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Interview with Tobias Preisig

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Tobias Preisig is a versatile Swiss violinist and composer known for his innovative contributions to jazz and experimental improvised music. His unique style transcends conventional boundaries, often falling into the realms of alternative jazz. Tobias is a key member of the electronica duo, Egopusher, where his talents as a violinist shine through. His musical journey also includes leading the Quartet Tobias Preisig, a collaboration that took shape in 2009. The quartet comprises exceptional artists such as pianist Stefan Aeby, bassist André Pousaz, and drummer Michi Stulz. Over the years, they've released two remarkable albums, "Flowing Mood" in 2010 (ObliqSound) and "In Transit" in 2012 (Traumton). This talented ensemble has graced audiences with their artistry at renowned festivals in Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany, Japan, and China. Notable performances include appearances at the Cully Jazz Festival, Hamburg's Überjazz, and Basel's Offbeat.
Tobias Preisig's contributions to the world of music continue to captivate and inspire audiences with their innovative soundscapes.

Hello,  and thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I'd like to start by saying it's my first encounter with your music, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Your music possesses a delicate yet powerful quality. What initially drew you to the world of music, and who or what are your primary sources of inspiration?

As a kid, I started playing violin and grew up with traditional Swiss folk music at home. To this day, when I create music, I’m trying to look for the effortlessness that I was lucky to experience back then playing with my father and grandfather together. As a teenager, I got into jazz and improvised music. I studied classical violin at the conservatory and then started to create my own music that is exploring the intersections of experimental, ambient and electronic music. 

In a more general sense, how do you perceive the concept of art?

For me, creating music is a way of communicating on a very deep level, a way to connect with myself and my surroundings. It’s an open space where I can express, reflect and push limits. 

For your live performances, what kind of atmosphere do you aim to create, and what can the audience expect from your shows?

With every concert, I’m trying to invite everyone to dive into a wall of sound. My music has a cinematic touch – but it’s not a specific movie that I force people to see. Everyone should be able to have their own inner movie running. Close your eyes – and be open to receive and I’m sure we will have a unique common experience in the room that is only possible with live music. 

Your most recent album, 'Closer,' was released in 2023. Will this album feature prominently in your upcoming performance in Wrocław, and in what ways does it distinguish itself from your previous releases?

While my first solo album "Diver" was about diving into the unknown, about losing oneself in infinity, the music of "Closer" is about zooming in and getting close. It’s about warmth and intimacy, contact and community. Endless walks through the empty city. Street noises, birds, the bubbling of a fountain, captured with ambi microphones and placed in the songs. It's about perceiving and celebrating one's immediate surroundings and appreciate the today and the now.  

Looking ahead to the coming months, what exciting plans do you have in store for your fans?

Whilst playing several solo shows in Germany, Poland, Holland and Switzerland, I’m celebrating 10 years with my Band Egopusher. It’s a Drum/Violin duo. The music has the same DNA but its more electronic, clubbier and danceable. I’ve also started writing film music and im excited to just have started composing music for an amazing feature film. 

Once again, thank you for your time.

​photo credit: Rafael Palacio Illingworth
Translator: khocico
Add date: 2023-10-23 / Articles

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