Interview: 1980.01.31  :::   Edgar Froese and Chris Franke

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Audio file Tangerine Dream Interview January 31, 1980

The band TD from West Berlin. For more than ten years one of the leaders in the field of EM. For our film we used material from the first guest performance of the trio at the GDR early this year, where the musicians fascinated the audience with high-class live music.

Question: Computer technology plays an important role for TD. To what extent is there a pre-programming of e.g. musical ideas that are recalled at will during a concert or the production of a LP?

Chris: Basically the computer only performs the administration of instruments. Just like in the old days when there was the person operating the stops (German original: "Registrant") of a church organ who had to operate the most varied buttons and regulators like a flash, with complex organs sometimes even several [persons operating the stops], today with very developed instruments it would have to be more than five persons always operating the regulators. The computer can take over all this more or less routine work so that the musician can concentrate on the pure musical playing and not on the mechanical re-programming.

Question: To what extent there are preconceived agreements about certain musical themes that you want to deal with at different phases of the concert, and how do you perform this agreement?

Edgar: We've got a very simple type of concert composition, and this is simply the knowledge of the individual persons among each other. Thus we know how the other one will react on the material that is offered to him. And this is valid for all of us. No one will react this surprisingly that it is shocking for the other one and he drops the fingers from the keys. Due to the long-term teamwork we have got the possibility to work with the skills that the other one has got personally, due to the experience and due to the available instruments. Very seldom we do reach so complex agreements that they could be described as having been arranged, definitely not. Instead we may define the pitch, what is important as a source material. We agree on the rhythm structures by eventually saying that the track is to be polyrhythmic, thus like a pattern in different parallel rhythmic lines, or we work more with noises in one track, or more with clusters, extensive (German original: "flächenhafte") parts. These things have got a certain vocabulary meaning that we discuss a bit but that on the other hand will not restrict the one who has to perform it. We keep the license, in a way also the fool's license, really to do what we want, what is according to our mood.

Question: Is it possible that there do occur misunderstandings?

Edgar: Of course. Frequently we do have a very nice accident. Where there are really nice gaps, where there is really something way out nicely, where there is a wrong note. I think, however, that all these things are worth being part of a concert because this documents the authenticity. All these things are, as the saying goes, an exception that proves the rule.

[end interview]