Name: Conny Frischauf
Occupation: musician, artist
Current Release: Dir Drift on Bureau B
Recommendation: I would add a poem of mine here, but it is in German and it is not possible to translate it. So, my recommendation would be to stay as curious as possible about the whole universe we are living in.
To find out more about tour dates, work and general info, visit Conny's website www.connyfrischauf.eu
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I remember writing my first “song” when I was eleven or twelve, but I was excited about sounds already before that. My first memory of it is being on a swing and singing a song in english without knowing the language but imitating the sounds of it. During my childhood and in my teenage years I also had lessons in French horn, trumpet, and guitar, but I always had difficulties to adapt to a formal and preconditioned way of learning. I do not remember what actually drew me into sound, because it was always there. There was no point of a sudden appearance.
For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?
It took me some time to realize how I work and what is important to me. Among other things, that the way I work is also always changing. It is a constant process, and it is important to me that it remains as open as possible to exclude as little as possible.
As a teenager, I also played songs by others and interpreted them in my own way. Since my involvement with sound was and is primarily an autodidactic one, I have certainly learned a lot by these means. At the same time, it was and still is important to me to unlearn things. To move out of the already existing knowledge as far as possible. Perhaps it is precisely this knowledge that moves one to move out of the same.
What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
My work is very much based on an intuitional process, which of course is always different, but I do not want to analyze what I did in the past and how I did it because I think it is important to just let things come and go. Of course, our past is an influence within present and future practices, but I cannot and also do not want to name it.
What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
Little by little, instruments have come and gone. For me it is important to have the possibility to work at any time. I still remember a time when, before I could even start playing, I first had to rewire everything, move instruments and so on. Very annoying, especially when there is some urgency to play. Summa Summarum: I am incredibly happy about the invention of the patchbay.
One of my most important gear to work with is a tape echo. Additionally, to the echo function itself it has a unique sounding spring reverb and a wide, intense chorus section. Besides some other electronic instruments, it seems that I stuck to an old Korg MS 20 which I already use for some years now. It still surprises me, and I love it when it hisses. I am also using a lot of different acoustic instruments like percussions, a guzheng, a trumpet etc. I also like to record bowls and other interesting sounds, play bass, play guitar, and so on. The ”list“ is constantly expanding and I also love to manipulate sounds with effect unit, there is no specific hierarchy of instruments or sounds. Sometimes this is there and sometimes something else.
How do you make use of technology? In terms of the feedback mechanism between technology and creativity, what do humans excel at, what do machines excel at?
Action and reaction?
Production tools, from instruments to complex software environments, contribute to the compositional process. How does this manifest itself in your work? Can you describe the co-authorship between yourself and your tools?
How can we create a dialogue between us and our instruments? I do not have the image of myself as a human and the instrument as a machine, I mean from a pragmatic point of view it maybe is like that, but for me it is not about control or being under control. It is not only me operating, but also not only me having an idea. I guess there is something in the air and we can grab it and sometimes it works out (whatever that exactly means). And if not, I just let it go.
With all of these different instruments (Well, what is an instrument? Everything could be. Water for example) and their different nature it is possible to give a form to something without taking away the instrument's peculiarities and without forcing something.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
In my opinion collaborations or conversations always carry the possibility to expand views, to step out of one’s own (artistic) bubble. But therefore, it is important to me that there is an exchange without a claim to a final form. This has general validity for me. Both in collaborations, in exchange or when I work alone and working on my own is necessary for me. It opens up other spaces, which have their own quality, and which are able to create a form of independence. It just needs the right balance.
I do not work only with sound and cannot really exclude any medium. So different spaces and possibilities arise. Also, in interaction.
Last summer I was working together with filmmakers Stephanie Rizaj and Marvin Kanas for their short film „Traces“. Together with Binta Diallo the video for „Parapiri“ was realized last autumn and with Sebastian Scholz, an artist from Vienna, I recently did a publication with texts. Also, the cover of my latest release „Die Drift“ was made by Anna Weisser.