Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two and a Half Questions with Marcus Fjellström

Tell us a bit about the process of composing for Schattenspieler.
Well, I guess there are two facets to it; half of the album -- the House Without a Door suite -- was composed in 2006, just around when Gebrauchsmusik came out. For that I tried to fuse avant garde classical composition with a 'Fritz Lang' kind of sensibility, and relied quite heavily on recording acoustic instruments and processing them. The rest of the album was composed much later, using a very different approach; over the last three years I've built and organized a huge personal sound library out of sampling old, forgotten films and vinyl recordings of avant garde classical music. These sounds are later constructed into virtual instruments on which I apply my conventional compositional methods. I think these tracks differ from my previous works in that they are decidedly lo-fi/'vintage' sounding, and also that they are -- in my opinion at least! -- more musically conventional and accessible than the music on my two previous albums on Lampse.

And what about scoring House Without A Door - how did that come about?
Bernd Behr liked my debut album 'Exercises in Estrangement' (2005) and contacted me about the possibility of commissioning original music for his film project. The film makes numerous references to 1920s German expressionist cinema, which I'm personally very interested in, so I was happy to accept the offer. The music for the film was composed, recorded and mixed all in under one month, and I later reworked the material into the suite on the album, so that it could stand on its own legs.

The album has an eerie tone with dark undercurrents - how would you describe your music?
I wouldn't! :) It's very hard for me to describe my music so I generally try no to. But I certainly agree with your description of the album, although naturally it also goes beyond just trying to be eerie and dark. To me, it's almost always important to create a sense of 'what is it?' in my works, to strike a balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar. This album is more directly cinematic than my previous efforts, as well as more deliberately referencing noirish and dark sensibilities and traditions.

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Read the entire interview on Headphone Commute

Read also Headphone Commute review of of Schattenspieler |

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