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Johannes Schmoelling

 

Johannes Schmoelling (born in 1950 in Lohne, Germany) started playing the piano at the age of eight. Later, when he was twelve or thirteen years old, he changed the instrument from the piano to the church organ, because each Sunday he could listen to its sound at the local church. It was a huge instrument, and Johannes was fascinated by its richness and variety of sound colors, as well as the ambience and acoustic inside the huge cathedral. When he was sixteen, he became a member of a rock band at school. In 1972 he joined the University of Music and Technology in Berlin, where he graduated in 1977 with a degree in sound engineering. His first electronic instrument was a mini moog, which he played in a band before TD. He still owns and uses it in his studio.

Johannes Schmoelling began doing work for live theatrical performances at Berlin's famous 'Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer', allowing him to combine his technical and musical interests.

At the end of 1979, Edgar Froese met the theatre director Robert Wilson for the first time. His play "Death, Destruction and Detroit" was being presented at the Berlin Schaubühne, and Edgar Froese was allowed to observe. So he met Johannes Schmoelling, who was then responsible for the entire sound and stage music in the theatre. Johannes Schmoelling remembers: "In the summer of 1979, Edgar Froese invited me for an audition in his studio. Someone must have told him about my musical and technical background, and so he thought that I might become a good substitute for Peter Baumann. In the audition I played an improvised piece of music on his Steinway Grand for nearly twenty minutes. I think he was impressed with the way I played, and I was offered a part in the band."

Three months later, Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Johannes Schmoelling played the first live concert behind the former Iron Curtain in East Berlin. This collaboration lasted five years and involved numerous live performances, film music for large Hollywood productions and studio, live and soundtrack albums, including Tangram, Quichotte (both 1980), Thief, Exit (both 1981), White Eagle, Logos Live (both 1982), Hyperborea (1983), Risky Business, Wavelength, Firestarter, Flashpoint, Poland (all 1984), Heartbreakers, Le Parc (both 1985), Pergamon (recorded 1980, released 1986), Legend (recorded 1985, released 1986), The Park Is Mine (recorded 1985, released 1991), The Keep (recorded 1983, released 1997), and Sohoman (recorded 1982, released 1999). Even though the band was working 16 hours a day, composing and recording without a break, and were often pushed to the limit of their capacities, this proved to be one of the most fruitful eras in the history of TD.

Near the close of 1985 Johannes Schmoelling was bored by the album-tour-album routine. He wanted to start a solo career and left TD amiably in October 1985. According to Edgar Froese, Johannes Schmoelling was one of the most talented people in the long list of names in the history of TD. He is emotionally very gifted and the most serious worker Edgar Froese met in years. He has still frequent meetings with Johannes Schmoelling when in Berlin.

Johannes Schmoelling has since released several solo albums, produced at his private Berlin Riet Studio.

In 2011, together with Jerome Froese and Robert Wässer, he formed the project Loom.



 

There is an official web site of Johannes Schmoelling:
http://www.johannes-schmoelling.de

 

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