Interview with Klaus Schulze  

Short Answers

October 2005

Q: If you accept this little game, that our readers appreciate, we propose you a brief questionnaire in which we ask you to choose solely based on your subjective affinity (it is not a matter of hierarchy).

KS: Oh. I like this one!

Q: Tomita or Eberhard Schoener?

KS: The first.

Q: Gould or Cziffra?

KS: Who the fuck is "Cziffra"? :-)

Q: Nigel Kennedy or Frank Zappa?

KS: J.J. Cale!

Q: Nietzsche or Heidegger?

KS: Absolutely NOT the second!

Q: What inspires you as a musician?

KS: Sorry, but this is the usual question that everybody asks me (and probably all other artists) during my whole life, and every time I have no answer.

Q: Sampling offers virtual unlimited freedom of creation in sculpturing sounds. However, once created they may be overused (by the same artist or others) and diminish their impact. What are other elements of conception that could make the electronically generated music not become obsolete? (classical music for instance uses harmony, counterpoint etc. as carriers of creation and originality, which are also taken further through virtuous interpretation).

KS: Your (again very complicated) question is, ...a bit more simply pronounced: What makes music a "good music"? And my answer is: Music that does not bore the listener.
To achieve this, is depending on the craft of the composer, or of the performer of the music. It's like in most professions: Be as good as possible. And your "customers" will be happy.
By the way: The statement that this or that new technology gives finally "unlimited freedom" (in this case: of creation in sculptural sounds) is a bit shortsighted. A good music (or just good sounds) comes not because of a new technique. New technology is of course also (and much more) used to create the usual trash. The music in most radio programmes shows it every minute. "Freedom" can be very irritating and confusing. The craft of an artist is not to make everything which is possible in this "freedom". Instead, he chooses a certain form or frame, and he exhibits his art in this chosen form. Which is, more or less, the opposite of total freedom. Improvement comes from discipline, not from chaos.

Q: Which are, in your opinion, the main attributes of the 3rd millennium artist in the context of the pop culture acquiring new dimensions as digital-virtual culture?

KS: Sorry, but I cannot and will not answer to this. I am not a scientist, not a historian, not a philosopher, not a prophet, etc. I'm (just) a musician :-) I find it remarkable that journalists very often seem to think that an artist must answer all kinds of questions which have nothing to do with what the artist is actually doing, and that he should have answers and solutions for all problems, happenings and fashions of this world, even about the unknown future. I know that many "artists" give these answers. But I like the way Bob Dylan is dealing with this little problem :-)

Q: As the composer of this album, where would you situate Moonlake?

KS: It's not me who should tell the listeners what it is, in which category he should put it. A music that must be explained by the artist - this is absolutely not my cup of tea. Just look around what kind of music needs plenty of explanation. General rule: The more words, the more unpleasant or boring the music :-)
In my case, and Moonlake: The music is there. As an offer. The listener can listen and decide. Not me.