Soundscape 06: Etude for Astrid

This is the story behind Etude for Astrid on You Tube.

The onset of Winter: local khiid and stupas and the first fall of snow-dust on the grassland steppe in Dundgovi Aimag, Mongolia. 4 November 2011. Photograph: C.Pleteshner

 In memory of

Andreas Gruschke

16 April 1960 – 30 January 2018 (age 57)

With higher degrees in Ethnology, Geography and Sinology from Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg and Leipzig University, Andreas Gruschke was an exceptional multi-lingual author, researcher and photographer.

For three decades (1987-2017) Andreas and his partner in life and research Astrid Zimmermann travelled extensively throughout Tibet, the Himalayas, along the Silk Roads and across East Asia from their home in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany.

Together they worked as freelance scholars and independent photographic journalists. Their contribution to scholarship in this specialized area of ethnographic research is considerable (see below).

Introduced by Bernhard Schittich our mutual fieldwork-based anthropologist-friend, Andreas and Astrid were generous when I visited Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg on sabbatical in 2010. At that time, I was assembling teaching materials for a series of supplementary lectures at the Mongol-Tibetan interface of existing course content in the Asian Studies undergraduate program at Victoria University in Melbourne (Australia).

Andreas’ detailed fieldwork-based cultural mappings, rendered with learn-ed detail and precision, are an amazing resource for introducing university students and other intelligent people to the complexities and movements across these Inner and Higher Asia topographical and socio-cultural spheres. Our generation of scholars, and those to follow, will be forever grateful for his contribution to the field.

Sadly, after a relatively short illness, on 30 January 2018 our friend passed away. The funerary ritual was held in one of Freiburg’s beautiful old Lutheran churches on 17 February 2018. In addition to family and friends, many of Andreas’ professorial friends such as Judith Schlehe were in attendance. A procession of many speakers spoke about the various facets of Andreas’ life of which they were a part.

As for the music? The first piece to be played was by the Austrian late-Romanticist Gustav Mahler (1860-1922). This was followed by everyone joining in a song of bonhoeffer, Rammstein’s ‘Engel’ and two beautiful Tibetan songs. This important (celebratory?) event coincided with Losar 2018, the beginning of the Tibetan Buddhist New Year according to the traditional Lunar Calendar, that of the Earth Male Dog. Mongolian people refer to the new year as Tsagaan Sar, literally ‘white moon.’ The Mongolian White Moon Festival took place over the same three days (16-18 February 2018) as the Tibetan Losar.

I composed Etude for Astrid for piano. Like a song without words by German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) I wanted to express my feelings through the simple (musical) language of a friend. Our thoughts and hearts go out to Astrid at this very difficult time …

Research publications (1988-2017): Gruschke & Zimmerman *

1988Gruschke, Andreas. 1988. Reich der Mitte: China. Freiburg: Rombach.
1990Gruschke, Andreas. 1990. Auf Chinas Pfaden: fernöstliche Abenteuerreisen im Ursprungsland der Seidenstrasse. Hamm: Artcolor-Verl.
1991Gruschke, Andreas. 1991. Neulanderschliessung in Trockengebieten der Volksrepublik China: und ihre Bedeutung für die Nahrungsversorgung der chinesischen Bevölkerung. Hamburg: Institut für Asienkunde.
Gruschke, Andreas. 1991. Der Hegau. Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach.
1995Gruschke, Andreas. 1995. Der Hochrhein: eine alemannische Flusslandschaft. Freiburg im Breisgau: Schillinger.
1996Gruschke, Andreas. 1996. Mythen und Legenden der Tibeter: von Kriegern, Mönchen, Dämonen und dem Ursprung der Welt. München: E. Diederichs.
1997Gruschke, Andreas. 1997. Die heiligen Stätten der Tibeter: Mythen und Legenden von Kailash bis Shambhala. München: E. Diederichs.
1998Gruschke, Andreas, and Martin Sasse. 1998. Südkorea Sonderthemen u.a.: Küche - fremde Genüsse aus dem Meer, Schamanismus - Götter, Geister und gute Geschäfte. Hamburg: HB-Verl.- und Vertriebs-Ges.
2000Gruschke, Andreas. 2000. The Gansu and Sichuan parts of Amdo. Bangkok: White Lotus Press.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2000. The Qinghai part of Amdo. Bangkok: White Lotus Press.
2001Gruschke, Andreas, Andreas Schörner, and Astrid Zimmermann. 2001. Tee: süsser Tau des Himmels. München: Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2001. Amdo. Bangkok: White Lotus.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2001. The Cultural Monuments of Tibet’s Outer Provinces: Amdo, 2 vols., Bangkok: [publisher not specified]
Gruschke, Andreas. 2001. Posvátná místa království tibetského: báje a pověsti od Kailásu po Šambhalu. Praha: Volvox Globator.
Gruschke, Andreas, and Jaromír Amadeus Máša. 2001. Tibetské mýty a legendy. Praha: Volvox Globator.
2002Gruschke, Andreas. 2002. International Association for Tibetan Studies, Henk Blezer, and A. Zadoks. Tibet, past and present: Tibetan studies : PIATS 2000 : Tibetan studies : proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS), Leiden 2000. Leiden: Brill.
2003Gruschke, Andreas. 2003. Miti e leggende del Tibet. Vicenza: Pozza. (Italian)
Gruschke, Andreas. 2003. Tibetischer Buddhismus. Kreuzlingen: Hugendubel.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2003. Dalai Lama. Kreuzlingen: Hugendubel.
2004Gruschke, Andreas. 2004. The cultural monuments of Tibet's outer provinces: Volume 1. The TAR part of Kham (Tibetan Autonomous Region). Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus.
2005Gruschke, Andreas. 2005. Kham. 2, 2. Bangkok: White Lotus Press.
2007Zimmermann, Astrid, and Andreas Gruschke. 2007. Hauptstädtische Kosmologie zwischen Utopie und Realität: Beijing als die geplante 'ideale Hauptstadt". München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2007. China und tibet: identit tsfindung im spannungsfeld von nationalismus und regionalismus. [Place of publication not identified]: Grin Verlag.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2007. Götterberg und heilige Seen: die sakralen Orte der Tibeter. Freiburg im Breisgau: Gruzim Verlag.
2008Zimmermann, Astrid, and Andreas Gruschke. 2008. Als das Weltenei zerbrach: Mythen und Legenden Chinas. Kreuzlingen: Hugendubel.
Gruschke, Andreas. A Vital Monastic Centre of the Jonang Tradition: The Grand Lamasery of Dzamthang, in: 《China Tibetology》 中国藏学(英文版) 2008年01期.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2008. Nomads Without Pastures? Globalization, Regionalization, and Livelihood Security of Nomads and Former Nomads in Northern Khams, in: Ken Bauer, Geoff Childs, Andrew Fischer, and Daniel Winkler (eds.), In the Shadow of the Leaping Dragon: Demography, Development, and the Environment in Tibetan Areas, in JIATS, 4.
2011Gruschke, Andreas 2011. Nomads and their Market Relations in Eastern Tibet’s Yushu Region: The Impact of Caterpillar Fungus. In: Jörg Gertel & Richard LeHeron(eds.): Economic Spaces of Pastoral Production and Commodity Systems. Markets and Livelihoods. (Ashgate: Farnham Burlington). pp211–229.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2011. Der lamaismus in china. geschichte und grundlagen seiner verbreitung. [Place of publication not identified]: Grin Verlag.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2011. Yushu Nomads on the Move. How can the Use of Pastoralist Resources be Sustainable?. In: 人文视野下的 高原生态国际学术研讨会.交流材料 [Renwenshi Yexia De Gaoyuan Shengtai Guoji Xueshu Yantaohui. Jiaoliu Cailiao]. The International Symposium on the Human Dimensions of Ecological Conservation on the Tibetan Plateau. Communication Materials of Conference. Xining, Qinghai, China. pp138–152.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2011. From Yak Herders to Yartsa Traders. Tibetan Nomads and New Market Options in Qinghai´s Yushu Region. In: 《China Tibetology》 中国藏学(英文版, 2011, No. 3, pp95–118.
2012Gruschke, Andreas. 2012. Nomadische Ressourcennutzung und Existenzsicherung im Umbruch: die osttibetische Region Yushu (Qinghai, VR China). Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Gruschke, Andreas. 2012. Tibetan Pastoralists in Transition. Political Change and State Interventions in Nomad Societies. In: Hermann Kreutzmann (ed.): Pastoral Practices in High Asia. Agency of ‘Development’ Effected by Modernisation, Resettlement and Transformation (Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research). Springer: Dordrecht. pp273–289.
2017Gruschke, Andreas, and Ingo Breuer. 2017. Tibetan pastoralists and development: negotiating the future of grassland livelihoods.

* Collated by CP. Bibliographic style: Chicago (Author-Date) 15th Ed. Indicative only. It is likely that there are other journal articles, presentations and research-related artefacts held in German, Mandarin and other non-English language repositories should you wish to explore Andreas’ and Astrid’s work in further depth.

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