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I am fascinated by things that I don't understand


Ilinca Bernea, An interview with Robert Waechter

10.05.2016
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Robert Waecher was born in 1958 in Wien.
During his years of violin study, he had the chance to work within the Wiener Philarmoniker and the Staatsoper in Wien. When he was 22, he became the violin soloist of Hamburger Sinfoniker and Hamburger Kammerorchester. Three years later, he became the soloist of l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice. He has been called many times to work as a tutor in various European youth orchestras, such as Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the European Union Youth Orchestra.
Along with his activity as a violinist, he has a vast experience in composition. His works are based on techniques of repetitive music and employ almost exclusively asymmetric rhythms. He writes mostly for chords instruments.
His music is broadcast by cdbaby.com (USA), on Amazon.fr, and also by various distribution sites like iTunes.
 
 
Ilinca Bernea: How did you get to be a violin player? Did you choose the instrument or was it by chance?
Robert Waecher: It was the choice of my parents.

I.B.: What age were you when you realized you wanted to become a musician?
R.W.: That was when I was 14.

I.B.: Who are the musicians - and composers, of course - that influenced you the most?
R.W.: When I was 14 it was Tchaikovsky whom I admired. Years went by and my loves changed. There was a time when I tried to uncover the secret of the meditative power of Steve Reich's music.


I.B.: Do you compose under a sudden burst of inspiration or are you rather the elaborate, methodic type of creator?
R.W.: I am the second one. Everyone has at least 10 good ideas a day, but they are without interest unless you elaborate a body for them to live in.
 
I.B.: How does it feel to capture a musical idea?
R.W.: It reminds me of when I played Lego with my little son. "Let us build a tower" and then we just did it.
 
I.B.: Can you control your creative drive or is it dependent on an unpredictable inner state?
R.W.: The brain never stops. It just matters where you focus your thoughts on.
It could be cooking, playing the violin in tune, cleaning the bathroom or writing down music.

I.B.: Do you listen to pop music too? Do you have some favorite musical genres?
R.W.: Today, everything that comes from the 19th century is called classical music. A big part of this repertoire is just the pop(ular) music of the 19th century. For me, every kind of music which can be orally transmitted is like storytelling. This eternal tradition is the main purpose of music. But the fascinating part is when you transcend the level of understanding a melody and its accompanying patterns and create polyphonic forms, like Palestrina or Bach did. That is a chemical process and it has to be written down, because the notes you put together give birth to a new and unexpected creature. I am fascinated by things that I don't understand.
 

I.B.: Who is your favorite writer?
R.W.: I love Heimito von Doderer.
 
I.B.: What book would you recommend to the exponent of an alien species interested in earthly civilizations?
R.W.: Tolstoi, "War and Peace".
 
I.B.: Name three distinctive features of your musical compositions.
R.W.: Irregular and not understandable pulsation (like 11/8 etc.), an easy melody and a high speed-vibrato violin sound.
 
I.B.: Which of your qualities is the one that you are proudest of?
R.W.: I try not to be proud of anything.
 
I.B.: Which of your weaknesses bothers you in the highest degree?
R.W.: I try not to be bothered by my weaknesses.
 
I.B.: Is there a memory or a particular state of mind that you invoke with predilection when you're playing the violin?
R.W.: The well-being to hear interval in tune. That is what my album Re-ligio is all about.


I.B.: What word you dislike the most?
R.W.: Pretentiousness.
 
I.B.: What is happiness to you?
R.W.: The illusion that time can stand still.
 
I.B.: Would you come to play for the Romanian audience?
R.W.: With great pleasure.
 
I.B.: Do you have a favorite place in the world? And in Europe?
R.W.: My bedroom in Nice.
 
I.B.: At the end, I will divulge to the Romanian public that I put some of my lyrics on a fabulous composition of yours, and the result can be listened to here: soundcloud.com/ilincabe/oblivion

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