Arts, Culture & Media

VIDEO: Musician rediscovers her yodeling talent in Berlin nightclubs

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Doreen Kutzke is a Berlin-based yodeler. (Photo courtesy of kutzkelina.de.)

For Doreen Kutzke, yodeling is a way of life.

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"I start yodeling when I was 6," she said. "There was a woman in my village and she gave yodeling lessons for kids, and I said, 'Oh, wow. I want to learn it.'"

Kutzke began performing as a kid in the small East German town where she was raised. At one point, she was even featured yodeling on TV in a dirndl, a traditional German dress.

As she got older, Kutzke found yodeling a little bit embarrassing. So she stopped for a while.

She rediscovered yodeling in her 20s after moving to Berlin, where she tended a bar and DJed at different clubs.

"I was behind the DJ booth and (started) yodeling," she said. "It was fun."

Kutzke started a band with the musician Ute Waldhausen. The two women were from different towns, but they had met as teenagers at punk rock parties.

Waldhausen says they both moved to Berlin around the same time and kept in touch. They've have performed together since 1999.

Kutzke has also collaborated with a variety of Berlin-based artists. She has merged yodeling with a wide range of genres, including performance art, dub step and American country music.

And Kutzke wants others to enjoy yodeling too. She runs yodeling workshops from a hair salon in the Turkish enclave of Kreuzberg.

Germany pays a lot of attention to its artists. Many, including Kutzke, are subsidized by the state.

But as the cost of living creeps up in Berlin, Kutzke worries that unconventional and experimental artistic careers like hers will soon be a thing of the past.

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