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Interview: A Shift Into New Dimensions

(Dream Collector #7, June 1994)

Edgar Froese About The Future Of Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream is looking forward to enormous stylistic and technical changes. The band will no longer produce soundtracks, and they will soon create new sounds with the help of new devices, Edgar Froese announced in an Interview with Dream Collector at his studio in Berlin.

Dream Collector: Your new studio CD Turn Of The Tides can be found in the "New Age" sections of the stores again... What about Tangerine Dream's musical style?

Edgar Froese: From the stylistic point of view, these eight tracks on Turn Of The Tides may in some way be compared to Rockoon, but we used even more guitar. This dissociates ourselves from the so-called "New Age Music". We hope, people will understand one day the difference between our music and "New Age". A lot of people haven't got it yet.

Dream Collector: You do not like this kind of music, although a lot of "New Age" artists refer to Tangerine Dream as their musical prototype...

Edgar Froese: This is not the music we play, even if record dealers, music reviewers and listeners are always looking for a "stylistic drawer" to put Tangerine Dream into. And, even more annoying than the music is the "New Age" philosophy where everything is a caricature of a positive world and people have to see this "jelly babyworld" through rose-coloured spectacles. "New Age Music" is just the acoustical wallpaper for this world view, but this is exactly not the way we see the worid around us. Tangerine Dream music is not the right choice for peopie who are still into baby food.

Dream Collector: Back to your new album: Are you going to promote Turn Of The Tides by some live concerts?

Edgar Froese: We had the idea to do a tour in Germany in late spring this year, but the concert companies did not want to take any commercial risk. They always want to draw a prize in the lottery before taking part in it. So we do not have any fixed tour plans now. There are ideas of a tour in Japan and in the USA, and we are thinking of some really extraordinary concerts.

Dream Collector: Besides studio productions, are there any other soundtrack plans for the next future?

Edgar Froese: Finally I have found it rather absurd to put my musical energy into some underscores which have to work with carchases, killing procedures, horror cliches and other abhorrent "realities". Fortunately, we have decided to step out of this crazy and stupid environment.

Dream Collector: A few years ago, the former Tangerine Dream International Fan Club informed about your personal film project on the Middle Age Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450 - 1516) who created, for example, religious paintings of the Last Judgement and agony. Will you ever finish work on this film?

Edgar Froese: I am still working on that film which is planned to be a project of music and video. Regarding his paintings, Bosch for me is something like a surrealistic soundtrack.

Dream Collector: Is this so far your only idea for your own film projects?

Edgar Froese: In spring this year I have spent some time in Venice to do my first movie project as a cameraman and a producer. It is a strange film documentary about some tourists in the 14th century...

Dream Collector: What happened to the video project called Mandala?

Edgar Froese: This film finally has been finished at Tokyo. It was shown on a Japanese video festival and it was awarded the first prize. Later on, the video movie was performed in a big department store in Tokyo where films are showed each day. A video release is planned in the near future.

Dream Collector: What will be your next projects after Turn Of The Tides and your solo release?


Edgar Froese: At the end of 1994, we want to release our next CD which will be so far the last one for Miramar records. Our contract then will expire, and probably we will make a big shift into very adventurous musical and visual dimensions.

Dream Collector: Will this be the new sound system which you have implied for several times?

Edgar Froese: Yes. We had indeed hoped to use this system earlier, but it took more time than we had expected. So we are still working on it, and our new CD Turn Of The Tides still is produced with the help of our well known technology. I hope soon to end up working with these devices. Our equipment is exhausted now, and it is the time now to use some completely new technical possibilites.

Dream Collector: What will be the result when you introduce this new sound system into your music?

Edgar Froese: I am not a technician, but I know how music should be transmitted by technical means. These new means will be completely different from the ones we have been using so far. The technical devices we will use will not be sold anywhere. This will cause a technical and also a musical break with our traditions even deeper than the one in the early seventies when we introduced synthesizers and sequencers into our music. It took ten years until people accepted analog synthesizers, and in the eighties, it took another ten years until people got used to music performed with the help of digital equipment and computers. So it may take another ten years again until the listeners will understand our forthcoming new step in music. But then, Tangerine Dream probably will no longer perform music.

Dream Collector: What would you regard as the musical idea of Tangerine Dream?

Edgar Froese: Every listener may find the answer in the effect which is being caused by the music. The music is like a trigger which gives the impulse for the questions concerning your personal self. Just think about your feelings and reactions while you hear our music.

Dream Collector: These effects may be totally different from person to person, depending on the individual point of view. There are people who feel joy when listening to your music, but we also know peopie who feel fear gripped or oppressed when hearing certain compositions or acoustical effects in your music. Why?

Edgar Froese: People usually talk about everything in their life, but if they come to existential points, it will get very disagreeable for them. This is exactly what happens very often when people listen to our music: Inside them, there is a film running off, and people see, this is exactly a film of their ego. For some listeners, this may be a kind of joy or of help, for others, it may be a very unpleasant effect.

Dream Collector: What is the reason for this difference?

Edgar Froese: Many people find some identification to our music. If you find this, it is something in common with the one who elaborates the music. This is depending on a lot of outward conditions. Regarding my music, I sometimes feel myself like arriving with the wrong train at the wrong time on the wrong station. Tangerine Dream's music is nothing else than a question mark; it is a mean to help you to question things. It is good if the music can give these impulses to the listeners. My answer as the asker has not necessarily to be the one of the listener. The answer may be different for everybody.

Dream Collector: Thank you very much for this interview.


© 1994 by Christian Horn, Siegfried Lindhorst, Rolf Sonnemann and Peter Stöferle
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