Bettina (1959) und Christoph (1955) Oehmen have been living in Bocholt since 1985 together with their four
children David, Johannes, Rebecca and Marie.
They first met in 1980 whilst studying at the Music Academy in Dortmund. Bettina
studied singing and classical guitar, and Christoph studied the cello and piano.
After Christoph took his concert examination at Cologne Conservatoire, both of
them went to Israel in 1982 where Bettina continued her guitar studies under
Haim Assulin at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. Christoph taught music at the
Rubin Academy and played in an orchestra.
their stay in Israel, they came to know and love Israeli songs, and were
fascinated by their often melancholic beauty on the one hand and the
expressions of overwhelming joy on the other. Back in Germany, Bettina
started to arrange some of these songs for cello, guitar and vocals. A
good friend of theirs from Israel regularly sent them further material,
and soon they started to perform on stage with their own repertoire.
At the same time, Bettina started to write a number of songs of her own
in the German language. They gave numerous performances on radio and on
television, but after the arrival of their first child (David) they
decided to cut down on the number of live concerts, in order to dedicate
more time to the family.
the years that followed, there were three more additions to the family
(Johannes, Rebecca and Marie), and all the children grew up surrounded
by music. Christoph took on a post as a teacher at the Music School in
Wesel, and for the last few years the couple have also been performing
more often again, now with the addition of lyrical poetry to their
Bettina published her first book of lyrical poetry in 1998 called “Im
Sonnengeflecht der Hirnfinsternis – Eine kleine Inventur der Neunziger”
(Rays of sunshine in the obscurity of the mind – a short inventory of
the nineties), and a second book followed a year later called “Bocholter
Bilderbuch” (A Picture-book of Bocholt) a book of amusing poetry,
pictures and songs about their home town of Bocholt, which she
illustrated together with her children.
songs in the book have been recorded, with Christoph playing the cello
and the children singing (with even little two year old Marie taking
part!).Another book of lyrical poetry followed in 2000, called “Gedichte
über Gott und die Welt” (Poems about Everyone and Everything).
Two more books appeared in 2001: one was a compilation of poetry by
local authors and school children about the planet Earth “Unsere Erde”.
Bettina had originally had the idea of this book partly to increase
local awareness of the environment and also partly to develop young
people’s interest in lyrical poetry. This book has met with an
The second was a childrens book “Julius sieht mehr” (Julius sees more),
which she had written on Christmas Day in Jerusalem (1983) some months
before the Oehmens returned to Germany. It’s a story about a boy who
suddenly discovers a parallel world to the one he lives in.. Together
with a girl called Fe, he has a series of exciting and amusing
On the purely musical front, a CD of guitar music “Die 13 Feen” (The 13
Fairies) with Bettina’s compositions for two guitars was recorded in
1987, and a CD with pop songs in english - also composed by Bettina -
was released in 2001. This was called “The secret of my life” and
contained songs for cello, guitar and vocals. Bettina also regularly
appeared with her children with their popular program “Liedermärchen zum
Mitsingen” (Musical fairy tales to sing along to).
June of 2002, the first thriller was published – “Zwei Leichen zuviel”
(“Two corpses too many”), followed by a second one in November: “Der Tod
malt in Acryl” (“Death paints with acrylic”). Both of these are set in
Bocholt and the surrounding area. Also in 2002, two further CDs were
released: “Liebes Leben” (Beloved Life) and “Lieder aus Israel” (Songs
of Israel) which are respectively German and Israeli songs.
A third thriller appeared in May 2003 and was called “Mordsgedanken” (“Thoughts
of Murder”), followed by another book of poetry “Wo wir dennoch keine
Götter sind” (Although we aren’t Gods). The latter is an anthology of
poetry by 11 other poets whom Bettina had approached with a view to
publishing their work.
At the beginning of November 2003 a children’s book was published
“Spaghetti im Badezimmer” (Spaghetti in the Bathroom), simultaneously
with the release of a further CD “Traumfänger” (Dreamcatcher) which is a
German / Spanish language project concieved and executed togther with
the chilean singer-songwriter Carlos Justiniano.
In April 2004, the new book “Variationen über die Liebe oder was wir aus
ihr machen” (Variations on Love – or what we make of it) appeared
together with two more CDs: “Liebe Lieder” (Love songs) and a CD of
childrens songs as an accompaniment to the books “Julius sieht mehr” and
“Spaghetti im Badezimmer”.
In september 2005 Bettina presented her new spiritual book “Solé or the way to
luck”, together with the CD “Solé, songs for a positive way of thinking”.
Are there any new projects cooking?? Of course – lots!!
Meanwhile there are five Solé-books, a fifth thriller, a meditation-trip with three CDs, the children book "Is there anything better than Julia's grandma?", a book about Israel named "Shalom chaverim", the funny book "The world seen through the eyes of the children" and a photographic-account on Bocholt commented in 10 languages.