Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Thomas Klak

Today it’s time to get to know the artist behind the Spotted song What’s here a bit better. I’ll give you – Thomas Klak!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from Marl, a mid-sized City of Ruhrgebiet in Germany. But I’m living and working in Essen, which is only 50 kilometers away from Marl. So I didn’t move that far away from hometown. I teach piano at Foklwang University of Arts in Essen. 

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started to play piano when I was six years old. I played church organ some years ago and play keyboards and synthesizer in progmetal bands. 

Ah, and I play „Olaf“ my hedonistic mocca-kitchen-organ, which is an electric Magnus chord-organ. 

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
Music was always in center of my family. The sound of the piano had a strong impact on me when I was a child. I remember being fascinated by the sound of our Bechstein C. 

My grandfather bought his first piano when he was sixteen. That was in 1928. And it’s still in the family. He also played violin and other instruments in the era of silent movies. 

How long have you been making piano music?
As i wrote, I began to play piano at the age of six and I’m composing my own music since my teenage years. 

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I remember it very well. The first songs evolved out of a band session during easter holidays in 1994. I good friend of mine rented a room in a fishermen clubhouse. We put all our stuff there and started our own power metal thing. We came every day to this place at least for a whole week and all we did was improvising while having good days and nights. 

This was the environment, where all the ideas, that I had found during my (real) piano practicing (Bach, Chopin, Liszt) could come into other ears and other lights.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Nils Frahm

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
At the moment I’m improvising Boogie Woogie as soon as I sit down at the piano. I like the strong motorics and the feeling while improvising in the right hand. It makes my body happy. 

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I guess, all musicians and composers are used in braking rules all the time. Their rules and the rules of others. 

How do you record your music?
All my songs of the last two albums where recorded with a low budget equipment that I own myself. My first album „slow acting“ was recorded in my bedroom on a day and a night. 

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
Use everything if you like it. 

Anything else you want to share? 
Love what you have and love what’s here

The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 

I guess, my songs are from the 5 year old child in me, who wants to play, play, play. 

Thank you for this Thomas!

For more information about Thomas Klak and his music, please check out the following links:
Facebook / Instagram / Website / Spotify

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