Aachen, Germany-based Christoph Heemann has made a name for himself as a musician, composer, remix artist, and engineer through groups like HNAS, Mimir, Mirror, In Camera, and collaborations with Charlemagne Palestine, Jim O'Rourke, Merzbow, Organum, Nurse With Wound, Current 93, and others. His artwork has graced covers for Edward Ka-Spel, The Tear Garden, Aeolian String Ensemble, Ragnar Grippe, and Ultra, and through his Streamline label he has issued music by John Duncan, Little Annie, Keiji Haino, Intersystems, Limpe Fuchs, Xhol Caravan, and more. Heemann is making a rare trip through the USA with 8 live shows scheduled beginning in Boston on Friday, October 8th. This brief interview is only a snapshot of what he's currently up to.
Can you tell me how the tour came about? You have played shows here and there in the USA but this is bigger than anything you've done before.
Earlier this year, I was invited by the Musrara Design School in Jerusalem to perform at their annual festival in May (also incl. with Ghedalia Tazartes, Fritz Welsh and People Like Us). Annette Klein of the Goethe Institute in Boston happened to be present for my concert in Jerusalem and since Non event had been discussing a possible show there anyway it came together quickly. When the word got out a few other dates came up.
What can your audiences look forward to, musically?
I honestly don't know what exactly is going to happen during the concerts as I try to make each one different and often decide on details of the contents of a set right before I start. I have prepared new elements/textures to work with but they will hopefully lend themselves to a range of different options. Also, this time I will bring along synthesizers and processing which will hopefully broaden the options and offer more space for spontaneity.
Is there any new recordings you will have ready to bring over?
If things go as planned 2 new releases will be available at the shows, one is the remastered LP version of The Rings of Saturn on Robot Records, the other a cassette Mighty Joe Young,some pieces I have done more recently, I believe these are the first entirely digital recordings I have done...
Can you tell me about some of the most recent and current projects you're working on? (Both music - your own or on Streamline - and artwork.)
There are also several releases forthcoming on Streamline, among them a couple of collaborative albums with Jim O'Rourke Plastic Palace People, Vol 1 & Vol 2, also a CD issue of William Basinski's Red Score In Tile. Also in the works are releases by Nicholas Szczepanik and Celer which I am really excited about as their work is some of the most beautiful recent music I have come across.
Are there any new collaborators you have been working with?
Lately I have been trying to focus more on my solo work as I have done quite a few collaborative projects already. However, Stephan Mathieu and I are talking about a project we would both very much like to do together. I hope it will become a reality before too long as I believe it could be very interesting since it offers several interesting options. There are a few other possible collaborative projects, I will mention more once they are taking shape.
Is there anything you're listening to, reading, etc, that seems to be making in impact on your music or artwork.
Not sure, I am listening to a lot of music, reading a lot - watching films, but I believe things take more time to settle and have an influence in a more indirect way, so I don't think there is much of a connection between work I am enjoying at the moment and my own music...
Christoph Heemann's US tour begins on Friday, October 8th in Boston:
8th BOSTON, MA - Goethe Institute. also: BRENDAN MURRAY
9th EASTHAMPTON, MA - Flywheel. also: SON OF EARTH and SOUND BARN
10th BROOKLYN, NY - 177 Livingston St....
13th ATLANTA, GA - The Eyedrum. also: VOID MANES
16th AUSTIN, TX - Ceremony Hall. also: RICK REED
21th HOLLYWOOD, CA - Resbox/Steve Allen Theatre. also: VINNY GOLIA Sextet
23th SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND t.b.a.
25th SEATTLE, WA - The Chapel.