Interview: 2003.06.25   :::   Edgar Froese with Olaf Zimmerman on 'Elektrobeats'

Part 1 of 4   |   Part 2 of 4   |   Part 3 of 4   |   Part 4 of 4   |   Elektrobeats

Part 1 of 4  ::: No Pleasure No Pain       audio file

[No Pleasure No Pain audio intro]

OZ: No Pleasure No Pain from the new Tangerine Dream CD Mota Atma. I'm very pleased to welcome Edgar Froese in the 1st hour of the Elektro Beats show here in the studio - hello

EF: Hello Olaf

OZ: Congratulation first - Mota Atma is the Elektro Beats CD of the month June and we will speak about it in this hour and the disc can also be won - I looked it up - our last interview was about one and a half year ago about the world premiere of Inferno the 1st part of the divine commedy - this concept work was performed 5 times in 2001 and 2002 - that recordig was issued last year on CD- planned is also a concert DVD - is that going to come and how is the state of preparation of parts 2 and 3 or did you plan a pause to attend to various other projects?

EF: The DVD comes definitively in November and it is a recording of a performance on the castle Nideggen on the Rhine [not really] in August last year - and the 2nd part we are working on currently - this Purgatorio - will be actually performed in the early summer next year in Atlanta.

OZ: In February there was a celebrated Tangerine Dream concert in the London Astoria Theatre over three hours - in addition to an excursion into the TD history you attended to the material of your new CD - the premiere - Mota atma - the 10 new pieces are based on a soundtrack which you recorded for a documentary co-produced from Japan and America - what is the film about?

EF: You could translate Mota Atma short and sweet as a part of the world soul - therefore, it is a documentation over world religion and due to 2 other productions in the past years - Luminous Vision and Mandala - we now have good relationships to Japanese creative studios and we are addressed again and again - and we picked out this one as it is a really interesting thing. we dont know when this will be released to the public as a picture.

OZ: how was the cooperation accomplished? how did the film-makers approach you?

EF: yes yes, that is always the case - we can't know whats happening in the studios all over the world and TD music doesn't match to all things - and in this case it was an optimal cooperation for us and the studio

OZ: before we listen to another track from Mota Atma - we have another 2 listeners questions - in the last week I asked the Elektro Beats listeners to send questions -they made use of it quite well - there were up to 38 questions from TD fan clubs on 6 sheets - perhaps I start with a question from Mathias Manrieke [?]: what is the state of the e-boy [???] technology as it was mentioned by Edgar a few years ago - could it be realized (technically and financially) by TD at all or does it have to give way for the forthcoming soundtrack and the Dante project?

EF: we work on different levels - we have this soundtrack department - we have video-films - we have studio records - we have live records - and you can certainly imagine that of course we push ahead the technical development we do with the help of other people who are more predestined in the background. [ whew ...] so , this project is running but it was never a project that was for 2 or 3 years - if you talk about storage capacities, if you talk about transfer of sound and - I don't want to go into technical details - sometimes that is desigend for decades - so this is ...

OZ: but its still waiting to be dealt with

EF: yes of course, the work is going on

OZ: a second questions refers to a TD night in the elektro beats show - a few years ago you mentioned that the '81 Berlin concert in front of the Reichstag will be published - can we hope ?

EF: we were close to completion of a discussion - also with other band members of the former years - and actual it is currently planned to publish everything what TD has in its cupboard [perhaps not the best word] until 2010 - and thats quite a lot

OZ: here from Mota Atma The courage to Lose

Part 2 of 4 ::: The Courage To Lose     audio file

OZ: Radio 1 Elektro Beats - in the 1st hour Tangerine Dream studio guest - if you like to write or mail or fax and act as a guest critic on the new tangerine dream material heard today you can win one of 10 signed Mota Atma CDs - we just listened to 'The Courage To Lose' - the record title is a play on words - we were just talking of what it is all about - because read backwards Mota means 'atom'

EF: found out very subtly Olaf - it's not so difficult, is it? [lol]

OZ: [Olaf is taking 2 noisy breathes] ... is there anything else to say about the record title - over what has just .....

EF: as is said it is ... it is the ... Atma is from Sanskrit the world soul ... that what is behind what is coming from the Hinduism and Buddhism - that means as if what is keeping the world and beyond going - if you like to express this so trivially - well and because everything is built on atoms - we all consist of atoms of different classes- the whole documentary is about that - the inner mechanics of what is keeping us together and everything around us - and how these things work, not only in their outward appearance but also beyond that where and how forces take effect which work interactively [$@*!§]

OZ: we talked about your London concert event on February 15th - in addition to the TD nucleus - Edgar and Jerome Froese - Iris Kulterer, percussion, and after a long time your guitarist Zlatko appeared on stage again - which were the aspects you selected your set on and which TD classics took part?

EF: well, the set was planned by Jerome - this time - and he certainly - what is ok for me - built his favourites from the last 20 years - and that was also interesting - because all the time before it was a co-operation between us, or .... I selected this alone before - this time he did - it was very surprising for me to see what he favours ...

OZ: .. that was about from Exit , ...

EF: ... yes yes ...

OZ: .... '83 ...

EF: abo... about - and that was amazing - here and there I might have configured it in a different way but it was absolutely ok simply get to know the view, the notion of the partner and then to achieve it

OZ: listeners have ...- they wrote that the concert was again very guitar dominated - compared to your last sets

EF: yes .. Zlatko joined us again - a long time since ... after an America tour and joining us often in Europe ... he made ... in studio and live .. a successfull career ... international, but there were also the disadvantages of booking him months in advance - and we could do even this concert only because there was just a longer time out at the DJ Bobo tour [Edgar laughing]

OZ: [Olaf laughing]

EF: would you believe it! but ok - as a studio musician you have to do different things - even when it's not always your musical taste - anyway - he wants [whatever, verb missing] the next things we do internationally - he will accompany us again.

OZ: that's the keyword - international live projects - is there anything concrete that you can say about them?

EF: well, we are planning this what will be for us a big thing - the Purgatorio in the USA - what we are partly working on now to get the musical arrangement together with the singers, so this is going to be approx. double the size of the Inferno production ...

OZ: .. and is planned for Atlanta?

EF: yes yes yes - we wanted to do it earlier but to go into the circumstances is like taking coals to Newcastle - you know what happened in America and some of what's happening now - so we hope that at that time the oil will be on the waves so that we can go ahead without any problems - and besides afterwards ....certainly some concerts with normal TD programme are beeing planned over there - and we want to perform Inferno in Europe - in Paris, Rome and London

OZ: so you performed Inferno last year at the Museumsinsel - the first part of Dante's Divine Comedy - a question very often asked is naturally if in the forseeable future we can get to see TD in Germany or Berlin

EF: it's a bit difficult to see - in Germany - of course - we don't get the same reaction as in the anglo-saxon countries or even outside Europe - and it's pointless philosophising about - we have had to put up with this for 30 years - we take note of that as it is - so - there are 2 things being planned but they're at a stage of planning where it's pointless talking about it

OZ: in a third of the London concert we could hear new material - alongside Mota Atma even tracks from the Dream Mixes 4 - the first 3 parts from the Dream Mixes series were very succesfull and we got very good feedback from it - do you have an exact release date yet and can you reveal which material will be remixed?

EF: well - it goes through the whole creative period and and we've been planning the last October week as the release date

OZ: in London you offered a special limited three track CD edition - there you can also find 'From Kiev With Love' - authorities on TD material know - will know - that this is just the 'Kiev Mission' - and this one is one of my personal favourites - perhaps you can tell us further details about this release

EF: well, in principle it's ... difficult to preserve the character of the original - it's that what plays an important role in terms of the atmosphere - maybe to wrap this into a different dress and although having the fun to put the own music upside down - because otherwise you needn't do any remixes - it's all about finding a completely different approach to your own music - it's true that you produced it by yourself but it was a totally different level of consciousness - just 20 , partly 20, sometimes even more - years old - and that is always a challenge - a technological one - anyway - and a musical one

Part 3 of 4 :::   From Kiev With Love            audio file

3. From Kiev With Love

OZ: Radio 1 Elektro Beats - today with the studio guests Tangerine Dream
in the first hour - and as always you can find the current play list and
numerous extras on the internet under - i'd like to try to
bring in a few of the questions - of the listen... of the numerous listeners
questions - among other things maybe a rather funny question from Stefan
Kirchheim: why is TD always dressed in black on-stage?

EF: it suits us well

OZ: then Thomas Bertillson - I don't know whether he is from the UK or
America - likes to know what is still motivating you after 35 years - and
where do you always get your new inspirations?

EF: ah, it's always the annual conversation with the taxman that is showing
me time and again: carry on, boy

OZ: now Bennet Cuxen [?] is asking - we talked about Inferno right at the
beginning - whether a DVD or video release of Tangerine Dream concerts
is being planned?

EF: of course we've collected a lot of material over the years - because - for
instance - filming is one of my passions - I suppose if I hadn't succeeded in
doing music - I would have tried it with the camera - as it's a passion that's
why - owing to circumstances - there is tons of visual material - but we
didn't have a well working department that could have done the editing and
processing - a very extensive work - we didn't want other people to take
care of that, though - because in the past we noticed that this is leading to
things which don't match our views - now we are ready to do all these
things in our own facilities - now we will slowly approach ... - and several
pictures will see the light of day

OZ: ... but concrete dates ...

EF: well, as mentioned before, the first one will be the Inferno show here in

OZ: this years?

EF: this year!

OZ: you did your last productions in studios in Berlin respectively Vienna -
Mota Atma was recorded in London - as stated in the booklet - how come?

EF: that's always with film music or TV music - that always depends on the
location of the whole production process - and sometimes we went to New
York for only 3 or 4 days to record some TV music because the whole staff
was there and the director, the producer - they all wanted to see what we do
- and because we are able to work very fast - thanks to the technology we
have access to - that's not a problem - in former times you had to move
tons of equipment - today you simply have a 300 or 400 GB hard disc and
you get on the plane and you fly somewhere and you finish it locally - so
that's no problem at all

OZ: what I like on the new CD is, that there were no short soundtrack
sequences - it is instead a mature Tangerine Dream album with 10 tracks
each about 5 1/2 to 8 1/2 minutes - were there any preconditions from the
Japanese producers or were you absolutely free in artistically respect?

OZ: absolutely free - absolutely free as over the years we've reduced the
cooperation with the Hollywood studios for this reason, because we didn't
want to and we could not live with the dictate any longer - and of course you
are the last link if you have to produce something and so - partly - you have
no freedom of choice concerning objects and methods - and as we know
that there are usually soundtracks of these productions, we couldn't
reconcile this with our views of music some way or other - that there is 50
seconds, then 1 minute 30, from this one 80 seconds and so on ...

OZ: ... hem ..

EF: ... and so on ...

OZ: ... more like a ...

EF: ... it is .. it is ...

OZ: ... patchwork

EF: yes, right, it's ... it's authentic - as it appears in the movie - wonderful,
but - to be honest, I don't want to take a seat for my cash and listen to "bits
and pieces" - what I want is a complete musical experience and so we
produce longer tracks - and even if something is omitted in the movie -
that's not so important for us as that the record will be a really complex

OZ: are there stories behind the track names or do they describe single film

EF: it describes both - the sequences as well as - of course - a little bit of
the philosophy that is behind - for instance track 1 'Courage To Lose' - it
takes some inner strength to lose - yes - and - as you know - sometimes in
life loosing is more important than winning - naturally it depends on how you
deal with loosing and loss - whether it's an experience or you're only down -
and that is similar to the other things, ..... too - for instance 'No Pleasure No
Pain', well, the meaning it's pretty clear - who is only longing for bliss will
naturally have more pain than the one who is able to take pain as an
experience .. and so on ... in this way the track titles can be seen in
connection with the film sequences

Part 4 of 4 :::                 audio file

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