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A Musical Life: Markus Reuter

Hajo Mueller

Markus Reuter is a guitarist and composer based in Berlin, Germany. He has recorded extensively as a solo artist and with acts such as Tuner, Stick Men and The Crimson ProjeKct. In addition to his work in what might be described as rock music, he has written compositions for the classical world, including Todmorden 513 and His Last Decade.

“For me, a piece of music usually begins with an idea. But that idea is represented as an emotion, as some sort of ineffable expression somehow. Then, I use music or I research within the field of sound, to find the sound that represents that original emotional idea.

Sometimes that can be a very, very long process. So sort of like a, you could say, a gestation process where the emotional idea is there 15 years before I even start considering that I may have an idea how I can express that emotion. Then it may take another five years to get the score, or the recording technology or whatever in such a place where I can then realize the composition.

I really don't think there is an essential personality trait that makes you a better musician, or that even makes you a musician. However, I think if you are a composer, you have to have that curiosity and that interest in finding answers to the question, “What if?” And this question, “What if?” then really, really creates the new sound worlds.

As an interpreter of music that other people have written, you don't really need that trait. So really, I don't think there's an essential trait.

Mistakes are often part of my process of composition, and discovery, but more in the sense as giving me something that I wouldn't have done otherwise. So mistakes are kind of like the definition of things I wouldn't do. And try  to take advantage of these little mistakes, these little accidents that inspire me and inspire a new piece of art.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.