Tell us about yourself and your music
I was born in a small village in Bavaria in 1963. I am the youngest of 4 children and all my brothers are artists. When I was about 10 years old my brothers gave me 2 records, Miles Davis “Nefertiti” and The Beatles “Help”. I listened to these records over and over and became so hypnotized that I wanted to become a musician. I am self-taught and if needed my brothers could show me harmony and scales. After I finished school I went to Graz – Austria. I planned to study Jazz guitar at the university but I ended in a restaurant as a dishwasher. After 1 year I left Graz and got back to Munich. I took one guitar lesson from Peter O’Mara, a well-known Jazz guitarist in Munich. He told me not to take lessons. He just had left the Barbara Dennerlein Trio and told me to call her. I was invited for a rehearsal and was offered the gig. Then I spent 10 years on the road with Barbara and my bands. 28 years old I left Barbara’s trio because I did not find what I was looking for, I kept on touring with my band for 2 years and then I quit. I could not get the music on stage I wanted to hear. For making a living after the tour I started to teach guitar and tried to build a studio. But good recording equipment is really expensive, so it took me many years to build the studio and to learn all this equipment. Meanwhile, I am set and have developed my tone which I would describe as acceptable. Composing is very easy for me, it seems these channels are always open but arranging the music the way I want to hear it is very difficult for me. I can spend months composing strings, setting up the golden ratio in the counterpoint as perfectly as I can, and then spend weeks to find the right synth pad. But I love doing this and will keep on going and learning as long as I live.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Liquid Gold” is something special and I worked for a long time on the music. What we wanted to do is to create a compositional technique because of my love for Händel and then hide some of the counterpoints behind synth pads. I wanted to create melodies that were so simple as you can get but always watching that the golden ratios are perfectly constructed throughout the whole tune. Then playing these melodies perfectly phrased. If you know about phrasing you can create intensity hardly heard in music today. But you must be able to hear it.
What inspired you to write this release?
The first song I wrote was Liquid Gold and I sent it to my web designer just for fun. She called me back the next day and was excited about the song. She is listening to ambient music a lot and was touched by the intensity and the new approach in harmony and melody. So we decided to create an album around this tune.
Describe the writing and recording process
I always compose changes first but I do not use knowledge even I have basic skills. I go for voicing and then I hear the next chord in my head and find it on the piano and so on. Inspired by a sound I finish the complete song. Then I do basic arrangements, like in “Madame Moureaux” I composed the changes and then find the right sounds. Melody comes always last, I do not improvise, I try to sing the melody, this comes very easily to me.
Any plans to hit the road?
At the moment we have no videos. We are not so much into the visual aspect, perhaps we would like to get back to those days where music was heard.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I try to make the music unique and in a way that captures the imagination plus we try to create beautiful websites and designs and also do a lot of PR work, but hopefully, the music stands for itself.
Who have you been listening to lately?
95% of my listening time I listen to “Michael Franks”, this is crazy. I got to know Michel Franks when I was 15 years old and ever since he is my biggest hero. If I was allowed only one album to listen to I would take “Passion Fruit”.
Who are your biggest influences?
Definitely “Chet Baker”. When I first heard him I felt instantly that everything is perfect. The note choices, the phrasing, and his tone. Unbelievable, especially his phrasing. I learned how to phrase from him. But there is also a sad story with my hero and me. One day Barbara and I opened up for the Chet Baker Trio in Amsterdam. We were so excited. After the show, we waited for Chet backstage but he did not come. Our manager told us that Chet jumped out of the window and died! The next day we left Amsterdam in tears…
Tell us about your passions
I love ChiLel Qigong. I practice Qigong every day quite a bit. Getting silent is such a beautiful feeling, leave the world at the door, and listen to what’s inside.
What else is happening next in your world?
I work on my next release “Space” which is different from “Liquid Gold”. Distorted guitars, synth guitars, sitars, and beats but not in a hard rock genre, simply different.
Thanks for an awesome interview, WID
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