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15 Questions to Rob Papen

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I am fine thank you. I am based in the south of The Netherlands.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Release of a new CD in 2007.

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?
There are several. J.M.Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, Talk Talk, Howard Jones, Depeche Mode…many more.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
There are a few problems. People see no value anymore in buying a CD. Music is for free on internet and that breaks down the industry.

What does the term “new“mean to you in connection with music?
Good music. Good music is always new.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Sound can inspire one to make compositions. With synthesizers the sound is very important.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Combination is nice. Composing starts from improvisation.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Dynamic music. New music. But it was a long time ago that I played live. Still want to do it, but the workload is heavy.

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?
Music is emotion. If somebody likes the music, it is good music. Always a personal thing.

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?
Time will always tell. Many popular compositions became serious music because of the composition quality. So according to me, words without meaning.

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?
The artist should bring out his creative/emotional feeling. It depends on the artist if he is inspired by political/social aspects or wants to add these to his statement. For me personally, being a Christian artist I always thank God for giving me the talents to make music. So on that point I only worship Him. Music should come from deep within.

True or false: People need to be educated about music, before they can really appreciate it.
Sometimes, this is True.

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?
No, it would be a disaster. It’d be very odd. It's like taking parts of Rembrandt's pictures and adding them to a picture by Van Gogh.
It would hurt the integrity of a composition. In today's music they use old songs and improvise over it with rap and new singing lines (HipHop and RnB). Still the original composer gets his credits and is also the "inspiration" for such a "variation" performance of his original song.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
Hmmmm, concert with Howard Jones and TalkTalk. Just to hear what they would produce as music today.

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
Hmmmm. Not really. In every new record I try to move forward and generate music in the best possible way. It is creative process and there is no control in quality and making a magnum opus.

with Peru:
Macchu Picchu (1979/1981)
Constellations (1982)
Continents (1983)
Points of the Compass (1986)
Forlian (1988)
Moon (1991)
The Prophecies (1993)

with Nova:
Terranova (1982)
Quo Vadis (1983)

Daydreamer (2004)

Rob Papen

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