Friday, February 25, 2011

Power Makes Music, and Power is Physics - TimTainment

Tim is a musician, currently living in Hamburg. His music career started as a listener and partygoer. In 2007 he created the TimTainment and started sequencing music.
Tim is interested and influenced in almost every kind of music so TimTainment stands for unusual music creations and different sounds. 2011 will see the launch of Tim's record label.

Obscure Robot: Do you define yourself more by your music or your day job?

TimTainment: I define myself more by my music - that´s my main-work.

Obscure Robot: Does your other work ever influence your music, or how you think about music?

TimTainment: Oh yes - my work as a gardener has got a lot of influence to my music. There are so many sounds in the nature...they give me a lot of inspiration!

Music is everywhere if you really listen and it is a universal language too - that is what I think about music

Tim au Tech by Timtainment

Obscure Robot: I find nature a continuous source of inspiration, and pay more attention to natural sounds now that I'm making music.

TimTainment: Sometimes it is like a concert, when you sit in a park or at a river.. I agree - sometimes it´s hard to make music after being outside.
In a good way.

Obscure Robot: It seems like there must be parallels to the process of gardening - controlling and managing nature - and music.

TimTainment: It is not the controlling. More like being a part of something - like the sounds in music when you can feel it.

Obscure Robot: Like when the music seems to take on a life of its own?

TimTainment: The vibes in the nature are very similar to the ones in music - heat and cold, dark and light, nice or evil.
yes- like their own life!

e.g. the´s not rhythmic but melody, the horse while running is making the rhythm and the wind makes the background music

Obscure Robot: Who are your creative influences?
TimTainment: many many
Let´s start at those great composers like Chopin or Stockhausen ..
they´re inspiring me in my arrangement of sounds and the creative side of producing.

On the other side there are Tangerine Dream, Afrika Bambaataa and of course Kraftwerk - they let me know the big and great world of synths.

I think they are my main influence to start making music..

But by the time there are so many influences and inspiration by so many different styles and genres - every kind of music has its little influence.
I love guitar music - and the Dire Straits - the feeling they have in their songs is also influencing me.

Obscure Robot: Stockhausen and Chopin are an interesting combination. In some ways, they lived in different worlds, but they were both radical innovators in their time.

TimTainment: Oh I agree! Chopin was kind of a punk in his century I think :) his compositions are often really crazy - sorry Fred - I mean all the changes in melody and times.

And that makes him similar to Stockhausen. He was thinking that music has got to be timeless.

Obscure Robot: When I read about composers from previous centuries, I'm often surprised at how contemporary they seem. Beethoven and his pianos reminds me of Tangerine Dream and their synthesizers, for example.

TimTainment: Beethoven and also Mozart - they are in a kind the music producers of our mainstream music today - Tangerine, E.L.O., the Beatles. They all were influenced by them!
Think about Revolution Number 9 by the Beatles.

The contemporary thing is often used until today in the genre of hip-hop. The breakbeat comes from jazz - it comes from swing and swing was present in Mozart’s and Beethoven’s music.

Obscure Robot: Music is music, only the tools change

TimTainment: like that yes!
Stockhausen was the first who breaks the rules and "invent" a new kind of music and playing music.

Obscure Robot: What genres does you music span?

TimTainment: abstract, noise, experimental, ambient and syntheziser
actually it´s the Syntheziser-Genre.

Obscure Robot: Tell me about a particularly challenging track. What was difficult, how did you resolve that difficulty?

TimTainment: I think it´s not a track what was especially difficult. It is the whole thing with working with the machines and finding a solution.
There's one story I remember, this was about two years ago. I tried to make a techno track. It was very hard to clean the sounds. The solution came from a book on music production - I've learned a bit about the work with effects like a compressor and an EQ.

Obscure Robot: It seems like making good techno requires excellent rhythm and excellent production skills.

TimTainment: Knowledge is important. It's becoming more easier in the past 5 years to make good tracks - no doubt! A lot of free samples and good DAW's give everybody the chance to do it. But when you're listening to what is "successful" it is made with a lot of brain work.

Obscure Robot: What is your relationship with technology, musically speaking?

TimTainment: Let me start with my time in music school. My teachers told me - after more than 2 years of learning to play a piano - that my feeling for music seems to be "not the best". I was 16 years old and did not take that very well. The next years on the party were exactly the opposite of what the teachers said. Rhythm was my thing - in dancing!
Now we come closer to the point.

These were techno parties I went to and the fusion of drum machines and synths are the beginning of a love with technology in musically association.
I've always knew people who had groove - and also drum machines. But because of my teacher's comments in the past I was always afraid in even trying it.
The decision was made years later when a friend of mine showed me a DAW named Ableton Live (4.0). That was definitely the "point of no return" and a new experience for me, too! Also it was the only reason for me to buy a computer
because it was not longer impossible for me to make music! And the computer is the only technology I'm using through to today.

Obscure Robot: Do you use keyboard controllers now, or just mouse and keyboard?

TimTainment: mouse, keyboard and ok - you've got me - I also use a MIDI keyboard and MIDI controller.

Drums & Echoes by Timtainment

Obscure Robot: Music has got to be the most difficult subject to teach - it is so subjective and there are so many different ways to make music.

TimTainment: Agree - it's not long ago that a musician - I forget his name, sorry- traveled to different places in the world and played music they never listened to before. And the people understood it.
At the beginning it's subjective but a universal language.

"To learn" is not the right phrase for me any longer - better is to learn the feeling or just feel.

I know that there is a science of harmony and a circle of fifth. But more interesting is what music is doing with you, right?

Obscure Robot: The more I read about harmony, the more it seems totally intuitive. There are some rules, but they get broken all the time. The most consistent advice seems to be "go listen to what Bach did, and try to learn harmony from that."

TimTainment: Hahaha - I agree!!
A jazz musician knows a lot about music and the rules but they always like to improvise.

That´s music - feeling.

Obscure Robot: At the same time, you can apply math and science to music. Tuning is a great example of the deep relationship between math and music

TimTainment: Math - so true! The work with effects and synths is pure mathematics!

I had to learn a lot of formulas at the media school where I studied a few years ago. It's physics. How a tone comes into being. A theremin - the first synthesizer - is the best example. Power makes music, and power is physics.

Obscure Robot: If you could give the world one idea about composition, what would it be?

TimTainment: Think timeless.

Obscure Robot: How do you do that?

TimTainment: Like John Cage did - compose a track which is a century long - don't think in bars - think in time and in tones.

Obscure Robot: If you could give the world one idea about sound design, what would it be?

TimTainment: Use all frequencies - like Autechre - let the listener make new experiences - there's more than stereo!

In my track Tim au Tech can you listen what I mean - that would be my idea of sound design.

Obscure Robot: If you could give the world one idea about marketing, what would it be?

TimTainment: Be yourself and don't become a slave. Live your musician life as you want. And stay with your fans. The way to earn money is like always to perform live!


  1. I think the record label is awesome. I have to agree with you about music. Everywhere you go there is music - it is a universal language. Congratulations of the new record label anyway.

    music production