30

Details

Music & Film: Irmin Schmidt

Music & Film: Irmin Schmidt

Irmin Schmidt, born in Berlin in 1937, constantly reinvented himself and continued to develop. First of all, he learnt to play the piano, became a piano teacher, studied under Legeti and Stockhausen, composed for theatre and ballet, celebrated successes as a director. In 1967, he was invited to New York to take part in the International Conductors’ Competition and met there Velvet Underground, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and John Cale. When he returned, he looked for new ways, and in 1968 founded CAN, which became one of the most important German bands. Bowie, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Portishead are all without CAN “not conceivable“- is how director Wim Wenders describes it. After CAN, Schmidt made, amongst other things, 12 solo albums, the opera GORMENGHAST and 80 film soundtracks. During this work, he has had a great impact on the development of film music in Germany: he was one of the first to work with improvisation, utilizes sounds, sound manipulation, electronic sounds and elements of world music. The group improvisations of CAN were legendary during which only Schmidt actually knew the film and then described the storyline and moods to the rest of the band. Schmidt has been awarded the Echo, the Honorary Prize of SoundTrack_Cologne as well as theFrench Ordre des Lettres. He is awarded for his life workwith the ”White Lion” at the BIFF this year.

back