P&C interview: Tim Linghaus / by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Amanda Nordqvist

Drawing inspiration from his childhood, Tim Linghaus puts his memories and feelings into stunning works of art, creating pieces that ring with emotion and a deep sense of solemn awareness. Though teaching at a local school in the peaceful coastal town of Cuxhaven, Germany, Tim still found the time to pour his soul into what has now become his debut EP, Vhoir.

Could you tell me about your introduction to music? When did you start creating your own?

I guess I was introduced to music and to the possibility of making it by my father, who played in bands and owned a couple of instruments. I remember jamming with him along Nirvana songs on a very heavy black electric guitar in his office. In my memories this thing is way bigger and heavier than me. I also remember sitting on an old upright piano in a blurred living room at some family party. My mom tried to get the piano for me but they wanted to keep it as some kind of furniture. Anyway, two key moments in my life.

Would you describe your creating process for me?

Normally I start playing the piano until I find a melody or chords that suddenly seem to have a meaning to me. I record tons of sketches on my phone, listen to them wherever I can, erase the ones I don’t like, get back to the piano and revise the good ones, record again, erase, revise, until I am happy. Then I go to Ableton and add different instruments or record noise. I don’t write music on paper. Apart from some lousy note reading skills I remember from school I can’t read music. I just listen and try to memorize keys. However, sometimes I start with synthesizer drones or just some noise. I never start with strings actually. I don’t really know why.

What or who is your biggest inspiration when composing? Do you have a dream collaboration?

My biggest inspiration next to other music is my own past. I do take a lot of motivation from pictures and memories. I was born in the GDR and the Berlin Wall fell when I was seven. There are a lot of things I remember about my youth and later life that I like to give another language than words. Music is perfect for it. I reckon it’s very common to do so. Everything you do and every melody you write is autobiographic.

A dream collaboration? That’s a very good question. I have never thought about it. Well, I would like to write a piece with my father. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. But I would love to.

Recently I was asked to become part of a collaboration project called ‘The Exquisite Corpse’, which is initiated by English label Bigo & Twigetti in conjunction with Moderna Records. I will be one of twelve artists forming sort of a file sharing chain in order to create individual pieces from original sources. This seems to be a great collaboration and I am so looking forward to receiving the files I can work with.

What can you tell me about Vhoir?

Vhoir derived from a personal crisis to be honest. I came to a point where I asked myself whether I should go on making music or not. I’ve been writing so many songs since I was a teenager and one year ago I suddenly thought that I wasn’t able to write one proper song. I mean, I have written and collected hundreds of songs and fragments on a couple of hard-drives over the years and I couldn’t name a single song I like from the first note to the last. I was on the brink of throwing everything away. But there was this grand piano in our assembly hall at school. It got me. I played it whenever I had a bit of time between lessons. I started recording sketches on my phone and slowly found my way back.

In a nutshell, I didn’t stop making music but ended up writing Vhoir. After I had finished the tracks I looked for a mastering studio. Emil Thomsen jumped into my interest and I wrote an e-mail explaining my situation. He was very kind and interested right from the start and he felt like the perfect choice. When the master got here I was thrilled. I totally love the warm analogue sound he put on every piece. After a few weeks I thought that more people than my family and my friends should listen to it. So I decided to look for some labels on the web and found Moderna Records. It was the only label I wrote to. I really liked their collection of artists and their aesthetic approach. I sent three tracks to Évolène and Nick and they liked them. We exchanged some more e-mails and here I am chewing nails awaiting the EP’s release.

How does it feel to be releasing your debut EP? What were your thoughts and expectations throughout the whole process?

It feels really good. I am so happy with Moderna Records and the way they work with me and Vhoir. Of course I am a little bit curious about what people think about the record. You know, the process of producing a recording, from the first sketch to the final track, is something I absolutely love. Now that the EP is finished I can’t do anything about its shape anymore. It’s done. I have to let go and see what happens. I believe Vhoir is a record that takes some time to grow on the listener. In consequence, I hope people take some time to listen and maybe find some meaning in it.

Lastly, do you have any advice for young artists out there?

I don’t know if I’m the right person to give advice on this but I would say try out and do something. Take an instrument and do something. Just do something. And if you don’t love it, you shouldn’t carry on. Grab another one and another one and try again until you do something you love with instruments or tools you love.

Take some time to listen to Tim’s fantastic debut EP Vhoir at Moderna Records’ Bandcamp, and don’t forget to show your support on his Facebook