(Clearwisdom.net) The following article was featured in the German newspaper Rhein-Neckar Zeitung on Thursday February 24, 2005.

Although his professional training is that of a machinist and gardener, many of his fans remember Michael Hackmayer as a rock musician. He is the former lead singer and keyboard player of the band "Wild Frontier" who played gigs during the eighties throughout the Kraichgau area.

But that is in the past, and now Hackmayer plays to a different audience. He has a different repertoire and a different agenda: he is fighting against human rights violations. He appeared with his friend, pianist and music teacher Jacek Wohlers in a recent concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of a Gala event for Chinese New Year. The organizers of the event, a liberal TV station run by Chinese people residing abroad, are not the only ones to hold a despairing view of the human rights situation in the People's Republic of China. Hackmayer and Wohlers presented songs and ballads dealing with the fates of victims of persecution in China.

Hackmayer is employed by the Demeter's Nursery in Gondelsheim, a former member of the Hilsbach church choir and musically quite talented. His musical focus has shifted and his songs have a fresh content. He has become interested in the repertoire of romantic period composers Schubert and Schumann and is receiving voice training from an opera singer in Karlsruhe.

For the past three years, Hackmayer has used music to fight against torture and the persecution of religious, political and ethnic minorities at the hands of the politically powerful in the People's Republic of China. He has already cut two CDs. "Der friedliche Weg" ("A Peaceful Journey") appeared in 2002. It was followed in 2003 by "Freiheit für Xiong Wei" ("Freedom for Xiong Wei"), whom the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) was trying to help escape imprisonment through petition campaigns.

Hackmayer considers songs the ideal medium to "explain to people what is happening in China." He has a personal relationship with China, although he only speaks a few words of Mandarin and has never been to the People's Republic. He met his girlfriend and future wife Zhou, an engineer from Hangzhou who used to work in Walldorf, when he started to learn a meditative Qigong practice in Mannheim. The exercises freed him from his constant back pain, which neither chiropractors nor conventional or homeopathic medicine had been able to relieve previously.

This particular meditative practice had been promoted with the support of the government in 1992 in China. However, everything changed in 1999, when this meditative practice, which is based on Buddhist principles and on the harmonious integration of mind and body and does not have a formal organization or structure, had attracted 100 million followers. To this date, they are being arrested, persecuted, tortured and taken to forced labor camps.

Hackmayer and his friends, fellow Falun Gong practitioners who meet for group practice in the Baden area, thought it was only natural to take steps to raise awareness about the human rights violations in China. He thought it would make sense for him to use his talents: ballads, songs and communally produced CDs.

The song collection "Freedom for Xiong Wei" drew the attention of the IGFM and they issued an invitation. This led to the IGFM gala event in November 2003 which was held at the "Rotes Rathaus" (Red City Hall) on Berlin's Alexander Square, which demanded improved human rights in China. Hackmayer and Wohlers appeared at additional gala events: January 2004 in Paris and March 2004 in Geneva, which also coincided with the UN Human Rights Day. The evangelical Christian is not a fanatic and he uses simple words to describe his activism: "I am taking a stand for human rights. If there is anything I can do, I am happy to do it." Currently, he is celebrating his next CD with some of his fellow musicians. It is scheduled to appear in the summer. In addition, he is looking forward to his wedding. The couple will be married in St. Anne's chapel in Steinberg.

Source: http://clearharmony.net/articles/200503/25276.html