Fabian Rosenberg, otherwise known as Klangriket has recently released Tjärn, a solo EP exploring ambient textures in instrumental, contemporary classical music. In conversation with Fabian we discuss Tjärn, previous collaborations, the meaning behind Klangriket and more.
Hi Fabian, how are you? Are you excited about the release of Tjärn?
Hello Katy. I’m good thank you! Oh yes I am! It feels like I’m finally getting closure. And it also feels like I’m announcing my love for electronics to the world. It’s exciting!
Tjärn is your first solo EP as Klangriket. Do you feel as though you have found your voice through this EP? Or do you think the voice and style in Tjärn will change in future releases?
That’s an interesting question. Tjärn really is the journey I had to take to find my voice as an artist and producer. I used to be a session trumpet player until I was injured and started making music in the box. This was three years ago and I have since then made The Amsterdam Sessions and I’m currently working on an album (Secret announcement I guess!). So the music has been coming out in the wrong order. And the sound has definitely changed. If you listened to all of it you would hear me learn how to play the piano, how to produce but also hear me find my voice as an artist and slowly get back to the trumpet again.
How did you find collaborating with the fantastic Sjors Mans to create The Amsterdam Sessions?
It was an amazing experience! My hope is that we’ll do something similar soon. The whole thing happened really organically over a few days in Amsterdam. Since it was the first time we were hanging out in same physical space we we’re making music while we simultaneously got to know each other. Really intense and great fun!
Why do you use the pseudonym Klangriket? Is there a meaning behind the name?
I have a note-app in my phone which I use to write down words and short sentences. Things that I find interesting like lyrics and song titles. Klangriket came about when I was on a flight a few years ago. I was messing around with words in my head trying to come up with new ideas and wordplays. I was putting random words together to find new meanings and Klangriket was one of them. Klang is Swedish and is roughly translated to timbre in sound and riket is translated the land or country. I guess Klangriket means the land of sound. Honestly not sure when and how it ended up as my artist name.
What drew you to composing ambient textures and contemporary classical music? Is it true that you were previously more involved in jazz?
I think I’ve always liked sound and textures. Even before I really had any understanding of timbre. The first time I was exposed to ambient music was when I was in my teens and I found a World of warcraft video which I played at the time. This was before youtube so I downloaded it from a very small website dedicated to world of warcraft videos. The video featured a track by Helios, Dragonfly across an ancient sky. I immediately fell in love with it and the Eingya record.
You’re right I studied improvisation in high school an additional two years after high school. Jazz trumpet was my focus. Even though I mainly listened to jazz, soul, fusion, pop I kept coming back to Eingya through the years. When I started making music I realised that I could find much of what I loved about improvisation in the studio. The textures, timbre and the soundscapes.
Your music blends field recordings with acoustic instruments and electronic textures. Do you have a process for writing your music (for example, starting with acoustic instruments and then adding field recordings) or does the music come to you in a natural way?
I find inspiration through two main avenues. I either start with a sound, It really can be anything. To me that’s a hook. A field recording, a synth patch or a sampled sound sent through massive chain of effects. The second avenue is through concepts. I love to think about concepts. Could be a structure of a song or a compositional concept that I’ve come up with prior to a session. Most likely on the bus.
What musicians do you admire in the neoclassical music scene and why?
The music of Analogue Dear really resonates with me, Otto Totland, Ben Lukas Boysen, Max Richter, and also Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm of course. To me they’ve managed to figure out how to overcome one of the biggest struggles that we in my opinion face in this genre. To make the music larger than life.
Do you have any advice for composers who are nervous about releasing their music?
Don’t keep your music to yourself. Send it to people you admire, ask for feedback. Reach out to people you would like to work with. Ask questions about how others make music. This community is really a bunch of lovely people. I have had so much fun getting to know them. Oh and I’d also like to add that we’re living in an exciting time. It’s easier to release music than ever before. You can release a song every day if you’d like. The good thing with that is that if the listeners don’t like it it gets buried beneath massive amount of music that is released. With that said I guess is it’s harder to reach an audience, it goes both ways.
What is the meaning of music for you?
Music is life to me. It’s what makes me feel alive.
Is your music influenced by your surroundings and if so, how? Has Tjärn been influenced by Stockholm?
I don’t think I’m influenced by my surrounding as much as I’m influenced by the people around me. I’m very lucky to have many amazing artist around me that inspires and encourage me to explore deeper every day.
Do you have any gigs/concerts coming up?
No I’m sorry. I wish I did. In Between releasing music, making new music and trying to finish my bachelor at the Royal College of Music I’m struggling to find time to form a group and rehearsals. I’m very excited for the future though and I’m certainly intending to perform my music live. Figuring out how I’m going to perform all the textures and bits live is going to be massive challenge on its own. But everything’s is going to be okay I’m sure… How hard can it be?
Indeed! Good luck with Tjärn and finishing your bachelor at the Royal College of Music.