The Creative Process #9 Philipp Rumsch

When did you start making music and what was the contributor factor that made you to do so?

I started playing the accordion when I was seven years old. Actually, I was a quite bad student – not very enthusiastic and diligent. But another seven years later I switched to piano and suddenly doing music attracted me much more. I had a very good teacher at that time who was aware of my preferences and knew how to encourage it. The album „The Empyrean“ by John Frusciante finally led to the dream of becoming a musician.

 

How hard was it for you to create, record and release your first material?

I think producing the first record – which was with a jazz trio I’m playing in called moment’s concept – was accompanied by the strong urge to have control over as much parameters as possible. I think that I had this state of mind every time I did a first recording with a project – I guess it can be quite annoying for people who are involved 🙂

In terms of writing the music it’s harder for me to do a second recording of a project because then you and the audience have a certain expectations. I’m not very good in handling those feelings.

 

What is the main art form that influenced you in creating? Was it only music or did movies and other forms of art influenced your creative process?

Not only different art forms are influencing my process but also concepts or theories from other sciences for examples. For the latest recording I did with my ensemble, the physical and philosophical consideration of the term ‚reflection‘ became an important influence.

 

What are the steps that an idea takes before becoming a fully fledge song? And how does that idea affects the way you build an album from the ground up?

Mostly the first idea / concept for a composition has to come via inspiration. I have the feeling that I can’t really influence this part of the process, those ideas are just coming. As soon as I have this first object I go on in a very structured way, trying to lay out different ways of approaching or working with this material. Mostly I try to work out the whole album / composition – in a rough version – before I start with the different parts.

 

What do you consider the most important traits that a song and an album must have before you consider it to be completed?

I think the concept, the treatment of material within the concept, the form as well as the resulting sound has to appeal to me in order have the feeling of having completed a composition. But mostly I go back to a composition after a while and create a second version which is then the material to be recorded. This helps me a lot.

 

What are the actual steps that you take when you are creating? Do you need to enter or go to a certain setting in order to get creative?

For me, the best environment to create something is set up by having a lot of time, no disturbance through internet or people and a pleasant, quite atmosphere and enough food and coffee ;-). I can work very good at home.

But sometimes I have to compose in between appointments, rehearsals etc. which can be inspiring too, because then you do not overthink things to much.

 

Except art are there any other external or internal factors that influence you when you create, if so what are they?

If I reserved a day for composing I also take my time for preparing the setting above, doing some relaxation exercises, making a good coffee etc. in order to bring my mind in a relaxed state and don’t have think to much about other stuff.

 

What is your main motivation to create and be creative?

The feeling when a composition is done and is played for the first time is one of the most valuable experiences I can think of. I am of the opinion that the way a composition is going through is such a exciting thing. It starts by being just a thought within your head and ending up – in the best case – as a performance or recording where it can trigger other people’s emotions and intellect.

 

How long does it take to go from a song to an album from scratch to the fully recorded version?

That really depends on the project. The latest ensemble recording ‚reflections‘ took a little over two years from the first drafts of the composition until the mastering was done. But I mostly worked on the material in short periods and took the time in between evaluating the parts of the process. That’s a really great way of working, but it take some time.

The solo EP ‚A Forward-Facing Review‘ was completely produced between February and July 2017.

Do you take multiple takes of the songs before settling on the final version or do you go with the flow and just do one take?

That also depends on the music and the project. The ensemble recording was recorded mostly live with just a few overdubs and editing. However, the solo EP is a pure studio work, in which part of the creation process was to record a lot of material and evaluate and edit it afterwards until it became a the final composition.

 

During live shows what do you like to do more, experiment and improvise on the basis of the existing album and songs or you are more likely to recreate the recorded material as faithfully as possible?

Most of the ensemble material is composed and the idea is to reproduce this composition within a live and studio setting in an similar way. With my solo work it is a lot different, since I like to approach this material with two different point of views.

 

What are the main ingredients that makes a live show special for you?

A lot of parameters have to work together to make a live show something special. The musicians have to be in a good condition both musically but also personally, the location and the setting has create a warm environment, also the audience have to be in a special mood. But sometimes, if one or more of those parameters is in an disastrous condition, a concert can be very special, because then you get triggered in another way.

But besides that, playing with the ensemble is always very special, because it involves so many great people and musicians which automatically creates a very unique experience for me.

 

Do new ideas appear during live performances? If so how to do you proceed in order to materialize them?

Actually this almost never happens to me because I try to focus on the material I’m playing instead of thinking of new ideas.

 

What is the perfect time of day and weather that makes you creative?

I think I can kind of work in different settings but for several occasions I like to compose at night or on a sunny day.

 

What are your future plans and what advice do you have for people that want to get into creating music?

I want to record new material with my ensemble this year and hopefully find some space to work on new solo material. Also there are two releases coming up with my bands moment’s concept and Fhlaipw. Moreover, I would like to compose some music for an installation or for dance theater.

If you want to create or write music, try to get rid of the idea, that you have to impress a certain person / target audience as soon as possible. The only stipulation should be your own aesthetic preference.

I think that Ben Frost said once that I is trying to do music, I would like to hear. Although it sounds arrogant at first sight because it triggers this picture of an artist listening to his own music at his spare time – which I guess none of us is doing – it is not at all egoistic and actually a very true and clever statement.

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