Interview with the sound film artist Bernd Kleiner

MB: Bernd Kleiner, you have one Youtube-Kanal with meanwhile more than 50 rather unusual films. Somewhere between long-winded and artistic.

Yes, thank you very much – I like “unusual”. And lengthy is good too. I deliberately don’t want to get excited – I want to calm down – but then also stimulate a bit. Perhaps “amazing and then losing yourself” would also be a nice description. I seem to have lost my amazement a bit. Amazement takes time, because without losing yourself in such moments, it is not really amazement. A philosopher (unfortunately I can’t remember who) put it more drastically: “If we stop being amazed, we’ll get scared”. I’ve thought a lot about how he made that connection. I think when we marvel, we open up – with open mouths and open hearts, we absorb. In any case, this is a very fear-free moment.

One of the central problems of our societies is that we can’t stand the complexity – which then scares us. And then we suddenly find simple answers to complex issues good. And for “simple answers” there are unfortunately a wide range of offers at the moment – there is something for everyone.

Amazement – opening up – and experiencing the wonder of diversity would also be a nice approach.

MB: Being amazed takes time – your films also need time.

When I observed my own so-called user behavior on YouTube, I would switch from one video to the next quite quickly – in search of the next exciting content. And I think that’s typical user behavior. This was one of the reasons why I liked the idea of ​​my very own channel so much. To offer something that deliberately does not convey any content – in order to lose yourself, your everyday life. And not to consume.

MB: Do you remember your first film?

Yes. “light images”. For about two or three years I had tried very hard to photograph the glow of plants when the sun shines through. That still fascinates me. As if the flower had built its own LEDs. I then compiled the best photos for the film. As music, I cut something nice together from different musicians and then uploaded it to YouTube. That was very exciting. And then came in red letters: “Copyright infringement”. My head was getting hot, certainly bright red, until I finally found the Delete Movie button and clicked, my hand clenched and my heart pounding.

The other day I wondered if I could make the sound myself. And with that, a new world opened up. How beautiful is that expression. A presumably primal human happiness to enter a new world: to be amazed, to stumble and to despair endlessly because you can’t manage it – only to eventually – have found a new home.

MB: “Without music, life would be a mistake,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. A beautiful true sentence!

For all your musical artistry, did you actually learn to play an instrument?

No, I have no professional knowledge of music. I can’t read music and don’t understand music theory. My hearing is also often not able to hear whether a tone is lower or higher.

But: For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in music. And I was always looking for weird new sounds. And there was always a lot to discover. So music has been my passion for a long time – which has found a new level with “doing it yourself”. And if it’s possible, I try to let this original desire for “new sound” revive in me again and again.

MB: What are you working on right now?

The new film is titled Space Flight Over Antares. I can publish it in a few days. Antares is a “red giant” in the constellation “Scorpio” – a sun that is running out of helium. Its color is a deep yellow, which is slightly reddish – its size is unimaginable. A space flight over Antaris is of course completely unrealistic – but the idea is appealing. And where reality can no longer keep up, art can inspire dreams.

The music has 54 tracks – that is, 54 different sounds that hopefully create a sound cinema and stimulate mental cinema.

MB: Sounds like a lot of work. You have very few clicks – actually you could say that hardly anyone looks at it.

Yes, that’s right. And that’s okay too. This gives me the freedom not to please anyone. I can do what makes me curious – what I want to see and hear for myself. And if I don’t manage it as well as I would like, I can still remain completely relaxed.

MB: You would be too if you didn’t release the films at all.

Yes, that is also correct. Publishing has actually become an important part of the creative process. If it wasn’t for the idea of ​​publishing, the creative process would be aimless – and probably nothing would come of it. I would probably strum along with relish and would have a lot of fun doing it. But nothing would come of it. I think a creative process is always nourished by the idea of ​​”giving”. And giving something away is perhaps the best thing we can experience. As long as we give something of ourselves, we are alive.

And in addition, publishing is also a “letting go”. I have made some of my music available for download at “Bandcamp”. I experienced that with the “let go” again clearly. In order to be able to let go of the pieces at this point, I had to optimize the sound beforehand – it’s good now – and I let go.

MB: And now do you want us to recommend your channel too or not?

We could together”Great moment philosophy“ of the Swiss television recommend.

Conversations with high mutual sensitivity broaden the horizon. And this show has been practiced at the highest level for years.

MB: And what do you live on, I mean your livelihood?

I work as a physiotherapist in a neurological clinic.

MB: Does this work influence your artistic work?

It is very nice work. And of course this work has also shaped my life. And where sensibilities are awakened, it broadens the horizon. So it also has an influence on my artistic attempts – which I could not exactly name. Maybe it’s the sensitivity for the small, fine, unexcited, which we can hopefully reflect on when life is restricted by illness – but also, for example, by climate change or a virus.

And I think you can practice and cultivate that. As part of mindfulness training. Even small things can create happy moments. And we should create as many happy moments as possible – and if simple things make you happy, you can also collect many such moments.

“To be lucky” is too passive for me – it’s nice when luck comes flying. Most of the time we have to do something about it. It’s an active process. And sometimes it starts with marveling at something beautiful…

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