in professional matters as well. Dasitu was already working in the intercultural field anyway, and she thought combining that with musical culture would be the perfect match. ‘I was only able to really spark her interest in West African music culture as time went on, though,’ says Michael, laughing.
Natascha Augustin, senior creative director at Warner Chappell Music, is the cool-headed industry leader who’s responsible for propelling Germany’s hottest hip-hop and rap acts to the peak of international acclaim — though her humility prevents her from taking any of the credit. Having pioneered ‘Deutschrap’ (German rap) right from the beginning, her knack for navigating the ever-shifting tides of taste in popular music has stood not only Warner Chappell but also the entire industry in ever-stronger stead. Natascha took a moment out of her nonstop schedule to share with COMPANION how she discovers new talent, what she likes about the new wave of female German rappers, and her outlook for the future of the genre.
Hamburg’s iconic Elbphilharmonie is just as famous for its insane acoustics as it is for its programme, which weaves traditional classical music together with rock bands, festivals, and jazz — like the Scandinavian piano band Rymden, for example. On the occasion of their concert, we met the jazz trio in the so-called ‘Elphi’, where we delved into the history of the concert hall and considered, among other questions, whether jazz is the classical music of the 21st century.
Dieter Meier is someone who, without exaggeration, can be described as a music legend. With the band Yello, the Swiss native became world famous in the 80s together with his colleague Boris Blank. Heard their hits like ‘Oh Yeah’ and ‘The Race’? Experimental and electronic, and a little gaga, the tunes get under your skin thanks to Dieter’s deep voice. Yello still perform today. But music is by no means Dieter’s only mode of expression: Dieter, probably the best dressed rebel of Zurich, who even earned his living as a professional gambler for a while, started working as a performance and conceptual artist in the late 60s. In 1972, he took part in Documenta 5 in Kassel, for which he installed a metal plaque at the main station with the inscription, ‘Dieter Meier will stand on this plaque on 23 March 1994 from 3pm to 4pm’ — a promise he later kept. As a creative entrepreneur and investor, Dieter has his fingers everywhere in the game. His greatest passions, however, are the worlds of culinary delights and nature, and, following from that, his farm in Argentina, where he cultivates wine, breeds cattle, and spends a lot of time. He serves up products from his second home in his restaurants — of course this jack-of-all-trades is also a restaurateur. And he has also just set up a chocolate factory. Somewhere between his many projects, Dieter took a moment to answer some questions for COMPANION.