Hannes Bieger’s 5 Favourite Isolation Hobbies

Hannes Bieger

Super-talented producer and live performer Hannes Bieger gave a little update on how he’s doing as he self-quarantines during an interview with our team. Bieger is being both productive—creating new music—and also taking self-care seriously during these difficult times due to COVID-19 ourbreak.

Check below how Hannes Bieger is spending his time during the quarantine.

Music Production

I have finally been able to return home from the United States, and now I am in quarantine for the next 14 days, not allowed to go outside at all. I have set up a small home studio in the living room, with parts of my live rig and some other bits from my studio. In terms of synths I have a Moog Sub 37 here, a Buchla Music Easel, and the Moog DFAM.

Some outboard pieces including an Amtec Model 852 compressor, an API Lunchbox with a couple preamp, filter and distortion modules, also a few FX boxes including my OTO BIM and BAM pedals, the tc electronic June-60 chorus, tc electronic 2290 and 250 plug-in controllers, and the infamous „i had friends on the death star“ distortion pedal by Midnight 30. Also, of course, a Universal Audio Arrow interface and my trusty Audeze LCD-XC headphone. It’s a slightly unusual setup for me, but I like the challenge it imposes, and I am curious to find out what kind of music I will create with it.

Studio Planning

I will have to move my studio later this year, and that means I will have to build the new space. This will be a major task, and probably even more difficult to pull off in the current situation, like it would have been already in normal times. I’m a bit worried how everything will pan out, but I’m also very excited. This will be my third studio location, and my second proper build out.

I’ll have to move because of the rapid gentrification process which has happened in Berlin in the past three years, with an acceleration that had been unthinkable before. But like my last studio moving, I have come to see this as an opportunity to be able to improve things, and create the best possible workspace for the next ten years.

The book „Architectural Acoustics“ arrived just in time. Written by acoustician Raj Patel of international artitecture and design firm Arup, it seems to be a very comprehensive read. I received my copy because they have used some of the photos I took at AIR Lyndhurst studios in London for the book.

Cooking

I’m an avid chef, I take cooking just as seriously as music production. One of the very few good aspects of the corona crisis so far is that I have more time to work in the kitchen, and more incentive to do so, as all restaurants are closed.

I always wanted to learn how to make great hummus, and a few weeks into this situation I have already almost reached my goal of creating the best hummus I have ever tried! I have been experimenting with a lot of things. The order in which you put the ingredients in the blender is crucial, and one of the secrets to achieve this texture, which is super creamy yet fluffy at the same time, is to add ice cold water at some point in the process. I even tried ice cubes, and the results are fantastic.

It’s fun to view cooking as a process that’s both sensual and scientific, just like making music. One of my all time favourite dishes is Hummus Sabich, and the next thing I’m going to figure out is how to make Yemeni Zhoug, a green chilli paste, which is an integral part of this dish.

Sound On Sound

I have been a regular contributor to Sound On Sound for eight years. In the past 12 months I was a bit overwhelmed by running my studio business while rolling out my live set at the same time, and a few things, like writing for Sound On Sound, had to give a bit. I still enjoy focusing on the technical aspects of music production, which have a lot to do with research, comparisons, and figuring out things, and I hope I now have a bit more time to get back to that.

Art

After finishing school in the late 90s, and before I moved to Berlin, I wanted to go to an art school and become a painter. In Berlin I began to focus on music exclusively, but the interest in and the passion for art, especially painting, but also photography, have never left me. I have a huge collection of art books I have right in front of my eyes every day when I wake up, but in my pre-corona daily life I was just way too busy to pause for a moment, pick a book from the shelf, and get lost in it.

Pierre Soulages, Walton Ford and Annie Leibovitz are some of the artists I want to have a look again now first. I discovered Soulages when I was 18. There was a huge exhibition in my hometown of Hamburg at the time, and I was struck by his immense paintings, huge, almost overwhelming in size, all these shades of black, and these incredible textures. In another life, if I had a fortune to spend on an art collection, the first thing I’d do is acquire one of his paintings!

Walton Ford I discovered only a few years ago, when there was a huge retrospective at Hamburger Bahnhof museum in Berlin. Ford has been described as the most un-modern of modern painters. His work nods back to the scientific animal drawings of the Darwin era, yet the large scale paintings have an almost Orwellian quality to them, they are hauntingly beautiful and incredibly eerie at the same time, and sometimes downright brutal.

Annie Leibovitz finally needs no introduction at all. In her autobiography „At Work“ she talks about some of the most seminal assignments and shootings in her career, and her words are so captivating that you can’t stop reading once you have opened up the book. I have already read it three times, and I will make it a fourth now.

Keep up with Hannes Bieger on Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram. Hannes Bieger’s Pole LP is out May via Carl Cox and Christopher Coe’s Awesome Soundwave.