Name: Bernd Scholl
Occupation: Composer, producer
Recent release: Bernd Scholl teams up with Ruediger Gleisberg for five contributions to the compilation Secret and Mystery, out now via BSC/Prudence.
The book Ganz nah dran by Alexander Russ
The book describes the life of a fellow musician, up to the unexpected end through a serious illness.
The album Guildenstern
Progressive Krautrock from 1978-79 - on Keys: Bernd Scholl.
If you enjoyed this interview with Bernd Scholl and would like to find out more about his work, visit the website of his label platform BSC Music.
[Read our Ruediger Gleisberg interview]
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started playing organ when I was 14 years old. Inspirations were Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and Santana.
I took lessons and formed my first band by the name of “Kloster”. Other bands were “King of Twilight” (Psychedelic Rock, 1974-76), “Ice” (Melodic Rock 1978-79) and “Guildenstern” (Progressive Rock, 1979-81).
When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?
When I listen to music, I love it when there is a certain flow in the arrangement and the music takes me away. Inspiration for own musical ideas come up - or not.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
After nine years as a keyboarder in rock bands I started my solo career in 1982.
My first album Tales of Fantasy reached number 3 on Melody Maker's synthesizer charts. (… the rest is history? …no !)
I`ve been making music under my name for 40 years now, have released numerous albums and over the years developed my very own style of music. I continue to regularly play concerts in special places like planetariums, churches and natural caves. Here my music is accompanied by a large multimedia light show.
I have a very good music publisher who supports my work and a great fan base.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
In the past, I used to be inspired by the music I listened to. But over the last few years I`ve been concentrating entirely on my own ideas.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
I can be a certain sound, a melody, or a good groove …
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
I try to compose timeless music. If you can still hear an album enthusiastically after 25 years, then it is timeless.
Perfection yes, but I think music has to come from the heart. Whether it is traditional or future-oriented is secondary ...
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
That is hard to say. It can be a sound from a synthesizer, a looped groove from a sampler, or a melody on the piano. I love synthesizers that are easy to handle.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
I start a new day together with my wife, breakfast and the daily newspaper. Then I shower and head over to the studio.
I work about six hours a day in my studio. Afterwards I go for a bike ride into nature with my grand-daughters and to children-playgrounds. In the evening I relax with music or a movie.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
The way of working is always different. I often work on a piece of music for a long time and don´t know if it´s good or not. Then it is best to put it away and listen to it again after a certain time.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
I compose most of the titles for myself. But there are also tracks where you easily pick up input from others and then the tracks develop in a different, new direction. Both types of composition are fun.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
My music publisher brings my work into the world. After 40 years of Bernd Scholl music I also have a loyal fan base.
In society, music isn`t as important as it was in 70s or 80s. Unfortunately, music has become an accessory and is no longer an influence ...
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
Especially now in times of the Ukraine war, I have often been asked about my 33 Years old track “A Life in Peace” … and yes, it has a very comforting effect.
Otherwise, Pink Floyd`s The wall was certainly a work marked by pain and sorrow. It received worldwide attention.
How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Music awakens body, mind and soul. The Influence of music has been researched and evaluated by scientists for years - how music affects and improves our body and mind.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
It´s a feeling that`s hard to describe. It´s a process of composition and recording that cannot be compared with anything else.
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
Always believe in yourself and try to give the best to make listeners happy.