TOTD // 11/07 // Hauschka

Published: July 11, 2017, words by John Carter

Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka is a composer, songwriter and experimental musician who found his creativity excelling when he began putting foreign objects on the strings of his grand piano. Although unfamiliar with the centuries-old technique of a prepared piano, Hauschka found himself tinkering with the instrument at a friend’s studio after feeling frustrated with the sounds he was achieving thus far.

A major love of Hauschka’s is rhythm, which is why he began exploring the opportunity to achieve percussive elements through his piano. Unique rhythmic patterns and and overall pulse run through all his compositions. His love for beats found himself performing as part of the hip-hop group God’s Favourite Dog and drum and bass quintet Nonex. A man of many talents, it’s through rapping in God’s Favourite Dog where he’s had a 20 year career.

Over more than the past decade, Bertelmann has released a multitude of albums as Hauschka, championing his prepared piano methods and experimental electronics whilst collaborating with many prestigious artists. In 2011, Hauschka was particularly inspired by his hometown Düsseldorf’s club music scene, and thus produced an album in collaboration with many talents dedicated to the highly regarded Salons Des Amateurs. The success of this album was celebrated in 2012 with remixes from Ricardo Vollalobos and the founder of Kompakt, Michael Mayer.

With a fascinating musical mind and having just released his latest full-length What If in March this year (purchase here), we invited Bertelmann in to share with us some of the music that has influenced him over the years. Here, Hauschka reveals four mind altering tracks that have changed his outlook on life and music.

Catch Hauschka’s fascinating live performance over the coming months by checking where his next gig is here.

via youtube

Verklärte Nacht

Arnold Schoenberg

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“This piece touches upon something very rudimentary for me. It reminds me of how I feel when I think about the limited amount of time of my life and that every day there is a chance that I might have to leave the earth. It is the tension of the fragility and the beauty that a human life is all about. It is dark and full of longing.”
via youtube

Mapstation

Gravity (ft. Ras Donovan)

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Stefan Schneider is an artist and musician from Dusseldorf who I first met in the late 90s. He played bass in a band called To Roccoco Rot and I wanted to ask him if he was willing to play bass on a record with me and Luke Sutherland. When I heard his CD with Raz O’Hara, I was amazed by the fact that you can have abstract and very open music that also has a dub association. I liked his way of hinting at existing styles without slipping into clichés. Meeting him was for me very important and I am very thankful for that.”
via youtube

John Cage

4'33"

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“This piece is funny, minimal and very intelligent. I know that for John Cage silence was always just as important in his music as the notes he played. I like to think that the silence is, in a way, just like the blood that flows inside you – it has its own pulse. I was impressed that he had the courage to announce this piece and that it is played by many orchestras. Great ideas from a great man.”
via youtube

Snoop Dogg

Drop It Like It's Hot ft. Pharrell Williams

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“This piece of music is inspirational and I learned a lot about my own work as well. This track is sounds like a perfect example of everything you need to make music work: it is very minimal but everything sounds exactly right and sits rhythmically at the right place. I remember hearing the track for the first time and being instantly struck by it. It is one of those pieces that you never forget because it changes something in your mind.”

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