Henrik Schwarz Interview
Happy to be back at Mutek?
I was here about 6 years ago for a live set so i’m really happy to be back
Who are you checking out from this years lineup?
Well its always a good idea to check out people you don’t know but from the ones I do know i’m gonna check out Senor Coconut, i’d love to check out Theo Parrish and the Moritz Von Oswald Trio.
So how did you get started in production?
Well ever since I was a kid there was always a strong force in me that wanted to get something out. But for some reason I never learned an instrument but I was immediately attracted by tape recorders, the technology behind it. So when I got my first computer in 1990 and I bought a sound card and I spent about 9 months to get the first tone out of it… and thats pretty much what started my fascination.
I know you also DJ quite a bit and your mixes and compilations like Dj Kicks and the Grandfather Paradox have had great success. What do you get out of it, collecting music is different that producing your own right?
As far back as I can remember I was into buying records, I definitely have the record collector gene. I think (Djing and producing) work together for me, I get inspired by music. I mean, I don’t totally shield myself from outside influence when I sit down to produce something.
I wanted to know how the reception has been for the piece of software that you created for Ableton, the Schwarzanator.
I think there are two sides of the medal to any software whether it be to help you DJ or produce. Pressing a button to sync two records on Serato is the same thing as my piece of software. In itself, its nothing. There is nothing artistic to that, its what you do with it right? My plugin doesn’t create any music at all. All it does is maybe help you bridge a gap.
Even if you are a piano virtuoso, the software can still take you somewhere you haven’t been yet. I will never play a better piano solo than Herbie Hancock, that’s not what i’m after. It’s more about creating chord progression that a classically trained musician wouldn’t come up with.
I know there was a bit of negative backlash with the release of the Schwarzanator plug-in.
I was actually very surprised about how emotional the discussion was. Especially from the traditional musicians, i think many of them don’t see that this isn’t something to try to make them irrelevant. For me it’s about bringing the world of electronic musicians like me with the more traditional musicians.
It’s sad to say but with the release of this plug-in I really discovered that there are a lot of really bitter and negative people out there, and generally they hide behind the anonymity of the online world. That’s something I don’t understand, i’m someone really positive so I found it really interesting to uncover all these sorts of people.