Volker Kahl (Kattoo)

Volker Kahl (Kattoo)- How did you get involved in music making ? I mean the motivation, the
reason behind this 'venture'.. what do you expect as a result of your efforts?
Is it important for you to acquire something, to contribute something, to express
something that you just can't put into words?

Since i have started making music, the reason behind this venture has changed many times, antecedental it was in the foreground the fascination to produce new and unknown sounds / abstract buildings and impress people therewith. It was some kind of technical rebellion against the traditional music from the past. The technical revolution in the nineties with all the new possibilities to create and manipulate acoustic elements haven give people like me the possibility to express personal and new things beside the traditional songwriting and music. At that time everything was so fascinating and new...

Nowadays the reason / motivation behind my musical work is more the attempt to create something that is forceful enough to outlast my biological expiration date. I try to create music that is more immortal and is not only the result of a current and ephemeral fashion, i want to touch the humans emotionally and transport feelings in universal language. Maybe that's also the drug of my life or my personal therapy that i need to survive in this diseased world.

- How can you characterize your music?

Oh, i think that should be done by the other people people. Personally I don't think about such things ... music for me is a possibility to express myself, the character of it is a result of what i feel and what touches me emotionally. If anybody wants to sort it in a specific direction or style, well, it's unimportant for me.

- What has changed in you and in your music since Beefcake?

Much has changed, it is a continual development since i have started to make music. Beefcake was only one period in this development all in all and was more abstract, rhythmical and most sample based ... kattoo is more melodic and musical in the sense of classical, tonally music. i think kattoo now have more soul as beefcake former, because my musical knowledge and the possibilities to express are not more so strongly limited like in beefcake times. Let me quote a citation from Johann Nikolaus Forkel that enunciate the crux...

"rhythm is the only, what musically illiterate ears can feel and figure out in a musical composition."(c)

I completely agree with this citation, today... ;)

- You can get any type of sound you want, or there's something that sound generating/processing technologies have yet to provide? Or maybe a human factor plays its role and you cannot model the needed type of sound because of unability to imagine what the waveform should be like?

All organic and acoustic instruments are difficult to re-create synthetically, also the human voice. Nevertheless if I have an imagine I will always find the way to express it. Sometimes I must make a compromise because i'm limited from our materialistic and financial environment. If it fail anything, then not because I'm unable to imagine...

- If you get to a peopleless island and you are allowed to take only 3 devices for writing music, what will you take?

What a question... *laugh* i think on a unfrequented and lonely island there are more important things as musical instruments. If I guess that on such an island there is no electricity and not much devices, maybe a grand piano. Or if there is a habitation with electricity and all what i need for life on this island, then i take my computer with a midi keyboard. that's all...

- Do you have any favourite hardware synth/effect? All in all, hardware or software?

I have turned to software completely, now I produce my music with the help of only one computer and many software. Hardware is not efficient enough for creating orchestral compositions. The only hardware is an old synth that I use as midi keyboard.

- Do you like to play live?

That is absolutely impossible, i have no time and no live setup...

- How much or how often do you listen to your own works? In general, what music
do you listen to? (names, styles, etc..)

During the production process I listen to my own works very often, but after the release not more. Generally I listen much different music: metal, grunge, rock, pop, classic, soundtracks, electronic music, folk, blues, jazz, country... old and new stuff. In every style I find interesting elements... I like music overall.

- I heard that "Places" was to become a soundtrack for porn movie. Tell me please why was this hearsay born?

Like many other things, the background from this hearsay was unspectacular, a guy from hymen who has written the text for the release thought it was a funny idea to spray this rumbling. Nevertheless it is crazy to see how persistent this hearsay is.

- What did you listen to in your childhood?

Uhff, many fairy tales and radio plays, sometimes vinyl LPs from my father with music that i didn't understand at those times...

- You have graduated from the university with the specialization of arts. Do you work in this field nowadays?

No, i'm autodidact and have never seen an institute of art inside. I work as a freelancer and produce commercials, websites, 3D graphics and animations in order to earn some money.

- It will be very interesting to know the main stages and periods of developing intelligent music in the Kattoo's version.Can you select any main stages in developing of this music? What has changed?

It is difficult to explain, there exist no main stage in general. I work on a track for very long, partially over 100 hours and all what i do is equally important. Sometimes I have an idea to change a track after i have "finalized it". If I have the impression that a track isn't perfect enough, it isn't ready and all what i do is a main stage, I change it.

- If you get an implanted chip which is a sort of a 'brainwave-to-midi-converter' and you're able to manipulate sound structures and sequences directly, how will it affect your musical output? What will it sound like? Do you feel the need for such a device or it's pretty ok with human-machine interfaces today?

The possibilities today are not really efficiently, but it fits with the the "brainpower" from our computers nowadays. An implant like you said would be very interesting but the computer hardware are momentary to slow up in order to make us able to use such an implant in the right way... Not only the interface between human and computer are the hinderance for creative working. Already 10 years ago it was much more difficult to realize musical visions. In comparison to those times we have a paradise nowadays... but nothing is perfect.

- Is IDM changing itself, or is it being changed? For the bad or for the good?
If yes, what is behind this tendency, not only digital technologies?

Hmmm... I think, IDM is an inflationary used word for an development in the past that doesn't exist already. I don't like classifications of any type because most of musically classifications are arbitrary products inspired by the "spirit of the age". Earlier all was techno, now we have classification for every dotty variation... I don't mind, for me all is music.

- What kind of music should change the world for some better.. if music can do it?

I think, music expresses and amplifies an actual situation or a spirit of age, it is more a drug or luxury as a revolutionary element.

- What kind of music makes you really sick.. almost physically?

All music that is too loud, my ears are very sensitive... by the way, i'm very resistant for the most acoustic occurrences.

- No matter what you try to do, the world around you is coming to an end.. Or
maybe it's just stuck in a permanent cycle of decay/rebirth and this seems to
have no end.. Whatever it is, how do you deal with these facts? Ok, we're
expecting some philosophy here..;)

We all are like ants on an anthill and it is unimportant how a person shapes his life if we see our existence in relation to the chaotic and immortal universe. We all live in our own little world and reality that is defined by means of our limited sensory organs and controlled from simple biological instincts in order to survive. We are prisoners of our biological impermanence and our classifying things into good and bad are inseparable connected with our biological existence and the urge to survive. In the universe there is no good and bad like we interpret, in the universe we are only one little part of a big equation of many components that are out of balance. We are the product of inequality in an equation at the end of which is one result "equilibration". The molecules we consist of are immortal, we don't die in fact... Our molecules will be restructured like many times before. It is impossible for our perishable awareness to understand this immortality without feeling the fear. The unknown around us is so great... If I confront my life with the question about the meaning of life or in relation to the universe, then all what i do is so insignificant... millions of people live and die all the time and the great part of this people disappear from this world without the smallest trace. If all people you know are dead, it is as if you never was born, like you never have existed in this world. If there is time when the species "human" are will be ceases to exist (and that day will come), all what we have reached, all what we have created and will be completely insignificant...

At the end I'd like to say that nobody is interested in what you have done in / and with your life. If you have luck, you'll stand a stupid gravestone with an engraved impersonal phrase and nobody is there to read these ...
It is impossible to find a fulfilling solution for such questions, we all must live with this incertitude and everyone must find his own way to cope with this circumstances. It is not good to think over this too much, because you can't find the answer for such questions... the only thing you find is insanity and depression, because for that background my musical work, my life is so ridiculous and trivial ... think over that, all is pointless and the only rational decision is suicide...

- We're alone in the whole universe. or do you still have doubts about it?

We all are a part of the same chemical elements and physical facts that you can find everywhere in the universe. We are nothing that is supernatural, we are a part from this universe with its reality and if you understand that it is difficult to believe that "we" are alone like you mentioned that it. Maybe we have made a greater evolutuinary jump as the other beings on our planet, maybe in our evolutunary phase we are alone in the universe at this moment... But I'm not so megalomaniac to believe that it is impossible to find a place or a time in this universe with similarly situations and living conditions like our planetary configuration.
Not "we" are alone, rather every living being is alone and must cope with that what we call "life"...

- What is music? Who is kattoo ? What is the word?

Wusic is whatever people designate as music... physical declared, an superimposition from temporal repeatedly undulative changing pressure waves in gaseous or liquid material with mostly mathematical proportions.
Kattoo is... hmmm, I don't know...

- Kattoo

november '06

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