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15 Questions to N Strahl N

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! Thank you, i´m well. I´m at home and i´m enjoying the fine weaher over here.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Firstly, there are several albums, comprising of both “archived” material and completely new recordings, which are waiting to be released throughout spring. Some interesting collaborations are finished, or at least in progress, including works with mystified, flutwacht and metek from sweden.
Also there will be another volume (the third and last) of the “transmitter”-series (mindscreen, zeitpapier) very soon. Next to N Strahl N, i´m working on my other project erdlicht, which shows another kind of music, somewhere between drone and ambient with some neo-folky influences. Thematically it´s diving deep into nature-mysticism, ancient German themes and such.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?

Firstly, i must admit that i´m not really up to date about the music scene in general. I think that the easy possibilities to produce and spread music nowadays have both, positive and negative effects. I got to know a whole bunch of very interesting and promising musicians through networks like myspace, but on the other hand it gets increasingly harder to filter out the talented projects from the big stream. There are too much people who just want to satisfy their need for recognition in my opinion. In the post-industrial and neofolk-genre it’s the same as elsewhere. But that´s a general problem of our time i think.

Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?

Surely there are certain traditions that influenced my views on music and my techniques. But these influences are too manifold to classify n.strahl.n or erdlicht as part of a certain movement. A very diffuse but somehow fitting term to describe some influences could be post-industrial ;)

What, would you say, are the factors of your creativity? What “inspires” you?
Life, nature, the  everyday-struggle. Natur und Technik.

How would you describe your method of composing?
As rather intuitional. Sometimes it´s the aspect of “sound-research”, which is predominant, and sometimes i know pretty exactly what something should sound like and how it should work, what inner images it might evocate.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
I´m using a lot of found sounds and i mostly use them in a compositive way. But when it gets too fixed in my opinion, some free “random” sounds can cause miracles in changing the mood.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Not that strictly. Recorded improvisations often become part of a composition later on.

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?

I think the times of groundbreaking developments have passed. “New” to me rather means “something original”.

Do you personally enjoy multimedia as an enrichment or do you feel that it is leading away from the essence of what you want to achieve?

Hm, i haven´t really thought about this seriously. I think it might work, if it fits together. It´s always a question of what kind of music somebody plays and if it´s advisable to fill picture-music with “preset-pictures”. But in my opinion some experimental acts are afraid of getting “boring” to their audience, so they try desperately not to be boring

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?

Oh, that depends also on the style of music. I think the music itself is the most important thing. I only played one concert so far and i can´t say much about my own approach. We will see, how it evolves.

Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself? Or to put it differently: Should art have a political/social or any other aspect apart from a personal sensation?
If it´s serious about it, i generally welcome zeitgeist-critical art. But this doesn’t mean I don’t welcome “absolute art” any less. The duty of an artist grows with his audience. Experimental music is still a rather autistic parallel-universe.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences without sacrificing their soul?
Through endurance and self-discipline. And by being honest to oneself.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
Nothing that could constitute a well-visited festival, i fear. But it would surely be something “across the garden” of popular and less popular forms of music..In the end, it would end up a financial disaster ;)

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
No idea!

Eingang (Tosom) 2006
Rostromantik (Self-released) 2006
Brot und Lügen (Tosom) 2006
Maschinenrepublik (Apocalyptic Radio) 2007
Heimwerk oder Hackstücke (Krakilsk) 2007
Wahrnehmungshygiene (Tosom) 2007
Strom (Bone) 2008
Ancient Machineries /w. Metek (Dim Records)
Shift Coordinate Points /w. Pythagora (Sickcore)
F.M. /w. Mystified (Roil Noise) 2008
In Absentia (Smell the Stench) 2008
Anschwellender Bocksgesang (Apocalyptic Radio) 2008

N Strahl N
N Strahl N at MySpace

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