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Oskar Schuster - Music Out Of The Subconscious Mind

Thanks to Oskar for the chance to meet him in Berlin in early September ... really enjoyed it. Published October 06 2013.

  by Mario

A while ago Oskar Schuster successfully funded his upcoming album with the support of 145 believers on Sellaband. I talked to him about his music and the crowdfunding experience ...

50K MUSIC: Who is Oskar Schuster? Please tell us something about you. Where do you come from? What are your musical roots?
Oskar: I'm a composer from Berlin. Two years ago I released my debute album, "Dear Utopia". Right now I'm finishing my second album which will be out in a few months. My musical roots are quite diverse. I grew up with pop/rock music, listening a lot to bands like the Beatles, Nirvana and Radiohead. Later I discovered Sigur Rós and Beirut, two bands that influence me very much. On the other hand I always played classical music on the piano, mostly Chopin and Schumann. I also have been interested in electronic music from an early age on. Actually I took my first steps in composition by messing around with sequencer software on my Commodore 64 when I was about ten years old. I think my music combines all those different influences. It is purely instrumental with the piano as main element, often accompanied by glockenspiel and a programmable music box. To create beats, I record the sounds of old typewriters and cameras and sample them.

50K MUSIC: Where do you get your inspiration from to bring such wonderful pieces of music into being?
Oskar: When I sit in front of the piano and improvise, I use watch photographs or video sequences without sound to get myself in a certain kind of mood. Otherwise, I try to minimize influences from the outside while I'm composing. Sometimes it happens that I don't listen to any music, nor read any books or watch any movies for weeks while I'm working on my ideas. I try to take everything from inside of me, out of the subconscious mind. But nonetheless, I guess books inspires me a lot, mostly Franz Kafka's surreal stories and Michael Ende's fanciful children's books.

50K MUSIC: For the track "Stjernen" you've worked together with Possimiste. Please tell us something about this collaboration.
Oskar: I discovered Possimiste on Soundcloud some years ago. I loved her music and thought her voice would flow well together with my style, so I asked her if she would be interested in a collaboration. This is how Stjernen originated. I recorded the instrumental part, sent it to her and she created and recorded the vocal track on top of it. On my upcoming album, there will be a second collaboration with her.

50K MUSIC: Are there any other collaborations planned for your upcoming album?
Oskar: I'm working on a piece with canadian Cellist / Composer Véronique at the moment which might be on the album as well.

50K MUSIC: You've already given a sneak peek at the album with "Sneeuwland" and "Vleurgat" demos. Is there always a story behind your tracks?
Oskar: My music is purely instrumental and therefore rather abstract. I don't sit at the piano and think: "I'll write a song about this or that". It just comes out of the blue. But behind the titles there sometimes lies a story. I won't tell the story behind the name "Sneeuwland", as I want it to stay a secret. But "Vleurgat" is the name of a place in Bruxelles where I stayed for some days during a voyage last year. I try to choose titles that fit the music and that evoke stories but the music itself is not connected to anything concrete.

50K MUSIC: You've funded the upcoming album with the support of Sellaband believers. How did you come up with the idea of crowdfunding your music?
Oskar: A friend of mine suggested it to me, so I tried it and it worked out very well.

50K MUSIC: What else are you up to at the moment?
Oskar: Not much besides finishing my album, the cover artwork and a music video. I'm very focused on that at the moment.

50K MUSIC: And last one: anything you want your fans and believers to know?
Oskar: I thank them very much for their ongoing support and I hope to be able to give them much back with my upcoming album.