I have often been asked why I named my website “Creative Emotions” so thought I would write a blog to explain the story behind the name…  It is based on three inspirational electronic music legends.

As some of you may know, I spent a chapter of my life in Austria and found myself surrounded by the most creative people in the country, no, the world and that’s no exaggeration!  To have worked alongside three of the most innovative, successful and professional people was not only a humbling experience but also a pure joy.  I was able to learn from the best and those geniuses are:

I spent a number of years “living the dream” and this created a host of memories which are deeply treasured.  The best way of telling the story is via a few extracts from one of my interviews with Hubert that link all three of them:

Hubert Bognermayr
Electronic Music Pioneer, Hubert Bognermayr

Hubert Bognermayr is an underrated musical genius who helped take electronic music into the 21st century. His professional title, when asked, is that of a computer artist. He is also known as being an inventor, a designer, a teacher, a musician, a producer and a highly-acclaimed award winner.

The strange thing is, although widely known throughout Japan, his work was never fully acknowledged in Britain.  His career saw the formation and management of the group Eela Craig. He toured (together with Harry Zuschrader) with Mike Oldfield; made samples for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer CD; and worked with the prestigious drummer Simon Phillips. He initiated and co-founded the Ars Electronica Festival, one of the most important festivals for electronic music and arts, which in turn gave ideas to invited artists such as the use of a steel symphony for Klaus Schultzers ‘Tangerine Dream’. He also saw the development of the computer bell programme for the Parsifal performance at the Osterfestspiele in Salzburg with Herbert v. Karajan.

Hubert’s musical career started in the early 1960’s with the formation of the group Jupiter, a dance band which received vast recognition in his home town of Linz. A business trip to London changed his direction after seeing the band King Crimson play at the then – famous Marquee Club in 1968.

This band had a great influence on Hubert and he consequently formed Eela Craig. King Crimson made him think about the Austrian attitude to music which was heavily oriented towards the classics. He wanted to pioneer a mixture of classical and electronic rock. Other memorable bands he mentioned were Pink Floyd, Cream, Peter Gabriel and Genesis, all of whom have an echo of recognition in his music.

The Success of Eela Craig

The success of Eela Craig went on to see over 400 concerts in Europe and the release of three CDs. Hubert’s active roles in the band were providing both the rock voice on many of the tracks and, for the first four years, he was the group’s manager. Only after major success did he pass the role on.

The fascinating achievements of his career all stem from a unique, innovative approach to the music business. The Erdenklang Symphony was the first-ever CD world-wide to be made from natural computer samples. Hitting the media in Austria and Germany, documentaries were made about his enterprising techniques.

When asked about sample CDs, he explains: ‘I don’t use them and I don’t really like them. There is one special sample CD for traditional instruments from a high school in Canada called Historical Instruments, but the others sound too industrialised for me. We make our own. I like to have a sampler range of over three octaves so I can then cut out single notes – this sounds more natural. For example, we have sampled oil drums to produce the sound of steel drums. We also use the subtractive synthesisers from Bob Moog.”

This name brings a chuckle to his round, robust, bearded face. He goes into a story. ‘I asked Bob Moog to perform at the Erdenklang Symphony. He agreed and I went to meet him at the airport. He arrived like most people with a couple of suitcases and we loaded them into the car. A funny smell filled the interior and I questioned Bob about this. He’d flown in from Milan, Italy, and had sold all of his musical equipment in return for gorgonzola cheese (his ex-wife is a cook and famous in America for her Moog cook books). I was astounded and told him that he couldn’t play at my concert with cheese! It all worked out well when he took himself down to a technical store to get the relevant parts and built a new synthesiser in my house’. When asked if his wife was happy, his reply was; ‘What do you think!’

Marketing – Fart Melodies!

I questioned him about managing and selling his own concepts and asked about any ingenious concepts he has sold. Another funny story, he went on to say, took place in Hamburg in 1985 with the artist Andre Heller. He chuckles to himself again and I soon find out why. ‘A concert named ‘Palace of the Winds’ was a sell-out. Performing to 400 people, five times a day for a month, this production consisted of a violinist and two musicians breaking wind. This was supposedly taken from stories of 16th-century France when artists were able to play fart melodies!”

At the time of this interview, Hubert had achieved seven gold and three platinum discs. He has had media coverage in England, Japan, Hungary, America, Germany and of course, in his home country, Austria. One of the career highlights he mentioned was the live performance of BergPredigt (translated: Sermon of the Mount) in the cathedral of Linz in front of an audience of 10,000.

Also two of Eela Craig’s greatest award-winning CDs were the infamous computer oratorio “Sermon of the Mount” and the computer acoustic symphony, “Erdenklang.” These reached number 2 in the Melody Maker charts and a special degree award was given from the USA for the highest-quality sound achieved on a recording. His career has also seen him winning the London BBC Radio Festival first prize for his CD, “Sermon of the Mount” on which you can hear his son.

Bob Moog at work
Bob Moog with Herbie at his place of work in North Carolina

The friendship between Hubert and Bob was rekindled in the mid 90’s when Bob and his wife came over to visit Hubert in Austria – this was someone Herb and I willingly gave up our flat for!

That was the beginning of a warm friendship with a gentle man and the following year, Herb and I were invited to go and stay with Bob and his wife in America.

Sadly, these legends are no longer with us but my stories about them and their inspiration remain with me and are the basis for why I am Creative with my Emotions and therefore, the reason behind “Creative Emotions & Social Media Promotions”.

 

 

My Electronic Music Legends: Bob Moog and Hubert Bognermayr
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