I have previously written about the German composer and piano player Karl Thesing, and today we’ll go deep!
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from Cologne, Germany
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
The Piano was my „last“ instrument. I started with drums when I was 6 years old or something- but I was never really good at it 🙂 My main instrument was guitar and bass- I also sang a lot. I can not really remember when I started playing piano. I did not had a teacher and just always played Piano when I saw one. It was just always something I liked but never had in mind. I intensively started playing about 13 years ago.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I always listened a lot to music. When I was a kid I was singing along to operas and musicals, I heard on Cds my parents liked to hear. I really started playing with my first band, what now seems more like a joke, because we were more then bad. I played drums and sing in this group.I wrote my first solo piano composition with 16.
How long have you been making piano music?
I really started making piano music or neoclassical music at the age of 16.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
My mother told me about a scrapbook I used when I was 6 years old or something. I had a little cheap Casio keyboard. I did not know how to play, but I invented melodies using my own pretty dumb notation system and wrote them in that scrapbook.I am pretty curious how it did sound. Unfortunately I do not have it anymore. Otherwise I may could make some nice rework 🙂
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
It often changes. Right now I would say it is Niklas Paschburg. I can’t get those melodies out of my head 🙂
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
I can’t really play other songs unfortunately and I don’t see the fun in it as well. I am always playing the songs I am writing at the moment over and over again.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I never felt like there are rules at all. When I started playing guitar, a kid from school said I am not good at all, especially my songs, because I did not stay in the right key. When I got my first teacher (an amazing guitarist) he said I can do whatever I want when I write my own music. I believed him since then.
How do you record your music?
I always start just by myself, with my piano. Then I change over to Logic and cheaply produce the song with MIDI. When it comes to production, recording and mixing I always work with the same Producer and the same studio. Lennart Damann from High Tide Studio in Hennef (its near by cologne). I can’t do what I do without him. He is the sound in my music. We often spend 10 days mixing the same song together- not because it is always necessary, but we enjoy going really into every possible detail.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I used to job a bit in that section and sampled just a few instruments myself. I often changed my mind about them. I think it is a great way to work and it opens a lot of creative opportunities. I don’t want to miss them. But when it comes to my songs and the final production, all sampled instruments have to go.There is not a single sampled instrument in it.
Anything else you want to share?
I just want to say hi to my friends/team and I hope I can soon replan our tour. Lenn, Tobi, Linus, Linda, Dominik, Raffi, Marco, Tommy, Marcel!
The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
I am dreaming of the songs. When I wake up my fingers are itching. Then I sit down at the piano and my fingers show them to me 🙂
Thank you Karl for your participation!
Today I’m introducing you to the latest track by the German composer Karl Thesing. I have previously posted about Karl and his Helicon project, which can be found here.
The track Naiv was released as a single on the first of may.
Tell us something about your track Naiv!
This track is part of an album called „Kino“. The album should have been released in august, combined with a tour through Europe. Unfortunately touring is not possible at the moment, so I will release the album piece by piece. It is completely finished and I am really happy to share it with everyone. For the artwork, I took photos in several different countries and combined the idea of Herman Rorschachs ink drop along with the feelings and pictures, people see when they listen to the songs. The song itself is played on a specially designed Piano (together with Schimmel).
Thank you for the music Karl!
Today I’m introducing you to Karl Thesing, a German composer and pianist from Cologne. He recently released his song Ember, which is part of his series Helikon. Helikon is a series of singles that together forms an EP. This is his third release. Karl recently released Helikon 4 in cooperation with Shimmel pianos.
I love combining organic instruments with electronics and to manipulate audio. I would describe my music as melancholic and driven by contrasts. I love a calm sound just as much as a loud and overwhelming experience while listening. What I love about music and especially the music I make is that I don’t have boundaries and can explore the pieces I write by experimenting and improvising. A lot of stuff happens on accident. Still it is very thoughtful, I guess.Karl Thesing
This conversation happened before the release of Helikon 4.
Tell us something about one of the track from the Helikon series so far!
I think the track that means the most to me, from Helikon 1-3, is ’Torn’. I wrote the song about two and a half years ago, but finished the piece half a year ago. It took me quiet long to be able to finish it. It is partly about attempting to live as an artist which sometimes is very hard. There are moments where you just want to break out and breath. There were a lot of points in my life where I was about to quit music. The song reflects inner conflicts that we all sometimes have to face. The dramaturgy is the most important aspect of the song and represents the developing of thoughts and self reflection.
Thank you for the music Karl!