Interview with

Marc Behrens

Born in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1970,  Marc Behrens works internationally on several cerebral and physical levels, his work consists mainly of electronic and concrete music, installations and also photographs and video. Since 1989 he has released more than 30 music albums.
His activities since 2008 include sound recording in remote Western China, in Australia, Namibia and the Amazon, founding an incorporated company as a social art work, and staging a rite of passage for an investment banker. After producing radio works for WDR 3 and hr2-kultur, Behrens wrote the radio drama «Progress» in German language for Deutschland radio Kultur in 2013, in which rituals serve to connect the artist’s family history since 1869 with technical and political history.

Facts

1: Another person can take you beyond your own limits.

2: There were moments in my life when I wanted to freeze time and stay in the moment forever: one night in 2008 anchored in a lake in the Amazon rainforest, on the upper deck of the boat, watching a moon with gigantic halo, sweet water dolphins breathing around the boat, jungle noises from afar. Another moment was in July 2015 and is a secret.

3: Both my grand mother and my mother wanted to make art, but couldn’t, because of their life circumstances.

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My own life, travels and observations, in all their intensity, are the inspirations for everything I do. When I was younger, I also had this perceptual illusion during which my body would swell and the silence around me (particularly before falling asleep) would become an unbearable drone. Universe and body became one, on a circular scale.

How and when did you get into making music?
Because I was so impressed by an elementary school friend’s father’s electronic organ, I took electronic organ lessons as a kid, ca. around 1978 until 1981 or so… At that time I also overheard the Mothers Of Invention on a car radio (I could only reconstruct this later, hearing the same song again when I was older). In 1984, when I was 14, I switched on the organ again, and discovered its tape in- and outputs and started doing overdubs on cassettes. I tried to make some introverted simple pop music with that simple organ I had – just to overcome the teenage ennui. Then I discovered free jazz, a bit later experimental music, and “forgot” all of the organ teaching on purpose. I drummed on the kitchen equipment – art brut. With a friend, we did our first field recording experiments in our hometown between 1986 and 1989…

What are your 5 favorite albums of all time?
Meat Beat Manifesto – Storm The Studio
:zoviet*france: – Shouting at the Ground
Swans – White Light from the Mouth of Infinity
Death Grips – The Money Store
T.A.G.C. – Meontological Research Recording Record 2 Teste Tones

What do you associate with Berlin?
1990: the thrill of discovering the half-hidden world behind the wall, a parallel existence.
2015: too many people.

What’s your favorite place in your town?
Peace.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Write books…

What was the last record you bought?
Scott Walker + Sunn O))) – Soused

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Matthew Barney.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
It was a secret, private gig.

How important is technology to your creative process?
When you do electronic music, technology, by force, is always in the equation. I prefer to perfection how to channel my thoughts instead of trying to perfection the technology to play with.

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
My brother accepts the fact but it’s not his cup of tea.

Our Favourites: Sin and Temper | Maybe Rise (excerpt)  |  Concert at Archiaro (It)

Links:  Website | Band camp | Soundcloud |  atomtm.marcbehrens.com