Dressing Room Talks at LUFF Festival: Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Our contributing writer, Angela Chambers had the pleasure to catch up with a few of the artists backstage at this year’s LUFF Festival in Lausanne where we had the chance to ask them a few more intimate questions about their music techniques and live setups. “Anarchic musical actionism” a term he himself coined, chosen when opting for the career of composer. Before becoming one of the most crucial pioneers of electronic music worldwide, he was, amongst other things Monsieur Le President’s masseur. In 1969 with Dieter Moebius and Conrad Schnitzler, he founds Kluster (later Cluster, then Qluster), Harmonia with Michael Rother (Neu!), then Brian Eno. His influence was far-reaching, triggering Krautrock and quantities of other things. His name appears on more than 150 records. He is the mind behind an œuvre (texts, poems, visual arts) which counts more than a thousand references. Hans-Joachim will grace us of his presence, a few days before his eighty-second birthday.

1. Could you tell me a little bit about your technique and your thoughts on the Krautrock genre of music you started experimenting with early on?

We would improvise everything. It was absolutely underground, especially because we didn’t know anything about music, we just tried to find out whether we could do something. So with the Zodiak venue, when we started, it was sort of something about music actions. We played together with many groups in the Zodiak, they were playing jazz and they played with instruments such as flute and saxophone, just to make sounds and not to actually play. But I came from being a physical therapist myself, so I was not very interested in instruments or music in general, so I got more into academic music just to find out what it was all about anyways.

2. Could you tell us a little bit about your tech setup for your live set at the moment?

At the moment, I’m using an iPad with some software on it called Animoog and Traktor, but Traktor is just an archive, and I have some pre-prepared stuff on my computer, and lots of sources to work with. I never know how to begin. It’s usually the same principle behind the live set, which involves coming out of the moment with some ambience behind it.

3. Do you have any new collaborations coming up soon?

At the moment, I’m working with Arnold Kasar who was at the MusikBrauerei. He was just in my studio and we did some work together. And there is also Christopher Chaplin, Stefan Schneider, Leon Muraglia, Cluster of course, and then my solo activities such as reciting my own poetry, not only making music. My book is ready, Roedelius: Das Buch, which is very political, not only about art or my art, because it’s 82 years and a lot of, lot of, lot of, lot of real life, meetings with real people, and very important happenings which I describe in my book.

(Espresso Spilled in the fitting room…..)

About the LUFF

Over the last fifteen years, the Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival (LUFF) has been going to great pains to rub its audiences the wrong way and to offer some original and off-the-wall programming. LUFF’s objective is to fuse music and cinema together into a chemistry of weirdness, drawing from a wide range of avant-garde artists and innovative creations which in most cases have never been seen before in Switzerland . www.luff.ch