mercoledì 22 maggio 2013

Interview: Gregor Schwellenbach | Gregor Schwellenbach Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt

Photography by Jan Höhe

Qualche tempo fa vi abbiamo parlato di come Kompakt abbia deciso di celebrare i suoi primi gloriosi vent'anni con un progetto fuori dagli schemi: Gregor Schwellenbach Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt  - cioè la reinterpretazione in chiave orchestrale di 20 tracce che hanno fatto la storia della label di Colonia. Il risultato? Epocale. Per averlo tra le mani? Ancora qualche giorno di pazienza. Nel frattempo abbiamo avuto il piacere di fare quattro chiacchiere con Gregor, e di toglierci qualche curiosità.

Cristian Croce: Your upcoming release "Gregor Schwellenbach Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt"  marks your entry in the family Kompakt starting with a sort of revolution: you have reinterpreted twenty of the most successful tracks in the long story of Kompakt. How did you approach to the Colony based label? Were you already in contact with this environment or maybe it had never affected you so far?

Gregor Schwellenbach: Whenever music turns me on I try and find out why and come behind the mechanics of the style. While I worked in film composing, theater stage- and classical music I always liked to go dancing and listened to techno and house music.
The Kompakt office is actually in my neighborhood and it was only a question of time until we would run into each other. When I showed them the transcriptions and reworks of their tracks I did for my own personal studies they immediately liked it an asked me to do some more of them.

CC: You are a musician, a performer, a composer able to play up to 12 different instruments. How does an artist like you consider electronic music producers? Is there any relevant name in the international scene that you particularly appreciate?

GS: All adventurous, surprising, curious music is very welcome as an inspiration for me, and I find that in different scenes. Next to the classical electronic composers like Stockhausen, Schaeffer or Alvin Lucier, experimental classics like Daphne Oram and Kraftwerk, people like Herbert, Atom TM and Thomas Köner were a big influence. When it comes to dance music alongside Kompakt I like labels like Freude am Tanzen and Pampa.

Photography by Jan Höhe

CC: Let's talk about you and your relationship with your audience. In which kind of environment do you prefer to perform in? I'm thinking about theatres, site specific concerts or… clubs?

GS: I did a release concert with piano, string quartet and mallet percussions in the West German Broadcasting Corporation Concert Hall, a legendary venue where Stockhausen and Cage notoriously made their first steps. That was an ideal situation to perform in. Venues that combine a traditional environment with an open minded audience are perfect for my music, just as alternative venues with a crowd that came to listen, an after hour situation or as a warm up to going out. I am also very open towards playing in a club environment but I will have to see which instruments are feasible to include in such a set.

CC: Your artist page on Kompakt's website says that you are "constantly on the road, travelling the lands from pop to contemporary music and back." What to do you like to do when you are not busy with music?

GS: When I travel I devote every free minute to search for the perfect ice cream in town.

Photography by Jan Höhe

CC: We can easily imagine that your 2013 calendar is already fully-scheduled. Do you think that with this new release on Kompakt you will have the opportunity to perform in new scenarios? You know that we are waiting for you here in Italy!

GS: I am definitely looking forward to that! I do consider the south of Europe, the Mediterranean region and especially Italy to be the most beautiful place in the world (I think all the Germans do), and I sigh for performing there.

Photography by Jan Höhe

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