Interview with BAR

Talking Tuesday – Turn it up!

BAR for MEAN fashion_copyright Yusuke Abe (2015)

COpopKöln 2014_outfit by Marion Strehlow_copyright BAR

Open Source Festival Düsseldorf (2014)_outfit by Marion Strehlow_copyright fotoschiko

ZAKK (2014) backstage_copyright BAR

Walden Festival Austria (2015)_copyright Nina Bienefeld

Salon des Amateurs, Düsseldorf (2014)_outfit by Marion Strehlow_copyright BAR

BAR in LA (2013)_copyright BAR

First of all, could you describe your practice please?

Enthusiastic, passionate, curious, open-minded, strong-willed: We are two people – Lucas Croon and Christina Irrgang – who compose in Lucas‘ Duesseldorf-based studio or while we are travelling, Lucas also produces the music. Our first outcome was our debut-album „Welcome to BAR„! Since then we are playing concerts and we are happy talking with you today!

“A musical hybrid between New Wave, Balearic, Shoegaze, Dream Pop and Noir Songwriting” – this is one description, attempting to classify your sound. sac fjallraven kanken Where do you personally see the kind of music you are producing? Is there a need to classify?

There is a certain need for newspapers or magazines to classify things in terms of giving an indication for a discussion or a discourse. The description you mentioned is meant in this sense – it strikes something familiar, and it sketches something to be explored. There is no need to classify and we personally do not classify our music at all, because it emerges out of a fluent movement where – for us – no categories exist at all. Our music is inspired by music we grew up with, by the experiences of the past.

  • But we also do have visions and phantasies about sound. All this comes together in the present, and it’s hard to name emerging soundscapes which in a sense create their own language.

    You have been working together for one and a half years now. Lucas, you are already known in the field of music through your band Stabil Elite. New Balance 998 mujer Christina, you have a background in the art world. How and why did you decide to work together?

    We got to know each other on stage: Lucas was performing music for a scenic play while I was performing an analytical-poetic text. Todd Gurley UGA Jersey Our artistic senses matched and completed or added something from our first encounter. After being a couple for six months, we started to make music together – and ended up in producing our first vinyl „Welcome to BAR“ within only a few months, it was released in June 2014. Since then we’re working together and playing concerts in different contexts, like in clubs, theaters, in the art and fashion scene, even in universities… Our decision to work together was love – for music and for each other!

    Your band name BAR – stands for Band am Rhein, which presents strong local links. Yet obviously relates bluntly to both `bar music´ in terms of the spatial placing and hence certain sociological parameters as well as to `bar (music)´ in terms of the musical notation and hence more technical parameters. Can you elaborate on your thoughts behind the name finding?

    First of all we got keen about the fact that there were and are so many (electronic) bands in the Rhineland who labeled themselves with three characters, mainly with three capital letters. We wanted to take up this tradition that was formulated by CAN, DAF, NEU!, MIT… and we wanted to find a word, that means something and at the same time anything! We ended up with BAR, which has this very specific reference to where we are from (Band Am Rhein, Duesseldorf), but which also is a form of DADA. The word BAR has so many meanings – as you mentioned – in so many different languages and contexts, that it is at the same time understandable and incomprehensible. It includes a link to our musical sources, but it opens up space and edges.

    Where does the inspiration for the songs come from? Who is responsible for the text, who for the sound – or is the song in the end a complete mutual product?

    Our music production emerges out of an interplay: it is a mutual re-action. Nevertheless: Lucas is most familiar with electronic sound and music production while Christina’s practice emanates from language and classical music. We both use both techniques and learn from each other. With BAR Lucas started to sing and discovered language as a new source, while Christina started to learn to play and compose with synthesizer, sequenzer, or drum machines. And we both discover new instruments every now and then when we are travelling – they enrich our sound as travelling itself.

    You use a lot of very contemporary means of music production and at the same time combine synthesizer, flute, samples of obscure movie soundtracks and drum machines (electric drum synthesizer). Nike Air Max Flyknit Heren Can you explain a bit further what the production of a new song looks like.

    Lucas loves synthesizer and it all started many years ago when he found an old Mini-Moog in the cellar of his school. Christina got educated in different types of the flute but didn’t practice anymore since she left school. We bring together the instruments we are fascinated by, including experiences from the past and discoveries from the now. We’re recording analog and digital, with the means of time and timelessness. We grew up in a time where the recording of music and images is an ubiquitous technique: loop and sample have equivalent meaning to us as free floating improvisational passages that we are performing live on stage.

    When we are travelling, our „mobile studio“ is limited to just a few instruments like keyboard, flute or shaker. They might build a structure that will be edited in Lucas‘ studio in Duesseldorf. An example for this is our song „White Noise“: We recorded the substance for this piece on the island Borkum, and brought in the bass guitar and some other lines back home in Duesseldorf. Adidas Pas Cher Another example is „Adios“. The music was completely composed in Duesseldorf, but the lyrics arosed from a text Christina had written in Los Angeles. „Adios“ merged somehow nearness and wanderlust.

    When scrolling through your latest performances, one notices that you play at numerous art events such as the opening of the Berlin Art Week at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Museum Ludwig in Cologne or the NRW Forum during the night of the museum in Düsseldorf to name just a few. Is this purely a matter of getting booked as a band or is the art audience a nicer audience and hence a deliberate decision by you?

    Our music implies something sophisticated, which we do not express distinct, but which is obviously appreciable. There are conceptual concepts behind the one and another song, like in „Anjali Reverse“ where passages of music and voice are mirrored, or in „Sternberg & Mason“ which is arranged in the blending style of a „Riffelbild“ of the 16th/17th century where two figures merge into one depending on the viewpoint. Maybe our conceptual based practice is somehow noticed as an aesthetical gesture that refers to the arts. We are happy that all these museums wanted to play us at their events. Nike Air Max 1 Heren But playing in museums has also two sides, because the music often becomes only shared attention. So, playing in the art context is not „nicer“, but one interesting form beside others like club, festival, fashion show…every scene has its own charm, attraction and audience! We like the variety of listeners and we love to inspire people by our music!

    Christina, you are educated in art history and have (and actually are still) working in the art world, as a writer and critic as well as in a gallery, hence you have a solid understanding and feel for contemporary art, where interdisciplinary collaborations often appear. Especially the link between art and music is a very close one. How does your background in arts influence your music and the result of your mutual production in the end?

    I studied Theory of Art and Media and I do work as a freelance author in the fields of art and design. Writing is my strength and pleasure – that’s why I am currently working on a PhD and the reason why I left the gallery business. nike air max goedkoop My education influences me insofar, as I am a visual person, thinking in images. This benefits my writing, whether in an academic, critic or poetic way. Visual thinking also benefits when I’m composing: I experience music as something spacial and scenic, like Lucas does. For me music is a field where all this – space, images, sounds – comes together and creates an own language, as an expansion to and of my writings.

    Your video to „Adios“ suggests an aesthetic aspiration in your work. Where do you see the parallels and links between art, music and design? Is this an important aspect in your work?

    Art, music and design are connected in our work insofar as we like to work together with artists, musicians, (fashion) designers…with whom we have common interests. Our colleague Nikolai Szymanski, who is artist, musician and singer in the band Stabil Elite, directed the video for our song „Adios“. He brought his ideas and visions into this video production, which matched perfectly to our feeling for this song. We try to bring out the best with little funds, but with cutting-edge aspiration. So the artist Mirko Podkowik directed the video for our song „Luna May“, where he used a special technique with green screen to create a specular reflection of ourselves. The fashion designer Marion Strehlow in turn designed some special stage outfits for us. Recently we performed at her fashion show in Duesseldorf, wearing one of her outfits. We like to support attitudes and we are happy when mutual ideas create something new.

    Being linked so closely to art, is there a desire to incorporate art and artists in your practice? Be it visually for stage, outfit or cover works or even in the musical and conceptual process?

    Yes, of course. But more than a concept, it is a desire to share ideas and aims with other contemporaries. It is also a case of being understood, if you share your practice with like-minded people. First and foremost it is nice to be „seen“ by people who understand your work. So the artists and musicians Lukas Heerich and Orson Sieverding took photos of us for press-work. The latter also made a remix of one of our songs which will be published soon on a Remix-EP. It is just an exhilarating feeling to know good and interesting people with their own profession who understand yours, and who even participate! Like Winarni&Catania: they designed our website. But we also like to use our own knowledge and facilities: So far we do all our cover works and cover photography by ourselves, as a visual extension of our music.

    Is there a difference between art and other cultural fields, such as literature, architecture or design in relation to music or could this be a possible expansion for your contemporary cultural audiovisual contribution?

    We’d like to make a cookery book and a fanzine…! (laughing) But to get back to your question: No, we do not think hierarchical. Literature, film, art, architecture, design, music and dance (!); all this is connected somehow, and to make these connections productive is one of the most amazing things in life! By the way: Christina is including her Majorette-dancing-technique while performing „Luna May“…. Beside his band projects Lucas is composing music for motion picture and commercial. Nike air max 90 pas cher And BAR is going to collaborate with a seminar/students about literature on medusas at the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf this autumn…

    Your first album came out in 2014. What´s next?

    We’re waiting for our Remix-EP with reworked songs by Diva, Orson, Pharaohs and Wolf Müller. This vinyl combines musicians from Los Angeles and Duesseldorf, we are really looking forward to this release! Coming out soon! There will also be a repress of our album „Welcome to BAR“ which is sold out! The new Stabil Elite album is almost finished and will be released early next year! We now have time to work on a second album of BAR. And there will be some more gigs in the near future/upcoming autumn, a.o.