Sunlight Through the Trees
 AV talks with Deuter



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Sunlight Through the Trees
by Deuter

Releasing 5/17/2024

Nicole Grabke Interviews Georg Deuter

NG: Can you talk about your connection to music? How did you connect as a child? What fascinates you about music?

Deuter: Basically everything. The sound. A sound. Any sound, like a bird singing, water running, waves on the ocean. And then sounds which are created by an instrument, which are built to create a harmonious sound hopefully, something which is pleasing and helping us to go through our lives with some pleasure. It's just a sound. I can just play around with sounds.

NG: And do you remember when you were young, how you connected to music? Why music and not art or painting? I know you grew up in a family that played a lot of music, but as far as I know, you perceived music differently than they did.

Deuter: Well, I don't know about that. I mean, I also like painting and I love paintings. I was just never so intrigued in actually painting something as I was with creating music or creating sounds. With sound you create with a piece of wood or with some metal things or spoon on the table or whatever.

NG: So when you hear those sounds, what do they trigger in you? Do they trigger a certain reaction from you? A certain feeling?

Deuter: Hmm. Yeah. Good question. They create or they trigger a sort of playfulness. I'm trying to do something with the sounds I hear in the same way a painter feels inspired when he sees some colors and wants create something with those colors.

NG: And sometimes you mention that a song is knocking on your door. So would you say you are coming up with the music, or is the music coming to you?

Deuter: If you ask like this, I would say the music is coming to me. I don't have a feeling. I mean, I just love making music. In that sense I am trying to create something, but basically the music is there, the same way hunger is there. You don't create the hunger. The hunger is there and knocks on your door and wants to go to a restaurant.

NG: So what happens when you don't listen to the knocking on your door?

Deuter: Then it keeps on knocking.

NG: And how does it feel when you open the door, when you do something with the music, with the song?

Deuter: For me that's incredibly fulfilling. It's almost ecstatic because it creates a space where the “I” feeling, the me feeling disappears. And it's just the dance with the sounds, with the music, and with the listening. I mean, the most important thing in music is listening. Creating it, for me, the way it works is I hear one tone and I listen to it, and it in a way tells me where the second tone is coming from or where it's going.

NG: And once you have created a song, what is that like when you see the whole picture? When all this, the tones come together?

Deuter: It's a very blissful feeling. And when it's finished, it's a sad feeling, somehow. That means we have to start a new one. But the act of creating is almost blissful state. Unless the machines break down, then, yup.

NG: It's almost like a birth. Then there's some trouble sometimes that it can't be born the way it's supposed to be.

Deuter: Yeah. It's almost like, it's like a dream in a way. It's a different world. And that's also the reason I like to work by myself. Usually a second person makes it difficult for me to leave my personal frequency and surrender totally to the music. But there have been differences. It depends. When I listen to an orchestra, that must also be an incredible feeling when they really play well together. And the take off that must be also good. That's great. I've been playing with other musicians in concerts, and that's fun when it works.


NG: Great. Now, your last album, Komorebi, the first piece is a pure piano piece, which is unusual for you. And you mentioned that it has been created years ago. Do you remember that time? What made you create a pure piano piece, what the feelings were when you did?

Deuter: That's simple. I had a wonderful grand piano standing here, a concert piano. And I was just playing around with it, and I recorded some of it. And that was a recording from a long time ago.

NG: Do certain feelings come up for you as you listen to that piece? Or is there a certain flow for you?

Deuter: Well, that piece has been there and I thought about it often. I had a feeling that I could do something with it, but I never knew what to do. It was just there. I enjoyed it the way it was. That's the way it's published now. Then the second piece on this album is the same piano piece, but taking pieces of it, parts of it, and adding things to it, adding other instrumentation to it.

NG: That feels very different when I listen to that first song, the pure piano song, and then the one that you added things, even though the basics might be the same, it has a very different energy to it. Do you experience that the same way?

Deuter: I don't know the way you experience it, but, for me it was like a fulfillment. I always thought I should do something with it. So I finally did something with it because that piece was in the back of my mind. It was there the whole time. It wanted to be, it wanted to get out. So I finally did it. For me it fit well with the title, Komorebi - Sunlight Through Trees, which for me is this beautiful feeling going through the woods; nature, inspiration in nature and sunlight, the sparkling of sunlight on the ground or on the leaves. I think it's a perfect title for it.

NG: So you mentioned the light coming through the trees. Does that connect to your music, somehow? Light and sound, does that connect to you, for you?

Deuter: Not really in the visual sense, but still as the experience of light? Yes, we experience light constantly, and we are not aware of it unless it gets dark and the light disappears into the night. We are so used to light, which I think that the universe without the light would be pretty scary place. So light is, for me, a very positive, a very beautiful part of this life. From the beginning I tried to create a feeling of light with my music because where I grew up for a few years in Germany after the war it was a place in ruins, and it had a very dark and depressed feeling about it. One of my first memories of music was listening to a flute player and that created an opening where light was able to come through to me. Since then the flute has been an instrument which I love to use and recreate this feeling again.

NG: When listening to your music, it really does carry a feeling of lightness and of a joy of life, at least for me when I listen to it, and almost being able to touch different dimensions. So when I listen to your story now, it makes sense that you found a way to integrate something positive, beautiful into life. I also know that you love going through the forest, that nature is important to you. And Komorebi, the title, obviously connects to that. What is it like for you when you do go through the forest, when you feel that light, when you connect to nature?

Deuter: Well, the energy of nature is totally inspirational; if it's the woods or the animals, the birds, all of it. One of the first things I did before I published some music was that I went out and recorded nature sounds. That was my favorite thing. Later I put some music to it. I‘d make music and edit some nature sounds. I haven't done that for a while. But for a long time I would add some bird singing or water sounds to the music. The energy in nature, that's what I'm picking up. Calming. Nature is not only calming, it can be wild and destructive, but we are picking up the good part of it.

NG: That sounds beautiful. So it sounds like it's inspiring you and you transmitted into your music, into what you create. Yeah. Alright. Do you think your music has some healing components? I mean, your music is very peaceful and harmonious.

Deuter: It has definitely been healing for me and the feedback I have received over the past 50 years agrees with that. It seems to have that healing component for other people too. I rarely made the music with a specific goal like healing but the world is constantly getting busier and I feel I can put on a brake on  the ever growing speed in life.  I hope my music might remind us of the calmness and quietness in our existence.

NG: Well, I hope that you continue to make a lot of music. I think a lot of your fans are waiting for it. Do you feel like there's still music knocking on your door?

Deuter: Yup. <laugh>.

NG: That's great.

Deuter: What I'm also interested in are the two aspects in the music, which are important to me. One is the understanding that there is silence before there's music. And then there is some sound and there's music. And that disappears again into silence. And that second part is for me, very important. I always try to make music which disappears into silence, that it takes the listener with it into the silence. Not an abrupt silence finish of the music, but a slow guiding into a silence. So for at least a little while, silence becomes audible. And I think many people experience it, even it might not be a conscious experience, but it's somehow happening. That was always an important aspect.

The other one is we have two movements in music. One is horizontal in time. Music moves through time. It creates, it needs time. Without time, we wouldn't have the music. And the other movement is the vertical movement. And that has to do with overtones and with the structure of the music. It creates a movement into something which is, after a while, not audible anymore, but it can be felt. And that is an important thing. I learned that mainly in the Indian music. The Indians learned long time ago to create instruments which are very rich in overtones.

And the overtone structure goes up the vertical line without end, there is no end to it. It moves into the spheres, it moves into something else. So that is an important part. You need good instruments which create overtones so it can go upwards. And the other movement is the time movement, the beginning and the end of a piece of music.

NG: So that's very interesting to hear that. So with the vertical movement with the overtones, what would you say? Where does it take the listener?

Deuter: It's not a where really. It's something. I don't know. You could call it higher consciousness. It’s a frequency, a higher frequency, which has to do with silence and beauty and harmony.

NG: And being in that frequency as a listener, do you feel that the listener adjusts maybe to that frequency that you created?

Deuter: I think so. Or can, or I hope so.

NG: Now, the other concept that you mentioned is that silence, to create that audible silence for a moment, you said it's very important. Why is it so important for you?

Deuter: Why? I don't know. It was always important for me. For some reason it was there, it’s in my nature, that structure. I didn't think about it and thought that it is something I want to do. It was just there.

NG: I mean, that is an unusual concept, to hear silence. And I imagine if we would do that more, it would trigger very different feelings in each of us. Well, thank you so much. This was very inspiring.

Deuter: Thank you.


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