Stefan Schneider asks Hans-Joachim Roedelius

The Realization of an own sound-language


Stefan Schneider & Hans-Joachim-Roedelius, FFT Kammerspiele, Düsseldorf, 23. Januar 2015

Hans-Joachim Roedelius has fundamentally registered into the history of Krautrock wit his bands Harmonia and Kluster/Cluster. But for him the times of hypnotic sound-experients have not ended in the 70ies, up until now Roedelius is negation the nostalgia and is constantly looking for new challenges.

In advance of the two festivals curated by him, Roedelius got asked three particular questions by Stefan Schneider for Kaput. Schneider recorded the album “Tiden” with Roedelius in 2013, and ever since plays regularly with him.



During the 90ies new varieties of electronic music arose in a lot of different cities (e.g. Helsinki, Vienna, Cologne, Chicago, Düsseldorf, London). Next to other influences they certainly also followed the sounds of Cluster. I didn’t catch any activity from you during that time. The first live set of yours I was able to see was in Geneva in 2000. From today’s point of view your work during that time does not appear to be very visible. What did you work on during that time? And how did you work?
My solowork is still not as present as that of Kluster/Cluster and Harmonia from that period. But thanks to Bureau B that is changing, ever since the label has starter promoting re-releases. I took part in all sorts of projects during that time. First and foremost I did work on my self-portraits, but also on the most different products with artists (not just musicians) from many other countries. The self-portraits are personal reports of mood states, musical diary entries, and therefor marked by a certain Hermeticism. Not everyone can find access to that. The music with other musicians that got developed with me or is influenced by me is formally considerably characterized by my respective fellow musicians — although I do bring in “my” mood. Examples are “Lunz” on the CD with the same name, or one of the pieces on “Drive” by the Japanese pop group P-Model.

The festival “More Ohr less”, that you and your wife (and your family) have been organizing in Lunz for the last ten years, is presenting contemporary and historical music next to academic presentations and performances. How much have you before now been interested in combining different forms and contents fruitfully?
From the start of my career I have been motivated from working with other artists. That was so to say the basis on which my solo-work could solely develop and grow. I starter out making music in all sorts of different groups and on top of this only direct, live, very practical.
It just happened, there was never an intent behind that. It was obviously the way I was supposed to take. Not the concept of live music in itself, but live instead of academia, live as a program for getting to know and trying out the own possibilities concerning the realization of an own sound-language, and to transform the necessity of knowledge of the basic parameters of the art of composition in the virtue of an own, personal approach to it.


Hans-Joachim Roedelius

It is not really popular to give room to Christian themes in contemporary music — or sadly reserved to ghosts like Bono.The first show we played together in 2008 was in a church. It seems not very well known, that the first records of Kluster (still with a K back then) got released by the choirmaster Gottlieb Blarr from Düsseldorf quasi as sacral music. I am interested in hearing about your thoughts concerning the collaboration of electronic music and religious, Christian aspects.
To ascribe Christian aspects to electronic music per se does not really work. Even the artist/human, who sees and feels himself as God’s creature and who wants to express this in/with his work, will only be able to bring the sacredness to sound in/with his sound-universe, if it is bestowed upon him as predisposition by is creator. The goodwill is not enough. But the goodwill is at least a start.

More Ohr Less Festival
Lunz, 4.-9.August 2015
mit unter anderem: Peter Kruder, Thomas Rabisch, Harri Stojka, Flow Bradley, Christopher James Chaplin, Schmieds Puls, Kasar, Takamovsky, Hotel Palindrone.

Lifelines #4: Hans-Joachim Roedelius Festival
Berlin, 3.-6.September 2015
mit unter anderem: Hans-Joachim Roedelius, E S B, Peter Kruder, Caramusa, Richard Fearless, Qluster, Christoph Müller, Tempus Transit, Lloyd Cole, Christopher Chaplin, Astronauta Pinguim, Stefan Schneider, the Chor der Kulturen der Welt.

Current Releases: 
Mueller_Roedelius “Imagori” via Grönland/RTD)
Harmonia “Complete Works”-Boxset (Grönland/RTD

(Translation: Denise Oemcke)

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