"How do things come to life?" This is a question that German composer, electronic producer, and classically trained piano virtuoso Johannes Motschmann has been contemplating for a while now. "I wanted to make music about the starting point, about how music appears. So this record is about bringing concepts and ideas to life."
It's a unique, compositional approach to electronic music that has led Motschmann to several ground-breaking albums and a raft of acclaimed performances all over the world, latterly alongside Boris Bolles and David Panzl as the Johannes Motschmann Trio. 2016's "Electric Fields" via Neue Meister, which matched classical flourishes with beautiful moments of electronica, typified his creative processes - "New sound spaces inspired by electronic music, but produced 100% by hand," is how he described it – something he repeated for "Lifestream".
"The concept of 'Lifestream' has many meanings," he says, "and if you spell it differently – with a v – that's pretty much what we do when we perform live. The idea of creating a lifestream also means to instantly create, right there on the stage; not working with loops, not working with samples. So most of it is really done with our handcraft, in the moment," explains Motschmann.
Conceived as a narrative arc, "Lifestream" itself reflects the natural cycle of all things – from birth to death, from 'Craving', a euphoric, glimmering track that contains the DNA of the whole album to 'Grave', a track about weightlessness and "a space that I would not want to describe in detail." It's also, explains Motschmann, something of an epitaph, the haunting piano and mournful strings providing a peaceful – and fitting – coda to the record and the life contained within.