Perfect Sound Forever

OHM- The Early Gurus of Electronic Music

Interview with Peter Namlook
by Jason Gross
(April 2000)

Q: Why is electronic music important outside of its own genre?  In other words, what is its larger cultural importance?

Every century has its own instruments and it is of great significance that with the start of electricity around the turn of the last century, some ingenious people in Russia, France and Germany invented musical instruments that created a sound never heard before.  This influences not only music but as well other cultural genres and the average people as the sound of the 20th century started to evolve. This sound is the soundtrack to our times.

Q: How have some of the pioneers of electronic music had an effect on your work?

At first not directly, but definitely indirectly through listening to all kinds of music involving electronic instruments. Walter Carlos Switched on Bach was the first recording of pure Electronic Music that I listened to when I was 8 years old and I was fully amazed.  Later, when I was first introduced to the music of Oskar Sala I had the impression that there is no way to make electronic music more organic and that there is no possibility to transfer your ideas more direct than with his instrument the "Trautonium" (In terms of sound *and* music). So I had a guy rebuilding a Trautonium and wrote a computer-program that enabled me to play subharmonic chords.

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