Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2009 12:36pm | Post a Comment
Hans-Joachim Roedelius
Alessandra Celletti
and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of Cluster -- formerly Kluster fame), who in recent times met on MySpace and began working on a collaborative piece titled Sustanza di Cose Sperata [Substance of Things Hoped For] -- which they have so far only performed at a few large European festivals and also recorded for the label Transparency -- will perform together for three exclusive US shows (LA, SF, NYC) next month.

And as you may already be aware, Amoeba Music is the only outlet for tickets to both the San Francisco show (12/3 at Theater 39) and the Los Angeles show (12/5 at Zipper Hall). In advance of these two highly anticipated concerts, the Amoeblog this week caught up with both the Italian based Celletti and the Austrian based Roedelius to talk music. The interview with Celletti, which was published yesterday, can be seen by clicking here. Meanwhile, immediately below the video of the artist in concert at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, CA, is the Amoeblog conversation with the ever-active 75 year old Roedelius, who has long been considered the father of German electronic music as well as one of its most prolific artists, with approximately 150 albums to his credit.

Amoeblog: What keeps you consistently so active as a musician for all these  years?

RoedelClusterius:  Love for life, my family, my friends, nature, philosophy, poetry, writing, composing, cooking, eating, drinking, being able to "ride" around the globe doing concerts, meeting new people / friends, etc.

Amoeblog: What is your opinion of the electronic music being made today -- and are there any new experimental electronic music artists that really excite you?

Roedelius: I'm not very much aware of what happens at the field of electronic music on the globe beside my own projects at that field with Cluster (me and Dieter Moebius) and with  other colleagues with whom I'm working constantly such as Tim Story, Stefan Schneider (to Roco Rot, Mapstation,  Kreidler), Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust South), Dwight Ashley (Nepenthe-Records) David Bickley and some others. I get excited by the abilities of these colleagues / friends of mine. Also because I have to take care of my big family when I'm at home, taking care of my wife, of the house, my children and grandchildren, I rarely have the time to listen to other contemporaries so I don't know much about what others do.

Amoeblog: Do you think that the digital age we are in now, with its easy-to-use quality and inexpensive accessibility for all, is something that is being taken proper advantage of?

Roedelius: Only by real artists who know about their responsibility, who are gifted / talented and enough experienced lifewise and therefore aware of what art is, in which way they have to approach whatever they've chosen to work / compose with, whether with colors, tones and sounds, marble or plastic.

Amoeblog: You have collaborated with many artists over the years. What advantages do you find from working together with other artists versus creating in a solo setting?

Roedelius: As I was physiotherapist / masseur for many years before I became an artist, I am very much aware of how enriching / enhancing meeting with people is for me, how my own ability to understand what I have to do myself became better and better through the years, so it is nowadays working with other artists. In this very moment especially working with Alessandra Celletti, whose abilities as a composer and pianist, whose friendship, kindness, beauty is a great challenge for me, the best provocation for me to strengthen my own art.

Eno, Conny Plank, Moebius & Roedelius: "Es War Einmal" (1985 - Begegnungen II)

Amoeblog: What were some of your favorite musical collaborations over the years?

Roedelius: These guys I just mentioned but / and (listed up chronologically from the beginning in 1969) Conrad Schnitzler,  Boris Schaak, Dieter Moebius, Conny Plank, Brian Eno, Peter Baumann, Felix Jay, David Bickley, Alquimia, Clementine Gasser and many others but not the least Alessandra Celletti.

Amoeblog: How did working with Brian Eno alter your approach to making music?

Roedelius: His way being focused to his art/composition was great teaching for me. He came to our place in 1976 as an ambassador of art, he taught me to concentrate on myself, to become aware of my own art, to work independently whether this would work out as fast successfully as his art or not, he Cluster & Enotaught me to be patient on my own way and this was his greatest advice.

Amoeblog: Specifically what aspect of Alessandra Celletti's approach to her craft attracted you to work with her?

Roedelius: She's strongly dedicated to her art, a great composer and musician and (moreover) a very beautiful human being, kind, always helpful, with a big smile on her face. I like the way she plays piano, how open she is to herself and others, how flexible and humourous. She deserves great respect, that's what I do. We both fell in love with each other, real love, not for making kids but art.

Amoeblog: Over the years Cluster has been given many different names/tags, including "experimental" and "ambient jazz," and also "space rock" and even "Krautrock," all of which I would assume must seem inaccurate or at least limited in their scope to you. This made me wonder -- how do you think of or describe the music of Cluster in terms of genre, if at all?

Roedelius: Cluster is Cluster, not Krautrock at all, it's its own genre in itself.

Amoeblog: Is Berlin in 2009 still as vibrant a place for art and music now as it was 30 or 40 years ago?

Roedelius: I'm not living there anymore since 1969, I'm there just for concerts from time to time. I like to be there when I'm there. But I'm at home since 1978 near Vienna. But as far as I'm aware of, it is still Germany's most interesting city regarding art and culture, comparable with New York, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Lisboa, and Kopenhagen.
Amoeblog: Do you view the release of Sinfonia Contempora No. 1: Von  Zeit zu Zeit as a landmark release in your rich career?

Roedelius: Yes, but "La Nordica" (Sinfonia II) is another landmark and "Persistence of Memory" with Tim Story and, and......!

Amoeblog: Anything you would like to add?

Roedelius: Yes: I'm very, very glad being enabled through Michael Sheppard's activities (and a little help of some other friends, especially in the L.A. area, such as Michael Solway, Tommy Johnstone-Grenas and  some others) to play piano along with Alessa and recitate some poetry of mine in the US (finally) because piano and poetry, that's what I'm longing for, not to say that's what I'm made for, because I think that I have to follow those of my ancestors who were teachers, preachers, cantors and poets. It is okay for me to create still music with electronic instruments, but my heart belongs to the nature of the sound of an acoustique piano and the strength of the word.

Click here for more concert/ticket information on the upcoming LA and SF shows by Roedelius & Celletti.

Relevant Tags

Cluster (4), Hans-joachim Roedelius (2), Alessandra Cellettti (1), Amoeba Music (73)