For Doreen Kutzke, yodeling is a way of life.
“I start yodeling when I was six. There was a woman in my village and she gave yodeling lessons for kids, and I said, ‘oh wow! I want to learn it,” she says.
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.
As she got older, Kutzke found yodeling a little bit embarrassing. So she stopped for a while.
She rediscovered yodeling in her twenties after moving to Berlin, where she tended bar and DJ-ed at different clubs.
“I was behind the DJ booth and start yodeling and it was fun” she says.
Kutzke started a band with Ute Waldhausen.
The two were from different towns, but met as teenagers at punk rock parties.
Waldhausen says they both moved to Berlin around the same time and kept in touch.
The women have performed together since 1999.
Kutzke has also collaborated with a wide variety of Berlin-based artists.
She has merged yodeling with everything from performance art to dub step to classic 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 and in fact, many like 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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