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15 Questions to Emerge

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi, thanks I’m fine. I’m enjoying 1 week holiday in the moment. I’m sitting here in my living room listening to some strange noises.

What’s on your schedule right now?
After a long break, I will start working on new sounds again. First of all I will design new cover-artworks for my old self-released CD-Rs for 2nd editions. Then I have to complete a collaboration work with a friend of mine. He’s more into Trance, but it will be nothing rhythmical. There are some plans for a compilation track and a new remix/recycling work, too.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist? Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
Hard to say. I listen to a lot of different music and styles. Maybe AUBE is a great influence for his concept of creating sounds. I don’t see myself as part of a tradition or movement. Only the sound itself and experimenting with certain moods are on my focus. Nowadays everything has been said and expressed. There is only the possibility of variation of already exiting themes and feelings. Certain movements were extremely important and still are, but in my personal opinion we have to return to our own individuality.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
The cheap equipment today has lead to such a great amount of bands/projects  (like EMERGE) in every possible style. It’s very easy to release your stuff, if you are not interested in earning money with it. We have to divide music into 2 different categories. The first one are musicians who try to express their own feelings or ideas with their sound, the second one are musicians who try to earn money and fame with it. Very uncommercial music of the first category has no crisis at all. More and more projects appear and no one has a certain overview over this huge quantity. Commercial music of the second category lacks of a change of interest in music in general. Through the internet and the possibility to burn every CD, people see music only as some sort of entertainment. They don’t divide into art and non-art. Everything is O.K., as long as they like it. Music is interchangeable in every single moment. So only the the second category has a real crisis.

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
It’s very hard to create something completely new in music. Only very few bands/projects have managed this in the last years. In most cases new sounds and music are born, when there is a combination of already existing styles, that noone has done before.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
I have to admit that I will never use the term “composition” when talking about my own project. I create sounds and don’t have any clue about composition itself. I admire a lot artist in the fields of musique concrete and other academical styles. This is composition, for they are classically trained and they really know what they’re doing with sounds. Everyone else, exceptions included, only create sounds in a technical manner.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
When creating sounds there is always a lot of coincidence. This is very interesting, because you manage to create sounds you weren’t thinking of before. For I don’t play any real time instruments I really can’t say that I’m improvising. I can change every sound as long as I want to, to achieve the result I’m pleased with.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
I don’t perform on stage. I don’t have any possibilities of playing or creating sounds in real time, so I think it would be not O.K. to “perform” on stage and rely on already finished sounds. A good live performance can have many different aspects. It could be reproducing the own sounds with different instruments or methods, it could be something completely new or it could be a concept that combines the sounds with certain visuals and actions. I think it’s very important to surprise the audience. It doesn’t matter with what.

 A lot of people feel that some of the radical experiments of modern compositions can no longer be qualified as “music”. Would you draw a border – and if so, where?
How do we define music? Is it necessary to have rhythms, melodies or singing? You could stay that these elements or at least one of them are necessary to music itself. On the other hand, music and art itself has to entertain and/or challenge people. Every form of sound that reaches this goal could also be described as music. I would only draw a border between good and bad music.

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?
Nowadays you can’t make a distinction between “serious” and “popular” in general. You have to deal with every band/project itself. Styles themselves are only useful to describe music not to rate it.

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?

True or false: People need to be educated about  music, before they can really appreciate it.
True, but education hasn’t necessarily to do with school or teaching. You have to learn to experience music and sound.

Imagine a situation in which there’d be no such thing as copyright and everybody were free to use musical material as a basis for their own compositions – would that be an improvement to the current situation?
I don’t think so. I also use musical material from other artists for my own sounds, but only in the sense of recycling and only with their permission. The only improvement is that I have the possibility to work with other sounds that I couldn’t generate myself.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
I would be very selfish and book the bands/projects I would like to see myself and still haven’t seen:
JOHN BERGIN (with every project)

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
Not yet.

relativity (2003) Drone Records
fission - processed (2004) Attenuation Circuit
divisible (2004) Attenuation Circuit
evaluation (2004) Attenuation Circuit
cycle (2005) Verato Project
die kosmische zygote/ with Aalfang mit Pferdekopf (2006) Taalem
immersion (2006) Mystery Sea


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