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15 Questions to Klangwelt

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m currently at my office and “studio” at Norderstedt, which is both the place for my daytime job and to make music as well.

What’s on your schedule right now?
After having released my third album “XOIO” some months ago, I’m currently programming new sounds, creating fresh samples and gathering new ideas for my next album. I hope that I can start recording new tracks within the next few weeks.

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?
When I started to make electronic music some ten years ago, I saw myself in the tradition of the European electronic music scene. I wanted to create music in the style of Jean Michel Jarre, Ron Boots or Wavestar/John Dyson. During the years, while recording my musicmore and more of these influences were “replaced” by my very own style. At this point in time, I think that my music is a kind of bridge between “traditional” and more modern variations of EM.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
While the music industry surely suffers from an economic crisis, I don’t think that we see a lack of musical ideas today – far from it! More and more independent musicians showcase their music to a worldwide audience on the WWW, there’s tons of great new tunes out there. The only problem is to find the really good ones …

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
In connection with the kind of electronic music that I make: Trying not to be the 150th clone of Tangerine Dream, but to use self-made, fresh sounds and to develop my own, independent and distinctive sound.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?

Every composition requires an appropriate arrangement to sound good – there’s no “perfect” song that will fit any instrumentation. For example, back in the 80s there were these “Rock Classic”-albums with rock-hits, played by famous symphonic orchestras. Boy, that was cruel… In electronic music, the sound is an even more integral part of the composition itself. I could imagine an electronic track that consists only of a single chord or tone. Choose a warm, wide-sounding pad-sound, add some interesting filter-effect and/or some modulation, and you could easily fill a minute or more without annoying your audience. But please don’t try this at home with your piano …

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Free improvisation and playing around with sounds, sequences and patches is my main source of inspiration. Improvising is always the first step of all my compositions.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance should be an entertaining experience for the audience – this is why I prefer “non-electronic performances” where people play drums and (electric) guitars. Such dynamic performances are much more entertaining than watching some guys behind their towers of keyboards. I believe that electronic music needs some additional element to compensate for the lack of dynamics in the performance – maybe a light- or lasershow or an unusual location that has some very special atmosphere or acoustics.

My project “Klangwelt” is a studio-project and was never intended for live-performances. As soon as a song is recorded, I don’t want to play or rearrange it again; I’m very much like a painter. Once he has finished his work, he does not want to paint the same motive again …

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?

Your individual taste is the border, if there is any … it is all up to the listeners.

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?
I don’t care about such attributes at all …

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 you’ve got an important message to spread, music can be a great medium for it. But let’s face it: instrumental electronic music isn’t the style of choice when you want to make a political statement … What really matters in my opinion is that each and every artist has to realise his very own artistic visions in a really truthful way – instead of being only a puppet on a string for some profit-oriented marketing-experts.

True or false: People need to be educated about  music, before they can really appreciate it.
No, you won’t need any real education (in terms of “acquiring information”), but some music like jazz or opera may require some time and experience to get “used” to it.

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?

By no means. I fear this would only lead to a mass production of uninspired cover-versions and needless remixes, we would all have to listen to the same sound-snippets and samples from some popular smash-hits again and again.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?

A combination of art and music – perhaps a series of performances of electronic music at a modern art museum …

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?

I’m always incorporating all of my artistic energy into my current musical project – so each and every CD was my “magnum opus” when I created it. :-)

Weltweit (Spheric Music) 2002
The Age of Numbers (Spheric Music) 2003
XOIO (Spheric Music) 2006


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