Friday, 14 January 2011

Henrik Schwarz Returns To Blow The Roof Off 4 Albums in One Year...

Those who saw Henrik Schwarz last time he toured Sydney for the Future Classic 5 Years party can testify that Mr Schwarz uncanny ability to read the dancefloor & develop his sets down to the finest detail to suit the mood of room made his performance one of the dance highlights of Sydney for 2009.

Electronic music lovers in Sydney should be very excited to know that Henrik Schwarz will be performing at the always amazing Becks Bar at Hyde Park Barracks as part of the Sydney Festival this coming Thursday the 13th of January hosted once more by the lovely folk at Future Classic. Henrik was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his recent activity to get everyone in the mo0d for dancing the night away to his excellent remixes, edits & live improvisations this Thursday.

Having seen your shows & heard your live albums, it’s easy to see why your performances are often classified as “live remixing”. Would you consider this term a fair appraisal of the Henrik Schwarz live show?

Yes I think you could say that. It is all about bringing together different elements in real-time and see what is coming out. Sometimes when things go really well you might create a special magic moment when the music is something neither I nor the audience has ever heard before – these moments are what I enjoy the most.

What kind of equipment are you using in your current live setups? Is it still just Ableton Live & a mixer or have you expanded to include more equipment into your shows?

I still use just my computer and a controller with Ableton Live and an analogue compressor for good sound. I am currently experimenting with iPads and keyboards but this will still take a little while to be stage stable.

How did you get your introduction to music production? Where you using analogue gear before digital software?

I started to work with analogue gear only - a friend of mine had them all - 909, 808, 303, 101 etc. And he didn't have any space - so lucky Henrik could offer him the basement of my parents house as a place to put his stuff. Hehe.

How did you begin to pick up programs like Ableton and how steep did you find the learning curve?

I started using Ableton immediately after its release - the first version was stable and not very complicated so I found it easy to learn how to use it. I used Cubase before but it was already a very complex program at that time. Today Ableton Live has become more complex but I have been growing with it so it’s ok to understand.

Your recent Innvervisions release is a live cut taken from your Critical Mass tour. What can you tell me about the setup for that show & how do you enjoy performing live in a collaborative environment as opposed to alone?

When we play live together I absolutely love the group performance aspect. It is like playing in a band. On the other hand when I play solo I have full control over what is happening and I am much freer in which direction I want to go. So there are good and inspiring sides within both options.

Do you have any upcoming releases in the works for 2011? Can we expect another live album in the not too distant future?

My solo album is half finished but won’t be near completion until Autumn. I have an album finished with Bugge Wesseltoft ready for release. I have 9 written scores from my pieces ready to be recorded by a 9 piece classic ensemble by end of next month! That will be another album called Henrik Schwarz Instruments ready by summer. Ah yes and I forgot to mention - I also wrote and played a filmscore with Âme and Dixon that is also ready for release called A Critical Mass presents Das Cabinet Des Doktor Calidgari. So in a way there were 4 years of no albums but now we have 4 albums in one year. Not sure if that’s good or not but it should be exciting listening none-the-less.

Your return to Australia this year see’s you playing at the Becks Festival Bar, often considered the highlight venue of the entire Sydney Festival. What are you looking forward to most about your return to Australia & are there any special treats we can expect on the festival night?

For sure I will play some new pieces and I love festivals - is it going to be outside? (It certainly is Henrik, it certainly is.)

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