Thomas from ThisIsNotAScene was very taken with the Bersarin Quartett‘s latest release “II”. So much so that Thomas was ready to sit and chat with the band about their release, musically and philosophically.
First off… I have to ask… are there four of you in this band? If not, why did you decide to call your project a quartet?
To preserve the magic.
“II” sits proudly at the intersection between the ambient electronic and neo-classical genres, and really benefits from both. How do you describe your music? Where does it sit for you?
I would call it: imaginary fictional filmscores… and yes, it contains lots of genres like ambient, electronica, neo-classical … even dubstep- (without wobble-bass) or drum ‘n’ bass-elements (without the drums and the bass) if you want — maybe at the end you can say I’m using all these genres in small doses like ingredients.
“II” made me think of Craig Armstrong when I heard it at first… it then took on a life of it’s own. Who are your influences?
Spontaneously, I have in mind: Asche & Spencer, Hans Zimmer, Rachel Portman, Alexei Aigui, Murcof, Marsen Jules. Actually, I hear a lot of stuff that some music-journalists call “hauntology”, very fascinating music from Demdike Stare, Andy Stott, Emptyset, and all the atmospheric dubstep-tunes with the passion of sound-details and ambience like Burial. All of this is very inspirational stuff for me.
In the review I speak of Jerry Goldsmith’s Legend… it was my first soundtrack, what was yours?
The first soundtrack I bought was probably “Terminator” (Brad Fiedel) or “Backdraft” (Hans Zimmer).
“II” is “like a soundtrack to a film that I haven’t seen”… it definitely has a soundtrack quality to it… if it were a soundtrack, who would star in the film and what would it be about?
The “II” album is about you, the listener himself; in best case.
If Hollywood were to offer you a soundtrack deal, would you consider it? Who would you like to work with?
This would be really great of course! (it doesn’t need to be Hollywood in general — but yes … this would be great!) If I may mention the “big ones” spontaneously …David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch.
Of the folks who create soundtracks, who are your favourites?
Asche & Spencer, Hans Zimmer, Rachel Portman, Alexei Aigui.
The album cover initially has a minimalist feel to it but when you get closer to it there is a considerable amount of detail there… who designed it and what was the inspiration for the design?
A small design-bureau here in Münster (germany), it’s called EINS_A … and … what-the-heck … yeah, its me. “II”, in its minimalism, can have a deep impact. On the one hand “II” is of course the follow-up to “Something From A Place Beyond” (even if contentwise it does not forcibly tie on the first album).
On the other hand, “II” features complex mind and semantic levels; be it humanistic, religious, mythologic, literary, or even psychological. The “two” itself holds quite a lot, if you do not mind to meditate about it. So, the “II” was the conceptual visual eye-catcher, an abstract, modern, stellar-like environment — this was the idea.
I loved the fact the tracks were in German (I hope it’s German, apologies if they aren’t) … they added another dimension to the music… I had to translate them and this “work” made them more precious to me. Take “Im lichte des Anderen” which, I think, translates to “in the light of the other”. It totally describes the track. I may have overlooked that if I hadn’t had to work for it… was this your intention?
Absolutely! Great that it works for you. I like the idea of using codes you can decode for your own …(but you don’t have to. it’s up to you.) For me, it’s important that these codes are not definite or too striking in one way; but also not at random! (for me this is an interesting challenge of art in general)
Thanks for taking part in this interview and I wish you well with the album.
Thank you, very much.